Politics and Religion
It’s that time again folks, where politics and religion collide! Today marks the beginning of the 2016 Presidential electoral process. The great state of Iowa, the first in the nation, conducts their Iowa caucuses today, to determine who will get Iowa’s electoral votes for the Democratic and Republican parties. Now the race is really on!
Have you been watching the political news? The Republican candidates are cutting each other’s throats with trash-talking and degrading language. One candidate is famous for spouting racial, cultural and gender bias against the citizenry. The Democratic candidates are no holy saints either. They try to set themselves apart from each other with negative “policy” commentary that somehow spills over into personal insult.
What’s the kicker? All of these candidates (both Republican and Democrat) have the audacity to say that they practice a religion! What astounds me even more is that there are people attending the candidate’s rallies who actually cheer on the negativity. We’re talking hardened hearts here! How is that Christian? How is that virtuous? It’s not. If these candidates and those attending the rallies, were truly practicing a religion, such as Christianity, Judaism or Islam, then virtue would be at the forefront of their values, because virtue is very important to all three of these religions. So, as a country, are we “Christian” in name only? It seems so.
What has become of the political leadership and citizenry of this country that such negativity, insults, and demeaning of character win the day? Where have our Christian values gone from our political process? Where is:
- Respect for the dignity of every human person; even the opponent?
- Tact in presenting opinions?
- Truthful statements, where honesty is valued?
- Courtesy for other candidates and for the citizenry-at-large?
- Humility, instead of one-upmanship?
- Magnanimity, rather than determining how low one can stoop?
- Modesty of one’s own self-opinion, instead of egotism?
- Prudence, rather than partisanship?
These virtues are solely lacking in today’s political discourse. In my opinion, none of the candidates deserves my vote. I want someone who works for the common good, not personal gain. I want someone who is a proponent of ALL Catholic Social Teaching, not just the parts that suit their agenda. I want someone who exudes dignity and respect for others, not put-downs to pump themselves up. At this point in time, if I had to vote today, I would either hold my nose as I cast my ballot, or not vote at all. I can’t in good conscience (according to my own Catholic faith) endorse any one of these people currently seeking the Presidency. I have too much regard for the position of President to give my vote to any these candidates currently scratching their way, at all costs, to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.