…..from your Pastor’s Desk:
YOUR VOTE COUNTS
This will be the 13th Presidential election in which I am able to vote. I also believe it is the most crucial. I must admit that I did not vote in all of them in my early years. A few I thought, oh well, what does one vote really matter? A few more it seemed that there
just was not a ‘lesser of two evils’. Maybe you have experienced the same in the course of your life.
But not this time. I want to emphasize as strongly as I can that I believe this coming election will be a major turning point for our country. We have an opportunity to rise again and become the great nation we once were based on morals and principles.
Does this mean I am telling you for whom to vote? Absolutely not. You can take that last statement and apply it to either candidate depending on your preference. Nor should any religious leader tell their people for whom to vote – because I do believe in the real meaning of separation of church and state. I am obligated as a religious leader to help you form and make conscientious, well informed decisions with full knowledge of what we believe and uphold as Roman Catholics. So I will tell you how I chose to vote for the
last 6 Presidential elections.
Campaigns always compare the final two candidates against each other – what their track record is, how much experience they actually have ‘governing’, how they voted, and such. That is all fine and well; we do need to know those things. But there is another way. Instead of comparing them to each other – compare each of them to Christ Himself. Does one more ‘talk the talk’ – than ‘walk the walk’. Who lives their life in more accord with Jesus’ life regardless of what religion they profess? This is not a ‘judgment’ on anyone – it is an honest appraisal needed to make a good decision.
Be wary of choosing because of just one issue or voting based purely on emotion. Let’s take abortion for instance. We believe God is the author of all life and God alone decides when it will start and when it will end. We have always held the sanctity of life most dear.
Therefore, it would be in direct conflict to this essential belief to support any pro-abortion candidates, companies, programs or legislation. This is not about ‘choice’ it is about ‘Life’. Clearly we know from experience (Roe Vs. Wade) that just because something is legal does not make it moral. There is grave danger in legislating morality – particularly when the ones ‘legislating’ do not live by the moral code of the majority of their constituents. In past elections I found, by doing due diligence, that both the candidates had at one time or the other voted for Pro-Abortion legislature or supported other people or programs that did.
Personal research is imperative. What you ‘know’ is a better basis from which to decide than what you ‘think’ or what you ‘feel’.
Freedom of Religion: Catholics believe that all people should be free to exercise their beliefs and live their values without compromise. Federal law has long been generous in protecting the rights of individuals and institutions to not act against their religious beliefs
or moral convictions. Is that now changing? Are we entering a time when the federal government may now force the Church—consisting of its faithful and all but a few of its institutions—to act against Church teachings? To many, it seems so.
The next section is a direct quote from the bulletin inserts published a few years ago by the
National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Regarding the protection of conscience rights:
”What we ask is nothing more than the right to follow our consciences as we live out our teaching. This right is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home. It is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans. Can we do the good works our faith calls us to do, without having to compromise that very same faith? Without religious liberty properly understood, all
Americans suffer, deprived of the essential contribution in education, health care, feeding the hungry, civil rights, and social services that religious Americans make every day.
…What is at stake is whether America will continue to have a free, creative, and robust civil society—or whether the state alone will determine who gets to contribute to the common good, and how they get to do it.”
So, all this being said, here is my final recommendation on how to decide for whom to vote.
Pray a lot… for wisdom… and the Holy Spirit’s guidance. And then do what you think God wants you to do.