politics

When democracy happens

It was an unreal feeling to watch the results come in. The night started out in high spirits and ended with the 6 of us staring at each other in disbelief. This man with his dismissive rhetoric, allusions to violence and a truly heinous track record on healthcare – not to mention decidedly limited political experience – was going to be our new Commander in Chief?

It was even harder to swallow the second time around, in 2012.

But after 8 solid years of Obama, I can attest to the reality that it is actually possible to live and work peacefully as a citizen of a country being led by a man who you cannot find a single thing in common with, apart from human DNA and an appreciation for craft beers. 

And it doesn’t involve rioting in the streets.

It doesn’t involve screaming the F word and throwing up middle fingers and vandalizing private property with swastikas and profanity to show the degree of your outrage.

It doesn’t involve making assassination threats on social media, however in jest they may be.

It doesn’t involve deleting half your Facebook friends and making pledges to remain silent when you encounter your other-side-of-the-aisle relatives at the Thanksgiving table next week.

It doesn’t involve taking time out of classes to stage a “cry in” while playdoh and hardworking therapy dogs are brought in to comfort you and your classmates. This was not a natural disaster that killed your family. This was an election that didn’t turn out the way you hoped. Because half of your fellow citizens threw the lever for the other guy, and, as deplorable as you might find him – and them – that’s something you’re going to have to learn to live with for at least the next 4 years.

I know I did. And it wasn’t easy.

But maybe I can walk you through the process as I experienced it.

It looks more like signing petitions for better protections under the law for what is true and good.

It looks like consumer activism, boycotting with your pocketbook, but not with bricks.

It looks like turning off the constant news coverage when you’re sure you can’t handle another moment of his rhetoric, or even the tone of his voice. And then saying a prayer for him, and for yourself, that you could perhaps find a way to see the good in him even when he is radically opposing everything you hold dear.

It looks like calling your Senator or House Representative and telling them how to vote on a piece of legislation that he may be supporting but which you, his constituent, are surely not.

It looks like using your voice in the midterm elections, holding those who are currently in power accountable, and voting to change what isn’t right.

It looks like praying that he makes acceptable and – dare to dream – good nominations to the Supreme Court. And that they get blocked by Congress if they’re not.

It looks like doing your best to uphold what you believe is good and right and true about America, even when it “feels” like you have a President who couldn’t care less about the nation you love, or about the brave men and women who defend it.

It might even look like civil disobedience, if it comes down to it, when your conscience and your livelihood are on the line.

I know there are people who are really hurting after this election. And those people deserve comfort and respect, and for their differing viewpoints to be acknowledged and tolerated. 

But there are also people who have allowed themselves to be so whipped into a frenzy of hate and derision that they’ve completely lost sight that this happened because half  of the people they share a country with were frustrated, disenchanted, heartbroken, and scared, and so they voted for the other guy. The one you can’t stand. And I’ll bet you a dollar to a donut it had nothing to do with racism or hate and everything to do with rising healthcare premiums, the raging threat of terrorism and a stalled out economy choked by government regulation.

Don’t believe everything the media tells you about your neighbor. Go across the street and ask him for yourself.

love hate

44 Comments

  • Julie

    I am not altogether surprised that you support Trump as the values you have highlighted in your blog indicate which ones are most important to you. However, I am surprised at your comparison of Obama’s use of the idiom “gun to a knife fight” to Trump’s actual encouragement to hit protesters in the face. Apples to spaghetti, really. And it also makes me really sad that in 8 years you couldn’t see a single virtue in the legislation Obama supported. That does not bode well for us who find Trump’s rhetoric sinful, shameful, and hateful. The Pope wants European Catholics to take in refugees. Trump wants to keep them out. How do we, as Catholics, align those two positions? I am not railing against the election loss, but genuinely want to ask you, as an internet-neighbor, how you ignore the unveiled ideology that flies in the face of half of our values? In a two-party system, someone’s Catholic side is getting the proverbial shaft. How does one chose which side to ignore when voting? I’m legit asking. My husband and I struggle with this every election cycle and we can’t figure out how to do it right.

