As election day 2023 draws near and in light of all that has happened within our nation over the past few years, many people are finally asking themselves:  Is it proper for a Christian to vote precisely as a Christian?  That is, to make political choices based primarily on Christian values and principles? I would answer yes.  Emphatically Yes!!

We, Catholics, have let the secular society in which we live give us a kind of inferiority complex. We, too often, speak and act as if the biblical understanding of man and woman and human society were in some way inferior, or as if it were somehow unfair for us to advance our Catholic views and values in the public arena.

Today more than ever we need to remind ourselves that our Catholic perspective on life does not originate with people, but with Christ, the only Son of our Creator.  It was God, who created the human race and who established the human society.  He is the One who understands how it is supposed to work, and He is the One to consult when we are seeking wisdom about how to handle or correct the problems caused by that human society.  When we stand up for a biblical principle, it is not merely our own idea we are putting forward but God’s wisdom.

Therefore, we need to be on guard and not let ourselves be intimidated by those who ask us accusingly, “But aren’t you trying to impose your views on others?” Of course we are!!  That is the very nature of our political process in the United States:  persuade others of their rightness of our Catholic views and values and then try to get them adopted as public policy.  That is precisely what every political party, every political debate, every self-interest group tries to do.  In a sense, it is what every citizen tries to do every time they cast a ballot or write a letter to our local politicians.  Our political system is based on this continual tug of war among competing points of view.  To attempt to silence one participant in this process because he or she is “trying to impose his or her views on others” is intellectually dishonest.

Nor should we as Catholics let ourselves to be taken in by the current rhetoric about the separation of church and state.  Many use this phrase to mean in effect, separation of moral value and public policy.  Some have even gone so far as to insist that any position that can be traced to a religious teaching should be banned from any political discussion. Separation of church and state does not mean separation of values and voting.  We can see what this thinking has done to our county in recent years.   The Constitution of the United States does not require that when we enter the polling place in November that we check our Catholic beliefs at the door.  The voters of our community will choose who they want to represent their beliefs.  This is a critically important election.  So, please vote wisely.  Please vote as a Catholic.  It truly can make all the difference in the world.