In the first reading, the author asks for prudence—
and it says it was given him.
As the elections approach, we need that gift.
Our candidates need that gift.
The Archbishop recently published a letter about
what it would look like if our Catholic values “won” this election.
Notice what he said: not about which candidate,
but which set of values?
I want to share a few things from his letter.
When we look at these things, common sense tells us,
that not all the issues are created equal.
Some are questions of ways and means;
while others are matters of life and death.
For example: the duty to care for the less fortunate.
That is a non-negotiable value.
As the Archbishop of Philadelphia said once,
if we forget the poor, we will go to hell.
But when it comes to the ways and the means,
This is something we can legitimately disagree over.
The Archbishop went on to say
that some of the issues involve questions of “intrinsic evil.”
That includes all direct assaults on human life—
from the moment of conception until natural death—
There is no time when they are OK.
Again, to quote the Archbishop,
“opposing intrinsically evil actions
that directly threaten the dignity and sanctity of life
should have a special claim on our consciences.”
Religious liberty is also a non-negotiable issue.
Unfortunately, our government has chosen—
in the name of health care—
to coerce most Americans to accept contraception, sterilization
and abortion drugs as part of our health plans.
The government has no business forcing anyone into that situation.
A third non-negotiable issue for Catholics is marriage.
When the government says it can redefine marriage
in its very nature, and say that is no longer
what it has always been—a man and a woman—
this isn’t just a matter of “choice.”
This is redefining what family is; what right and wrong are.
To argue, “well, we’ve gone a long way down this road”
is not a reason to go further the wrong way! Turn around!
Let’s be very honest; most of us are biased.
We tend to give our own side a lot of leeway,
and we tend to assume the worst about the other guy.
It would take a lot of courage, wouldn’t it,
to stand up to our own side—to our own guy—
and say, “you’re wrong.”
But if we really did that…think of it!
So, how do we decide?
A lot of us simply cannot bring ourselves to vote for those who—
however many good things we can say about them—
endorse things that are intrinsically evil.
If that means voting for a third-party, so be it.
Others will say, you have to go for the one who endorses less of it.
The thing is, on Judgment Day,
we won’t answer for the overall outcome—
because we cannot control that.
But we will answer for the use of our vote.
My one vote—doesn’t sound like much—but it’s mine.
I can cast it anyway I choose, in private.
When we stand before God,
will he agree with the reasons we cast it the way we did?