    • Bernadette

      Perhaps I am missing something, but I don’t see support of Trump in this post. One can have not voted for Obama, and also have not voted for Trump — that is the case for many, many people. I read this as simply some good advice for practical, active steps to take if one disagrees with policy, as opposed to violent protesting.

      As for which side to take — we do have other options. Not viable ones, perhaps, but inspire of the two party system, we do have choices.

    • Jenny Uebbing

      I missed the part where I endorsed Trump in this piece.

      How you ignore the unveiled ideology is by teaching your children virtue. By reading the Catechism together as a couple and as a family. By living the liturgical year and highlighting for your children the heroic witnesses we have in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton who cared for immigrant children, in St. Andrew Dung-Lac and companions who were martyred at the hands of their government, in St. Nicholas who served the poorest of the poor in his community, in St. John Paul the Great who defended marriage and the family against the ideologies of secular relativism, but not before fighting Communism and the Nazis in his home country.

      Catholics are primarily Catholic, not Democrat or Republican or Independent or whomever else there was room for on your state’s ballot. And that means we defend life, we feed the poor, we shelter the homeless, we care for the vulnerable and dying, and we reject utterly the false notion that salvation comes through a political process, rather than a Cross.

      • Sarah

        I know this piece did not specifically endorse Trump but I am curious about how you would answer Julie’s question. Many times the pro-life single issue voters are criticized for caring just for unborn babies at the expense of other social justice reform that would help others and is in line with the teachings of Christ.

        Is it that unborn children are the most defenseless so we must defend them first before others? That’s been my feeling and what I come back to when I think about voting but I would love your perspective. I don’t feel like I know how to adequately answer this for people.

    • Bella

      Trump didn’t say to keep ALL immigrants out, and certainly not all refugees ( different from immigrants). He specifically said to VET immigrants from the Middle East (ask the rape victims of Sweden and Germany if that is a good idea) and he has in the past few days spoken of deporting those the US government ALREADY holds as criminals (drug dealers etc.) It was the Clinton campaign that convinced people that he supposedly wants to deport or block ALL Muslims ALL the time and deport ALL immigrants etc.

        • Tia

          Several people from his camp have floated the idea of a “registry” for tracking Muslims. HE’s said he wants to deport 2 to 3 million illegal immigrants and has made it a priority to do so as soon as coming into office. Sorry, as someone who has 30 percent of the relatives they should have because of the Holocaust, this type of language makes my skin crawl. It’s not even relevant whether you believe Trump himself actually believes any of this stuff; the fact is there are things that are hard to do with the levers of power and things that are easy. Whipping up hatred towards people of different races, ethnicities, religions or cultures? Easy. Putting that genie back in the bottle? Hard. My impression of Trump is that he is utterly unmoored from any moral compunction and that he will take the easiest route to more adulation. In this instance I think his hateful and inflammatory messages and innuendos are easier to turn into policy actions that get applause than his more constructive ones and that is why I am utterly petrified by this presidency. I also believe this man has no pro-life compunctions AT ALL and has said on 60 minutes that he “fine” with gay marriage. (One of his only friends, is a married gay man, so not surprising).

    • Bert

      Give it a couple of years. Obama will go down in history as the worst president in US history, bar none. If you doubt that, consider how many law suits have been brought against the US Gov’t under his watch for, among other things, forcing Catholic Nuns to pay for abortions.

      1) Trump has never said that he wants to keep refugees out of the US. He said that he wants to **STOP BRINGING IMMIGRANTS IN FROM TERRORIST PLAGUED REGIONS UNTIL THE US CAN FIX ITS VETTING PROCESS**. That is a huge difference and, as a Catholic it is incumbent upon you to seek out the truth rather than to spread lies.

      2) In this election, it has come down to a lesser-of-two-evils selection. Trump is far from perfect but Clinton wants taxpayer funded abortions up to and including partial birth abortions. You can’t get much more evil than that and no Catholic can support Clinton under any circumstances. That makes the decision much, much easier.

      3) What Trump rhetoric is “sinful, shameful and hateful”?

