OCTOBER 28th, 2018
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
World Mission Sunday / Priesthood Sunday
“Go your way; your faith has saved you.”
Voting with a Catholic Conscience
Voting is a wonderful and important right we have. There are many things that deserve the attention of our political leaders, but some things must be weighed with much more seriousness than others.
There are five “non-negotiables” we must consider when voting as Catholics. They are: Abortion, Euthanasia, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Human Cloning, and Homosexual “Marriage”.
As you can see, four of the non-negotiables have to do with life itself. The right to life is the first and most fundamental of all human rights. If life is not respected, from the womb to the tomb, then no other right matters. This is why life issues must be at the very forefront of the Catholic voter’s conscience. As Pope Benedict XVI said: “Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia.”
But let’s bring this just a little bit closer to home. Medical data reports show that there were 60 abortions by Rice County residents last year. That’s three classrooms of children who were not born and will not fill our schools in the coming years. The issue of abortion is not an abstract issue, it is a concrete reality that affects everyone. And it is essential that we work hard to outlaw abortion in our world.
A few weeks ago, I received an advertisement in the mail for a candidate who promoted himself as having served his country in the military, and now is running for office to serve families. This sounded really good, and just based on this advertising I would have supported him. But I knew it was important to look further into additional issues, and when I went to his website, I found that he is pro-abortion and endorsed by Planned Parenthood! That is a disqualifier. If you do not support life, then nothing else you support matters.
We need to get past labels of Republican, Democrat, Independent, etc. We need to look at what each candidate actually stands for when we vote for them. Many Catholics grew up voting for a particular political party, but that doesn’t mean that party still supports Catholic values.
Consider, by analogy, how someone might have bought a Ford or Chevy or Dodge pickup several years ago. And back then they did their research and chose the best one. Now several years later, they need a new pickup. Many will simply go and buy the same brand pickup as they did before, assuming it must be as good as it was in the past. But in reality, everything under the hood might have changed, and it may now be an inferior truck to other brands available. I think this is also true with political parties. It’s not the name-brand that matters; it is what’s under the hood that matters. And when we vote, we need to ensure that what is “under the hood” is something we should be supporting as Catholics. A political party is a good place to start when evaluating candidates, but we must do our homework to know where each individual stands on significant moral issues.
We have to take our civic duty very seriously as Catholics. I encourage you all to be involved politically, first and foremost by voting, but also by talking with others about political issues, and even attending caucuses. As is rightfully quoted often: “All that evil needs to triumph is for good people to do nothing.” Let’s make sure we do something. I look forward to the day when abortion is outlawed in our land, and other Christian values are upheld, because good people did something.
You are in my daily prayers.
God bless you,
Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke