“We are all Downwinders”: A Catholic Social Tradition Primer

Introduction: A Nation on the Brink of Another War

World War II had scarcely concluded before the possibility of a cataclysmic sequel appeared on the horizon. Although formerly allied, the United States and the Soviet Union increasingly grew suspicious of each other. Fear gripped ordinary U.S. citizens across the country. Bracing for possible attack at any moment, school teachers instructed their students to huddle under their desks and entire cities routinely evacuated their streets during mandatory public safety drills.

Out of concern for national security, the United States Atomic Energy Commission poured its efforts into further developing the country’s nuclear defense arsenal. The Atomic Energy Commission established a test site in a sparsely populated stretch of southeastern Nevada where the U.S. and Great Britain detonated over 1,000 nuclear devices between 1951 and 1992. Aware of the harmful radiation produced by their experiments, the Commission cautiously avoided testing when Nevada winds were blowing south or west in order to protect the residents living in densely populated Las Vegas and Los Angeles.i By taking the wind into account, the Atomic Energy Commission sought to minimize the risk of radioactive exposure for the millions of U.S. citizens in these cities.

The logic seems clear: in the face of an imminent foreign threat, officials and scientists took careful precautions to prevent a public health hazard and costly damage to highly valued properties in two of America’s most prosperous, populous, and popular metropolises. But Virginia Sanchez, a member of the indigenous Shoshone tribe located near the test site, points out another side to this story.ii Sanchez launched a project in 1993 to study the effect of nuclear policies on her community.iii According to Sanchez, by waiting for the winds to instead blow north and east before testing nuclear weapons, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) effectively directed the radioactive fallout towards the Shoshone people who were among the least able to shield themselves from radiation. When testing began in the 1950s, many Shoshones spent the majority of their time outdoors collecting water, picking berries, and hunting, and their homes and other structures provided little protection from settling atomic debris. Sanchez lost both her brother and her grandfather to cancer, and multiple scientific studies indicate significantly higher rates of cancer among “downwinders,” or the people living or working near blasting sites.iv

How could authorities have allowed this to happen to the Shoshones and others affected by the radiation? Was the AEC unaware of the harm that radioactive fallout causes? Did the government deem national safety more important than the health of local residents? Our objective here is not to lay exclusive blame on any one actor or group. Rather, the following pages will show how we might approach the scenario differently from the perspective of Catholic Social Tradition, whose principles help identify false dilemmas and whose teachings call for action for the good of each and all.

The Catholic Social Tradition, or CST, offers a new vantage point from which to view the story of the AEC and the downwinders.v Pope John Paul II succinctly sums up CST as the “application of the word of God to people’s lives and the life of society” (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, §8). In other words, CST means spelling out the implications of Christian faith for daily life, from the micro level of our decisions as consumers and citizens to the macro level of how we organize our economic and political systems.

So what would it look like to revisit the Atomic Energy Commission’s plans from the perspective of Catholic Social Tradition? How might CST offer a fresh perspective from which to view some of the complexities of this scenario? In the following pages, we will revisit the story in light of some of the key principles of the Catholic Social Tradition.

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Spelling out CST: Catholic. Social. Tradition.
Catholic: CST is central to the Catholic faith and is also not just for Catholics. CST comes from the same sources that all Catholic teachings come from: Scripture, the lives of the saints, and the teachings of popes and gatherings of bishops. CST is also catholic with a little “c” (meaning “universal”) in aspiring to generate dialogue among “all people of good will” about timely issues of global significance such as environmental sustainability and world peace.
Social: CST looks at the complex social realities of each new era in light of the faith the Church proclaims. In light of God, how ought we treat each other?
Tradition: Throughout its history, the Church has fostered an ethic of caring for each other and for the poor. CST also includes the saints, scholars, and other inspiring figures who devoted their lives to building a more just and humane world.
For each of the principles of CST explored in the following pages, the accompanying side bar will feature someone whose life illustrates a deep commitment to this aspect of CST and a relevant passage from Scripture to highlight the biblical foundation of the Church’s social tradition.
 
