archive-org.com » ORG » S » SARGENTSHRIVER.ORG

Total: 624

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Speech to the Small Business Service Bureau
    apply among the budget conscious people of Washington a small business But I think we were successful and I think we touched some lives all around the world and I am pleased to have had the opportunity to take part in it But we are in a different age now even if only 15 years later And we have to face the realities of the days we live in These realities are not pleasant And perhaps no one knows that better than the small businessman Our nation is in an economic decline which rivals the slump of the early 1930 s And as always in an economic down turn small business is the first business affected it is the business that suffers the most and it is the last business to experience the benefits of economic recovery The first small business loan made by the United States government was made to Paul Revere a direct loan of ten thousand dollars to assist him in establishing a copper rolling mill But two hundred years later as we approach the bicentennial year of 1976 the prospect of the small businessman in America is a bleak one Small business the cornerstone of our free enterprise system is becoming its victim Government which started out to encourage the small businessman has become its oppressor For the individual entrepreneur is now the person caught in the squeeze of modern economy the squeeze of tight money the squeeze of high interest rates the squeeze of rising costs He or she is finding it tougher each day to survive in the face of competition from ever larger corporations corporations much better prepared to endure inflation and recession corporations big enough to bend the federal government to their will while the small business languishes in the backwater of a failing economy Ninety five per cent of all the businesses in this country are small They employ fifty per cent of our citizens They provide almost half of our gross national product They provide a living for one hundred million Americans They help to preserve competition They offer a marketplace for new ideas And yet for all this where are the small businessmen today Small business which is the father of free enterprise is treated like a second cousin Calvin Coolidge once said The business of America is business Change that now to read The business of America is big business And that just isn t right It isn t right that small businessmen pay about twice as much of their income in federal taxes as the large corporations It isn t right that more than half of the yearly burden of government paperwork is borne by small business It isn t right that the small and independent firms which comprise a major part of the housing industry have been forced to cut their production almost in half because economic policies have priced most families out of the housing market It isn t right that federal regulations applied across

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/speech-to-the-small-business-service-bureau (2015-03-27)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Address at the Women's Pioneer Dinner
    markets he tells us and everything will be like it was before But we know many markets are not free The price we pay for food gasoline and hospital beds has skyrocketed because a few people wield great economic power and because Nixon and Ford let Russia have our wheat to feed their beef before making sure there s enough at home to feed America at prices we can afford I m opposed to centralized rigid unresponsive bureaucracy That s why in the Peace Corps Head Start and Community Action we put power into the hands of the people even into the hands of volunteers Nut a purely negative approach to government will get us nowhere Instead of Republicanism we need Americanism Putting government on the side of the people This means at least 5 major commitments for a new America My number one commitment is jobs The independence of men and women of the young and old and of every American family depends on work and a Shriver administration would put people back to work with tax cuts that don t threaten to destroy as many jobs as they create and with a job program that matches unmet needs with people who need work Last week Pat Murphy he was Chief of Police in New York City and now heads the Police Foundation he was in my office I asked him what he would do to end crime The first thing he said was end unemployment Unemployment concerns every American not just the unemployed themselves We all suffer not only because crime increases but because income from personal and corporate taxes decline deficits go up confidence goes down so does the stock market states and cities cut back on jobs and on public works financial disaster overtakes W T Grant and New York City Ford says he wants to cut the deficit If we put all America to work there won t be a federal deficit My second commitment is justice and a new vision of justice not just cops and robbers courts and prisons I mean economic justice Even if we have to break up whole industries oil we can t let Arab Sheiks control the prices we pay for Exxon Prices at the market for food and meat have to be first in the administration s mind We ve got to keep prices down I mean medical justice quality medical care where we want it when we want it at prices we can afford If we can t do this with the system we have then I m prepared to change the system I mean racial justice the fight for an equal chance for all Americans has not been won When the color of your skin determines whether you can buy a house or get a bank loan or a job we don t have justice I mean sexual justice I ve got a daughter of 19 I don t want her to be insulted by an

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/address-at-the-womens-pioneer-dinner (2015-03-27)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Statement on Food and Agriculture Policy
