Contributor: Bill Moore
I’m a Catholic and I vote. I learned the value of both from my parents. They usually voted Democratic, but had good friends in both parties and of different faiths. Listening from the top of the stairs when Mom and Dad entertained friends for dinner or cards in the dining room, we overheard many lively discussions on faith and politics.
So I’ve long thought of voting and politics as something good, a way we take care of one another, as Wy Spano never tires of saying. And no one has ever called me a sinner for voting for one candidate or another. Lately, though, there have been news reports of Catholic priests, and even a bishop, saying you can’t be Catholic and vote for Democrats, and it’s a mortal sin. I don’t think most Catholics believe that or that the broader Church hierarchy would approve. But it is troubling and could discourage some believers from voting.
An essay by John Carr in the current issue of the Jesuit magazine America discusses how he is trying to apply the principles of his Catholic faith in the current election (https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2020/09/17/catholic-biden-trump-faithful-citizenship-election). He has been a long-time advisor to Catholic Bishops on matters of social justice and peace and calls himself “a pro-life, social justice, consistent-ethic Catholic.” In his essay, he confronts the reality that neither the Republican nor Democratic party platforms reflect the full framework of Catholic teaching, and both presidential candidates are committed to policies that violate Catholic moral principles: Biden, supporting abortion and Trump promoting racism and anti-immigrant policies. Carr concludes:
"When neither party’s platform reflects the full framework of Catholic teaching, and when both candidates are committed to policies that violate Catholic moral principles, I will follow my conscience. I will exercise my prudential judgment to vote for the candidate who has the character, integrity and competence to serve; who will seek the common good and protect our democratic institutions; and who will do the least harm and the most good within our political and constitutional structures. And since neither of our present options reflects a full commitment to the Gospel, I am committed to work for better choices in our politics, parties and nation.
"I will vote for Mr. Biden for what he can do to help us recover and heal, lift up those left behind, ensure health care for all and treat immigrants and refugees with respect. I will not vote for him to support his position on abortion, but in spite of it."
I hope readers will agree with John Carr’s reasoning and share his conclusion, but whether we do or not, I hope all us Catholic voters will as he urges, “reflect, discuss, engage, discern and decide; and at the same time . . . respect the consciences and choices of other Catholics. “
*What we need to do about it
...By a Former Republican Strategist and Campaigner Who Says “Strike Down Trumpism”
Steve Schmidt worked on George Bush’s, Arnold Schwarzenegger's, and most prominently John McCain’s campaigns, prior to the rise of Trump. In this election he founded the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, a group of Republicans who don’t want Trump reelected. This is a series of tweets he published Sept. 19, pleading with Republicans to rid the country of the evil of Trump.
What does the election mean for the future of health care?
Contributor: Buddy Robinson
The issue of health care remains a top priority of voters, because it continues to get less and less affordable. At the same time, restrictions on what's covered and which doctors you can see gets worse and worse. The COVID pandemic has made the problems in health care access and cost all the more alarming.
This is a huge topic for the November election. If Trump gets re-elected, he and the Republicans in Congress won't just fail to reverse the trend in greater cost and restrictions. They'll accelerate it.
Contributor: Bill Moore
I come from a big family. All our lives, besides enjoying one another’s company, we’ve argued and wrangled about matters large and small. Somehow, though, we’ve managed to keep talking and resolve our differences or agree to disagree.
A few choice words on the importance of voting
Contributor: Fred Smith
If the emperor ever fiddled while Rome burned, that time is now.
If the emperor ever paraded through the streets with no clothes on, that time is now.
If ever we'll all hang separately if we don't hang together, that time is now.
Minnesota offers absentee ballots to all eligible voters on request; no reason needed.
This means there's no excuse for not voting!
Ask for a ballot today. Here's the link:
Thanks for helping!
*Restoring American Democracy
Medicare's future can be good or bad, depending on the results of the elections
Contributor: Buddy Robinson
Medicare is not in the news much these days, but don't be fooled. It's still an intense, big-money issue hidden in the background. Its future, for good or bad, is at stake. There are strong opposing ideas of what to do with it. The Republican party's plan would greatly increase health care costs for seniors and disabled, while enriching insurance companies.