 

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The Common Good

If we found ourselves at first nodding along in agreement with the Commission’s attempt to shield the residents of Los Angeles and Las Vegas from radioactive exposure, we likely felt the decision seemed right out of a sense that whatever is good for the larger number of people represents the best course of action. This sort of calculation that seeks to maximize well-being for the majority by restricting adverse consequences to a relative minority (in this case, the Shoshone people) operates according to the logic of the greater good. Correcting the seductive efficiency of the greater good, a commitment to the similar sounding but radically distinct principle of the Common Good holds that the well-being of each member of society is connected to the well- being of every other member of society.vi In Pope John Paul II’s formulation, the common good means striving for “the good of all and of each individual, because we are really responsible for all” (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, § 38). The common good renders incomprehensible the proposition that the residents of Los Angeles and Las Vegas would be better off if the Shoshone instead bore the brunt of the radiation. A society dedicated to the common good seeks to ensure that each person fully participates in, contributes to, and benefits from the goods of the entire community.vii Ultimately, the ideal of the common good evokes an image of the harmony and flourishing that will characterize the Kingdom of God towards which the Church strives here on earth.

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The Common Good

St. Paul the Apostle’s life and writings illustrate his tireless commitment to the common good. His extensive travels afforded him a unique view to the whole of the early Christian movement and fostered in him a deep sensitivity to the challenges faced by particular communities. Some of St. Paul’s most memorable theological insights draw upon the unity of the human body as representative of our connectedness to each other and to Christ: “God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. If [one] part suffers, all the parts suffer with it. If one part is honored, all the parts share its joy” (1 Corinthians 12:24-26).
 
 
 
 
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Preferential Option for the Poor

Likely, the Commission never directly intended to harm the Shoshone people. Given the choice between having radioactive fallout affect Los Angeles and Las Vegas or rural Nevada and Utah, however, the Commission deemed it more expedient to shield the larger metropolitan areas because the residents of rural Nevada and Utah were less numerous, owned less valuable property, and posed a lower risk of legal retaliation. The Commission’s strategy makes “sense” according to the matrix of the greater good in attempting to maximize benefits for the majority while minimizing damages, but if we step back and approach the scenario differently, we can perceive the tragic irony in placing the most vulnerable people in harm’s way. Is it not more reasonable to regard the relative vulnerability of the Shoshone people as precisely why they should instead deserve special protection and consideration?
 

In Catholic Social Tradition, the Preferential Option for the Poor gives the highest priority to the needs of the poor and vulnerable, analogous to the special attentiveness of a mother who, without loving any of her children more than the others, devotes additional care to nursing an ill child back to health.viii The preferential option for the poor follows from a commitment to the common good, since attaining the full thriving of each and every member of society requires giving particular attention to the poor. The U.S. Bishops, in their document Economic Justice for All, place the preferential option for the poor at the forefront of a society’s responsibilities in order to achieve the common good:"The obligation to provide justice for all means that the poor have the single most urgent economic claim on the conscience of the nation” (§86). Poverty means more than a lack of financial resources; poverty can also mean lacking a voice in politics, access to medical care, adequate housing, sufficient information, quality education, and other vital resources.ix By lacking any of these things, the poor face significant disadvantages in comparison to those with access to these resources. The preferential option for the poor reflects God’s own tender and tenacious care revealed throughout Scripture for the poor and all who are most in need of protection.

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Preferential Option for the Poor

Dr. Paul Farmer cofounded Partners in Health to provide first-class healthcare to citizens of the so called “third world.” Farmer notes the tendency of infectious diseases to make their own twisted “preferential” option for the poor by causing disproportionately high rates of sickness and disease among the poor. In Scripture, God’s explanation for singling out Israel as the chosen people provides a poignant illustration of God’s own particular care for those the world might be tempted to overlook: “It was not because you are more numerous than all the peoples that the LORD set his heart on you and chose you; for you are really the smallest of all peoples” (Deuteronomy 7:7).

 

 

 

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Dignity of the Human Person

To sacrifice the good of the Shoshone people for the sake of other U.S. citizens means treating the Shoshones as mere collateral damage, not full human persons with equal rights. And the Shoshone people were not the only group this scenario systemically fails to see fully. Developing nuclear weapons to be used—or brandished threateningly—against the Soviet Union essentially reduces its citizens to the status of “enemy.” With sensitivity to each and with compassion for all, CST’s conviction of the Dignity of the Human Person holds that all human life is sacred and each and every human being deserves to be treated with respect as a person and not objectified in any way. Pope John Paul II points to the story of creation found in the book of Genesis as the basis for human dignity: 
"Human persons are willed by God; they are imprinted with God's image. Their dignity does not come from the work they do, but from the persons they are” (Centesimus annus, §11). A theological account of the nature of the human person corrects the tendency to size up others (and ourselves) according to intelligence, physical appearance, connections, abilities, or countless other attributes that do not correspond to the core of who each of us is.

