At this rate, we may get to a point where campaigns for an election four or five years off will be going full blast when polls open each November. Can't say I'd like to see that. There's enough vitriol dripping off news, op-ed pages, and blogs, to eat through copper. At least it feels like it.
There are times when I feel like forgetting about elections, issues, and particularly the tunnel-vision partisans who cling to campaigns like barnacles to a ship. Being 'above mundane affairs' isn't an option for me, since I'm a practicing Catholic.
We're expected to "take an active part in public life." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 19151) Since America is a country where citizens can vote, I can't ignore the candidates.
"8 The eleven 9 disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.I think one reason the eleven worked so hard at making "disciples of all nations" is that Jesus of Nazareth had been tortured to death before giving those orders: and then stopped being dead. Which is another topic.
"10 When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
"11 Then Jesus approached and said to them, 'All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
"Go, therefore, 12 and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,
"teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. 13 And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.' "
Or maybe not so much. A few minutes, or years, or decades, from now I'll be getting some serious personal time with my Lord. We call it the particular judgment, and it's when I get to find out how good a follower I've been. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1021-1022) I plan to throw myself on my Lord's mercy, and hope for the best.
I don't think I can 'work my way into heaven,' but I'm certain that what I do - and don't do - matters. (Catechism, 1021)
Don't worry, by the way: I'm not going to go full-bore blowhard evangelical on you. I've tangled with folks who use Christianity as a blunt instrument - who indirectly encouraged my conversion to Catholicism.
Getting back to the great commission, presidential elections, and me.
I've written about political issues that I think are important before: like whether or not it's good public policy to kill people who aren't up to spec. I don't think so, partly because of what the Church says. (Catechism, 2277) I plan to keep doing that.
But I don't intend to call anyone who doesn't agree with me a heretical mush-brained spawn of Satan. Ethical and theological considerations aside, I think that'd be a daft way to make my views seem reasonable.
Besides, I've got the full authority of "some guy with a blog," and take Matthew 7:1 seriously.
- It's a mistake to
- 'Be polite' and not contradict nonsense spouted by the nation's self-appointed best and brightest
- Emulate folks who yell 'racist!' or 'commie!' whenever someone disagrees with them
- Life-and-death issues are at stake in next year's election
- Individuals matter
- To each individual, anyway
- I'll be held accountable for my actions
- Just like everybody else
- I've got enough trouble, without adding slander to the list
- The great commission hasn't been rescinded
- Acting like a jerk isn't good 'discipleship'
- 'Religious people are unreasonable' is a fairly common stereotype
- Living down to it won't encourage anyone to take my faith seriously
- Abrasively-religious Christians make an impression
- That needs to be corrected
- We're called to love our neighbor
- Not abuse our neighbor
Not when I'm pretty sure that I can make at least a small difference by taking time to think - and sharing what I come up with.
- "It's 'Love Your Neighbor,' Not 'Alienate Your Neighbor' "
(August 8, 2011)
- "Hell, Heaven, Character, and Culture"
(June 23, 2011)
- "Wheat, Weeds, and a Tax Collector"
(July 27, 2010)
- "Some Catholic Blogs Bother Bishops - A Lot"
(June 17, 2010)
- "Those Heretics May Not Like being Called Heretics"
(May 16, 2010)
1 There's quite a bit in the Catechism about citizenship, including this selection: