God is Not a Republican
By Keith A. Fournier
© Third Millennium, LLC
I got your attention with this title,didn’t I? I will probably get a lot more than just attention. I am sure I will receive angry E-Mails, accusations of “selling out”; it’s all getting so, well, “un-civil” and we have not even made it through both major party conventions. I am already tired of the stridency, the talking heads and the messiness of it all!
Let me make myself and the title of this article a bit clearer, God is not a Democrat either. Nor is He a member of the Constitution Party, the Libertarian party… or any of a growing number of political “alternatives” that reflect a growing dissatisfaction with both major political parties.
Political parties are our creation, not His. He has called us into this world and given us the capacity to exercise our freedom. We make our choices and in those choices we change ourselves, as well as the world around us, for better or for worse. One of our choices is how we choose to govern ourselves and whether we will do so for the common good.
We Americans will soon be faced with one of the most important choices in my lifetime, electing the next President of the United States. This is an election of particular importance for Christians because of the issues that most of us hold as vital to a truly just and humane society.
Over the years I have come to group those issues in categories around what I call “four pillars of social participation”; the dignity of every human life (from conception through to natural death), the primacy of true marriage and family (as the first vital cell of all civil society as well as the first church, first government, first school, first economy and first mediating institution); authentic and responsible human and religious freedom; and our obligations in solidarity with all the poor and the needy.
I have worked for decades to encourage Christians, indeed all people of faith and good will, to build a more just and human society around these four pillars. I have participated in, and helped to build, movements and associations oriented toward this vital work because I have long believed and proclaimed that my faith compels me to live a unity of life.
I reject the so-called “private/public” dichotomy of some Catholics and other Christians in public life as heresy. My faith is profoundly personal but it is radically and fundamentally public. It is not a coat that I put on when I enter a Church building but rather a center from which I live and a lens through which I view all of human and social existence. There simply are objective moral truths that must guide truly human behavior and authentically free and just social community life.
For example, the position I hold on the right to life and the dignity of every human life at every age and stage is NOT, in the first instance, a “religious” position; it is a human rights position and I know that it must become the polestar of all good public policy. Without the right to life and the freedom to be born, as well as the further right to live a full life and die a natural death, unimpeded by euthanasia, passive or active, there simply are no other rights or human freedoms. If freedom becomes reduced to a notion of doing whatever one “chooses”, including the intentional killing of children in the womb, the elderly, the “dependent”… it has been gutted from its true meaning and reduced to some “right” to exercise a raw power over others.
This counterfeit definition of “choice” as a right to do what is wrong will not promote true freedom. It will inevitably lead to a new and profane form of slavery.
Like most folks, I have tried to use my prudential judgment in exercising a treasured right, the right to vote as an American citizen. I believe that there is a hierarchy of values in the application of this kind of judgment. I have sought to order the issues in deciding for whom I would vote. Of course, I will do so once again this vital election year.
However, it is getting really hard to live through the political chicanery and reinvention, the glitz and image and the increasingly hostile responses of even good people to the growing hostility of our political dialogue and climate. For example, every morning I receive several missives (that is what they are) by E-Mail telling me why one party is “evil” and implying the other party is somehow “good”. Frankly, I am growing sick of them all.
To any political “experts” reading this article, I am a “swing” voter. I write this article to give some insights into the issues that will determine my vote. Maybe the so called “experts” will pay attention.
I officially left the party called Democratic years ago. The last Democrat that I enthusiastically supported was Governor Bob Casey. I could not be associated with a party that claimed to care for ...
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