    • Teresa

      I am 80% Republican and 20% democrat in ideology and I’m one of the few Catholics that see Julie’s point of view. I am not a fan of Obamacare but to deny that Obama did an amazing job IN SPITE of his challenges is just not fair and perhaps bias. I am sick and tired of one issue voting especially when that is the only thing that ultimately defines which side Catholics are suppose to support. If Kim Jung-un is republican, I should vote for him right? Democrats support the poor and immigrants/refugees, that’s a fact. So all the other social justices will forever take a backseat to abortion. I really won’t accept that, there needs to be a change and that’s why I am an Independent. Ultimately the one reason that made choosing in this election easy is the fact that Trump supports a movement of hatred and discrimination of every kind. For those who cannot understand why this is so important, please speak to someone of minority that has been discriminated. After speaking to many people on both sides, I’ve realize that many people do not understand because of the environment they grew up in. For example, if you do not understand the term ‘Black Lives Matter’ and but rather say ‘All Lives Matter’, you are probably one of those people. I implore you to be less ignorant and grow in knowledge so we may be more compassionate and empathetic to others. I have to admit, I was one of those people. It wasn’t until a college professor opened my eyes did I really begin to understand the social and ethnic divides. The systematic failures in our society and government are real. If you truly want change, one thing this writer really got right is to talk to your neighbors. And even more importantly, talk to someone who doesn’t think like you. What scares me the most is the PROFOUND impact this will have on our children, because it already has.

      • Maria

        Teresa, I understand that things like immigration can take a greater importance to people, rather than abortion (though how that can be to anyone who is a practicing Catholic, I don’t know… because life is life). Your example about people voting for someone the likes Kim Jung-in simply because of an “R” next to his name, is a foolish statement. The primary reason that pro-life people vote for republicans is because the democrats are very open about complete support for abortion, which, as a Christian/Catholic, no one should support- regardless of other issues. It is that simple. How can a country be good to people, truly good, when it allows the killing of babies? It will be our downfall, like Mother Teresa stated. These blanket statements regarding Trump, such as you did above “the fact that Trump supports a movement of hatred and discrimination of every kind”. I ask you, “hatred”, tell me where he hates, “discrimination of every kind’ tell me exactly what. He’s not anti-immigrant, he simply want to enforce the immigration laws we have in place- my father came to the US in the 50s, and went back to Mexico- in haste- due to the coming deportations that the government was doing- though it has never been made absolutely clear to me. He then made a life- a good life for himself and all of us- in Mexico. I came to the US when I was about 12, and my father came over legally. I ask you, with use of common sense, what is wrong with doing things legally? Do you keep your doors locked at night? Would you welcome in anyone who stopped at your door and offer them your home without a thought as to who they were and how they might be able to contribute to your household? I have many millennial nieces and nephews who think along the lines of those who spout blanket statements coupled with name calling, i.e. “Bigots, mysoginists, haters, you name-it”, rather than really backing up why they think that way. We are responsible for being merciful, but we also need to be logical in the process. And I agree with your last statement- our children have already been PROFOUNDLY impacted – I am speaking of those grown young adults/teens who are spouting this hate towards those with whom they disagree. (See my previous statement above), and one last thing, Teresa, please look at the link below regarding hispanic immigrants – for having come from such a country, I can fully understand it. https://youtu.be/10uX2EhSflA

  • Sarah

    Yes, talk with your neighbors. “All Politcs is local”–Tip O’Neil in a speech in 1935 but first used in 1932 by Byron Price in an article in the Florence, Alabama Times. My point is that the grass roots are where politics happens. I liked your list of how to be involved in knowing that one is doing the right things to effect any good change in our country.

  • Diana

    This is the most relateable thing I’ve read in the past week. Thank you!!! So much hate on the internet and this is very helpful and comforting to read. Still a lot of work to do in this country, in so many ways. And no matter how anyone voted, we all have a responsibility to fight for what we believe.

  • Jessie

    THANK YOU you said it better than I ever could have. What the flip is going on in this country? It’s like a bunch of children lost a game of Candyland, and it is so saddening to see…

  • Becky

    Hi Jenny, thanks so much for your post! Here in England the division and vitriol following the vote to leave the EU is very similar to what you’re describing in America after your election and your practical ideas of what we all should do, wether we got the result we wanted or not, are super helpful.

