​Father Finn's Manifesto: America First

Blog Author Fr Ben Urmston, SJ in Bellarmine Chapel on the campus of Xavier University
Citizens for Global Solutions aims to move our world toward a just, democratic, and war-free global community.  To make the necessary modifications in the existing external structures to reach that goal, it is necessary to pay attention also to internal values like openness and cooperation.
 
Attending to the manifesto of Father Francis J. Finn, SJ (1859-1928), could help promote the values that would lead us all in the right direction.  During his life he was principal of a grade school, an assistant pastor, and author of 27 novels for young people.  Those children’s stories have heroes who display strong spiritual values, leadership, and breadth of interests.
 
His manifesto posted on the wall of his office at a grade school in Cincinnati reads as follows:
         
AMERICA FIRST 
Not merely in matters material, but in things of the spirit.
Not merely in science, inventions, motors, and skyscrapers, but also in ideals, principles, character.
Not merely in the calm assertion of rights, but in the glad assumption of duties.
Not flaunting her strength as a giant, but bending in helpfulness over a sick and wounded world like a Good Samaritan.
Not in splendid isolation, but in courageous cooperation.
Not in pride, arrogance, and disdain of other races and peoples, but in sympathy, love, and understanding.
And so, in that spirit and with these hopes, I say with all my heart and soul, “AMERICA FIRST."
 
Those who endorse the principles and values of Citizens for Global Solutions could learn from Fr. Finn’s manifesto and even enlarge it with something like:

AMERCA FIRST
Not just in Gross National Product, but in degree of happiness for all.
Not just in armaments for war, but in civil discourse and careful listening.
Not just in violence in the media, but in education in peace and justice studies.
Not just in strengthening the United Nations, but in helping to transform it into a United Federation of Nations.
Not just in advancing international law and treaties, but in working to develop a World Parliamentary Assembly.

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect the official policy of Citizens for Global Solutions.

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