God Gives us a Clear Mandate for HOW to Vote – Not WHO to Vote for

With the election just a few weeks away I only want to ask you to consider the fullness of God’s Word in light of your choices. It disturbs me beyond measure that there are some Priests and Bishops that have taken to twitter to endorse Donald Trump and vilify Joe Biden. This is SO WRONG on so many levels. They are not to tell anyone who to vote for. Not that this is the only madness in the church. But, let’s move on before I say something I may, but probably won’t, regret later.

Anyway…

Below I offer the words of Pope Francis and excerpts from a statement by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. You may not be Catholic but I believe these words offer something for everyone’s consideration if you believe in the dignity and worth of every human being. I have included the link below if you want to read it in its entirety. All bold type is mine.

Pope Francis tells us:

…the very love which is (God’s) gift, brings forth in our lives and actions a primary and fundamental response: to desire, seek and protect the good of others.

An authentic faith . . . always involves a deep desire to change the world, to transmit values, to leave this earth somehow better than we found it. We love this magnificent planet on which God has put us, and we love the human family which dwells here, with all its tragedies and struggles, it hopes and aspirations, its strengths and weaknesses. The earth is our common home and all of us are brothers and sisters. If indeed “the just ordering of society and of the state is a central responsibility of politics,” the Church, “cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice.” (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 183)

God’s word teaches that our brothers and sisters are the prolongation of the incarnation for each of us: “As you did it to one of these, the least of my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40). The way we treat others has a transcendent dimension: “The measure you give will be the measure you get” (Mt 7:2). It corresponds to the mercy which God has shown us: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you . . . For the measure you give will be the measure you get back” (Lk 6:36-38). What these passages make clear is the absolute priority of “going forth from ourselves toward our brothers and sisters” as one of the two great commandments which ground every moral norm….(no. 179)

…the creation’ refers to every aspect of human life; consequently, ‘the mission of proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ has a universal destination. Its mandate of charity encompasses all dimensions of existence, all individuals, all areas of community life, and all peoples.

“We are faced . . . with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature(Laudato Si’, no. 139).

USCCB’s Statement:

Thus we take up the task of serving the common good with joy and hope….God is love, and he desires that we help to build a “civilization of love”-one in which all human beings have the freedom and opportunity to experience the love of God and live out that love by making a free gift of themselves to one another.

The political realities of our nation present us with opportunities and challenges. We are a nation founded on “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” but the right to life itself is not fully protected, especially for unborn children, the terminally ill, and the elderly, the most vulnerable members of the American family. We are called to be peacemakers in a nation at war. We are a country pledged to pursue “liberty and justice for all,” but we are too often divided across lines of race, ethnicity, and economic inequality. We are a nation of immigrants, struggling to address the challenges of many new immigrants in our midst. We are a powerful nation in a violent world, confronting terror and trying to build a safer, more just, more peaceful world. We are an affluent society where too many live in poverty and lack health care and other necessities of life. We are part of a global community charged with being good stewards of the earth’s environment, what Pope Francis calls “our common home,” which is being threatened. These challenges are at the heart of public life and at the center of the pursuit of the common good. They are intertwined and inseparable.

(We are called to the care and concern for ALL OF THESE CHALLENGES. God is not a one issue God and we cannot be one-issue voters.)

This statement highlights the role of the Church in the formation of conscience and the corresponding moral responsibility of each Catholic to hear, receive, and act upon the Church’s teaching in the lifelong task of forming his or her own conscience. Foremost amongst those teachings are the four basic principles of Catholic social doctrine: the dignity of the human person, the common good, subsidiarity, and solidarity (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, no. 160). With this foundation, Catholics are better able to evaluate policy positions, party platforms, and candidates’ promises and actions in light of the Gospel and the moral and social teaching of the Church in order to help build a better world.

In this statement, we bishops do not intend to tell Catholics for whom or against whom to vote. Our purpose is to help Catholics form their consciences in accordance with God’s truth. We recognize that the responsibility to make choices in political life rests with each individual in light of a properly formed conscience, and that participation goes well beyond casting a vote in a particular election.

…. the foundational principles that guide these teachings should not be ignored in any case nor used selectively in order to serve partisan interests.

https://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/forming-consciences-for-faithful-citizenship-part-one

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