A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I drove to Kansas City, then on to Denver, and then returned home via Cleveland. We visited family and grandchildren. On the 19 hour trip to Kansas City, we listened to the Republican National Conventional… and actually drove by it while travelling through Cleveland. On the 9 hour trip from KC to Denver, it was the Democratic National Convention. And finally, on the 21.5-hour trip from Denver to Cleveland, it was again the DNC.
This trip taught me a few things… this country has no shortage of corn… Denver may be the mile-high city, but it isn’t built on a mountain… Kansas in really flat… and I can’t sleep in a car when politics is playing on the radio. I also learned that I am very discouraged and confused with our politics, and if I hear one more time that all politicians lie, as if we should expect them to, I’m going to scream. Luckily the only thing that was damaged on the trip was about a thousand bugs on our windshield and my steering wheel from being gripped too tightly at times.
As we discussed politics with my children and friends, everyone seems confused about what to do as a Christian citizen and voter. Personally I turn a publication, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility, written by the Catholic Bishops of the United States. This statement represents their guidance for Catholics in the exercise of their rights and duties as participants in our democracy. THEY ARE NOT TELLING US WHO TO VOTE FOR! I believe that this publication was first written in 2007. It has been updated to take account of recent developments in the United States in both domestic and foreign policy:
- The ongoing destruction of over one million innocent human lives each year by abortion;
- Physician-assisted suicide;
- The redefinition of marriage—the vital cell of society—by the courts, political bodies, and increasingly by American culture itself;
- The excessive consumption of material goods and the destruction of natural resources, which harm both the environment and the poor;
- The deadly attacks on fellow Christians and religious minorities throughout the world;
- The narrowing redefinition of religious freedom, which threatens both individual conscience and the freedom of the Church to serve;
- Economic policies that fail to prioritize the poor, at home or abroad;
- A broken immigration system and a worldwide refugee crisis;
- Wars, terror, and violence that threaten every aspect of human life and dignity.
This document can be found on their website at: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/upload/forming-consciences-for-faithful-citizenship.pdf
In my discussions, I spoke with my son, Will, about all this stuff. I think that he is a pretty smart kid and is Jesuit educated, so as I turned him on to the USCCB publication, he turned me on to the following: https://thejesuitpost.org/2016/07/politics-and-god-part-ii-catholic-and-democrat/.
As voters in this democracy, especially as Christian voters, we must be responsible with our votes, which means we shouldn’t just sit home and not vote. This election will impact our country and our Christian faith for decades to come. So I invite you to take time to study this information, and to join us to discuss this together. We are looking at dates to have this discussion, so please watch the bulletin for an announcement.
God bless us all… Oremus pro Invicem (Let us pray for each other).
Deacon John Payne