“If we say we’re Catholic, we need to show that by our love for the Church and our fidelity to what she teaches and believes. Otherwise we’re just fooling ourselves. God certainly won’t be fooled.”
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput
Here we are just a few days away from what I truly believe is the most important election of our lifetime. Never before have we seen such a frontal assault launched against our Church by the federal government. Never before has there been more at stake regarding the issues of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
As a Catholic radio and TV host, I would like to think that most Catholics are aware of crucial issues such as the HHS Mandate which will force religious institutions to pay for contraception, abortion inducing drugs, and sterilization in their insurance programs. I would hope that after all of the religious freedom rallies, all of the efforts by the Bishops, not to mention all of the lawsuits filed against the Department of Health and Human Services over this mandate, that most Catholics get the fact that the government is trying to redefine religion. We will be allowed (who knows for how long) to worship but not allowed to fulfill our call to evangelize. Forget about the Great Commission. Instead of going to the north, south, east, and west to proclaim the Good News, we will be going nowhere fast! The so called accommodation will only accommodate those who serve members of their Church. Newsflash! Christians aren’t in the habit of asking for a person’s Catholic or Protestant card. That flies in the face of who we are as believers who come to serve and not to be served. It is the total opposite of what Christianity is supposed to be. I guess those writing this mandate forgot not only about the Great Commission, but the Scripture verses pertaining to the Good Samaritan, as well as the Lord’s call in Matthew 25 to care for the least of these. As many have indicated even the Lord Himself wouldn’t be covered under this ludicrous and so-called accommodation.
Despite the educational outreach and the countless attempts by those of us in Catholic and other Christian media to spread the word about the current threats, there are still many who don’t know what we are facing depending on the outcome of this election. This was made ever clearer to me during a recent radio program. I was discussing the religious freedom issue when I received a phone call from a listener in Columbus. This woman was sincere when she asked me live on national radio to explain the “mandate.” She had absolutely no idea to what I was referring. How could this be? Well I already know the answer to that. With all the challenges out there in a tough economy and with so many things vying for our attention, many people are simply trying to make it through the day. Or maybe they spend a lot more of their time watching the secular media than solid Christian outlets such as my networks, Ave Maria Radio and EWTN. Whatever the case, with only days left before the election, we still have our work cut out for us.
It’s not only the HHS mandate of course but other crucial issues pertaining to the travesty of abortion and the attacks on marriage. These are the issues paramount in Catholic teaching and these are teachings to which, as Archbishop Chaput stated recently in one of his columns, to which we must show our fidelity. That’s why I have decided to put together this blog with a list of what I consider to be some of the best resources from our Bishops as well as lay Catholic organizations who are working hard to spread the truth of the Catholic faith and help us all go in the voting booth with a well formed conscience.
All of these resources are excellent. However I find the "Test of Fire" video from Catholic Called to Witness particularly poignant. (www.cc2w.org) The video was recently blessed by the support and voice work of Fox News talk show host Governor Mike Huckabee. Please take the time to view the video and read the documents, letters, and statements and remember that voting one’s conscience does not mean applying personal opinion. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church we are to ask for the intercession of the Holy Spirit after we consult Scripture and the authoritative teachings of the Catholic Church. This might be a good time as well to revisit some of those teachings including Evangelium Vitae and Humanae Vitae.
I hope you find these resources helpful. Pray for our country. And may God continue to bless America!
"We're Catholics before we're Democrats. We're Catholics before we're Republicans," he said. "We're even Catholics before we're Americans, because we know that God has a demand on us prior to any government demand on us. And this has been the story of the martyrs through the centuries."
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput
Special USCCB Site on Religious Freedom: First American Freedom