 

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Dignity of the Person 

Mother Teresa devoted herself to treating with compassion the discarded, sick, destitute, and dying in Calcutta, India. Mother Teresa’s regard for the dignity of every single human person derived from her deeply held conviction that an encounter with the poor is literally an encounter with Jesus Christ himself: “we should not serve the poor like they were Jesus. We should serve the poor because they are Jesus.”1 The first creation account in Genesis articulates the Judeo-Christian conviction of the divine image found in each human person: “Then God said: Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26).

 

 

 

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Solidarity

Although set apart from each other by geography and culture, urbanites in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, residents of southeast Nevada and southwest Utah, and citizens of the former Soviet Union all share kinship in the one human community. In a strange twist of fate illustrating in a direct way the connection between seemingly disparate Los Angeles (and Hollywood in particular) and rural Nevada, the 1956 movie “The Conquerors” starring John Wayne was filmed just 11 miles from one nuclear testing site. Of the 220 cast and crew, a total of 91 people developed some form of cancer by 1980 and for 46 of the cast including John Wayne, the diagnosis proved fatal. After reading a 1980 article in People magazine chronicling the staggering death count from the film, a spokesman from the Pentagon Defense Nuclear Agency was reported to have said: “Please, God, don’t let us have killed John Wayne.”x

We can easily sympathize with the agency representative’s panic at the possibility of harming such a famed and beloved figure as John Wayne, but why shouldn’t the illness of even the least widely known member of the Shoshone tribe trigger the same alarmed concern? Human beings demonstrate remarkable diversity of language, religion, geography, education, skin color, and other demographic variables, and yet we share an underlying commonality that unites us as brothers and sisters. In an increasingly globalized world, tangible evidence of our interconnectedness fills the news each day: a downturn of the Chinese economy sets off a chain reaction in the global marketplace while a civil war in Syria precipitates an international refugee crisis of staggering proportion. Yet, political alliances and economic ties only very partially reflect the intrinsic interdependence uniting all human persons. Our shared humanity and equal human dignity is a fact, but in both subtle and overt ways we all too often act to the contrary when we think and act in terms of “us” and “them.”xi

CST uses the term Solidarity to name the disciplined capacity to live in such a way that honors our profound human interconnectedness.xii John Paul II describes solidarity as “not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good” (Sollicitudo rei Socialis, § 38).xiii The translation of perfect compassion into selfless commitment for the good of others is at the very core of Jesus Christ’s becoming human, dying, and rising so as to restore our kinship with God and with each other.

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Solidarity

Once homeless herself, Ivanete de Araujo now lives and works at an organization dedicated to providing safe and affordable housing in Brazil.  Ivanete explains why she lives among the people she supports: “It wouldn’t be fair if I went home, closed the door and thought everything was sorted for me. It is no good sitting in my own home worrying without being here with the others and feeling what they are feeling.” Christian solidarity comes from the example of Jesus: “The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.  If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him?” (1 John 3:16-17). 

 

 

 

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Subsidiarity 


Were any Shoshones or other unsuspecting residents of Nevada and Utah consulted when the Atomic Energy Commission decided to establish a test site in their backyard?  Should those seated in a boardroom in Washington, D.C. be able to make decisions that will radically affect entire communities without the input of those who will be most directly affected?  Utah resident Scott Matheson doesn’t think so.  Summing up the general mood among his fellow inhabitants of one of the areas most heavily affected by radiation, Matheson recalls how few Iron County residents in the 1950’s critically questioned the Atomic Energy Commission’s assurances that the testing would cause any real or lasting harm.  In time, Matheson came to believe the Commission intentionally misrepresented critical information about the effects of the radiation and in 1979, he brought nearly 1,100 pages of testimony against the federal government urging authorities to take responsibility for the removal of radioactive waste from his state. Matheson could hardly be dismissed as an anti-government conspiracy theorist; at the time of the hearing, he was halfway through his first of two terms as governor of Utah.  He later reflected on the case: "I am still angry about the way this issue was handled by the federal government. It points to a continuing need for governors to be vigilant concerning both short-term and long-term impacts of federal decisions on their residents. If citizens in a state are to be sacrificed for the 'national interest,' then, at the very least, those citizens need to be fully informed and protected as much as possible."xiv  

