For what it’s worth here’s my political commentary regarding the impending election this November, and beyond.
First and foremost, the love that we have for our friends, families, and neighbors will always remain, no matter what we hear on the “news” or read on social media. Human relationships are more important than politics. (Mt.22:39) It is important to stay engaged with one another and not shut each other out simply because we disagree. We can have our different opinions and still love one another.
So, from what perspective do I view the current state of our nation? A few Sundays ago, on July 24, in the first reading (Gen.18:20-32) we hear of the great “outcry against Sodom” where Abraham wonders if God will destroy the city if there are 10 innocent people in it. Of what great sin was Sodom guilty? The explanatory notes in my study bible state: “According to the present account of the Yahwist, the sin of Sodom was homosexuality (Gn.19,4f), which therefore also known as sodomy; but according to Isaiah (1,9f;3,9), it was a lack of social justice; Ezekiel (16,46-51) described it as a disregard for the poor, whereas Jeremiah (23,14) saw it as general immorality.”
I was thinking that in this country we are guilty of pretty much all of these. But how did this happen? How did we get to this point as a culture? Was it the government’s fault? Or ‘we the people’? Pope Francis stated that these atrocities often occur “under the silent gaze of all.” This “silent gaze” certainly can be attributed in part to the media or government when they intentionally withhold information that would benefit people for the purpose of forwarding an agenda.
However, I also am guilty of participating in this ‘silent gaze’ as well. I sometimes avoid my responsibilities and ascribe the problems in our country EXCLUSIVELY to those in power, our political leaders, or the media, which gives them more influence than they should have. This also absolves me of my responsibility to work for the common good.
I should make sure that my own house is in order, stay informed on important issues, engaged in our political process, speak the truth with love when needed, and vote with a properly formed conscience. For example, it is no surprise to those who know me that I do not support the taking of pre-born human life. But what am I doing to fight against what I believe is wrong? Do I leave it up to our government? Or do I volunteer at crisis pregnancy centers or houses of hospitality like Maggie’s Place to give women viable options or to provide a positive male role model ? Do I donate funds to help women acquire the necessities of child-rearing, diapers, food, clothing, etc.? Or do I depend on government programs to do this? The cumulative effects of these seemingly insignificant deeds are far more effective in transforming our culture than what any politician or government office can achieve. If I am passionate about problems that are vexing our culture – homelessness, human trafficking, child abuse, whatever it may be – than what am I doing about it? The more action that we take at the ground level instead of expecting government to take care of it will naturally siphon power and influence away from out-of-touch, unaccountable bureaucrats. This is known as the principle of subsidiarity and is the best way for a society to remain free. This is also where authentic change occurs, at the ground level, not in Washington. The alternative is an out-of-control, overreaching government that imposes its will on citizens, like we’re experiencing right now. Consequently, individual freedom is eroded and things don’t really improve.
Politicians will screw things up, they always do. Our forefathers knew this and set the framework intended to limit a tyrannical government in our founding documents. But we have to do our part as well. We cannot relinquish our responsibilities to fool-hearted politicians whose moral center shifts with the current fashions and trends or poll numbers. “But the heart of fools is inconsistent, because, in exhibiting itself as variable and changeable, it never remains what it was.” (St. Gregory The Great).
In the Gospel reading of ‘The Parable of the Weeds among the Wheat’ (Mt.13:24-30) we hear about the present state of our world where there are both good and bad people, the wheat and the weeds. Just as the workers are told not to pull up the weeds because they might uproot the wheat with them, Jesus warns his disciples “not to attempt to anticipate the final judgment of God by a definitive exclusion of sinners from the Kingdom.” I do not hold many politicians in high regard, but it is not my job to condemn unscrupulous people. “The judgment of God alone will eliminate the sinful. Until then there must be patience and the preaching of repentance.” PATENCE! Oy-vey!
Still, I plan on voting, and not for the lesser of two evils. Fr. Frank Pavone, who works tirelessly for the millions of people who Hillary Clinton believes do not have constitutional rights, stated that we can never vote for evil, but that we can vote to limit evil.
Our bloated bureaucratic behemoth of a government is totally clueless as to the root problems that are tearing this country down. But a tiny nun from Skopje, Macedonia described exactly what ails our nation: “In developed countries there is a poverty of intimacy of spirit, of loneliness, of lack of love. There is no greater sickness today than that one. Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the worst, the most terrible poverty of all. One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.” (St. Teresa of Calcutta)
Government officials know very little about the “intimacy of spirit.” So, I’ll try my best to work at those little things that are insignificant in the eyes of the world, but are of great value in the eyes of God (1 Cor.1:25)…and continue to pray a whole lot.