How has this nation been "moving forward” since President Barack Obama’s inauguration? Here are statistics from inauguration day to the present:
Long-term unemployed: From 2.7 million to 5 million (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics);
Middle class income: From $54,962 to $51,002 (Sentier Research, LCC);
Gas prices: From $1.85 to $3.86 (Bloomberg.com);
Americans in poverty: From 39.8 million to 46.2 million (U.S. Census Bureau);
Federal debt: From $10.6 trillion to $16 trillion (U.S. Dept. of Treasury);
U.S. global competitiveness: From first to seventh (World Economic Forum);
Then there are changes regarding religious freedom and the funding of abortion.
Regarding the former, the Obamacare bureaucracy requires that Catholic institutions provide medical insurance coverage for medications and procedures that are contrary to church teachings.
Regarding abortion, public tax dollars now fund abortions internationally due to the president’s rescinding of the Mexico City Policy, and domestically by subsidizing Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States.
The Catholic Church believes that abortion is a grave moral evil and this is a “binding principle” not open to “prudential judgment.”
Social justice is also a church priority, but how to implement that teaching in everyday life is open to “prudential judgment,” and Catholics and people of good will can differ in their approaches. Religious freedom, moreover, has been at the bedrock of Constitutional rights, but is now being disrespected and abused.
So when people hear the campaign slogan of “forward,” they need to ask, “To what?” when voting in November.
Maurice Theriault, Lewiston