Matheson’s appeal for greater vigilance among state leaders and for individual citizens to have access to more reliable information aligns with Catholic Social Tradition’s commitment to Subsidiarity, which protects the right of all people to have an active role in governing themselves and calls for decisions to be made on the most local level possible.xv  One effective way to act with preferential option for the poor is to include in the decision-making process those who are marginalized. In the spirit of solidarity, opting for the poor must entail working with the poor to create solutions to the causes of poverty and marginalization.  Pope Pius XI affirms the value of the local community, arguing it should be not overpowered by larger entities: “Just as it is gravely wrong to take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry and give it to the community, so also it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance of the right order to assign to a greater or higher association what a lesser and subordinate organization can do” (Quadragesimo Anno, § 79).  CST views subsidiarity not just as a good management technique, but as an affirmation of human dignity and human freedom, given us first of all by God the Creator.  

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Subsidiarity

Inspired by Jesus’s social teaching found in the Sermon on the Mount, Mahatma Gandhi exemplifies aspects of the vision of CST in a non-Christian context. Gandhi’s use of non-violent action to attain “home rule” for the people of India corresponds with the principle of subsidiarity. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus establishes the principle of Christian servant leadership in contrast to the leaders of his day: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant” (Matthew 20:25-26).

 

 

 

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Correlation of Rights and Duties

Try imagining yourself as one of the scientists, agency executives, or governmental officials charged with ensuring the safety of the American public during the Cold War era. In any of these positions of influence and expertise, you would possess a certain right to create policies or technologies that would affect many others. With this right, however, comes a corresponding duty to use one’s influence for the common good. This idea is known as the Correlation of Rights and Duties. In a society dedicated to the common good, each person enjoys his or her rights in a way that upholds the ability of others to also utilize their own rights. Pope John XXIII points out the self- contradiction inherent in claiming one’s rights while disregarding the obligations that come with those rights: “Those, therefore, who claim their own rights, yet altogether forget or neglect to carry out their respective duties, are people who build with one hand and destroy with the other” (Pacem in Terris, § 30). According to CST, ultimately, we did nothing to bring ourselves into existence and thus, we are each radically dependent on God and each other. Mindfulness of our own gifts helps to foster a deeper sense of responsibility to use our abilities for the good of others.

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Correlation of Rights and Duties

Sara Gruen (ND Law, ’13) put her degree to work as the sole full-time public defender in Philadelphia’s Dawn Court, which aims to provide support to women with multiple arrests for prostitution and prevent them from reoffending. Pictured here is Michelle Dargan upon her graduation from the Project Dawn Court program, along with fellow Dawn Court alumna Ann-Marie Jones (center) and program coordinator Lesha Sanders (left). Gruen exemplifies the service incumbent upon those to whom much has been given, as articulated in Luke 12:48: “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

 

 

 

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Stewardship and Care for Creation

The apparent dilemma between protecting Las Vegas and Los Angeles or the Shoshone people can be framed in a different way: why are we creating radioactive fallout in the first place? Even if the toxic waste could be confined to an area where no people were living, the experiments would still cause enduring environmental damage.xvi Rather than treating the environment as simply raw material to be used and exploited, the Judeo-Christian tradition regards the earth as God’s creation, which is a precious gift entrusted to human beings who are to serve as stewards of its goodness. The awareness that all life depends upon the health of creation for food, water, air, shelter, and enjoyment fosters a commitment to what Catholic Social Tradition calls Stewardship and Care for Creation. There is also a human dimension to good stewardship of the environment. As the story of the Shoshone people illustrates and as the U.S. Bishops remind us, “the poor suffer most directly from environmental decline and have the least access to relief from their suffering” (Renew the Face of the Earth, III:E).

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Stewardship and Care for Creation

After working several years in the energy industry, Felipe Witchger (ND ’08) founded the Community Purchasing Alliance in Washington, D.C in response to mounting environmental and economic challenges. As an energy cooperative, the Community Purchasing Alliance brings together local congregations and other community organizations to harness their collective power for sustainability as well as the broader common good. The scriptural view of creation reveres the natural world not as lifeless matter whose worth is a function of its commercial utility, but as belonging to God and thus is imbued with an image of the divine (See Psalm 24:1 and Deuteronomy 10:14).

 

 

 

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What Does this Mean for Us?

