7

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


  • goral

    Your perplexity dear author stems from your sensible and rational assessment of our social and political landscape. The Holy Spirit gives our minds the ability to reason and love the truth and the Origin of all reason and truth.
    Absent the Holy Spirit, confusion sets in, life is a gamble.
    Our political and social opposition has a religion and their own secular god.
    This is not an exaggeration nor hyperbole. the Left looks at their acceptance of utter nonsense as a religious creed. It doesn’t have to pass the rational test, just as our belief in the Holy Trinity and life after death doesn’t have to pass the scientific test.

    When the Holy Spirit abandons a soul it is left to it’s own destructive interpretations of what reality is. These people are living their death culture faith just as we live our Catholic faith. Whether they are ultimately lost or saved is God’s call.
    In the interim we have the privilege of converting them to our religion.

  • Carol lokare

    No, Goral. You have the privilege of living in a country where there is no mandated religious test in order to run for or be elected president. You have the privilege of living in a country where the constitution states that all men, and that includes women now, are created equal under the law., with the right to life , liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You may not accept that homosexuals and non-Christians live among us, but the laws of our land state that they cannot be discriminated against because you find their lifestyle morally repugnant and offensive. Democrats do not live a “death culture faith,” whatever that means. Is that akin to Republicans being “compassionate conservatives?” Paul Ryan’s budget plan was found by the Catholic bishops to be contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ and was considered offensive and dangerous. You, sir, may want to review the teachings of Jesus. I think you are confused.

    • Phil Steinacker

      The bishops have absolutely ZERO binding authority to declare ANY budget as contrary to anything, which is fortunate because they lack the competence to speak intelligently about budsget matters anyway.
      You better be careful citing the teachings of Jesus, lady. He NEVER instructed us to finance bloated government agencies to do what he called US to do individually.
      You are so in the tank with progressive Catholycism I don’t expect you’ll be able to see clearly what I’m talking about. Thanks for providing comic releif by claiming Goral is confused.
      Check out a mirror.

      • Carol Lokare

        Phil, the Catholic bishops also have no legal, constitutional right to interfere in the laws of the land, remember such a thing as separation of state and church? And nowhere have I claimed to be a Catholic, progressive or otherwise. And I have a problem arguing with the lot of you who seem to have failed grade school social studies. See, in this country there is no such thing as the “Democrat” Party, as 4truth4all stated (another Conservative too cowardly to post under his/her true name…it’s an epidemic with you people). Let’s review basic English. “Democrat” is a noun and for you to place “Democrat” before “party” you are using a noun to define another noun…not proper English. What you want is to use “Democratic” before party. That way, you have an adjective, “Democratic” defining the noun, “party”. I may belong to the Democratic Party, which makes me a Democrat, but I cannot belong to the Democrat Party because no such thing exists in this country. Too much Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity taking up space in your brains. There is a cure for that…it’s called progressivism. And furthermore, it’s well past time to tax large churches. You have overstayed your tax-exempt status. And Phil, since you have been called individually to do what you believe Jesus Said no government should ever be called upon to do, which s take care of the suffering and vulnerable, I believe there are some storm victims back east who could use your money and time. Might want to get on that.

  • Tom Kohn

    Freedom from religion is equally important to freedom of religious expression. The essence: separating religious promotion from government. Vote as you wish, but at least try to leave religion considerations at the church, and not brought into the voting booth.

  • goral

    It’s getting very close to that fateful day when we’ll be rid of the false messiah,

    His disciples are getting antsy, The media has done everything to hand them a victory but common sense, which, by the way, is a gift of the Holy Spirit, will prevail.
    I will absolutely take my Church into the voting booth, I can not do otherwise, as I don’t suffer from schizophrenia.

    I will use my right to vote and support those pols. who respect life, born and not yet born. I will vote to protect and control my earnings, property family and community.
    I will vote against Obamacare which imposes on our religious liberty and violates the First amendment. I will vote my well formed conscience and encourage others to do likewise.

    There is one thing that I will absolutely not do, and that is – vote twice, as I am not a democrat.

  • im4truth4all

    Cardinal Raymond Burke accurately stated that the democrat party is the party of death, i.e. contraception, abortion, euthanasia, etc. A Catholic who votes for a pro-death canidate like Obama verses a pro-life canidate like Romney objectively commits mortal sin. That person must first confess his sin before going to Holy Communion or he further commits a sacrilege.

    Some quotes might help:

    Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the
    earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a
    man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law
    against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.
    (Matt 10:34-36)

    A few G.K. Chesterton quotes:

    “There are an infinite number of ways to fall, but there
    is only one way to stand.”

    “Is one religion as good as another? Is one horse in the
    Derby as good as another?”

    “Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they
    become fashions.”

    “Be careful not to be so open-minded that your brains fall out.”

    I want a church that moves the world not one that moves with it”

    “Take away the supernatural and what remains is the unnatural”

    “Moral issues are always terribly complex for someone without principles.”

    “Only a live fish can swim against the current, the dead go with it.”

    “Today, having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, that is, letting oneself be tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine [Ephesians 4:14], seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s ego and desires.” — Cardinal Ratzinger (before he became pope)

    George Orwell stated “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

    There are many who call themselves Catholic who are in fact frauds or ignorant.

    This includes Cardinals, Bishops, Priests and laity. Some quotes from the Saints will make this clear.

    “The
    road to Hell is paved with the bones of priests and monks, and the skulls of
    bishops are the lamp posts that light the path.”

    “The road to Hell is paved with the bones of priests and monks, and the skulls of
    bishops are the lamp posts that light the path.”
    St. John Chrysostom

    “I do not think there are many among Bishops that will be saved, but many more that perish.”
    St. John Chrysostom

    “The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.”
    St. Athanasius (The first Doctor of the Church and known as the Father of Orthodoxy)

    “It must be observed, however, that if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly.”
    St. Thomas Aquinas

    And let us not say that it is God who is punishing us in this way; on the contrary it is people themselves who are preparing their own punishment. In his kindness God warns us and calls us to the right path, while respecting the freedom he has given us; hence people are responsible. –Sr. Lucia, one of the Fatima visionaries, in a letter to the Holy Father, May 12th, 1982.