TEXAS FAITH 91: How do we create the common good in Texas?

Dallas Morning News,

Dallas Morning News,

Each week we will post a question to a panel of about two dozen clergy, laity and theologians, all of whom are based in Texas or are from Texas. They will chime in with their responses to the question of the week. And you, readers, will be able to respond to their answers through the comment box.

We spent a good deal of time last year on this blog and in public meetings discussing the common good. We talked about defining the common good in Dallas. We talked about the presidential election and the common good. We talked about government and the common good. But we didn’t talk about Texas and the common good.

So, as we start 2013, and the Texas Legislature begins its every-other-year session, let’s discuss that topic.

More specifically: How do you think the state can create a greater sense of the common good?

For some, this will mean greater attention to poverty issues or those left behind. Texas often ranks high among states when it comes to providing various social services, such as mental health care. And high doesn’t mean good. It means we rank 45th, 46th, 47th, etc. in a comparison of states when it comes to spending for a social service.

At the same time, Texas’ economy is in a better place than that of most states. A recent survey of CEOs ranked Texas as the best place to do business. The result of the business-friendly attitude for workers is that Texas has shown a good ability to create jobs. Because we have a fairly robust economy, jobless figures here are better than those of most states.

So, there are two sides to the Texas question. And with those two parts in mind, I’d like to hear how you think Texas can create a greater sense of the common good.

NITYANANDA CHANDRA DAS, minister of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), Dallas 

Honest education on the cruelty of animal slaughter, including education regarding information about the world’s most polluting industry, the slaughterhouses.

Honest education in regards to the degrading quality of intoxications especially, legal intoxications.

Honest education and contrary examples in regards to the unsatisfying life of adultery.

Honest education in regards the deceitful nature of gambling.

These four items degrade the consciousness of society. The only way to successfully avoid them as a society is that its members must experience the higher taste derived from a spiritual connection to the Supreme. If priests are still addicted to these lower-tastes, it is an indication that they are not really experiencing the higher taste in connection with God.

To see all responses of the TEXAS Faith panel click here.