I have been thinking long and and hard lately about what Freedom means and where morality figures in. You can't legislate morality. It is given BY GOD. God created Morality, God created the desire for good. God also gave us the gift of free will. Because of the nature of original sin, Evil prevails in this life. It is far easier to be conditioned for evil. To do good is a struggle. Christ himself was subjected to unimaginable torture for that very reason. He took on humanity suffered and was tempted just as we are. He chose to do good and suffered for it. He did what God asked of him. He had the choice. He resisted temptation.
We have that choice. We can choose to see things two ways. Will my decisions benefit me, or will they benefit all? Will my choice to indulge myself in the the here and now affect my future and the future of those I love? Will I choose to do good, or simply wait until someone else does it first? Apathy, in ways is worse than the purposeful decision to do wrong. Indifference and uncaring can do more evil than any single act of violence.
Countless times in history we have seen the results of this. Hitler's rise to power after World War One was not some sudden event. It wasn't a brutal dictator yanking the reins of power from some ruling party by coup. It was slow, it was insidious. Good people stood by as he spoke his anti Jewish propaganda. Good people ducked their heads and pulled their children close as Nazi street gangs began to commit acts of terrorism against Jewish merchants. It happened slowly. A rally in the city park, seeds sown by eloquent language. Those that called him what he was were shushed. Fear grew in the deeps of the night, but too few voices spoke when it could have been stopped. Good people ignored the truth until people started to disappear. All this happened and still, no one did anything. Nations watched but did not intervene until millions were in danger, until hundreds of thousands died in concentration camps and in the battlefields where they fought to remain free. Any fifth grader knows these things. Our history classes in school ensured that we understood the atrocities of the Nazi Party and what the aftermath was.
I am certain the German people, most of them hard working, Christian and decent, woke up in the midst of the war and wondered how they got there. It begins in the home, in the work place. It begins in the heart of each individual who makes the choice to follow God or to serve themselves. It begins when we justify our selves in saying that the morality we are supposed to uphold as Catholics is only one small part of our decisions, when we choose our political leaders. If we choose to ignore the mandates laid out in the Bible and in the teachings of our faith and vote on the economy, or on which candidate seems to have the better plan on how to win a war, we let a lot slip by that is dangerous. It isn't jus Barrack versus McCain, Biden verses Palin. It isn't about the politics or the Parties. It really isn't about funding or the cutting off of funding for this or that failed program. We are choosing the people who shape our nations laws. We choose the man or woman who puts for the supreme court judges that determine how the Constitution is interpreted. We choose the people who are supposed to protect our rights as individuals while making decisions for the benefit of the country. The right to vote is a two edged sword. We have the power but we also have the responsibility.
Somewhere along the way our society has moved away from the basics of morality in law. You see, God created Morality, the Devil introduced Sin. Oh, did I say the S word? Yes, sin. It is really sin, the choice to commit an act contrary to the will of God. Choosing a candidate who openly proclaims to support murder, terrorism and sexual depravity would be sin, right?
I f only it was that simple. You see we've talked ourselves into believing if we change the laws we can shift morality and bend it the way we do with the law. Morality does not change! Sin is Sin! The law of God was laid forth in the Old Testament thousands of years ago. Other systems of law and human rights exist but all of them seem to draw from the basics of Moral Law, the Ten commandments. We can interpret, we can shift and sift the language all we want but there is no way we can change the truth. We can change the definitions of life and humanity to suit our need for justification, but even my four year old daughter could tell me that her little sister lived in my tummy before she came out. God bless her for it. Out of the mouths of babes….
I digress. In the case of this election, these times, we have the choice, not just to vote for a president and our senators and congressmen and women. We need to remember who and what these folks represent. We have so many blessings in this country. We get to decide how our cities and states handle our money. We get to decide in whose hands we entrust our public safety and who our judges are. Don't let little things like this go away by being indifferent to the voting process. Pay ATTENTION! Know who you are voting for and know where they stand on issues of moral importance. Not just the candidates, but the party platform. I think if every Christian and Catholic stood up for what we believe instead of buying into the feel good, homogeneous, humanistic, society we seem to be reaching for, we'd have a better nation for it.
Remember, “Evil triumphs when good people do nothing.”
PRAY, THINK, VOTE!