In part, this story serves as a cautionary tale from history with countless analogies each of us could draw to contemporary scenarios. But the logic of CST brings the story still closer to home. While the lens of CST can help us identify some of the deficiencies in the moral vision of those who contributed to this tragedy, CST’s call to work in solidarity towards the common good pulls all of us into this same story. Borrowing from the title of Michael Gale’s 2012 screenplay about the fallout from Nevada’s nuclear tests, CST reveals “we are all downwinders.” Because we belong to the same human family and share the earth as our common home, what affects one of us affects all of us.xvii CST points to our interdependence and responsibility for the good of each and all. CST doesn’t offer an easy fix to the world’s problems; in fact, it often challenges us to look beyond the “easy” solution and instead seek what is right and just. What Does this Mean for Us?

–Ben Wilson, Center for Social Concerns

 

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All Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Images (in order of appearance):

Areopagus Sermon, Raphael (1515), en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Areopagus_sermon
Dr. Paul Farmer examining a Haitian girl, matching image found at iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/publication/2011/11/20111114171217asil0.2812616.html#axzz43mUD5j3u, AP
Mother Teresa with children, pinterest.com/estellagonzales/mother-theresa/
Picture and quotation from: catholicsocialteaching.org.uk/themes/solidarity/stories/
Gandhi, edukalife.blogspot.com/2015/07/biography-of-mahatma-gandhi-architect.html
Curtis Skinner, “For Phila. prostitutes, a new dawn” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 11, 2013 at articles.philly.com/2013-07-11/news/40494183_1_prostitution-public- defender-defender-association. Photo by staff photographer Michael Bryant.
Felipe Witchger pictured with community partner. Photo provided by Witchger to author by email.

i Janet Burton Seegmiller asserts that Nevada was chosen as the nuclear test site because of “its low population density, [and] favorable meteorological conditions (a prevailing easterly wind blowing away from the populous west coast).” See “Nuclear Testing and the Downwinders,” available online at historytogo.utah.gov/utah_chapters/utah_today/nucleartestingandthedownwinders.html accessed on April 8, 2013.
ii From Winona LaDuke, All Our Relations. Native Struggles for Land and Life (Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 1999), pp. 95-111. It is LaDuke’s view that the Atomic Energy Commission purposely took the winds into account when testing so as to minimize the impact on Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

iii “The Shoshone Indians,” available online at www.shoshoneindian.com/ accessed on April 3, 2013.
iv A 1984 study by Dr. Carl J. Johnson published in The Journal of the American Medical Association validates Sanchez’s personal experience by finding higher rates of leukemia, lymphoma, thyroid cancer, breast cancer, and gastrointestinal cancer among a 1951 cohort of over 4000 families living near the test site in comparison to families who faced less exposure. Carl J. Johnson, MD, “Cancer Incidence in an Area of Radioactive Fallout Downwind From the Nevada Test Site,” in Journal of American Medical Association, January 13, 1984, 1984;251(2):230-236. Accessed online at jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=390963 on March 11, 2016. The National Cancer Institute estimates that atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons is responsible for some 75,000 cases of thyroid cancer across the nation and other studies suggest that exposure to radioactive fallout triples the likelihood of developing leukemia and other blood-related cancers LaDuke cites Daniel Berger, “We’re All Downwinders,” The Nation, October 13, 1997, p. 6 and Peter Eisler, “Study Shows Contaminants Fall Out from Nevada Test Site,” USA Today, July 25-27, 1997, p. 1. For other research, see ctbto.org/nuclear-testing/the-effects-of-nuclear-testing/the-united-states-nuclear-testing-programme/ accessed on April 3, 2013. For one study of the effect of radiation on another group of indigenous people near a testing site, see “Estimation of the Baseline Number of Cancers Among Marshallese and the Number of Cancers Attributable to Exposure to Fallout from Nuclear Weapons Testing,” Prepared by the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Prepared for Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, September, 2004; available online marshall.csu.edu.au/Marshalls/html/Radiation/NCI-report.pdf Accessed on April 3, 2013.

v “CST” can alternatively refer to Catholic Social Tradition, Catholic Social Thought, or Catholic Social Teaching, and throughout this article, I will use it to refer to Catholic Social Tradition. Catholic Social Teaching represents the narrowest category of the three, referring specifically to the collection of magisterial documents authored chiefly by various Popes that explicitly treat matters of the Church’s social doctrine. Pope Leo XIII inaugurated the modern period of Catholic Social Teaching with his 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum on the condition of workers. The most recent addition to this corpus of teaching is Pope Francis’s Laudato Si’ promulgated in 2015. In addition to these papal documents, Catholic Social Thought also includes the work of other theologians throughout the Church’s history, such as Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez and Thomas O’Brien, who have made significant contributions to the Church’s thinking on social issues. Finally, Catholic Social Tradition signifies the most inclusive of the three categories in that it includes papal teachings, the work of other theologians, and also the living witnesses of countless men and women throughout the Church’s two thousand year history whose lives and words exemplify the social vision of Jesus Christ.

