NO CRYING AT MY FUNERAL

NO CRYING AT MY FUNERAL

Thursday, August 14, 2008

VOTE YOUR CONSCIENCE

You will notice that the whole of the country has "politics fever" these days. There is even a new book by a Catholic Archbishop about Catholicism and politics. Some of the thoughts in the book are very challenging. They fly in the face of some of the "conventional wisdom" that we encounter every day. In fact, some of his statements even fly in the face of our conscience. What? Why do I say that? Hang on to your false teeth, this isn't going to be an easy ride.

Remember the blog post about yoga? We stated the position of the Church about yoga. We even quoted a document from the Vatican. There are people to this day who will not read us because they think we are some kind of right wing organization. Why, even the archbishop of Los Angeles has said some nice things about yoga, so there.

Remember the one about lying? We clung to the tight line and said that lying was wrong, even just a little bit no matter what. We got swatted for that one too. After all, everyone lies, sometime. My position is, unless you're lying to the Gestapo or the SSS to save some poor waif's life, it's wrong. There see, I made a concession.

We all know deep down that killing is wrong, but do you remember the blog post in which we said that it is wrong to perform an abortion even to save the mother's life? We took heat from that one too. Sam Brownback who brought it up to begin with really caused a dust storm over it.

Permit me to go out of the "No Crying at my Funeral" box a little bit and talk about bribery. We all know that it is wrong. It is so wrong that we cluck our tongues when we see the situation that the third world lives in because of the rampant bribery that takes place there. We are all very sure that it doesn't take place here. Really? Are we sure why the telecom companies got protected? Why we don't have autos that run on hydrogen yet? Why the fleet average of the major auto makers has gone up out of sight over the last decade? Why just about all the construction contracts in Iraq have gone to one or two companies? We know in our hearts that there are plenty of right hands being washed by the left ones in the whole mess, now don't we? Yes we do. These observations have all contributed to dulling our consciences to the hard, cold edge of the Truth. We all think that it is OK to lie, cheat and steal, just a little bit from anyone and everyone because it makes our life easier. So what conscience are we left with when it comes time to vote?

Is it the conscience that says that abortion is wrong? Is it the one that knows that an unprovoked war is wrong? Is it the one that gets angry at the misuse and exploitation of our natural resources? Is it the one that abhors bribery in any form, even lobbying? Is it the one that gets inflamed at the thought that there are people who bend the law with impunity because they have gobs and gobs of money? Is it the one that lashes out at the injustice of wasted food when it is very clear that if the world cared more, hunger could be appeased by perhaps as much as 50%? Is it the one that gets enraged at the uncaring "professionals" who run our schools so incompetently that even high school graduates have to take remedial reading classes before going to college? Is it the one that gets frustrated into rage when the shambles of our medical care system lets hundreds of thousand people die every year because they can't afford to get the care that they need? I ask again, what conscience are we left with when it comes time to vote?

Do we vote for the Evangelical Christian who will support Israel at any cost? Do we vote for the Catholic who thinks that open borders are the only way to live? What about voting for the Republican who decides that every living person in the United States should have an identification card? Then there's the Democrat who will go all out to assure that there will be a constitutional amendment making way for same-sex marriage? What about the Baptist who is kicking and scratching every day of his life to preserve the electrification subsidies of his section of the country although there isn't a single nano-watt more needed there? Oh, I nearly forgot, what about the person who is more in favor of growing more corn for fuel than for supplying the food chain? Will your conscience allow you to vote for the candidate who will vow to pass legislation to euthanize all abandoned pet animals? Yes, what conscience are we left with when it comes time to vote?

We are only left with the conscience that we allow God to enlighten for us. Life is too complex for us to do it on our own. The activist will fight on and vote one way; the pacifist will vote another way; the monk will see things differently; the mother will have her conscience and the father his. The only way to make this a little more understandable is to remember that God is the equalizer. We have the duty to study, research and learn about as much as we can. The bottom line is what we learn from God by living close to Him. Even the best candidate cannot know everything. Politics is too big and too complex. Only God can enlighten us, both, politician and plain citizen alike. Only a close relationship with God can bring the peace that we pray for. It is paradoxical, but the more we abandon of ourselves to God, the more successful we become in enlightening our conscience concerning the morality to be practiced on the public stage. In and through God we find light and strength. Is that the conscience we will have whenit comes time to vote?

So, when you hear or read this again, "Vote Your Conscience", hope and pray that what you have in your heart is God, and what you have is His finger hitting the screen to the right choice. It is impossible to be a one issue citizen. It is impossible to be a one issue candidate. All we can hope to be is one with the Truth, the Truth who lives in us. That is the kind of unity that can bring peace to the nation and to the world.

Now, I know it is not safe to talk politics in front of strangers, but I did anyway. Anyone who can be that brave (or that foolhardy) won't have anyone crying at his funeral. Right?

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