2 The Life and Dignity of the Human Person ALL human beings have dignity because they are made in God’s image and they are all loved by God.People motivated by selfishness, fear or hate, have always found reasons not to respect the dignity of others: race, gender, nationality, disability, age, and history.This teaching insists that nothing can take away the fundamental dignity of any person, not even his or her worst actions.Christians are called to be for “all” life from conception to natural death.Respect for life is the basis for the Catholic Church’s opposition to abortion, death penalty, euthanasia, and other forms of violence including most wars.Respecting human life means allowing others to live BUT this is also about helping others to live to the fullest and experiencing all the dignity and goodness that God intended for them in the physical, social, mental, and spiritual aspects of their lives.
3 Participation: The Call to Family and Community The right and responsibility of all people to participate in all aspects of human society—educational, political, cultural, religious, economic, and so on.Those who are not able to fully participate in society are marginalized or forced outside the main group.We have to recognize the importance of community and having people in our lives. They help shape us and who we ultimately become.The Catholic Church always holds special importance to the family unit as the building block of society.Also, participation is more than just immediate family and community but it is also about remembering our global community. Whether people are rich, poor, weak, or powerful, all should share in making decisions for the global community.We have to focus on the common good of all recognizing that all people in a community should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential.
4 Rights and Responsibilities Rights are those conditions or things that any person needs in order to be fully what God created him or her to be.Survival Rights: water, food, shelter, and basic health careThrival Rights: education, employment, safe environment, enough material goods to support a family, right to practice religion, right to immigrate, right to live without discrimination.Human Rights that are officially recognized though not always practiced by most nations in the world are listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.If rights are on one side of the coin, responsibilities are on the other side.An individual’s rights are limited by his or her responsibilities for the good of others, as well as for the common good of the whole society.
5 The Option for the Poor and Vulnerable This calls us to put the needs of society’s most poor and vulnerable members first.This does not only refer to those who are poor in terms of money, but also those who are deprived of their rights or of equal participation in society. This also refers to those who are poor in spirit.This call comes to us from Jesus who continually asked us to put the needs of the poor first and to take action.
6 The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers Work promotes human dignity by providing families with the things they need to live and flourish. Besides enabling people to live, good work also promotes human dignity simply because it is a reflection of God’s work of creation.When work is done well, whether it is cleaning floors or creating a database, it contributes to the common good. A job that is done well puts people first. An automobile sales representative who does his or her job well will never try to rip off his or her customers.The dignity of work is the value that work has because it supports human life and contributes to human dignity. Through good work, “our spirits are fed!”The things that are necessary for dignified work are known as the rights of workers. Those rights include, right to employment, to decent and fair pay, to a safe workplace, and to anything else that is necessary for the basic life and health of workers.
7 SolidarityThe spirit of friendship between individuals, groups, and nations is the basis for a just world.Solidarity is based on the understanding that all people are part of the same human family, whatever their national, racial, ethnic, economic, or ideological differences may be.Because we are all children of God, we have the same responsibilities toward one another that any family members have.The Christian vision is one of a world in which all people cooperate to bring about goodness for everyone.
8 Care for God’s Creation When God created the world He asked of us to be caretakers of His creation. Having “dominion” over creation does not mean we could exploit and ruin it, rather it means we need to care for it because it was given to us as a gift from God.We have to live in relationship with all of creation and care for the environment not only because it is necessary for the full development of human beings but also because the environment, as a work of God, has beauty and value in itself.The beauty of creation can reveal to us something of the beauty of the Creator who made it.
9 How does this connect to Justice? creating a society that is truly democratic and equal requires people to work together.A truly just society values human rights and recognizes the dignity of human life.Injustice has intense effects…Environmental Injustice, Nature and American Values, Spring 2011
10 Characteristics/Effects Justice - characteristicslovegenerositycompassionforgivenessempathyJustice – effectsfreedomequalityno povertyhealth care and education for everyonepeace
11 Characteristics/Effects Injustice – characteristicsgreedselfishness,hatredunfair treatmentracismsexismageismInjustice – effectssegregationviolence, warprotests, riotspoverty, hungeruneducated citizenssicknesshuge gaps between rich and poor etc.