  • Rachel

    Jenny! I was waiting patiently for you to post about the election, and I was not disappointed! This is wonderful and exactly what our country needs to hear. Thank you for always being so honest.

  • jeanette

    People who require instant gratification have a hard time coping with not getting it; people who are able to delay gratification are able to accept when things aren’t going the way they want them to, because they have the wisdom to know that things can eventually change direction and hope has a place in life. So yes, 2008 was hard and 2012 was even harder, because it was so unbelievable that so many people wanted to keep going down that path. A feeling of being permanently outnumbered was very strong.

    We’ve been dragged through those years together, whether we viewed them as victory or defeat. And we are still living together on the same planet. America has undergone enormous upheaval over the past 2 presidential terms. Many of us who lived though it weren’t as rosy-eyed about it as some are, and yet we continue to move forward in life. The shoe is on the other foot now, but both feet have to walk on the same path.

  • Maria

    There will always be division in the world, get used to it.

    First the bad angels who refused God, then Adam and Eve.

    Thank God, for his mercy, for Christ, His Son, for Mary, His Mother. Pray, Hope, and DON’T WORRY.

    Thank heavens for the saints’ wisdom.

    Now if we can all mind our own business and clean our own houses before running to the nearest safe space- unless you run to the only real safe space, which is in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

  • Jessica

    I have voted Republican my entire life, except for in this election. I am not worried or upset by the fact that we have a Republican in office. I am fearful of the fact that many of Trump’s policies would basically require the creation of a police state — how else would you immediately deport 11 million people? How else do you stop violence in the inner cities overnight, as he promised? (Maybe he just meant he wanted a stricter police force, but he said our streets would feel different as of January 21. It seems like that could only be accomplished through a massive show of force.) He is attacking freedom of the press (wanting to expand libel laws) and claimed that stop-and-frisk wasn’t really found unconstitutional. Coupled with his fly-off-the-handle tweets (the 3 am Alicia Machado stuff, for one), I am more concerned about America’s ability to remain a democracy than ever before. His chief strategist ran a website (Breitbart) that called the Alt-Right (people writing things like this: (sorry, won’t link to that here) a “bright…intelligent mix of renegades” with “youthful energy.”
    If all he does is repeal Obamacare, I am more than happy to wait until the next election to replace him in office.
    https://www.dissentmagazine.org/blog/trump-victory-regime-change-lessons-autocrats-erdogan-putin

  • Jessica

    Sorry, by “expand libel laws” I meant the opposite, “limit libel laws.” He wants to be able to sue newspapers for portraying him unfavorably.

    • Salha

      Hi Jessica, Just wanted to say that I am also terrified by Trump’s perception of “public safety” and libel laws. And disgusted by how this election is normalizing white supremacy.

  • Teresa

    And Jenny, thank you for opening up this piece for discussion. Whether I agree or disagree, I know one thing is true, the reason we are where we are is due to the lack of communication. Whether it is the Catholics that voted for Hillary or the Catholics that voted for Trump or the Catholics that didn’t vote at all, I think it is important we all have this discussion and for once listen to each other. We can always agree to disagree.

  • M

    I normally don’t comment on posts/articles/blogs, but I had to make an exception for this. Normally this blog is spot on, but I was surprised at how far the mark was missed in this post. (Let me first off say I don’t associate with one party over another, but support the ones that best follow the Constitution and God’s Laws. ) Please, allow me to speak truth on this extremely important election and understand that I write this with all Christian charity.

    This election isn’t just another election. It isn’t about who said what, who is more politically correct or how a person feels. This election comes down to something much greater, the protection of our Christian values and preserving what this great nation was founded on. We are under attack as globalists want to destroy republics and democracies and create a communist world. As a quick reminder, the U.S. was founded so that people could enjoy religious liberty, life and the individual rights God intended all people to have. Hillary doesn’t protect any of these things. To name just a few factual examples of the top of my head, she is Planned Parenthood’s number one supporter, wholeheartedly supports partial birth abortion, is involved in the occult, has continuously lied to the American people, made crude and overtly racist statements, would have filled the Supreme Court with vicious anti-Catholic persons, would have initiated a third world war, is intimately associated with people (Ex. Huma Abedin) who have close ties to the muslim brotherhood/other terrorists, has taken bribes from wealthy “donors”, and would have pushed us to a communist/global state through her mandates and policies. Though her words may be politically correct, her ACTIONS speak louder. These things can’t be ignored, and we are just fooling ourselves if we think she is “for the little guy” or intends to uphold Christine Doctrine. Not to mention, Hillary may not have won the popular vote. Massive amounts of voter fraud and illegal voting have been declared in the states that she “won”. Thus, Trump may in fact have won the popular vote. (If one finds this hard to believe, ask yourself why she never demanded a recount, though her supports are “devastated” and “in shock”.) Which leads to “the Donald”…