    you rightly demand your fair share of America s bounty That goal cannot be achieved by standing in splendid isolation from your fellow citizens or by supporting policies which put the government on the side of everyone but farmers and consumers I ask you to join with me and America s consumers in the search for solutions which reconcile your need for income stability with the consumers concern for price stability To the consumers of America I say this the last eight years have been a disaster for all of us Between 1971 and 1974 alone retail food prices increased by 37 You pay today 35 cents for a loaf of bread that used to cost 25 cents These prices rose 14 more last year and some predict that 1975 will be another double digit year In 1973 soaring food prices meant that a family of four with an annual income of 7 280 had to spend at least 45 of its disposable income to maintain a modest diet That s almost 1 out of every available 2 for food and this in the greatest agricultural country in the world Even worse soaring food prices have coincided with a falling economy so the American worker in 1974 suffered for the first time in 16 years a real decline in income the largest per capita drop since the Depression For only the second time in this century millions of Americans workers as well as the unemployed are haunted by the fear that they will not be able to give their families a decent diet American consumers do not want to deny farmers the opportunity to earn a good living Without that opportunity prices can only increase as suppliers decline But consumers rightly demand an end to roller coaster food prices and some reasonable assurance of price stability for the future And consumers and farmers alike resent bitterly the high profits of middlemen and other distributors the only people in the food picture who seem impervious to economic instability In 1974 an unbearable year for farmers and consumers the cost of bringing food products to market increased by 20 the largest annual jump in our entire history I ask you too to join in the search for a better way To our foreign customers and to the legions of hungry people who look to American farmers for their survival I say this America will meet her commitments to her traditional customers and will seek to meet the needs of others But the game must be played under fair rules open to all rules which assure advance information about your needs and which establish long term arrangements allowing American farmers to meet those needs without starving or squeezing American consumers And those rules must bar the obscene practice of using American food for political ploys to support corrupt regimes while millions starve and tens of millions go without needed medicines or housing or education just so they can afford to eat What then should we do to accomplish reasonable food prices a fair return to farmers and most of all stable food and farm prices If we are to expect farmers to produce in abundance we must protect them against surplus production While adequate in theory the present price support system has been made obsolete in practice by an Administration which has irresponsibly refused to increase most support levels in five years Supports today don t even cover last year s production costs They must be increased to levels which are realistic in terms of real production costs and world prices But what about lean years when production lags behind demand How do we protect the American consumer against double digit food price inflation and assure price stability at the market place To provide this protection I advocate a new federal reserve program to facilitate storage of basic agricultural products in times of surplus and to sell in times of shortage whether caused by crop failures or by high export demand Such a program would take the wild gyrations out of food and farm prices The very existence of reserves would help to break the inflationary expectations that dominate consumer thinking today the expectations that prices will go up because prices always go up By setting the price at which grain is added to the reserve at a realistic support level this system would establish a floor below which farm income could not fall And by setting a ceiling price above which reserves would be released to the market the system would set a cap on prices consumers would have to pay Farmers have traditionally opposed food reserves because they have been used to drive prices down to levels too low to support farm families Political expediency has been allowed to dictate such reckless dumping with the understandable result that many farmers come to believe that reserves are used only to accommodate whatever constituency may hold sway over those in charge So what we need is a mechanism for managing food reserves in a way that farmers have reason to trust a way that takes politics out of the grainery When our country faced a similar need in the management of money we created an authority independent of the political branches of government the Federal Reserve Board The independence of the Fed was crucial to the survival of banking and of our economic structure Today that independence has gone too far Arthur Burns exercises almost limitless power and should be subjected to new restraints But in the agricultural area what s needed is a greater degree of independence independence from politics in the decision of how much food to accumulate how much to release to the market and when to release it The price would be set by the Board within a Congressionally specified floor and ceiling To provide that independence I would propose legislation to create a Food Reserve Board answerable to Congress but not to the Department of Agriculture the State

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/statement-on-food-and-agriculture-policy (2015-03-27)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Address at Arthur Andersen & Co. Partners' Meeting
    being created in Europe are larger than all demand deposits in the U S A itself Many politicians worry night and day about Euro Communism They should be devoting attention to the positive aspects of Euro Dollarism U S foreign trade now 250 billions per annum is larger than our entire G N P in 1946 In constant dollars foreign trade now exceeds in size the entire U S economy in the 1920 s and early 1930 s Its proportion of our G N P is more than double what it was a decade ago One out of every six manufacturing jobs in this country produces for the export market One out of every three acres of American farmland produces for the export market Almost one out of every three dollars of U S corporate profits now derives from the international activities of those firms including their foreign investments as well as their exports External forces oil price rises crop failures and the exchange rate adjustment to previous levels of domestic inflation propelled the U S rate of inflation into double digits in 1973 1974 The U S A depends on imports for more than one fourth of our consumption of twelve of the fifteen key industrial raw materials The share of trade in our Gross National Product has doubled over the last decade or so when investment is included our engagement in the world economy is probably at least as great as that of Japan or of the European