If one goes back and looks at the old catechism of the Catholic Church, it becomes very apparent that the defense of life is the paramount battle, for without life there are no other battles. In this election, there is more attention being paid to the economic issues than that of life, and it is unfortunate that many cannot see the linkage between the economic issues and the life issues. It is in this light, that many Catholics will vote the pocketbook issue over the life issue, and will go for the ‘goodie bag’ over what is moral and ethical.
We have the most recent statement from Cardinal Elect Raymond Burke who could not be clearer on the fact that Catholics of good conscious cannot vote for a politician who is pro death. This issue must take precedent over any economic or vocational issue, regardless of how much pain one is feeling over his own situation. It is in this sense that one has to be of a sacrificial mindset, and willing to take on some personal discomfort in order to give to those who are defenseless and unable to speak for themselves. That is where Christian charity really begins.
We can take Cardinal Elect Burke’s words even further: we need to hold those so-called pro-life politicians accountable to their words. Too many of them have been nothing but lip service and they continue to get re elected despite being rather phony in their alleged stance on the life issue. It is also in this form that we need to keep to our Christian duty and vote for and elect true pro lifers. One may ask then, if one claims to be pro life, but does not advocate fro life on a consistent basis, is he really pro life? Too many of these ‘pro life’ candidates and office holders throw crumbs at the pro lifers around election time to guarantee a return trip to Washington, D.C, and they then continue to vote in any which manner they please.
As Catholics, and Christians, we need to be accountable for our vote, we need to make sure those we vote for those who will consistently hold to a pro-life platform, and we need to let them know they will be out of a job if they violate this position. These conditions will fulfill the precept that we vote pro life. Otherwise, we might as well advertise we are pro death, and really don’t care who gets in, and whether we fulfill any of our faith based requirements as Christians. There needs to be a certain amount of soul searching when going to the ballot box, and this should not be simply an exercise of the name we recognize, or those who are going to give us the most ‘goodies’ in this election cycle.
When we go to the polls tomorrow, we need to keep the gravity of the times in mind. This is not the time to vote for the pocketbook, but a time to vote for the most vulnerable of our society, and to show we are a people of faith that lives this faith, not just talk about it on Sunday mornings. It seem clear that these times hold some prophetic meaning to them, and that it may be us that are on trial. We need to keep to our faith and beliefs, and not let the dark powers have victory in this time of darkness. May God give us the courage and insight to do the right thing tomorrow.