Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vote--and Sign

It's Election Day!

Immaculate Mary, Patroness of the United States, pray for us.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, pray for us.

So far I've refrained from writing about politics on this blog, and for the most part, I intend (for now) to continue to do so. First, there is the fact that there are already many bloggers writing about religion and politics in a much more insightful, entertaining, and challenging way than I could. (There you see my leanings.) And politics has always been divisive, else why bother with it? In my limited experience, though, it has become so much more polarized, with people not even hearing what the other side has to say.

That's a loss for our society. "As iron sharpens iron, so man sharpens his fellow man," says Proverbs; it's good to question each other and to reexamine our opinions sometimes. And it is our duty as Christians to contribute to choosing the agents of our government who will best serve the public good. We are called to be shapers of our culture. Today is, I think, an appropriate day to call on to my fellow Catholics and touch on what faith and politics have to do with each other.

I am so glad to see civic expressions like this one. From what I understand, Catholics are an interesting voting block, in that they provide something of a mirror of the culture at large rather than voting in lockstep, on one hand, and on the other that they are a crucial swing vote--if a candidate wants to win, he or she has to address the Catholics.

This open letter to politicians is meant to speak the voice of a people in the world but not of it. It acknowledges the difficult issues we face as a nation but is optimistic about our future. It is doesn't let anybody off the hook but also doesn't condemn or sling mud. It takes seriously our responsibility to our country and makes you take it seriously too.

So go read it. I see no reason why, just because this election is over today, you shouldn't sign this letter, if you wish. The work of governing starts anew after Election Day, and the next one will be here before you know it.

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