Common Market taken as a group Not just the poor countries are involved therefore in this new symbiotic relationship With relatively few exceptions virtually every nation state in the world both developed and developing now seeks to attract capital from outside their own borders They all we all need external capital to finance our oil purchases trade and other international activities Multinational corporations by definition borrow throughout the world assume liabilities in different currencies and seek resources from a variety of sources While nations and corporations must borrow the world s financial surpluses must be kept in institutions usually banks which must lend those resources The imbalance of those who have and those who have not and the necessity to invest those financial surpluses make intermediation or more fashionably recycling inevitable But the choice of borrowers and even more important the requirements which borrowers must meet are not foreordained Here lies an opportunity Specifically Arthur Andersen in the years ahead could position itself to act for banks and borrowers nations as well as corporations That might mean analyzing the financial accounts of a borrowing nation and reporting to the lender It might mean working with developing countries to install modern recordkeeping and financial management systems It will mean informing yourselves about the realities behind the figures And since we re talking about nations not just companies that will mean expanding the very concept of education for accountants To analyze and report on the financial information of a country requires an understanding of its economy of its history of its culture of its language and of its role in the world So your impressive professional education program will be under heavy challenge To take on these new jobs you re going to have to take on a new and enlarged view of professional education and ultimately of the profession itself I know I don t have to tell you about the rewards The energy dollars I m discussing are enormous and so are the potential financial opportunities and opportunities for a valuable social service by Arthur Andersen Beyond that intermediating between public borrowers and private lenders is perhaps the only alternative to greatly increased government regulation or substitution for the private sector Accountability and disclosure can achieve responsible decision making in the public interest worldwide as well as in our domestic capital market There couldn t be a better time for Arthur Andersen to expand in to these new areas Since those who have deficits are likely to need more rather than less capital it is in their best interest to satisfy the requirements of those with money to lend those who want objective factual reliable financial information If that information is unavailable or not publicly disseminated those who seek capital will be faced with declining growth and declining standards of living And that will mean more political instability in case of governments and less profit in the case of private corporations As an alternative some governments will seek bilateral aid from the more affluent nation states who will not unexpectedly extract political concessions in return for the aid whether in the form of grant or loan But there are other better options for the borrowers Deficit states and private institutions instead of becoming dependent on political money so to speak could come to an open free market whether formally recognized as such or not and seek resources as many have done before them but only if the private markets are assured that the borrowers accounts their projections the status of their trade their current and prospective debt are honestly and accurately stated and projected And to do that they will need you your skills your independence your experience The time is long past where needed resources were acquired or deficits financed from those with whom the borrower was a familiar and comfortable name The United States of America borrowed its capital in the 18th and 19th centuries from its friends in England and France Jefferson borrowed the money from England for the Louisiana Purchase But today borrowers and lenders know each other barely have little in common and indeed play quite different roles in the world economic order Under such conditions the potential provider of funds must know at the minimum what the potential debtor is all about Those who have wealth or control the wealth of others have historically made these resources available to their own not to strangers But strangers now seek those resources and to get them

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/address-at-arthur-andersen-co-partners-meeting (2015-03-27)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Address on Ethics and Government at the Deutsches Haus-Goethe Institute at NYU Inaugural Lecture
    Or in the Bakke case why should minorities receive affirmative help And if minorities do receive affirmative help how will we decide who qualifies as a minority group member How Black must one be Law courts jurists are now being asked to answer these questions But the questions are not solely or even principally legal in nature That s why the Supreme Court darts from one theory to another stretching this one narrowing that one finding an intention in the minds of the authors of the Constitution on subjects unknown to the 18th Century mind Turning to the domain of medicine and even of pure science we find comparable complexities which we are not solving One way for example to eliminate the problem of mental retardation is simply to abort every fetus shown by amniocentesis or ultrasonography to be afflicted with Down s Syndrome or some other handicapping conditions Fetuses suffering from cleft palate spinal bifida muscular dystrophy multiple sclerosis and similar genetic and metabolic diseases could all be eliminated by abortion We would not have cured the disease or the handicap but we would have eliminated the unwanted individuals A preventive strike so to speak Such procedures might be scientific cost effective and legal if some court says they are legal Would they be ethical Would they be in accord with the national interest Who decides what is the national interest in such cases The Secretary of H E W A new counterpart of the National Security Council perhaps the Domestic Security Council These questions may seem far fetched But the debate on recombinant DNA research has brought into existence national guidelines devised by N I H and its advisors and promulgated by the Secretary of H E W and his advisors No elected official