by Mark Kurowski
“If you smoke marijuana, you are killing police in Mexico City,” said my priest Fr. Leonard Dubi. We were all stunned. I saw the connection right away. In January of 2010, ten police were killed in their convoy in the Mexican state of Michoacan. Up to that point, 23,000 people had been killed between December 2006 and January 2010 by drug lords in Mexico. The main clientele of the drug lords of Mexico are the drug users of the United States of America. The motive of drug lords is to sell us drugs to get our money.
My mind drifted back to the marijuana use of those around me when I was young (which ones, I will not tell). My mother used to try to tell them that marijuana was bad for them. Their response was, “Leave me alone. I am not hurting anyone.” As it turns out, between 2006 and 2010, 23,000 people were hurt by the drug use of American drug users. So much for, “I am not hurting anyone.”
My point is that what we do has an impact on people. We have a responsibility to the community as part of the community. If we get up in the morning and forget to smile, people who love us may think they have done something to hurt us. If we are short tempered, then we may hurt someone who means to help us, even though they have messed up our whole project.
The person who smokes pot may want to protest that they are not responsible for the deaths of police in Mexico because they, “smoked a little pot.” The truth of the matter is that the monies that were paid for that “one little joint” are the motivation for creating an illegal supply chain from Mexico to the United States. That illegal supply chain is hampered by the work of legal law enforcement officers. Drug lords do not value your life so they sell you pot for your money. They don’t value the life of the person who gets in their way of the money. Therefore, you are supplying the motive to justify any means necessary for the drug lord to get your money, even murder.
The people of any country in the world have a responsibility for the common good of the human community. The ways that we live life in the United States ought not cause others to go hungry, work in sweatshops or leave spouses widowed and their children fatherless.
We should not eat so much that other people in the world have nothing to eat. We ought not buy products that are so cheap that it causes people in other countries to have to live in squalor. More than just being “Americans” and “humans,” we are all made in the image and likeness of God.
We who are Catholic and Benedictine, we know this responsibility. We ought to strive to be more than just what the culture dragged in because we know better. This distinction, that we know we ought to act differently toward those in God’s image and likeness, is what distinguishes us from other institutions. The reason we exist is to promote the use of all our educational disciplines to build a society where all people can do what God wants them to do. Sacrificing our own personal preferences so that others can live a full life should be at our core.
Math, science, business, social sciences, etc. are not good in and of themselves. They must have a context that drives their use for the good of all. That context is to be Catholic and to be Benedictine.
The blood of the 23,000 martyrs of the drug trade in Mexico cries out that saying “I am not hurting anyone,” is a lie.