Living in Orange County, Californiahas a huge effect on my political outlook. It’s huge because the state of California is ALWAYS deemed to vote for the Democrat candidate for the presidency. And Orange County is strongly Republican.
So, coming from a very liberal non-Catholic social network that I found in San Francisco and Los Angeles, to the very Conservative and very Catholic network of Orange County was a change for me.
It was a good change in the sense that the Catholics I met and befriended were not just religious, but spiritual. They were genuinely in love with God and their Catholic culture. I learned more about being Catholic during my time in Orange County than during my education at two different Catholic universities!
I had become a stronger Catholic, and yet I still kept my intellectually critical approach to information and opinions. I wondered at some of the statements some Catholics made, feeling like either the statements were misinformed or were not focusing on themes I thought were more important.
Such poor statements rained down in a plethora of Facebook comments during this election session. There were plenty of my Orange County Catholic friends who were so distressed at the results of this election. They proclaimed that our nation needed God’s mercy, and they asked God
for forgiveness on behalf of the nation’s decision.
Some statements were not offensive at all. And other statements were pure slander.
Sure, people have a right to free speech. But are not Christians asked to be on a higher level? Sure, I could defend my decisions and opinions and be offensive in my speech, but is that the Christian way of acting in society?
I firmly believe that the best witness Christians can give now is to show a firm desire to serve the country in the way they are capable. I want to see us hold rallies to support the repeal of the death penalty for the next election. I want to see more fundraisers to build up women-shelters, and create more “holistic” and “spiritually-based” pregnancy clinics. I want to see churches have more food-drives and “soup kitchens” for the poor being offered.
We are one nation. We are Republicans, Independents, and Democrats. We are the poor, the immigrant, the well-to-do, and the very wealthy. We are a nation of fiercely independent thinkers that want to have their own opinions, and not be given an opinion. But we are ONE in our desire to allow each other to pursue life, liberty and happiness.
We are under God. There is so much work to be done to help the outcasts and the forgotten. Nothing can be accomplished unless God wills it. And God does need our time and energy to accomplish heroic tasks, as well as very quiet but necessary ones. God will never leave anyone unaccounted for.
We are indivisible. In the case of Egypt, they are still working out what it means to work with radicals, moderates, and other political factions. In the case of Syria, they are without liberty, and if you’re at the wrong place at the wrong time, they will kill you for what you believe. Thankfully, the United States of America will not go that direction. Yes, there are a few people who want to riot after the election, or want to slander others for their political stance. But as a nation, we are indivisible, and we won’t check your political party card when you need help. New Yorkers aren’t asking each other which person they voted for. They are asking each other where the nearest gas station with gas is, and where the nearest hot meal can be found.
God wants us to work all of this out. The nation is divided, that is for sure. This is the time for Christians to lead the way to civil dialog and civil service for the good of all. And then the nation’s social fabric will be that much better.
To do anything less is to allow evil to taint our nation, and continue to dig the division to a level that will be nothing but disturbing.
- Map of the USA political choice of president 2012 (will be outdated as NYTimes sees fit.)