participated directly in that process Since then the scientific community has aroused itself Congress is being besieged by scientists who argue that no one should be permitted to inhibit the freedom of scientific research or the pursuit of scientific truth by establishing guidelines Certainly no laws should be passed they say The continued existence of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects in Medical Research is now in question not because the Commission made any mistakes hut because its existence symbolizes the right not just the power of the public to control science when science experiments on human beings That thesis is not universally accepted especially by some scientists Since scientists and the public don t completely agree government bureaucrats and of course members of Congress are being asked to decide who can do what to whom under what circumstances and for what purposes How will they decide Why not experiment on human beings especially if science can be advanced by the knowledge obtained What s so special about a human being anyhow asked a Harvard Medical student recently Like that medical student I often faced serious ethical questions in government service Would I permit taxpayers money in the War Against Poverty to be used in a Neighborhood Health Center for contraceptive devices for sterilizations for abortion for minors seeking such service without parental knowledge We had to write regulations on those issues without any expert help Would I leave Peace Corps Nurses in the center of the city of Santiago in the Dominican Republic when our U S Marines were wading ashore and bombarding the very neighborhood where the nurses were working with and for the poor Suppose one of those Peace Corps Nurses was killed by our Marines How could I explain to her father that I had left his daughter in such danger when with ease I could have withdrawn her to safety What could I say to the poor and wounded if I took her out Were we a Peace Corps or not How could I explain to the Secretary of Labor when young Legal Service lawyers paid by me as Director of O E O brought an injunction against him preventing him from carrying out what he thought were his official duties In this case I succeeded in convincing Bill Wirtz then Secretary of Labor and a former professor of labor law But I never convinced George Wallace Ronald Regan or John Bell Williams that federally financed Legal Service lawyers should be able to sue elected public officials and compel or restrain their executive action by successful invocation of the judicial power None of these situations was solely legal in nature or economic or scientific All of them were ethical and philosophical And every desk of every current government official lies swamped with similar ethical problems which he has little or no technical training to resolve Who in government is qualified to make these decisions No one is my answer But it doesn t have to be that way Universities high schools even grammar schools could begin to produce qualified ethicists moralists philosophers It would take time ten years probably maybe a generation maybe a century But there s no reason for the United States to remain a philosophic wasteland Madison Jefferson Hamilton John Adams Benjamin Franklin all were men who in a serious way tried to deal coherently with the separate but inter related Problems of man God nature and society Ethics was a preoccupation of many leaders at the time of our Revolution and this interest turned most of the best minds of that time to the philosophical analysis of morality When the Soviets launched Sputnik President Eisenhower could respond with a massive national effort to produce more and better physicists chemists and engineers Kennedy could follow with a breathtaking decision to put a man on the moon in this decade Why To prove that we were number one in science and outer space Maybe the time has come to re establish our position as number one in inner space the domain of the spirit within every person the realm of men s minds and hearts Even to suggest such an undertaking sounds romantic softheaded

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/address-on-ethics-and-government-at-the-deutsches-haus-goethe-institute-at-nyu-inaugural-lecture (2015-03-27)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Address to the National Assembly of the Laity Conference
    Sterilize all the unfit among whom include all the fundamentalists Yale and Harvard Holmes and Laski were not alone in their ethic We enjoyed if that s the correct word lectures by famous law professors and practitioners from Chicago Columbia New York Washington Boston And with this education we succeeded We won World War II mastered the world militarily ushered in the greatest economic prosperity in history fathered the baby boom yawned with Eisenhower and elected Kennedy And then I chose the Best and the Brightest That s what the President elect told me he wanted And that s what he got no political partisanship no regional or racial narrowness He got the best businessmen the best economists the best diplomats the best politicians He even got the first Ph D ever to sit in a Presidential Cabinet They stayed together longer and worked together longer than any Presidential Cabinet in this Century None of them stole money None of them divorced their wives or fell into the Tidal Basin or sniffed cocaine or perjured themselves All of them got Honorary Degrees from everywhere I got 24 myself But things didn t turn out so well did they I never understood why till about a year ago when a young but extremely able political operator told me Mr Shriver we know everything about politics how to win elections how to get out the vote how to use TV how to interpret polls how to choose winning issues how to package the candidates We ve got only one problem we don t know what to do with victory Neither did we as a group know what to do with victory I did my thing with the Peace Corps but others did their thing in Vietnam No one ethic influenced us all because none of us were truly educated in ethics or in morality As Director of the Peace Corps I hired the first Catholic priests and nuns and the first Protestant clergyman ever employed in regular Federal Government jobs Was I violating the Constitutional doctrine involving separation of Church and State No one could tell me So I went ahead on my own I was sued of course by Protestants And Other Americans United But we won I authorized the first Federal money for local distribution of contraceptive materials through Community Action Agencies provided the request originated locally and