Monday, October 25, 2010

American Elections are Coming: What's a Catholic to Do?

Which of these photos represents what a Catholic who lives in America should do?


"I Voted" sticker. November 4, 2008.


Adoration Chapel in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. October 25, 2010.

It's a trick question. The answer is A and B.

Prayer, meditation: that's all good stuff, and highly recommended. But the idea isn't to be 'so heavenly-minded that we're no earthly good.'

There's an election coming up in just over a week. I'm a Catholic, living in the United States of America. I'm able to vote - and so I've got a responsibility to do so. Intelligently.

Vote: Vote Smart

Voting is simple: just show up at the polling place, with enough ID to satisfy local rules, and mark up a ballot. It's really simple.

Voting intelligently takes a bit more work. Preparation, actually. I take a look at the voting records of candidates - it doesn't give insight into what someone who's new to politics is like, but it's a valuable reality check for assessing incumbents. My household's lived at one address for quite a while, and got on enough mailing lists to ensure that we have a short stack of 'voting guides' from a variety of organizations. Lucky us: the point is that the information is out there, and quite a bit is online, as well as showing up in mailboxes.

Advice From Some Guy With a Blog

Speaking with the full authority of some guy with a blog - I've written about that before - here's a short list how to vote. And how not to vote.
  • Learn what the issues are
    • And what the candidates have
      • Said
      • Done
  • Learn what Catholic teaching on the issues is
    • NOT what some op-ed or news item says it is
    • United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is a pretty good place to start
      • I use Google to search the Catechism, putting [] at the end of the search terms
  • Don't vote
    • Because your family always voted for that party
    • Based on how good a candidate's haircut is
    • Because the candidate goes to your church
Some of that may sound silly. On the other hand, I've heard arguments that a political candidate's physical appearance can gain - or lose - votes: so that crack about a haircut may not be all that silly.

So What If Someone Wants to Marry Their Hamster?

One of the issues in play is making up new rules about what marriage is. Trans-species marriage hasn't, to my knowledge, been promoted: but some other kinky variations have. The Catholic Church has a well-defined teaching on the subject.

And I've written about that before.

Related posts:Background:


Brigid said...

I think there's a sometimes-vowel-sometimes-consonant missing here: "Luck us"

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...


Too right. Fixed it! Thanks.

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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.