Tomorrow, November 8th, is election day. Many of us in the United States have been waiting a long time for this day. My concern, though, is that some haven’t been waiting at all. Too many of our citizens will not even notice that it is an election day, and they will let pass the opportunity to vote in their country’s interest.
Why would that be the case? For some, this has been a relatively calm year. In many places, people have been able to work, play, shop, and go on vacation without being required to take temperatures or wear masks. Their gyms are open; their kids have sports practice once again. Restaurants and bars are packed, and everyone is happily meeting family and friends.
Of course, inflation is up 8.3 percent. Mortgage rates are around 7 percent. We’re having to trade our arms and legs for fuel and food. But plenty of people are so happy to have “normal” back that they’re not worrying too much about what seem to be minor inconveniences compared with being locked down.
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So, is life truly “back to normal” (i.e., pre-February 2020) as we would like to believe? Aren’t things just chugging along as they’ve always done? Is there really any need to go and vote? Does it actually change anything? Even if some unpleasant things have happened since the last election, isn’t everything just “for the best, in the best of all possible worlds”?
The answer is, no. Many things that have happened in this country in the last two years, especially to our personal and religious liberties, are not for the best. Yes, the permissive will of God allows tribulation in order to show us what we are without Him and to call us to repentance. But if the Lord finds it necessary to drag us back from the edge of Hell, where we have very nearly deposited ourselves, that does not mean we can rest on our laurels, thinking that we have done just fine.
It means we have sinned, or failed the Lord. It means we have some serious prayer and fasting to do, followed by taking action, to remedy the situation. Yes, action, not prayer and fasting alone, is needed. “But be ye doers of the word and not hearers only” (James 1:22). Not to act is to give way to despondency (to yield to physical weariness and spiritual fatigue; to cease to hope). If we love our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren at all, we will want to leave them in a more hopeful situation than the one we inhabit now. Action in cooperation with God’s will is required of us.
What action is needed? For the last two years, many of us have been extremely busy performing sane and necessary actions, such as getting married, having children, raising our families, going to church, earning a living, helping our friends, and praying to God. Meanwhile, affairs in our schools, our libraries, our city halls, and our country’s capital have gone progressively more and more insane. Is it our fault that everything is going to hell around us while we are simply trying to fulfill the duties associated with our vocations?
The answer is yes. It is absolutely our fault.
What have we been doing wrong for the last two or three years? How have we allowed things to get to this point? For one thing, we haven’t united as a country to resist tyranny with enough force. There have been too many of us worried about keeping our jobs and our 401ks, worried about estranging ourselves from our families or friends, or worried about looking like tinfoil-hat wearers.
There have been too many of us going along with unconstitutional mandates or silently tolerating the breaking of the law by people in power. “I’m almost retired…I’ll just stick it out another couple of months. The younger people who come after me will just have to deal with it.” Or, “I’ll never get promoted at work if I speak up publicly about what the government is doing…I may never get as good a job elsewhere, either. Worse still, I could lose my pension! Guess I’ll just keep my opinion to myself.” Or, “It’s taken me so long to find friends. If I am honest about my political opinion, they will reject me. I can’t face starting over again. I’ll just keep quiet when I’m around them.”
Too many of us have avoided the duty of every Catholic to take part in politics and public life when freedom is at stake. Paragraph 1738 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church informs us:
Freedom is exercised in relationships between human beings. Every human person, created in the image of God, has the natural right to be recognized as a free and responsible being. All owe to each other this duty of respect. The right to the exercise of freedom, especially in moral and religious matters, is an inalienable requirement of the dignity of the human person. This right must be recognized and protected by civil authority within the limits of the common good and public order.
When civil authority fails to protect the freedoms of its people, it is the duty of Catholics to become involved in restoring ordered liberty, perhaps by voting, by communicating with governors and representatives, or by serving in office. Fr. Dave Nix, a modern-day hermit, even suggests that perhaps “God has allowed us to live in a time such as this to get involved in local or national politics.”
It can be tempting to simply ignore, or “rise above” the ugliness that characterizes the contemporary political world by not taking part in it. But political activism can be performed without taking part in the nastiness or backbiting. “As far as possible citizens should take an active part in public life…. As with any ethical obligation, the participation of all in realizing the common good calls for a continually renewed conversion of the social partners” (CCC, 1915-1916).
We are called at the very least to re-evangelize each other, most especially those citizens who are tasked with local, state, and federal governance. Unfortunately, those who have shouldered this duty have been fewer than could be desired. I sympathize with those who would rather not. I personally don’t have the least yearning to be involved in politics, at any level. The idea is utterly distasteful to me.
My own particular cowardice is: “I don’t want any negative attention for sounding off at a school board meeting. Besides, I’m busy raising young children. I’ll let someone else do that.”
But if we would all unite, nothing would shake us. If all public-school parents pulled their kids out of school because of gay porn masquerading as literature, how long do you think they’d keep those books on the shelves? They wouldn’t. I wholeheartedly and gratefully acknowledge the valiant few here and there willing to fall on the sword to try to win freedom and protection for us all. But, overall, we—myself included—have been a people employing avoidance tactics.
When you go and vote this November 8th, will you think over the past few years carefully and recall what kinds of things have been done to us by officeholders in the name of government? What ills performed against us have been tolerated, or even carried out, by government authorities and elected officials because we chose not to resist?
For example, remember the American businesses that were ultimately lost because governors deemed them “non-essential.” Remember doctors and nurses who lost their licenses because they tried to speak what they honestly believed to be the truth. Remember confused, frightened families held hostage in their homes for months at a time.
Remember the elderly forced to die alone in assisted living centers and hospitals, deprived of human contact; the tiny babies, starving for human touch in NICUs, who suffered alone, without cuddlers or visitors, during Covid lockdowns; the children who have suffered developmental setbacks from being deprived of school and socialization for months at a time; the mother who was handcuffed and jailed for taking her children to a playground during lockdowns; the father who was thrown to the floor during a Loudoun County school board meeting for getting angry that his daughter was raped at school by a boy in a skirt.
Remember the thugs who rioted, looted, and burned American businesses and have never been brought to justice; the attempt to convict a teenager for defending himself against attempted murder; the money that was given to BLM that has been stolen by BLM founders. Remember the men and women in the military or police force who have been punished for not taking the jab; the FBI ignoring the burning and vandalism of churches and pregnancy centers; the literal billions of our taxpayer dollars wasted on pet projects through Covid relief or sent abroad to be laundered and kicked back to corrupt politicians. Remember the explosion in graphically sexual drag shows and drag experiences geared toward minors. Remember the signs that we are living in a Communist police state, such as the violent raid of a pro-life Catholic sidewalk counselor’s home by the FBI.
There is too much at stake to let tyrants believe they can escalate things any further. We should be ashamed if we are willing to permit any government (or any “shadow government”) to do to us what our precursors would never have accepted. I exhort you to research carefully which candidates will uphold ordered liberty and vote on November 8. It is your duty as a Catholic. Importantly, choose wisely a candidate for every office on the ballot, not only the most important ones. From governors to judges, it is in your hands to put into office men and women who will build up this country once more. Or you can hand it over to those who will consume it and spit it out as something unrecognizable.
Remember: a people that will accept despotic rule deserves to be enslaved.
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