enjoyed local support Local Option we called it Was that morally right At the same time I forbade Federal payment for sex information and contraceptive devices to minors without parental consent and abortions no matter for whom Was that right morally No one could tell me I had no intellectual training to make those decisions despite seven years of American higher education My decisions were based on my own reading and beliefs plus advice from my friends who were as ill prepared as I These Washington activities were preceded by similar experiences in Chicago By what right did I as President of the Board of Education in Chicago discriminate by constructing more new school buildings on the South side in the slum areas than in the well to do areas on the near North By what moral right incidentally did the University of Chicago participate in clearing thousands and thousands of poor Blacks from the Woodlawn area to protect the environment around that University Did the Divinity School faculty members say anything about the University policy and program when it was carried out Perhaps they did But Monsignor Egan was the only clergyman I do remember who fought for those Black people then and for his efforts he was relieved of his command and exiled to South Bend In the last six years I have visited the Soviet Union frequently on legal business I ve been there probably 20 30 times I ve got good friends who work in the Kremlin I talk to them on the long distance phone I drink vodka in the best restaurants there and sleep on clean cool sheets in their best hotels What would Solzhenitsyn say about people like me That problem bothered me so I scheduled a week at the Vatican to ask the experts there for criticism and advice I had noticed that Gromyko and Podgorny visited the Pope and that Papal emissaries went often to the USSR Poland Hungary and Czechoslovakia How could they consort so to speak with the atheists the enemies of God Should I I didn t have to to earn a living No one ever suggested that experts in American higher education or even in American Church circles could help me resolve that personal moral problem Few if any of them had been to the Soviet Union or gained familiarity with Vatican policy on such a question And when I ran for President and faced the ultimate contemporary political question would I or would I not push the button In a nuclear confrontation there was no theologian or moral philosopher who knew enough about nuclear warfare to help me with that problem I could add dozens of practical questions and problems from politics education warfare science medicine the law but the point is obvious When persons in our society reach a certain level in business law medicine politics education and other professions many of the problems they face are moral problems For the person who becomes President of the United States nearly all the problems are moral problems Rarely if ever does the President lack for military advice scientific advice financial advice medical advice female advice Chicano advice Black advice or diplomatic advice He just can t get the advice he needs the most So we decided about ten years ago to see if a new kind of intellectual institution could be created to bring some of the best moral theologians moral philosophers social and religious ethicists together on a permanent basis with experts from medicine law nursing foreign policy and science not just to talk with one another socially not just for conferences or ad hoc dialogue sessions but permanently for joint work By which I mean writing books and articles together participating in joint research projects participating in weekly working seminars together criticizing one another s scholarly work in utero so to speak and teaching courses together We wanted this institution to be in a university setting for students for permanence for basic research for scholarly environment for infiltration or subversion if you will of the existing isolated university schools and departments We wanted this institution to be located in Washington where its faculty would be readily available to the Federal Executive Branch to the Congress to the national press to the diplomatic corps and to the headquarters staff personnel of all the churches who center their national work in Washington Well today we ve got it The Kennedy Institute of Ethics It started slowly but it s beginning to get results How do we measure results It s not easy nor a scientific process But there are at least some signs The permanent faculty is large and growing Scholars do accept invitations to join The Institute And some even pay to work with us Faculty members serve on Ethics Advisory Boards to the Secretary of H E W to the Director of N I H to the Technology Assessment Committee of the Congress The National Commission for Research on Human Subjects now has a staff philosopher which must be a first in American Political History and that staff philosopher is a Kennedy Institute faculty member Books articles and even an Encyclopedia of Bioethics have appeared New Doctorates are being offered instructional materials rewritten for undergraduates and graduate students endowment funds developed for professorships specialized libraries and computer services post Doctoral students are being drawn in new courses offered in law school in medical school and for undergraduates visiting lecturers expand The Institute s influence and outreach Muslims have joined Jews and Christians and secularists in a cooperative effort to make this Institute an intellectual resource for the entire University In mundane technologic terms the Institute might be likened to a central heating system or a central power plant from which ethics moral theology and philosophy can radiate out to and into every school and department in an entire University and through that university to the capitol city and Government of our country But even this new institution were it totally successful would not be able to provide what is ultimately needed for modern man and modern government For this Institution is committed only to the pursuit of knowledge to the integration of knowledge with ethics and philosophy and to the application of that unified perspective and those insights to secular problems The Institute is dedicated to the cognitive discipline befitting a University and a community of scholars But beyond knowledge lies wisdom beyond cognition lies volition beyond truth lies sanctity How can academic persons and universities how can ordinary lay people contribute to the greatest need of contemporary American society which suffers not from the absence of food or