Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Right of Conscience and the Use of the Democratic Process

Another nice long one. In full: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.

The Right of Conscience
Google's define function brings up the following definitions: motivation deriving logically from ethical or moral principles that govern a person's thoughts and actions and conformity to one's own sense of right conduct.

The Right of Conscience allows and insists that we act upon our morals and ethics, for if we did not, what good would they do to us? This does not, however, tell us what morals and ethics we should have (exempting those previous principles, such as valuing the inherent worth and dignity of every person; promoting justice, equity, and compassion; and acceptance of one another). This also insists the we think for ourselves, and if we find something to be in violation of our conscience, that we do something about it, and speaking up about such things follows the second portion of this principle:

The use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large
Even though I inwardly know what democracy is, I'm still going to turn to Google for a definition for the sake of clarity and brevity: a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them.

The church board is not run by a dictator or overlord, though it may be overseen to keep disputes to a minimum and help keep things running smoothly. Beyond that, full participation is welcome by all members of the congregation.