God and country tell us to love our neighbor Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Jun. 11, 2020 -- 12:00 AM

The tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has caused us to be more aware of the racism and injustice that have plagued our country for centuries.

At this time, we as Catholics and citizens of the United States should remember what God and our country have taught us about the equality of all people.

In the Scriptures, we find these words, “And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.’” (Mt. 22: 37-40).

In the Declaration of Independence, we find these words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

So it’s obvious that what we’ve learned from our faith and our country teach us to love our neighbor. It’s interesting that when Jesus was asked, “Who is my neighbor?” he responded with the story about the Good Samaritan, the one who showed compassion.

Compassion is not simply a warm, fuzzy feeling, says a commentary by Danielle Bernock ( Compassion does something. A heart that’s moved by compassion cannot sit idly by while someone suffers. Loving your neighbor as yourself is being moved to help to the full extent of your ability.

All of us should follow the commandment to love our neighbor by treating every single person with respect. This means people of every color, race, age, and state of life, from the unborn to the frail elderly.

Treating people as neighbors should also be the goal of community policing. I remember hearing about a Madison police officer who worked the downtown beat. He knew the names of the people who worked and lived downtown, including the homeless. He treated everyone with respect.

As citizens, we should be sure to vote in every election and then contact our representatives if we see things that should be corrected.

Loving our neighbor should becomes second nature to us. We can show that love by serving others in need in our communities.