drink home or health nor from lack of physical security material possessions freedom of thought religion assembly travel or press In a brilliant recent speech in Washington Octavio Paz the Mexican Poet historian and philosopher said The sickness of the West is moral rather than social and economic It is true that our economic problems are serious and that they have not been resolved on the contrary inflation and unemployment are on the rise It is also true that poverty has not disappeared despite our abundance Huge groups women racial religious and linguistic minorities still are or feel excluded But the real most profound discord lies in the soul of each of us The future has become the realm of horror and the present has turned into a desert The liberal societies spin tirelessly not forward but round and round If they change they are not transfigured The hedonism of the West is the other face of its desperation its nihilism ends in suicide and in inferior forms of credulity such as political fanaticisms and magical chimeras The empty place left by Christianity in the modern soul is not filled by philosophy but by the crudest superstitions Our eroticism is a technique not an art or a passion These haunting words so full of truth so poetic so wise stun the mind with their clarity and insight What can be done about the world they describe I am not sure Who is But I have a thought I suggest we commence the long hard task where scholars are needed as much as saints of lifting ourselves from the pursuit of happiness to an additional and new level of political thought and moral vigor to the pursuit of holiness So it will take a thousand years for human beings to see the pursuit of holiness as a practical transforming personal and societal possibility It took as long to reach the high Renaissance after the Fall of Rome It took the Jews from 70 A D till 1967 1 900 years to regain the Western Wall of The Temple in Jerusalem Time need not be the most important consideration in the pursuit of holiness What s the relevance however of holiness to our contemporary problems How can its pursuit fill the empty place left by Christianity in the modern soul What is holiness and why pursue it No one could answer those questions in a few moments let alone in the conclusion to a mere speech But in this place speaking to this audience please let me clarify what I mean by holiness and also try to point out its relevance for all of us lay people today especially perhaps for politicians and professionals for academics for the young First of all our understanding of holiness has probably become too ecclesialized too churchy and too ethereal Holiness for many Catholics today and perhaps for many other Christians in the West probably would be seen as withdrawing from life with praying with being uninvolved in conflictual situations in this world Yet the task for lay Christians has much to do with all manner of highly conflictual highly technical highly politicized situations in which intelligent decisive and perhaps even quite aggressive action is required What then can holiness mean what can holiness give to a lay Christian Holiness originally in the Biblical sources is associated with God rather than human beings Holy is the quality of transcendence of God But he might think of that quality as being either that God is terribly far away or we might think of it as being that God is so different He is irrelevant to human affairs But if you look carefully at the Biblical testimony God appears as different from what people expect him to be because He never comes as a rival to human beings because he never really operates as a Bully They discover over and over again that bullying is not his mode God is different because God is loving if you like is intensely creative because God is unthreatened by the well being or progress of others Because God is always standing so to speak in front of us beckoning and is always desiring for us more than we can desire for ourselves When in the Bible the notion of holiness is applied to the people that they are called to be a people Holy wholly to God holy in relation to the Holy God Holy in mirroring the Holy God to the world we find that this doesn t mean that they withdraw from earthly activities or that they re always praying It means strangely enough in the first place that they are called to throw off the slavery the yoke of Egypt It means in the second place that they get into the desert and discover that to be free of Egypt is not yet to be free that to be a people a holy people or of that matter any people means a concern for others means just laws means decent moral ethical behavior means fidelity trustworthiness and means caring about issues being concerned enough about public issues about the life of the people to get involved and to attempt to make a difference and build a community according to the Call of God One could interpret the whole testimony of the Hebrew scriptures in a rather static way that their function was that the function of Israel called by God elected by God was simply to set up a society and then stay that way The Prophets didn t interpret their mission that way The Prophets interpreted the Call of Israel the Sinai Covenant the election and so on in terms of being called to other better things being called to a constant critique of the society and its structure as it was then and to a restructuring according to the call and the invitation of God In other words the prophetic understanding and I do believe that this is the understanding that Jesus of the Gospels picks up is an understanding that is never content with simply staying in your slot in the society as it is but which always challenges in a radical way what the world would be like if God really reigned among us If instead of selfish values exclusive values short sighted values twisted and distorted values the values were in fact those of God in Creation and in His summons to human persons to come together in charity with one another for Him The call of holiness as Jesus picks it up is interpreted in such simple and if you like such secular terms that the people around Him were often shocked They were shocked at how lightly he treated Sabbath rules when the welfare the health the life or even the happiness of an afflicted person was at stake They were rather shocked how his focus at the way his focus was on basic human relations with one another and the basic human attitude to God and not with the performance of rituals It is not recorded of Him that He denied the importance of ritual in fact He participated but people in His time seem to have been shocked