Monday, October 15, 2012

We can't keep going like this

"We can't keep going like this," my mother said to me during a visit to the family earlier this year. This seems to be the thought that inhabits the most these days.  Other variations such as, "Something's got to give" and "Things have to change."  Ironically it seems to be the only thing that we can agree on in the current debate.  That is ultimately why I think Obama will lose this election, despite what the polls may say leading up to it.  I could be wrong, but from where I sit this amounts to being wrong about which candidate is going to continue the downward spiral.

I have made up my mind that I will be writing in someone for President rather than voting for Romney.  Voting for Obama is out of the question with his continued war on the Church.  But just because Obama is holding a gun at the Church is not a sufficient reason to vote for Romney.  My personal feeling is that Romney will simply put the safety back on said gun.

Given that in the past I would vote for the lesser of two evils my decision seems to run counter to my natural instincts as an American voter.  From an early age we are taught the process and the political math that leads us to conclude that voting for the lesser of two evils is the safer play.  The problem I am finding is that the lesser of two evils gets a little more evil each time around the bend.  Eventually we will be forced to choose between Satan and one of his lieutenants.

The problem I see lies in our tribalism mentality about the whole thing.  We are afraid, literally, to criticize the people we vote for.  We seem to have this notion that if we do anything to rock the boat on our end that helps "the enemy."  But all that really means is that "our side" is so intellectually shallow that any criticism will blow the whole thing wide open.  It is a sign of disrespect to people when you cannot be honest about your own shortcomings.  And it is a sign of pride.

For my part this year has been a real struggle to understand my role as a Catholic and as an American citizen.  For years I never worried that the two would be in conflict.  That I could vote purely on matters that lined up with my views, or at least a party that had a better chance of reflecting my views.  But never once did I ask how such a thing affected my soul.  Obama's war against the Church only made things worse, as I felt earlier that Romney would be a better instrument to dismantle the nightmare that is Obamacare and the Leviathan that it has created.

But just because Obama supports the annihilation of the Church's institutions (or at the least it's compromising at its core) does not mean that Romney will do anything to stop the train wreck.  I have zero confidence that either party is moving in the right direction.  That the theory that the Republicans might be "less worse" than the Democrats is hardly a reason to jeopardy  my soul for the sake of the political machine that would rather ignore my existence.

So to bring this to my original point this cannot go on.  More precisely I cannot go on like this.  Something has got to give.  It might as well start with me.  I may be throwing my vote away.  But at least it cannot be corrupted if I do.  I would rather have no impact than provide justification for more evil.  And the knowledge that my soul will be intact rather than in need of reconciliation is a better comfort than the knowledge that someone got elected who might actually care about the danger the Church is in.

Christ promised us freedom if we follow Him.  What I have begun to understand is that He didn't promise freedom to do what we pleased.  But He promised that we will be true to our nature with His help.  And that means that we will truly be free.  Free from the dominating slavery of power politics.  Free from fear that however the election turns we need not fear Caesar.  True freedom is not found in the power of princes of this world.  But in the knowledge that God rules all and His people belong to Him.

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