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23/04/2019
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TEMA: Ethical issues in choosing US candidates

Ethical issues in choosing US candidates 06 Feb 2016 19:53 #9146

I am not campaigning for any of the candidates in the Primaries or in the US Senatorial and Congressional General Elections. I only hope to motivate US citizens to come out and vote because your participation in the electoral process counts and massive voting gets better independent results away from political and/or sectarian interests.

I am not going to give you my opinions on selected candidates or political preferences, but I consider important to underline some very basic issues that we all should take into consideration when choosing our candidates at the polling station.

You may search and investigate the facts by yourselves and the considerations here presented may or may not be so important for you, but they are some of the real issues that your candidates support, oppose or are indifferent to them. Our choices should be based on an informed political program of our chosen candidates.

First and above all, I believe that the United States was founded on Christian ethics and the Founding Fathers were moved by a firm belief in a Supreme Being that gives substance to human rights as a code that no man, group or government may repeal. Therefore, we are concerned on ethics and rights, not on religious preferences. No one should be excluded or discriminated for their religious beliefs. Religious freedom is paramount. The US Constitution is clear on the first few words written in the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ..." That is, it should neither establish an official religion nor prohibit religious freedom. However, the Constitution nowhere rejects the application of Christian ethics and the resulting codification of human rights, as far as they do not exclude or discriminate against any religion promoting peace and understanding in society.

That is why the first paragraph of the US Declaration of Independence promoted these unequivocal words: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness". That statement is the core of Christian ethics and human rights in the US.

The problem is that a distorted understanding of human rights principles and the promotion of false libertarian issues are promoting a legal war against the state of Indiana, for example, for passing a law that simply says that people cannot be forced to engage in actions that violate their religious and ethical beliefs. However, the fact is that this law simply promotes the right not to participate in events one finds morally offensive. In other words, it seeks a proper respect of religious freedoms. However, powerful interest groups are fighting it arguing an alleged de facto discrimination against gays and lesbians, as if a sector of society had the right to force another sector of society to accept their moral perspective.

We should come out to vote for candidates clearly supporting religious freedom. We should be aware of what is happening when a US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that it is unconstitutional to say the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools because it contains the phrase "One Nation under God". Some Congressional, Presidential and other candidates support this rule, now before the Supreme Court. That is a fact that is giving ways to a real assault even on very basic religious freedoms, such as it is happening to a Tennessee high school student, Kendra Turner, who was suspended from school just for saying "Bless you". Her teacher had included "Bless you" in a list of banned phrases from the school.

Some may not like the Supreme Court ruling establishing that same-sex "marriage" is a Constitutional right. But it is the law - as far as it does not infringe in the religious or human rights of others. However, this ruling is being used to suppress religious freedom. A Christian photographer was heavily fined in New Mexico for declining to participate in a gay-marriage ceremony. A Christian couple, owners of a bakery in Oregon, were also heavily fined ($150,000) when they refused a judge's order to place the figurines of two men in a cake they baked that the gay couple wanted to use in their same-sex wedding ceremony. For them such an action would mean their moral approval to same sex "marriage" and homosexual relations. There are dozens of bakeries in the same area that would have been willing to serve the same-sex couple with no conscientious objections, but this gay couple wanted to impose their morals on the bakers' religious beliefs, and the judicial system is wrongly condoning this breach on the bakers' rights.

Furthermore, a stone where the ten commandments were engraved was forcefully removed from the garden of the Oklahoma's Capitol building on grounds that it is "obviously" a religious document. But this ancient code of law engraved with no other religious connotations has more of a historical value in the evolution of World's laws that its alleged religious significance. It was meant to be a list of basic mandates symbolic of a place where laws are drafted. If this false interpretation on the separation of the Church and the State is to be accepted, should we thus fight for the removal of the Hamurabi's Code of Law from the United Nations Headquarters? Or any of the Egyptian or Masonic symbols in other public places?

It isn't right either the present US Administration's fight in Federal court to force the Little Sisters of the Poor to purchase health insurance that includes abortion and/or contraception for their charitable institutions, in spite of abortion and contraception not being a health issue, but a matter of "choice". Furthermore, it is not right that ObamaCare pays for abortions ─even the horrendous partial-birth abortions─ not involving health issues, such as the life of the mother. We all contribute with taxes to these "health" expenditures and these rules force all pro-life advocates to indirectly support what their religious beliefs reject.

Even if you agree or disagree with the ethical importance of some of these issues, you should make an effort to be aware of the positions the candidates of your choice support in order for you to make an informed decision. In any case and for whatever reason, do not fail to vote! Your vote will cast the future of the country you live in. Be a conscientious builder of that future!
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