at the hierarchy of His values What He put first was in fact the secular was in fact what we would think of as the layman s natural field It wasn t the churchy business of organizing worship Now it is sometimes assumed that if you take Jesus as the model you must be apolitical in your understanding of your obligations your Christian duty your Christian vocation It is sometimes said the Jesus is after all an apolitical figure that he rejected alignments with the zealot revolutionaries that he rejected alignments with Pharisaic party then in power which would have made it possible to work through existing structures I don t think that is true I think that contemporary scholarship when you add it all up comes to the conclusion that Jesus is a political figure as well as religious leader Jesus is a political figure because He was crucified first of all by the Romans That was a political execution He may not have stood for what they thought He stood for but He certainly was a political figure to them when they executed Him And if we believe that the crucifixion was God s redemptive action in the world then we have to take account of its political aspect Jesus stands for a reign a kingdom a wave a movement that was not going on in the world in His time or for that matter fully in our time but which is a goal for human society and for human life and for the structuring of human possibilities We have to strive for these things And these are political realities as well as spiritual We have

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/address-to-the-national-assembly-of-the-laity-conference (2015-03-27)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Address at the Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus 25th Anniversary Symposium
    the leader of the free world Are our defense expenditures in accord with The logic of the Gospels Are our expenditures for gasoline cosmetics contraception abortion sterilization travel guns extra clothes in accordance with The logic of the Gospels When we close Catholic schools in our inner cities are we acting with The Logic of the Gospels Merely to pose the questions is almost to provide the answers But where are the Catholic economists who offer alternative Catholic budgets for America based on The Logic of the Gospels Do we ever propose alternative budgets for Catholic families Or for our Catholic dioceses Only neo conservatives and neo Marxists seem to be providing economic visions alternative to what we have Jesus Christ seems irrelevant to most in the marketplace But is He and His logic of life so empty of message and meaning to the specific ways we live in the USA the ways we organize our business practices our legal practices our medical care Let s look at the History Departments in our Universities How many History Departments have courses on The History of Salvation Not courses in the Religion Department on the Bible whether Old or New Testament but courses in the History Department Pope John Paul II s opening sentence in his first Encyclical was The Redeemer of Man Jesus Christ is the center of the Universe and of History Do we really believe that If we believe it how do we Catholics incorporate Jesus Christ into the curriculum of our History Departments How can we teach History intelligently if Jesus Christ is the Center of History and we never discuss that fact in the History Department If He is the Center what happens to our understanding of History especially Western History if we leave out the Center I know we have sections in our History textbooks devoted to The Age of Faith I love that phrase It s always applied to the 11th 12th 13th and 14th centuries But haven t the succeeding centuries the 15th through the 20th been Ages of Faith Not faith in The logic of the Gospels but faith in progress faith in science faith in technology faith in pluralistic secular democracy s ability to resolve all problems without recourse to The logic of the Gospels I pose these questions not to be critical or argumentative I pose them as a layman in whose life there has been a profound unmet need for a Christian a Catholic view of economics of history of political science When President Lyndon Johnson ordered me to organize a war against poverty I remonstrated with him I said I knew nothing about poverty others would be better qualified generals for his war against poverty Typically he brushed me aside saying that no one knew for sure how to get rid of poverty and that I could succeed as well as anyone else We made significant progress I believe but among other initiatives we had to start the first Institute on Poverty in academic America All the economists in all the Universities had never focused on poverty yet there were 30 million poor people right under our eyes here in the USA Overlooked rejected they were unseen by us It took a socialist ex Catholic Michael Harrington to reveal them to us At this point I can almost hear someone saying that the Church does not have a mandate to propose concrete solutions to technical problems in the temporal order With that thought I am in complete agreement The ecclesiastical leaders of the Church do not have any such mandate but we do the laity we the professors and practitioners of economics history medicine law business etc We are also part of the Church The Church we are being told is all the people of God Ecclesiastical leaders alone are not the Church But when ecclesiastical leaders manage Universities to educate laymen the graduates are going to be sawed off Catholics sawed off at the shoulders with their bodies going physically to Mass and Holy Communion but their heads remaining in the 1st National Bank or with Proctor and Gamble GM Firestone in the State s Attorney s office or in the 8th Ward unless that is Catholic Universities introduce Christ s logic into all the classrooms The ecclesiastical leaders who have no mandate to propose concrete solutions to temporal problems paradoxically must educate a laity which does have precisely that responsibility Now I wasn t educated by the Jesuits so that may be one of the causes of my present plight But I don t think I m exceptional in my sense of inadequacy and ignorance about the moral ethical and religious aspects of many modern problems I think that laymen and women have been permitted to believe that since it does not belong to the Church insofar as she is a religious and hierarchical community to offer concrete solutions in the social economic and political spheres they the laity have no responsibilities as Christians for justice in the temporal order The laity thinks there is no specific Christian or Catholic approach to law or medicine or finance since The Church has frequently said that the Church should not offer specific solutions But that idea I submit is wrong Fortunately I ve got a good man on my side Or more modestly the captain of the team where I am the altar boy is an exceptional holy and learned man Pope John Paul II Let us listen for a few sentences to what he says Man s situation in the modern world seems indeed to be far removed from the objective demands of the moral order from the requirements of justice and even more of social love Man s dominion over the visible world given to him by God at the first moment of creation consists according to the Pope in the priority of ethics over technology in the primacy of the person over things and in the

