This past week or so the events and news surrounding the American presidential campaign has struck a chord with voters. Friends on Facebook have begun to “come out” with their personal stories of groping (usually high school boys or worse, rape, or betrayals of different types-divorce, lies and the like.) Many, unfortunately, possess these experiences. If a person lives long enough, they get hurt, and their belief in an ideal world is torn. I heard last night that 31 percent of voters in this election are single women. I can say this, my friends (mostly women in their 40s) are falling apart over this. Friendships are split; old hurts are emerging, etc.
My story of betrayal encompasses Chruch and community, but the reality is each must decide how to respond. Even in hurt, we decide who we choose to become. How we allow the hurt to shape us. Will it be for good or for revenge? These candidates methods of attack are shameful, and they’re doing these things (Trump bringing Bill’s old affairs to the debate; Hillary’s e-mails, etc.) because their past mistakes are paraded before voters. Added to this entertaining yet painful onslaught of negative political news, commentators are manipulating information. Ultimately, Americans are being manipulated. This election cycle will have ramifications much wider than we know now. I doubt anyone fully knows either candidate’s platform.
We can’t go around attacking every person who hurts us. We must be resilient and, at the same time, seek to find and grow healthy relationships. If the Holy Family is the model for relationships, boy are we in trouble!
The good news–and God always brings good from evil–is that many people are beginning to look at their core values and to vote their conscience. Faith platforms can emerge as a priority in voting again. We’re deciding, in effect, who we will become. Republicans may well lose this time around. But, I believe the new platform that emerges will be a much better conservative representation of America in the future. Meaning, they will find a way to articulate effectively what many in the Republican party know to be true. They will be forced to stand for Christianity, for inclusivity, without compromising Christian beliefs in marriage and life, for the Constitution, and create laws and a government that upholds our values (even if the people themselves are flawed. )
Isn’t this the same in the Catholic church? Doesn’t the catechism state that the church is both holy and sinful?
“The Church is therefore holy, though having sinners in her midst, because she herself has no other life but the life of grace. If they live her life, her members are sanctified; if they move away from her life, they fall into sins and disorders that prevent the radiation of her sanctity” (CCC 827).
It seems to me that folks should prefer to follow a Holy God rather than fallen man and a faulty government.