Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Faith and Politics

Jesus told us to 'render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and render unto God what is God's'.  Fewer quotes have been more manipulated so as to live into two distinct worlds.  It becomes almost a default  position to buy the ' I personally believe X but publicly support Y'  argument when distinguishing private belief from public stances.  It is weasel-speak. If not that, then it is an acceptable form of schizophrenia. A very dangerous form, mind you.  It is not just politicians that do this, but voters who do this as well.  It is as if it is acceptable to make a deal with the devil publicly while using faith to disown the deal privately.

The fact is that we bring our actual beliefs into everything we say and do.  We do have a civic duty to support the good of the states and nations in which we live.  Support the good.  Is supporting the good in contradiction to the tenets of our faith?  What do we say about our faith if we view this as true?

For decades we have accepted the fallacious argument that to keep the peace we must sacrifice beliefs in order to be fair.  In doing so we cede more ground to those who are hostile to our faith.  We ceded the ground on God in the public square, we ceded the ground on life issues, we ceded the ground on human sexuality, we ceded the ground on a multitude of issues to the point where we will justify and even be belligerent about supporting severely deficient moral characters to be our leaders.  Yes, I understand that we elect human beings.  However, that is becoming yet another excuse to hide behind  the surrender of our values.

I, for one, am not willing to surrender my Catholic faith and values when I enter the voting booth or any other any venue.  It has become  like wandering in a desert.  Because it is an act of free will, my vote is a moral act which I will be held accountable before God.  For too long, when voting, it seems like I have to balance which values I will abandon to further other values.  When did this become acceptable?!  How did we cede so much ground that this is the choice we have to make?

Hence, we are left with being  perpetually between Scylla and Charibdes.  Poor choices and devilish compromises pile upon one another until there are no moral choices left to make.  Choosing between the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil!   Taking back the ground lost will require our not 'accepting our fate' election in and election out.  Our faith must matter or it is not worth having!  Our faith and its tenets can never be reduced to political expediency.   Either we believe human life is sacred or we don't.  Either we believe that our duty to our fellow man, regardless of his socioeconomic state, is sacred or we don't. Either we believe that the dignity and integrity of each human person is to observed or we don't.  That we have gotten to the place we are now, a very dangerous place, is a direct result of the poor choices we have made up to this point.  Do we double down on these choices or finally stand up, politics be damned, and reverse course?

My idea of supporting the state, or rendering unto Caesar, does not include allowing it to sink into utter madness. If it does sink into utter madness, a possibility that looks inevitable anymore, it will do so without my support or complicity.  What am I  supporting?  A call to spiritual arms!  An end to compromise!  Even if I am standing on my own, then so be it.  Before all things, I am a child of God.  It is that definition and that alone that informs who I am and how I vote. 


  1. Bring on the persecution, for surely it is upon us. God give me courage and fortitude,