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/address-at-the-detroit-province-of-the-society-of-jesus-25th-anniversary-symposium (2015-03-27)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Address at the National Meeting of the Campaign for Human Development
    to poor people And by and large income maintenance programs do not keep pace with inflation Particularly in recent years the poor have been losing ground Let us take a closer look at some areas in which our public policy does not measure up when seen through the eyes of the poor Unemployment Unemployment statistics prove that our economy is failing large numbers of people Even by Government indicators which do not even count people who have become too discouraged to look for work there are about 8 million men and women out of work Beyond these figures is the stark reality that Blacks are twice as likely to be out of work than whites Hispanics too are far more likely to be jobless than whites The human social and economic costs of these wasted lives provide dramatic testimony of how our economy fails John Rawls test High unemployment has been with us so long that we may overlook the real costs of joblessness and we may forget how desperate people are to contribute to this society and their families by holding a job Just a few weeks ago in Baltimore word went out that 70 new jobs were available These were low paying low prestige jobs in categories such as clerical work and warehouse duties Twenty five thousand people showed up for those 70 jobs Although the official jobless rate stands at 7 8 the total number of people hit by unemployment in a given year is much higher than the number of unemployed in one particular month In 1979 20 million workers were jobless at one time or another during the year In 1980 and 1981 that figure is expected to rise to some 2 5 million Nearly one in every four workers has been out of work in 1979 1980 Income After all the rhetoric and activity of the last twenty years we still find 11 5 of Americans below the official poverty level One of every four Black families falls below that level One of every five Hispanic families are poor by this measure with all its inadequacies Sixteen percent of all children and forty percent of all Black children live in families below the poverty level And perhaps most significantly the percentage of poor families in America is not decreasing If anything the situation may have gotten worse in recent years Housing Housing is another example to consider By HUD s own criteria almost 20 million households in America were inadequately housed in 1976 and Blacks and Hispanics are more than twice as likely to live in that housing Just to prevent the current housing situation from getting worse the Government would need to provide low income housing assistance for over 1 000 000 units each year The actual level of assisted housing is less than one third of that Energy Energy is a fourth example Here as in other cases the poor lose out as a result of the normal workings of the marketplace Despite Milton Freidman s theories the market does not operate equitably or ethically As oil and gas prices have been decontrolled prices have risen dramatically and the poor have been hardest hit Low income households spend about 20 of their annual income on household energy costs that is four times the national average During the five coldest months of 1979 80 the average low income household heating with 2 fuel oil spent about 45 of its monthly income on energy Congress has approved an Emergency Energy Assistance Program for the poor but it doesn t begin to meet the increased cost of energy caused by decontrol freeing the market lifts oil company profits but not the hearts or incomes of the poor As a final example let us look at tax policy How well does it serve the interest of the poor In theory of course the tax system is supposed to be progressive that is it should decrease the inequality in incomes and wealth In fact the system as a whole has done very little over the past forty years to alter extreme inequalities The Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Samuelson describes the distribution of income in the U S this way If we made an income pyramid out of a child s blocks with each layer portraying 1 000 of income the peak would be far higher than the Eiffel Tower But almost all of us would be within a yard of the ground In specific terms let us look at two recent examples of tax policy The first is the major tax bill passed by Congress in 1978 Among other things it provided for 13 billion in individual tax cuts Of that 13 billion less than one third went to the three quarters of all taxpayers who earn less than 20 000 a year Meanwhile the wealthiest 2 of taxpayers got nearly one quarter of the total As a second example look at the Kemp Roth plan The key item in this proposal is a 10 across the board cut in individual income taxes Now it doesn t take a mathematical genius to deduce that 10 of 50 000 is a lot more than 10 of 5 000 For a family of four in the 100 000 a year income bracket Kemp Roth would save 2 100 But for a family earning 17 500 it would mean only 150 For those too poor to pay taxes Kemp Roth reforms mean nothing From these few examples it s easy to see we have a long way to go in the struggle for social policies that meet the needs of the poor So I return to my first question How can Christians help the poor best today Do we simply need more of the 1960 solutions in the 1980 s or is there something different about this decade something different that should challenge us to develop new responses to poverty and inequality I think there is something different Paradoxically

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/address-at-the-national-meeting-of-the-campaign-for-human-development (2015-03-27)
    Open archived version from archive



  •