Letter: Parker column insightful

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After reading Kathleen Parker's Aug. 9 column, "Romney's words abroad show contrast with Obama," on Mitt Romney's recent trip abroad, I found myself re-reading it -- several times.

I found the discussion of subsidiarity and solidarity to be particularly insightful. It crystallized for me a concept that I have subconsciously understood but have been unable to articulate until now. I am referring to the belief that large governments tend to deprive you of not only your rights as an individual, but also of your obligations as a member of society.

I am not a religious person, but I do believe that every individual has a personal obligation to help those who are less fortunate, and that this obligation can be discharged only through direct involvement at the local level.

People tend to forget that institutions that today are government-run or government-funded, such as hospitals, libraries and even schools, were originally created and funded by churches, guilds and merchants.

"Social Justice" should be pursued by individual members of society and the organizations that they directly support.

Governments should stick to doing what they do best, although I can't seem to think of any examples at the moment.

John Dingethal

Chandler, Ariz.