    Now, I’ll be the first to agree Trump is no saint and undeniably has his vices. However, he has the right idea and the right intentions in regard to protecting the Constitution and the principles the U.S. was founded on. He has repeatedly shown his support for the Bill of Rights, his defense for American sovereignty, his desire to keep terrorists and those who chant “death to America” out of our country (not orphans, widows and Catholics as some would have people believe), use his experience to cultivate job growth and bring production back to our soil- making it possible for people to start&keep! their own businesses-thus, allowing for the prosperity America used to enjoy, mend relationships with allies and foreign countries, place God fearing people in office and the Supreme Court (this is key), and overturn harmful policies that infringe our rights as citizens. Likewise, Trump already has a genuine, ProLife, Christian VP, and has extended invitations to people such as Ben Carson, Franciscan U. alumni, and people of all races/religions to join his legislation. People forget that Trump has been successful because of the genius of our Constitution and attained the true American dream. Now, he wants to share this with all Americans. He has seen the downwards direction of this country and wants to restore America to the greatness it once had by reverting to and upholding the Constitution. Any disturbing words/comments he may have said at one point in his life, do not reflect his person and agenda as a whole. We again see that ACTIONS speak louder. We can’t fall in the trap of getting caught up in emotions and how something makes someone feel. It would be childish to let rhetoric distract us from underlying purposes and agendas. Trump isn’t perfect, but one can’t rant about Trump’s vices, while completely turning a blind eye to Hillary’s vices.

    Ultimately, this election came down to the lesser of two evils. In this case, Trump was clearly the better option for those who truly want to uphold the Constitution and prevent America from becoming all out Marxist. If one doesn’t agree with the facts above, I suggest s/he does some serious research and re-evaluate their own values. Even though Trump has the right intentions for this country, without God, we are nothing and we (as a country and individually) will fail. These words may seem harsh, and I am sorry, but it’s the truth. Let this be a warning call for every American, if we all (no matter who they voted for) don’t repent and truly turn their hearts to God, if our country continues to ignore God’s laws, if our society continues to rebuke God, we will have to pay the consequence. In this case, it will be a loss of all freedom. Trump’s election may be God’s way of giving us a last chance to repent as a nation before our already damaged Republic crumbles and all Hell breaks loose.
    Thank you for reading this.

      • Salha

        What about the role Steve Bannon played/is playing in President-Elect Trump’s administration? People are politely calling him “alt-right” but we should be honest and call him what he is: a white supremacist.

        I am deeply uncomfortable that those values are driving this administration. How can he say he is a president for “all Americans” and then choose Bannon as an advisor?

        The idea of a registry for Muslims should have us all angry.

        • Julie

          100% agree, Salha. The constitution defends religious freedom and freedom of speech, even if it’s something we wouldn’t choose ourselves or don’t want to hear. If a registry for a religious group doesn’t seem unconstitutional and immediately make you think “Nazi Germany,” you aren’t educated enough about how quickly those comments can escalate to policy. It seems, based on his actions, like Trump does not want freedom of speech. He wants people to say nice things about him, or face his Twitter wrath and hateful comments. As much as we think it is awful, people are allowed to say, “Death to America.” We can admonish the sinner, but we cannot violate the constitution by creating laws to stop people from saying stuff we don’t like. Case in point: Trump. If he can brag about groping women and get elected president, some yahoo can say something negative about America’s values.