vi For most of us, we are accustomed to not knowing everyone in our immediate communities and thus, it can be difficult to imagine how our own personal well-being is connected to the well- being of others. If, instead, we were to imagine society as a small-scale unit like a basketball team, we can more easily sense how one player having a fantastic game will lift the rest of the team and how an injury to another team member will likewise adversely affect the whole team.
vii The “common” in common good refers in part to the use and enjoyment by all people of goods and resources held in common by a community. For instance, a public park like Central Park in New York City represents a “good” or resource available to all people in contrast to a private country club whose use is restricted to members. The Catholic Social Tradition strongly affirms the role of private property while also calling attention to the social responsibilities that property ownership entails.

viii First formulated in the Spanish language, the English translation of the “preferential option for the poor” carries some ambiguities. “Option” refers to the duty to actively opt for the poor; it is not optional. And secondly, this “preferential” treatment does not denote a biased favoritism; instead, it names a corrective for inequality that would cease to exist if all were treated equally.
ix For more discussion of poverty as a lack of resources, see “Bridges Out Of Poverty” at http://www.bridgesoutofpoverty.com/. Also, see the work of Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen who speaks of poverty as deprivation of freedom. Link to book available at: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/development-as-freedom-amartya-sen/1100572882.

x theguardian.com/film/2015/jun/06/downwinders-nuclear-fallout-hollywood-john-wayne; November 10, 1980 Vol. 14 No. 19 “The Children of John Wayne, Susan Hayward and Dick Powell Fear That Fallout Killed Their Parents” By Karen G. Jackovich, Mark Sennet people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20077825,00.html. While cancer diagnoses can seldom be indisputably linked to one particular cause, the evidence certainly suggests a strong correlation if not causal relationship between the location of the filming and developing cancer.
xi While it is difficult to admit ways in which we succumb to thinking and acting in these ways, we might ask ourselves if the terrorist attacks in Paris seemed more tragic or terrifying than the bombing of a Shiite mosque in Damascus, or if the story of the Titanic deserves more attention in history books or in movies than the capsizing of an overcrowded boat carrying Syrian migrants off the coast of Greece. The policy towards the Shoshone is possible only if they are treated as a “them” and if “their” suffering is seen to be somehow less significant than that of others.

xiii In defining solidarity in relationship to the common good, John Paul II illustrates the circularity of the principles of CST.
xiv Utah History To Go, “Nuclear Testing and the Downwinders: The History of Iron County,” Janet Burton Seegmiller =historytogo.utah.gov/utah_chapters/utah_today/nucleartestingandthedownwinders.html; Matheson himself died of multiple myloma, a rare case of cancer thought to be among the forms of cancer linked to atmospheric testing. See deseretnews.com/article/126104/CANCER-CLAIMS-LIFE-OF-FORMER-GOVERNOR-SCOTT- MATHESON.html?pg=allh’9jothvrrlm v[v
deseretnews.com/photo/700032951 (Desert News Archives)

xv Subsidiarity requires significant prudential vision to exercise properly. Subsidiarity provides a set of checks and balances to those in positions of authority and influence, but it does not strip them of proper responsibility. Leaders cannot excuse themselves from providing leadership and resources to those who would suffer without adequate support. The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, for instance, requires state and federal assistance and it would be an injustice to abandon the community to their own limited resources, but Flint residents must also be included in forging viable solutions.

xvi See Arjun Makhijani, Stephen I. Scwartz, and William J. Weida, “Nuclear Waste Management and Environmental Remediation” in Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Since 1940” ed. Stephen I. Scwartz, (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1998).
xvii A 2011 resolution passed by the U.S. Senate established January 27 as “National Downwinders Day” in recognition of the victims of radiation due to nuclear development and testing. “Senate Approves Risch-Crapo Resolution Recognizing Downwinders,” Press Release, November 17, 2011, accessed at risch.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/11/senate-approves-risch-crapo- resolution-recognizing-downwinders on March 11, 2016.

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