Phil 4: 4-8

Friday, May 8, 2015

Mixing Politics and Religion

If you’ve been watching the news lately, you’ve probably seen at least some coverage of the Supreme Court and the question of same-gender unions, as well as a presidential candidate’s remarks about the need for people of faith to change the way they think regarding things like “women’s health” (code for abortion). 

On the other hand, you may not have seen much, if any, coverage of what could happen to religious liberty in the USA if the Supremes decide to redefine marriage.  This lack of coverage is not unexpected, in my opinion, inasmuch as the mainstream media generally is not interested in the truth.  The long and the short of it is that Christians of all types could face discrimination charges in the future, and we could even see faith-based organizations (e.g. parochial schools, among others) that might lose their tax exempt status.  Why is this such a big deal?   Don’t most of them run at or near a loss at the bottom line anyway, so there’s no income on which to pay taxes, right?  Even if they do operate at or near breakeven, there’s more at play here than income taxes—property taxes and loss of exemption from sales taxes could be huge, so this is a big deal. 

As has often been the case over the last couple of thousand years, the Catholic Church and Christianity in general stand in the way of secular agendas and those in various governments pushing these agendas.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.  But they don’t have to stay the same.  We each have a moral responsibility to get involved at some level in politics.  We don’t have the right to just opt out, “turn on, tune in and drop out” as the old saying goes.  Alexis de Tocqueville is credited with saying that, “Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.”  People of faith need to stand up for faith and morality.   We need to all be more involved in pursuing what’s right according to our faith.  Pope Francis has said something to that effect:

Words of Pope Francis from a 2013 Homily
“He … had words for those indifferent to politics or who simply blame political leaders for all our problems, ‘None of us can say, 'I have nothing to do with this, they govern.  No, no, I am responsible for their governance, and I have to do the best so that they govern well, and I have to do my best by participating in politics according to my ability. Politics, according to the Social Doctrine of the Church, is one of the highest forms of charity, because it serves the common good. I cannot wash my hands, eh? We all have to give something!’

Finally, he used the expression …: ‘A good Catholic doesn't meddle in politics.' That's not true. That is not a good path. A good Catholic meddles in politics, offering the best of himself - so that those who govern can govern.
            Source: post by Dcn. K. Fournier-

Over the years, I’ve had people ask to be unsubscribed from my e-mailings.  That’s also not unexpected—not everyone will agree with them or find value in them.  But what is interesting is when someone asks to be removed because they don’t believe in “mixing politics and religion.”  Isn’t the reason that we have the problems we do right now because of that kind of thinking?  “I don’t want to let my religious beliefs get in the way of my politics, so I’ll just vote without regard to moral issues.”   So, as Father Mitch Pacwa often asks, “How’s that workin’ out for ya?”

It’s really pretty simple.  If we, as believers, do not get involved in politics, the people in politics will keep trying to get involved in our religion—I don’t know about you, but I am not inclined to have politicians tell me what I ought to believe…

I’d encourage you to check out the links below for some good reads on these issues:

And, let’s all pray for the grace necessary to stand up for our faith in the public square. 

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