Religion: Catholic Social Teaching and Common Understanding Essay

Submitted By chcnorris
Words: 1462
Pages: 6

The Challenges of Immigration Reform in the United States Immigration reform is a term used to describe initiatives taken to make changes to immigration policies. The focus is on the number of legal and illegal immigrants in a country. There are two sides to the initiatives being made, one in support and one in opposition. These sides are based on the beliefs and ideals of the individuals of the specific country in which the reforms are being made. The beliefs and ideals of Catholic Social Teachings, the Scriptures, and the common American understanding of justice and equality before the law dictate the side of the initiatives. Immigration reform in the United States has faced many challenges over the years. More specifically, immigration reform has failed many times in the United States for various reasons. Because of these failures, reforms needs to be overhauled. With a foundation of Catholic Social Teachings, and a common understanding of justice, changes can be made to find a resolution of the attempts of reformation that have resulted in failure. Only through unification and understanding can immigration reform be successful. Catholic Social teachings are a complex, yet simplistic perspective on Christian social justice. Catholic social teachings are the Catholic Church’s expression of its perception of what they believe God says about the responsibilities of human beings. Its purpose is to promote a life of faith and love for all, resulting in actions being taken to fulfill this belief of equality, love and justice. This means that it is our civic duty as Christians to aid those in need, such as immigrants, in any way that we can. Whether it is by raising social awareness or taking the initiative to make reforms that are successful, anything and everything helps. In other words, the mission of the church is to proclaim the good news, to celebrate sacraments, and to care for the needy (Mich). As Christians we can’t pick and choose among these commands; as we live out our lives, we must include all three (Mich). There are seven parts to Catholic social teachings. These parts include; life and dignity of the a human person, call to family, community and participation, rights and responsibilities, option for the vulnerable, dignity of work and worker’s rights, solidarity, and caring for God’s creation. In order to do these things, we must learn by example and take action. We must care, provide, welcome, protect, present, and participate. This is our duty as God’s creations. But, there are many challenges to carrying out Catholic social teachings. These challenges include; society and culture, money-theism, and systematic injustice among many other things. Society and culture past and present have affected the way in which we as individuals deal with our day to day lives. The US is a consumer society, one in which individuals go along with the expectations of society, finding the separation of religion and culture to be difficult. Society offers a bombardment of the cultural mantras of work and spending (Mich). This goes against the gospel, and the basis of the catholic social teachings. Individualism, violence, and materialism have taken the forefront over community and interdependency. No one cares, protects, provides or welcomes others, such as the immigrants. Immigration reform is then placed on the backburner, with empty promises for support and change. Money-theism is focus on monetary gain. This is related to the ideals of the consumer society. In that, Americans idolize monetary gain, rather than Christ. They believe that immigration reform could possibly hinder this. Thus, they choose not to make any reformations. This creates a snare of wealth. This is when people set their minds and hearts on physical rather than spiritual riches, when their frame of reference centers them not on the love of God but on the lover of capital gain (Groody). If the focus is not on the love of God, then how can they aid