Wednesday, September 24, 2014

People of faith, thank you!

Faith in Action is a social-justice group made up of community leaders from different religions and faith traditions. The group has released an evocative 'social covenant' that defines our concerns and responsibilities as citizens of British Columbia. 

Please come to the front steps of the BC Legislature at 11:30am on Wednesday, October 8. Your presence will demonstrate the importance of these ideas.    

Faith in Action - Working together for social justice

If you believe that the world in which we currently live could have more peace,
compassion, harmony and equality and if you believe you can be an agent of positive
change then, like us, you are a person of faith.

We hold that the disparity between the haves and have-nots, and the marginalization in
our society of our most vulnerable members are indicators of the degradation of our
communities. As people involved in diverse faith communities, we experience the burden
of caring for far too many people who are struggling and suffering. We work at alleviating
some suffering while knowing that without the systemic change that brings about social
justice we are treating gaping wounds with band aids. We are calling on the government
of British Columbia to lead us with compassion towards greater social justice. We are
calling for a new social contract.

It is our intention to inspire action with this new social contract. It holds core values that
are shared and expressed in the sacred truths from the many traditions that find unity in
our communities.

New Social Covenant

Human Dignity
We believe that human life is sacred. Respecting a person’s dignity is the basis for a moral

Community and the Common Good
We believe that all people are sacred and social. The way we organize our society – in
economics, law and policy – affects our dignity and our ability to participate in our
communities. The role of government is to protect us, to provide the means for all of us
to live in dignity, and to promote the common good.

Rights and Responsibilities
We believe a healthy community protects our rights and ensures that everyone has what
is needed for a decent life. We all have duties and responsibilities to one another, to our
families and to the larger society.Responsibility for those who are poor and vulnerable
We believe a basic moral test for our society is how well those of us living in poverty and
who are vulnerable are faring.

We believe that everyone has the right to participate in the economic, political and
cultural life of society. It is wrong for anyone to be excluded or to be unable to participate
in society due to poverty or disability.

Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers
We believe that the economy must serve people, not the other way around. We must
protect the dignity of work and respect the basic rights of workers – the right to earn just
wages and to organize and join unions.

Our first goal
That no child should live in poverty.

Our challenges
1. Provide equal access to decent housing and nutritious food
2. Stop clawing back child support from welfare recipients
3. Raise the welfare rates for families
4. Involve families of children living in poverty in any decisions affecting them
5. Implement a guaranteed annual income
6. Implement a living wage law
7. Report progress on reducing child poverty annually.

The dignity of each human person and the pursuit of the common good are concerns which ought to
shape all economic policies. – Pope Francis

Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. –
Nelson Mandela

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when? - Sage

"In an increasingly cosmopolitan world, it is essential that we live by a 'cosmopolitan ethic,' one that
addresses the age-old need to balance the particular and the universal, to honor both human rights and social duties, to advance personal freedom and to accept human responsibility." His Highness Prince
Karim Aga Khan IV