        • Maria

          Salha,

          Steve Bannon- explain to me, with examples, how Steve Bannon is a white supremacist. Also, the registry for Muslims is mis-stated. The database you may be referring to, is one that was in place in our government from 2002-2011, which was a database kept of immigrants coming in from primarily Muslim countries, due to the threats of terrorism. It only applied to countries considered “havens of terrorism”, and were for males 16 years and older, who were here on non-immigrant visas, i.e. Tourists, work visas. So, this is the type of registry the Trump administration is talking about- so before you go comparing the registry to a Nazi-like registry, do some research! Again, labeling labeling labeling. Let’s see which will stick- as long as one does, the left has done it’s job.

          • Julie

            The registry was dismantled due to its redundancy and ineffectiveness. From a Temple University law professor: “It’s immigration security theater,” Spiro added. “It’s like the wall: It’s pretty clear that it just has no effect, but it’s a way of keeping the restrictions constituencies, or the alarmist counterterrorism constituency, happy.” (http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/donald-trump-muslim-registry-constitution-231527)

            Bingo. This religious profiling also has a way of inflaming anti-Muslim sentiment. Which I think we would all agree is not a good strategy move in the long-term war on terrorism.

            From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Bannon: Former Breitbart editor-at-large Ben Shapiro wrote that under Bannon’s leadership, “Breitbart has become the alt-right go-to website… pushing white ethno-nationalism as a legitimate response to political correctness, and the comment section turning into a cesspool for white supremacist mememakers.”

            From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alt-right: “The alt-right has no formal ideology, although various sources have stated that white nationalism is fundamental.[1][2][7] It has also been associated with white supremacism,[3][13][14] Islamophobia,[15][16][17][18][19] antifeminism,[1][12] homophobia,[20][21][22] antisemitism,[1][2][4] ethno-nationalism,[23] right-wing populism,[7] nativism,[24] traditionalism,[25] and the neoreactionary movement.[3][25][26] ‘Alt-right’ is a recently coined umbrella term, with no clear criteria of membership yet agreed upon.[27] The movement has been associated with multiple ideologies from American nationalism, neo-monarchists to men’s rights advocates and people who oppose mainstream conservatism.[28][29]”

            Even if these views are not personally held by Steve Bannon, his fostering of a platform for this kind of hate and sin and judgment are reason enough to be really concerned about his proximity to our nation’s leader.

        • Jenny Uebbing

          Ha. So this piece is either too pro Trump or too anti. Can’t seem to please anyone this week.

          Come on, Thanksgiving, we’re ready for you!

          • Maria

            Jenny,

            What did you expect? People will read what they will when it comes to political and religious beliefs. Division will be inevitable. We are all in a big confused world.

            After all, what did Jesus say?

            Mt 10

            21 Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
            22
            You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.

          • jeanette

            Jenny, I don’t think it is your piece that is the problem at all; people are expressing what their reaction is to the current situation, and you gave them a forum (which you knew was inevitably going to be a lot of comments of various kinds, but not a big deal! Talking respectfully is healthy.). Your piece was neither for or against Trump, you were simply pointing out to people that we have a political process. It is what we who did not vote for Obama have been using for the past 8 years in dealing with a president that does not represent our particular hopes for our country. It is the right way to deal with our differences. You simply pointed that out. Good job. God bless you and your family with a happy celebration of Thanksgiving! Maybe the rest of our country will spend time reflecting on what they are thankful for, too. Gratitude should always have first place in our hearts.

          • Tia

            I think the issue is that many of those people who came from situations of genocide/fascist dictatorship/communism hear really really strong echoes of all the propaganda we heard coming lockstep with increased surveillance/suppression/outright murder.Best case, Trump winds up being our Burlesconi. Worst case, maybe he’s more of a Mussolini…but that is catastrophic for not just us, but the rest of the world, which somewhat depends on the U.S. to be moderately sane in terms of foreign policy.

          • Maria

            Julie,

            The wikipedia description of who Bannon is painted with such a broad brush- again, linked with all sorts of ridiculous links from “various sources” to anti-this and anti-that words that somehow want the reader to think that he’s a part of. Anyone who is for traditional marriage would probably be labeled “homophobic”, or if someone is for legal immigration, would be labeled “xenophobic”. Anyone who wants to take measures against radical muslim extremeism could be labeled an “islamophobe”, etc. Steve Bannon came from blue-collar parents Irish-Catholic parents. So, again- it’s all about labeling someone something awful even if it isn’t true- just because he is disliked for one reason or another. Please do some more research than a quick wiki-search.

