Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Election Blues and Reds

I don't know if you knew, but there was an election yesterday. I know, right?! I have voted in three states in my life, and all three of those states had some really important races decided last night: Kansas, Florida and Texas. Needless to say, my social media pages were abuzz this morning.

I have never really been a party line voter. There is much talk on social media, particularly during elections, about our obligations as Catholics when it comes to voting. Some believe we have the duty to be one issue voters. Some believe it is always voting (or abstaining from voting) for the lesser of two evils. Some haven't thought about it much past checking a few boxes and getting a sticker.

In the book, Render Unto Caesar, Archbishop Chaput writes:

Historically, most American Catholics preferred the Democratic party because it generally spoke for Catholic interests better than any other party, at least until abortion emerged as a central national issue. Today Catholic loyalties- assuming a "Catholic" voting bloc even exists- are more complex. Today, in practice, all political parties have self-described Catholics who are willing to trade their religious and moral convictions for power. All political parties have parts of their platforms that fly in the face of Catholic teaching. And all political parties contain Catholics who like to keep their personal faith tucked safely away at home.
I remind myself of Chaput's wise words before every election. I believe strongly in the Church's social justice positions. There is no political party that encompasses that. I take it candidate by candidate, and must use logic and information to inform my decisions, because simply abstaining from voting is also not an option.

Now, we have our newly elected officials. What will we ask of them? I believe it is far past time for us to ask more from our politicians than speeches with the word "pro-life" included. If we are celebrating pro-life election wins, we should be following through and demanding our leaders vote pro-life, and pass bills that are pro-life. (And not just pro-baby. I searched for a post that I have either written or imagined that I have written on how being pro-life is more than simply being anti-abortion, but I am terrible at tagging my posts and giving my posts weird names.)

Voting = badassery!


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