Much talk today about the fact that come November we will be faced with the choice of a venal, arrogant, immoral, sleazy Republican or a venal, arrogant, immoral, sleazy Democrat for President.
There seems to be a fair bit of chest beating and questioning going on…”Where is the candidate who best expresses Catholic values?” or “We need a candidate who will stand up for marriage, sanctity of life and freedom of religion.”
The problem with this kind of talk is that people assume that somehow or other a Presidential candidate is going to solve problems and “return America to Christian values.”
Since when is this the job of a politician? The reason America has elected Trump and Clinton is because the whole country has abandoned Christian values long ago.
It’s not the fault of politicians that marriage, sanctity of life and freedom of religion are being eroded. Its not their problem. Its our problem.
Marriage is on the rocks because you and me and the people next door have been putting knives in marriage for the last fifty years. Marriage is in crisis because we turned a blind eye to divorce and remarriage in our own families. Marriage is on the rocks because we let it slide when the kids co-habited. Marriage is on the rocks because we accepted easy artificial contraception and sterilization. Marriage is on the rocks because we let it slide when we or our family members got involved with porn, committed adultery, filed for no fault divorce and when we said nothing when our nephew decided to “marry” his boyfriend. This is not the fault of politicians. It is our fault.
Sanctity of life? It’s not the fault of politicians. Its our fault because we accepted artificial contraception. We were silent when a family member had an abortion, or we quietly paid for an abortion when our kids got pregnant. Sanctity of life? Its our fault because we collaborated with those who were making war, abusing the poor, profiting from sweatshops in the developing world, and we accepted it when creeping euthanasia started to come into the medical profession. Sanctity of life? We’re the ones who pollute the world, destroy the environment in the developing world for profit so we can enjoy our cheap luxury stuff.
Freedom of religion? Freedom of religion is only a live concept for people who are truly religious, but we don’t give two hoots about freedom of religion if that means the freedom to practice our religion with a radical and cutting edge. Instead we think freedom of religion means we must be left alone to practice that American anti religion of Moralistic, Therapeutic Deism. That’s not even a religion. It’s a set of table manners.
So let’s not blame the politicians for the state of our country. Let’s blame ourselves.
Lest I play too much the Jeremiah, what is the positive answer?
The positive answer is to live joyfully radiant lives of radical discipleship. The answer is to listen again to the call of Christ and to strive for the purity of heart and passion of will that sets apart the true disciple. Let us not complain about the state of our nation unless we are willing to do something about the state of our soul, the state of our family, the state of our parish, the state of our church.