Lurker-taking a big risk posting this!!!
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|Mon, 05-10-2004 - 5:51pm|
I've been a lurker on and off for a long time on this board, though I've never posted I don't think. I decided to come out of lurkdom today and post because lately I have been feeling very much troubled over some things. I know maybe these things have been touched on before, and I apologize if I'm rehashing old items, but I don't know where else to discuss all this in a safe and anonymous (well, sort of) environment.
First, let me introduce myself: I am a SAHM to 2 boys ages 5 and 2 1/2, and identical twin baby girls who are almost 8 months (born 9-10-03). My name is Sofia. My DH and I are both devout Catholics, who practice our faith and have a deep love for the Lord Jesus Christ. My DH is a physician in Emergency Medicine. We live on the East Coast. Nice to officially meet everyone!!! :)
Now, I lay my head on the chopping block as I pose my questions to the group, aware that I may be *slammed* for my outlook and concerns. I apologize in advance for offending anyone. That is not my intent.
Lately, with all that is in the news about Catholic politicians being pro-choice in their votes, it seems to me that the Church is leading its people to vote for Bush in the upcoming election. First, let me say that I am completely and absolutely pro-life. I think that abortion is murder. It is one of the great tragedies of this nation. And I do not respect John Kerry for voting pro-choice on issues when he is a Catholic. I believe his faith needs to influence every aspect of his life.
That being said, I will now open my can of worms and lay my head on the guillotine: It is my personal opinion (and just that and no more) that President Bush's policies and decisions--WITH THE EXCEPTION OF HIS PRO-LIFE STANCE--are absolutely opposed to so much of what is central to our faith as Catholics. For example: 1. He is pro-death penalty. The Church has spoken out about the death penalty as much as it has abortion! Where is the Church with that concerning Bush? (And I realize that Kerry may also be pro-Death Penalty. But it is my fear that the Bush Administration is more so. I know they are the first administration to put a federal prisoner to death under their watch in decades--Timothy McVeigh; and I saw a newsclip many months ago about Bush as governor of Texas making fun of a woman on death row in that state the night before she was sentenced to die. I know many prisoners were put to death under his governorship in Texas).
2. He is pro gun and against gun control. It is the democrats again who are much more pro gun control. I cannot--in the deepest part of my faith where my relationship with Christ is--believe that were He here in the flesh today He would be opposed to gun control.
3. The environment: the Bush Administration has single-handedly set a course for the destruction of the environment. They are pro-industry and big business, and their policies have lifted corporate restrictions which have allowed mercury and sewage in water supplies, increased pollution, increased global warming, allowed the gunning down of wolves by airplane in the Alaskan wilderness, logging, and a push for oil drilling in wild places, etc. This is directly against statements about the sacredness of the environment that Pope John Paul 2 has made. And it is an urgent matter. It is hard for me to see God's beautiful creation harmed in any way by man.
4. The war in Iraq: I am afraid that Bush lied about the WMDs, and even if he didn't directly *lie*, it appears to me that we had not nearly sufficient reason to attack Iraq in a pre-emptive strike; which, in my mind, would be rarely justified anyway. Iraq was not, as Bush claimed, an "imminent threat." There was not about to be any mushroom cloud. It appears we were after oil and power in that region, and that's why hundreds of American lives and thousands of Iraqi lives--including civilians/children--have been lost. Because of our greed? Because of a personal vendetta against Saddam? Saddam was no doubt a despicable dictator, but there are many of those. Look at North Korea. Look at Cuba. It was not about that. There was more to this war than that. Why did we go to war? I can't in my heart believe that Jesus would condone our action. He forgave those who were nailing Him to the Cross! And, also important for us Catholics: John Paul 2 spoke out *strongly* against the war before it happened. He even sent emmissaries to the White House to try and talk Bush out of it. Why do we ignore that when we consider voting for Bush because Kerry is Catholic and pro-choice? And can't we see that the Arab world hates us even more now that we've dessimated Iraq? So how are we safer from terrorism? And doesn't that go against God, also?
5. The Patriot Act: To me, you can't make legislation based on fear and be in line with what God wants. It seems to me that the Patriot Act has reduced our civil liberties. Our civil liberties are our freedom. Our freedom comes from God. He gave this nation our freedom. In my mind, an administration that attacks that is a dangerous one.
6. My Catholic faith leads me to Social Justice in all circumstances. It seems to me that the democratic party is the one that is more for the underprivileged. It seems to me that in regards to social justice, it is more in-line with the teachings of Christ than the republican party, which seems to me to cut programs which help the poor in favor of wealth and corporations. I know Jesus said, "In as much as you do it unto the least of these, you do it unto me." I can't believe God wants us to vote in the direction of huge tax breaks for the rich and wealthy corporations, while the "little guy" gets little. It is against what I see as examples in the Saints, like Mother Teresa.
So, now that I've probably angered and inflamed 95% of you, I would love to see how you justify your votes for Bush in light of his anti-Catholic policies that I listed above. And what is the right answer? Should we be one-issue voters and focus only on abortion? Then what about the death penalty? The environment? The poor and underpriviledged? What about this war in Iraq and the suffering it's caused? Is that what Jesus would want?
What do we do? Just not vote?
I just don't understand the Church on all this lately, and even Catholics that are so right-wing. I know in myself that I lean towards Kerry, even though I am pro-life and have no respect for him on this issue. I guess I feel the alternative is so dangerous and so morally-tainted, and really so against Who I know My Lord to be.
Sorry if I've offended anyone. Trust me, the abortion thing is a hard one for me to swallow. I'm not condoning it or endorsing it in any way. I guess I just wish we could have a democratic candidate who was pro-life in his votes/policies. But I guess they're just too scared of losing the liberal/feminist vote. And that's cowardice in itself. They should have more trust in God.
God bless all of you,