My Fellow Christian Americans…I am Confused

All of us are immersed in this politically charged atmosphere.  Like lightning hitting dry brush, words can easily set off a firestorm. There are some who love this climate, mostly politicians I imagine, or perhaps those who have something to gain financially or otherwise in the process or outcome.  The rest of us begrudgingly tolerate this nonsense.  I do not mean to say having the freedom to select who is running our government is nonsense. No, I mean the whole ridiculous process of mass fundraising, constant phone calls, junk mail, signage filling every corner, and the divisiveness it brings to humanity.

I have spent a concerted amount of time in prayer dedicated to this upcoming election. I don’t presume that something this huge should be left primarily to human choice. We have proven over time, again and again, that we are incapable of choosing “the good” and what affects the “greater good” for any length of time. Anyone who has studied history or read the Old Testament might scratch their heads and wonder, “What didn’t the Israelites get there?” Our memories are short.  We tend to be habitually selfish and short sighted.

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days…” Duet 30:19-20

Why is it so hard America to look at the heart of the matter, beyond political parties and chose what is best for our country as a whole, and all the people who call it home?

I am obviously aware that not all of our citizens believe in God. In fact we are so painfully, constantly reminded of this fact by the intolerant few who continue to bog down the courts with suits attempting to remove God from anything public; how pathetically sad and self-serving. One does not have to believe in God to see the great value that Christians, Christian thought, morals and ethics, bring to any society. It is good for a civilization to have citizens who care about the least, and apply love to the culture.

Many Catholic, Christian Americans will be choosing to vote for “the Party” that promotes abortion, same sex marriage, removal of religious freedom through mandated ideals contrary to their religious beliefs, and much more.

I am utterly and totally confused.

Attempting to engage in conversation these fellow Christians of mine, I try to follow their logic and conclusions, and yet I still find myself at an absolute loss. Try as they may, I do NOT understand how you can claim to hold fast to Christian principles and make the choice for a party or candidate that supports, promotes, and asks the taxpayer to now pay for, the killing of innocent life. How is this good for America and its future citizens, not alone your soul?

Help me understand why you support someone who will not defend marriage between one man and one woman as God designed it, and is obvious in and through our own bodies? Not only is it best for the children of this configuration, but it is GOOD for society. It is beneficial for the government to protect an institution that brings citizens into existence, loves, provides, raises, and bestows for future, morally sound, hardworking, and contributing citizens. Many people I speak to feel that because they have relatives and friends with a same-sex attraction that the best way to support them is to vote for the redefinition of marriage. The two issues are not related.  I too have relatives and friends that are very dear to my heart that I love. Their SSA does not change how I feel about them, but to redefine marriage in some kind of sympathetic solidarity is not good for our nation or its citizens. There are already many laws in place and provisions that provide for same-sex partners. Redefining marriage is a bad idea.

Religious freedom is one of our first freedoms; it is part of that great American experiment that worked. We can be a country of many traditions of worship and still be one nation with a united belief in the common good for all its citizens.  That is what makes this country so GREAT. We used to be able to see past all that, be a diverse conglomeration that didn’t get offended when passing by a nativity scene, or a menorah, or even the guy shouting on the corner about the end of the world. We are a melting pot, an awesome combination of flavors that should be tolerant of diverse ways of existing but UNITED in our cause for America. “It’s not about me, it’s about we.”

The American dream used to be you could come from anywhere with virtually nothing, live here in peace and become anything if you were willing to work hard; contributing to society, paying taxes, voting and making a difference for good. When did the American dream become about bottomless handouts and entitlements instead of productive citizens working with dignity and pride?

Help me comprehend how it is good for America if its citizens are forced to pay for services against their religious freedom, like free contraception, sterilization and abortifacients for those who apparently do not possess any self-discipline. No one to date has died from not having sex on demand.

Why must our religious freedoms be violated so that others can engage in behaviors that neither prolong their life, or benefit society as a whole? Children who do not learn that actions have consequences turn into adults who expect everyone else to clean up their mess. How is this healthy for America? When do we draw the line?

I ask these questions because I am utterly perplexed. Why would anyone support a party that supports all these issues that clearly are not good for its citizens, nor reflect on any level Catholic social teaching?

Finally, the futile remaining argument I hear the most is that many individuals vote for a particular party because that is what their parents and grandparents did. That time is over. That party stopped being the party that “stood up for the little guy” a long time ago.

I beg you, really pray, opening your heart and mind asking God to guide your decision. Study and read what Scripture, the Catechism, your Bishops, have to say. Reflect on what your choices will mean for future generations, the good of society, and for America.

As for me, I will continue to implore heaven for help. May God assist us to see clearly seek what is best for our country, our eternal souls, and to soften our hearts if need be.

Too much rides on our freedom to vote and to choose the direction that affects all of us for years to come. Choose life…obey God, and hold fast to the truth.

Barbara Lishko works full time as a Lay Catholic Marriage Minister. She and her husband Mark, an ordained Deacon, have been married for 35 years and are blessed with five young adult children, whose lives grow and expand through marriage and grandchildren.

Through the inspiration of her family, work in the Catholic Church and wacky life experiences her dream of writing was born. She is the recipient of the Diocese of Phoenix St Terese of Lisieux award. Barbara can be reached at blishko_58@yahoo.com