Saturday, May 12, 2012
My Brothers and Sisters in Prison
The journalist reminds us that the United States is an example of a politically mature society. However, when we study the right to vote given to women and the blacks, we uncover something different.
It was only in 1920 that women received the right to vote, and the blacks did not receive the full right to vote until 1965. It was much later than our own country, which gave the right to vote to all in 1948. In the States, the prevalent thinking was it was not proper to give the vote to women and blacks. At this time, in history, it is hard for us to believe.
Last month, the Catholic Committee for human rights petitioned a change to the voting law which they say is in violation of the constitution in disfranchising those who are in prison, given a suspended sentence or on parole. The committee showed from the constitution itself that present voting laws were in violation of the constitution.
More than finding reasons to change the law from the law itself, we forget that the prisoners are our brothers and sisters, and the present law is a relic from the past. Pope John 23rd in his encyclical of 1963 ' Peace on Earth' said that the right to vote is one of our basic rights, and related to loving our neighbor. The columnist ends the article reflecting that one day in the future we will look back on the present and be surprised in the way we saw those in prison.