The Way of the Disciple...
Fourth of July, Independence Day, is a great time to reflect on our freedoms and how we got them. It took the hard work and sacrifices of many people. We are obliged to keep them strong. Our part is to vote for the right candidates.
Have you noticed the political advertisements have started? Unless you are like Pope Francis and do not watch television you have been introduced to some of the candidates for president. When the election finally arrives in November 2016 you may be confused, frustrated or just sick and tired of all of them (like I usually am).
We should use this time before elections to discern what the candidates’ really stand for and believe. Does the Church tell you whom to vote? NO Our faith tells us to be informed voters with an informed conscience. We do have an obligation to help make our country to be as moral as possible. Even if our candidate loses we have done our part.
So what should we be doing? We should be learning the values the Church teaches and how they apply to the candidate’s stand on the issues. Now is the time to: 1) Reflect on what makes our country great. 2) What is my role to make this country strong and moral? 3) Whom, of all the candidates, best fits my criteria.
The US conference of Catholic bishops in their document “Forming Conscience for Faithful Citizenship” gives us four areas to consider: 1) Why get involved? We get involved because it is our obligation as Catholics and citizens to form the moral fiber of our country. We must be involved. 2) Who should be involved? All people should be involved. 3) How do we witness our beliefs? By being informed voters with an informed conscience knowing why the church teaches the values it teaches. 4) Know the issues: life, family, social justice, and global economic issues.
To be correctly informed we do not depend on advertisements or articles that are bias toward one candidate or another. Even news reports can tell a story that leans to or away from a candidate. We need to look at many sources. We need to search out unbiased or prejudice information. This why we need to start now.
As we reflect on our freedoms this Fourth of July, we remember those who make it possible to have those freedoms and our obligation to keep them strong.
Fr Lou Jaeger