I’ve been silent on this blog about this election. Not because I don’t want to talk about it, but because the issues and importance of this year’s presidential election are too great for me to spend time blogging about it at length, and I never seem to have a lot of free time as of late. But…that needs to change. Soon.
But that’s okay since I’ve been putting real effort into talking about the major issues surrounding this election in real life, away from keyboard, to younger generations with the hope of empowering them to maintain their Catholic identity by the life they live and in their right to vote whenever they are old enough. And praise God that resources are available online! For free!
I voted on the Monday before the election (yay early voting!) and while I am motivated to vote the way I did for more than simply Catholic reasons, I did focus on learning what it means to vote like a Catholic, especially lately. And it’s nice to know that my Catholic and non-Catholic motivations on who to vote for resulted in the same candidate.
I want to offer this blog post as a sort of summary of resources. Therefore, let’s begin:
What does the Catholic Church teach on involvement in political matters?
Catechism of the Catholic Church #2234-#2246
CCC 2246…hmm…considering the status of our country right now…it is clear that something must be done. We cannot idly stand by and let things happen.
We are Catholic first before we are Republican, Democrat, or (insert your non-mainstream political party here). In communion with the Church, our consciences must be formed and carried out genuinely with the mind of the Church, regardless of which political party we associate ourselves with.
Another resource on Catholic voting from the Aggie Catholics blog:
How to Vote As a Catholic
Speaking of forming consciences, there are some hot topic issues to consider when voting for candidates. These issues are abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and so-called same sex “marriage.” Collectively, these are non-negotiable issues that are intrinsically evil–they are not morally justifiable in any case. Here’s a video summarizing the issues and see the following links for further reading:
Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics (PDF version)
…and what I like about this is…it outlines principles as opposed to aligning with a particular political party based on their platform. Because platforms can change, but Catholic teaching and Catholic morality do not.
Certainly, the heart of the five non-negotiables mentioned in that Voter’s Guide have to do with attacks on human life and dignity.
If we can’t get the right to life right, the other rights we hold dear mean nothing.
However, for those of us who enjoy our right to life, some other important rights guaranteed by our government are being infringed upon. This year marks a historic time for the United States. No other time in US history has the government walked all over our religious freedom, especially for us Catholics. To read more about it, read this:
Why Should I Care: The HHS Mandate and Religious Freedom
a list of entities suing the Department of Health and Human Services (growing list) through The Becket Fund.
You should also watch For Greater Glory, because it tells the story of what Catholics in Mexico had to deal with during the 1920’s when the Mexican government persecuted and killed Catholics. Or Google the Cristiada or Cristero War. While I don’t think the US government will resort to direct killing of individuals outside of the womb, at the very least…we should reflect on the possibility of martyrdom which I think is awesomely portrayed by certain saints in this movie.
And then, on top of all this … I’ve been listening to a lot of Catholic radio, particularly Catholic Answers which finds its home at catholic.com. Thanks to them, I’ve been informed and educated about the issues.
And even if you didn’t vote in this presidential election, there are local and state elections in the near future that require the same responsibility and informed conscience from us.
I challenge you, dear Catholic brothers and sisters–get informed. Take ownership of your faith, live it out, and vote accordingly in future elections at all levels.
And oh…don’t be fooled by such things as this kind of voter’s guide:
Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s Voter’s Guide
…because simple check marks that highlight people who are in agreement with Planned Parenthood’s ideals isn’t enough. Seriously! You won’t find in-depth information about the issues that Planned Parenthood cares about in their voter’s guide. But I suppose it’s harder to talk about justifying intrinsic evils than it is to speak the truth. And hey, at the very least…this voter’s guide helps us know names of individuals who are for Planned Parenthood in our government. It’s up to us to dig deeper and find out why it is they support Planned Parenthood.
Bottom line…there will always be those entities that try to sway your mind away from Catholic truth. Stand firm. And know where you stand. Matthew 7:15-29 (NAB).
I hope this all helps!