Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? -- Matthew 7:9
Catholic Social Teaching says that every public policy must enhance human dignity and be measured by its effect on the poor. As Franciscans we are committed to protecting the most vulnerable in society and to the cause of peace. For these reasons, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross and our Associates endorse and collaborate in programs that will redirect excessive military spending toward diplomacy, arms reduction, and strengthening of the social safety net for the poor, especially children.
In this fiscal year, our government allocates 54% of its discretionary spending on defense and only 46% on various social programs (Compare the USA's military spending with that of other countries). It justifies this imbalance because of the global "War on Terrorism." This "War" includes the costly wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as support of our military bases around the world. It also includes the cost of caring for millions of soldiers who have been injured physically and psychologically by war. These costs are staggering -- especially when our states and federal government face huge budget deficits.
However, true security is not found in our superior and costly weapons systems. Rather, it is attained through programs directed toward full human development for all and promotion of the common good.
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