Bob Casey, Jr., for Senate (PA)

Bob Casey, Jr., for Senate (PA) August 22, 2006

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My parents were faithful Catholics, and they took us to Mass every week. Yet I learned the most about my parents’ faith by the way they lived their lives. They took the words of St. Francis to heart when he said, “Preach the Gospel always — use words when you have to.”

 

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My parents were faithful Catholics, and they took us to Mass every week. Yet I learned the most about my parents’ faith by the way they lived their lives. They took the words of St. Francis to heart when he said, “Preach the Gospel always — use words when you have to.”

 

That message was reflected in the community I grew up in as well.  I was blessed to be raised in a community like Scranton, PA where the Church was a real light to the community in terms of how it cared for its flock, how it protected the vulnerable, and its advocacy–not just for people of faith but for all people.  Those two influences of Church and family played a major role in shaping my beliefs and convincing me that our country is at its best when each one of us asks, “What can I give back?” instead of “What’s in it for me?”

 

That’s why I was so drawn to a statement the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops put out shortly before I declared my candidacy: “Politics in this election year and beyond should be about an old idea with new power — the common good. The central question should not be, ‘Are you better off than you were four years ago?’ It should be, ‘How can we — all of us, especially the weak and vulnerable — be better off in the years ahead?’”

 

I believe that the concept of the “common good” is a good example of how we should be applying faith to the public sphere.  It is an idea completely rooted in religious conviction that has a broad appeal in many different sectors of society.  Furthermore, it passes the test Jesus gave us that we should judge the value of ideas and people who claim to speak for God by the fruits they bear.  When our faith is working properly in the public square, it unites people and calls them to something greater than themselves.  As public officials and as voters, we should ask ourselves what kind of fruit has come from some of the ways religion has been used in politics over the last few years.

 

Most Americans currently feel that our country is headed in the wrong direction and that our leaders seem to have lost their moral compass.  The current political leadership in Washington has taken us down a road of debt and deficits, corruption and scandal, intolerance, and indifference to the challenges faced by American families.  To get back on track, we need good, sound policies. But perhaps more important, we need political leaders who will inspire us to come together as one people and work to promote the common good.  That is why I am running for U.S. Senator.  With the help of all the wonderful volunteers in my state, with the help of people like you who may live outside my state, and with the blessing of the voters of PA, I pledge to be that kind of leader.

 

For an in-depth interview with Casey about his views on faith,

casey_2006_cath_conf_answers 153.79 Kb

 

For his campaign faith bulletin,

casey_bulletin 354.14 Kb

 

Note: Casey is giving a major address at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., on September 14 at 3pm entitled: “Restoring America’s Moral Compass: Leadership and the Common Good.”

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