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Club could serve as faith example for politicians

When Archbishop George J. Lucas spoke at this month’s meeting of the Catholic Professional & Business Club in Omaha, he mentioned a Vatican document on the vocation of the business leader.

Cultivating a faith environment in the workplace, one focus of the new business organization, is discussed in the document. But that faith environment isn’t necessarily about prayers or religious art or literature. Rather, it’s about how business leaders should act … how business leaders – business people in general – should be ethical, honest and compassionate in all aspects of dealing with customers, clients, vendors and employees.

Club members gather each month to hear speakers discuss that faith environment, learn about ways to strengthen their faith and how better to live that faith at work.

Looking back at the recent primary election campaigns, perhaps a similar club should be developed for politicians and the individuals who lead those faceless political groups funding millions and millions of dollars of television advertising.

While unethical and dishonest might not apply, inappropriate certainly would be appropriate in describing much of the political advertising. Attack, attack and attack was at the center of many of the advertising messages – attack other candidates, attack the Washington, D.C., establishment, and attack government in general – distorting and omitting information and twisting facts. These ads offered little that could be considered meaningful – other than vague generalities – about the candidates they attacked or, by default, apparently supported.

Perhaps that’s the face of politics today in the United States. Or perhaps, it’s been that way for a long time, just more visible today.

Whatever the case, it’s no wonder voters are disillusioned with what’s going on in government – everywhere from the local city hall or school board to Lincoln to Washington. It’s no wonder voter turnout is so low and skepticism is so high.

Business people and professionals joining the new organization in Omaha are saying they want their faith to be evident in all they do in their work. They’re saying they shouldn’t feel the need to check their faith at the door when they go to work.

Politicians might look to them as an example. Faith shouldn’t be checked at the start of a campaign. Instead, a candidate’s faith should be a guide for the candidate and the campaign.

 

FAITH IN LIFE

Business people and politicians aren’t alone in battling forces that would have them keep their faith lives separate from their business or public lives.

Young people face many of the same challenges, and that’s especially true for those graduating from high school. In a story on Page 13, eight high school graduates discuss how their faith was nourished during their school years, and how they hope to continue living out that faith.

They probably don’t understand – and shouldn’t be expected to understand – the faith challenges they’ll face as they take the next step in their lives. But their answers reflect a combination of idealism and maturity of faith that will help sustain them out in the world and on their own.

We all can pray that will be the case … that their faith will survive the challenges of the world and that it will never be checked at the door.

 

Deacon Randy Grosse is editor and general manager of the Catholic Voice. Contact him at ragrosse@archomaha.org.