• Today in Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
  • 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
  • 14 October 2018

Election Day is November 6th.It is an important responsibility of every adult citizen in this country to vote. For over two hundred years we have enjoyed the privilege of living in a democratic republic. A quick lesson in civics reveals that our government is determined by a majority vote in order to elect our representatives with the authority to govern according to the legal norms of a constitutional republic. This process of democratically elected representatives has been part of our heritage from colonial times in the 18th century and certainly since the implementation of The Constitution of the United States of America in 1789. The responsibility to vote in local, State and National elections is an important duty of citizenship; it should never be taken for granted or dismissed as irrelevant or pointless.

Within the context of a democratically elected republican form of government, each Christian has the opportunity to have an impact on the wider society. This does not imply that Christians must conform to one political philosophy over another. Over the last 2,000 years Christians have often endured precarious relationships with society and sometimes been complicit with the State. We have endured the early persecutions of the Roman Empire and later enjoyed the transformation of that same society into the Christendom of the Middle Ages. Through the centuries of barbarian chieftains, princes and monarchs, emperors and tyrants, Christians have been a “leaven” in society. By any objective standard, it is difficult to deny that the Christian consensus has transformed the world. Despite our minority status up to the present day, the Christian understanding of truth and justice has been an enormous force of change for the human condition. This is not to say that we have done all things well. There is much in our history that should give us pause to consider the sins of hypocrisy and self- righteousness, but the Kingdom of God for which we pray has been advanced to some extent. There is much work yet to be accomplished. In the context of our own 􏰁me, and in our own society, the Christian is given the opportunity to advance the work of the Gospel and the Kingdom of God through the political power we have in our vote.

Speaking to the United States Senate last Saturday, October 6th, just prior to the consent vote of the full Senate, Chuck Schumer (D – New York) addressed his colleagues to emphasize his reasons why Judge Kavanaugh does not belong on the bench. Senator Schumer listed an overreaching President, women’s rights, healthcare and preexisting conditions, workers, consumers, the environment, civil rights and native populations. His counsel for those who seek to ask: “What can we do? Our country must have a reckoning on these issues. Change must come from where change in America always begins – the ballot box.” He concluded his remarks with a final admonition to his colleagues in the Senate, and presumably to the American electorate: “If you believe the process here in the Senate was a sham and Americans deserve better? Vote!”

Good advice for good people to do something good about it. Vote!