  • Julie

    34. Catholics often face difficult choices about how to vote. This is why it is so important
    to vote according to a well-formed conscience that perceives the proper relationship among
    moral goods. A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who favors a policy promoting an
    intrinsically evil act, such as abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, deliberately subjecting
    workers or the poor to subhuman living conditions, redefining marriage in ways that violate its
    essential meaning, or racist behavior, ****if the voter’s intent is to support that position.**** In such
    cases, a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter
    should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or
    inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity. (Excerpt from USCCB document linked above. Thanks, Jeanette! Asterisks mine.)

    Surely all those Catholics who voted for Trump were not *intending* to support his racist overtones (appointment of Bannon, “bad hombres,” halt Muslims (not “people from the middle east,” Muslims) from entering the US, etc.). Just like all those Catholics who voted for Clinton were not *intending* to support abortion. We are called to not ignore all the other moral imperatives over one issue. (Side note: Trump has made statements promoting the use of the death penalty. There was no candidate that fully supported the sanctity of human life.)

    I have thought on this a lot and have valued the majority of the comments and responses. It indicates how many different ways we have to strive to be morally good and how very difficult that is to do. We all have different strengths personally and professionally; I suppose it makes sense that we have different moral strengths as well. We weigh things differently and that’s okay. Because if we all weighed things the same way in this type of political system, we might have a lot of babies but not a lot of social supports for them, or a lot of social supports but abortions. It seems like this group of commenters has struck a balance and it’s pretty freaking awesome that we are all free to spout our opinions for all to see in this country!! Conversation is key, and this has been a good one.

  • Salha

    One thing that has me worried for the future is Trump’s promise to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord and to lift all restrictions on fossil fuel development on public lands.

    I am a geologist by education and trade, and please believe me when I tell you that there in the scientific community there is no doubt that Climate Change is real, and is man-made, and has very serious consequences for the United States. This is no longer an “Environmental” issue.

    A book I recommend to my friends/family is “The Thinking Person’s Guide To Climate Change.” Written for a lay audience, it does a wonderful job laying out what we know, how we know what we know, and what that means in the context of Earth’s history. It also does a good job exploring why we have a hard time taking meaningful action on this issue. Of course you can also read Pope Francis’ encyclical.

    Are you worried about food security: worry about Climate Change.
    Are you worried about immigration: worry about Climate Change.
    Are you worried about terrorism: worry about Climate Change
    The Economy? Climate Change.
    Jobs? Climate Change.

    • Tia

      Yes, Salha! I am also really worried about this. Bad social policies (like deporting immigrants en masse) can theoretically be backtracked. But climate change is like drifting into a black hole. At the event horizon, everything seems normal, but once you’ve passed it, you’re trapped in its crushing gravity.
      Besides which, supporting technologies that make carbon emissions drop is actually favored from a commercial perspective now; bringing back coal would require creating perverse market incentive to undo existing market momentum.

  • jeanette

    Jenny shares specific thoughts with us on this post of hers. Replies actually are best when they keep on topic, i.e. respond to what Jenny is getting at rather than go off on tangents. It seems to me like comments are starting to go off on tangents that do not connect to what Jenny has shared here. They are starting to sound a lot more like Jenny’s blog is being a springboard for personal political platforms mixed with anxiety. Maybe anxiety is a good word to consider for a moment.

    Our Lord tells us to trust in God’s Providence. He also tells us to seek first the Kingdom of God. Faithful citizenship does not just involve the political process; it involves how we personally live out our faith in our daily lives. It is why St. Therese has shown us the “Little Way” and why Mother Teresa says “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do little things with great love.”

    Jenny gave a whole list of things that people can do politically. People can go on and on talking about what they don’t like about Trump, but that is not quite the same as actually doing something to promote what you envision for our country. And just because we envision something doesn’t mean our vision will become a reality or that our vision is superior to someone else’s vision. We can envision “great things” but God does not require it. He does require that we do “little things” for others.

Leave a Reply to Jenny Uebbing Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *