I, like the vast majority of Americans, have grown weary of politics. It seems that the political discourse in America has become much more harsh and much less civil of late. I suppose that if I am honest with myself, I have fallen prey to this phenomenon. This most recent presidential election has been the nastiest that I can recall in my lifetime. Perhaps it is because I have become much more politically aware, but I doubt it.
As Election Day draws near, my gut tells me that just about everyone has made their decision about who they will vote for. There may be some of those elusive “undecideds” left, but I have not run across any lately. Just in case there are any Catholic voters who have not yet made up their mind, or are at least persuadable, I want to share one final thought before that all-important ballot is cast.
Per IRS regulations, the Church must remain non-partisan. The Catholic Church cannot advocate for or against a particular candidate or party. As an individual, I do not have to hold to that standard. The Church can speak out on issues, and has been very vociferous on numerous issues leading up to this election.
As the host of a nationwide show on Sirius XM’s The Catholic Channel, I hear from people of all different backgrounds, both Catholic and non-Catholic alike. I hear often from Catholic supporters of President Obama. The most common reasons they give for supporting the president have nothing to do with his record. Rather, they have to do with their perceived negatives about Mitt Romney.
“Romney supports abortion (in cases of rape, incest and life of the mother.) He supports the death penalty. He wants to do away with support for the poor. So, Mitt Romney can’t possibly be the candidate that Catholics support. Neither candidate is truly in line with Catholic teaching.”
That last statement is certainly true. Neither candidate falls in line perfectly with Catholic teaching. To my knowledge, there has never been a candidate for office whose policies would all line up perfectly with Catholic teaching. President Obama is the most pro-abortion president in history. Governor Romney supports the death penalty. There are a host of things that people can point to with either candidate.
For the sake of argument, let’s say that in some alternate universe President Obama and Mitt Romney were dead even when it came to Catholic teaching. You pulled out a big sheet of paper and wrote down the pros and cons of each and at the end, the columns came out exactly equal. (Note: that’s not the way it works. Issues must be weighted, and the sanctity of life issues must be given much more weight. But play along anyway.)
At this point, what is the Catholic voter to do? Flip a coin? That seems rather arbitrary for such an important decision. Is there anything left that could break the tie? Allow me to make a suggestion. You should vote for the candidate that has not orchestrated a full out assault on your Church. I’m talking about the HHS Mandate contained in Obamacare. It is not only an assault on religious liberty, but I believe it is a frontal assault on the Catholic Church.
President Obama is demanding that Catholic organizations pay for products and services that are in direct contradiction with the teachings of the Church – contraception, abortifacient drugs and sterilization procedures. While the president has declared that he has made an “accommodation” to the Catholic Church, in reality it is just smoke and mirrors. While facing dozens of lawsuits from organizations and companies – Catholic, non-Catholic and secular – this president has refused to budge. His strategy is to hold on until after the election. If he is reelected, you can be sure that the hammer will then come down hard. When Barack Obama is unencumbered by the need to be reelected, he will have no need to try to capitulate or placate the Church any more.
Once President Obama has gotten the Catholic Church in line, who will be next? This is an issue that should be of the gravest concern to everyone, not just Catholics. Even if you don’t agree with any of the doctrinal beliefs of the Catholic Church, you will be affected by this issue. If the government can toss aside the First Amendment rights of Catholics, then what makes you think they won’t at some point toss aside your Constitutional rights? While public funding of abortions and the marginalization of religion become the order of the day, free speech will become a thing of the past. Those who dare speak out against the almighty state will be silenced, if they are heard at all.
President Obama seems hell bent on forcing the Catholic Church to accede to his will, all in the name of the public good. While many seem to applaud his efforts, let me ask you to bring this down to the more personal. If your daughter were in a relationship where a man was forcing her to do things against her will while justifying his actions by telling her that the things he is forcing her to do are in the best interests of everyone, would you support that? I highly doubt it. So how can any Catholic possibly support this president? Because Obama is not doing this to individuals, but to “the Church?” Remember, the Church is made of people. The Church is a family – the family of God. And if you claim to be a member of the Catholic Church, then President Obama is attacking you and your family.
My dire predictions may not come to pass in a second Obama administration. But you can rest assured that each and every one of them will be fast-tracked if Barack Obama is in the White House for another four years. For Catholics, Mitt Romney is not a perfect candidate. But I am convinced that he will show far greater respect to all people of faith, and defend our Constitutional right to the free exercise of your religion, whatever religion that may be. If for no other reason, this is why I, as a Catholic, support Mitt Romney for president. I urge all of my fellow Catholics to do the same.
There will be some who will persecute me for being “too political.” Honestly, I don’t have time to care about that. This issue is far too important for me to remain silent. Should you decide to no longer listen to my radio show or support my ministry because of my position, I pray for God’s blessings upon you and yours. May Almighty God give us wisdom and peace.