vica-cristo-rey NO MATTER WHAT, CHRIST REIGNS FOREVER: VIVA CRISTO REY!

240 years ago one of the greatest nations on earth was born, and I use the term “greatest” very loosely here. When I say great, I mean in relation to the other countries of the world, and even though it may not be number one anymore, statistically speaking, it is still one of the greatest. But, what makes the United States so great? Or, better yet, what made it so great? At one point it was a nation built on God. The United States has many dark spots in its history, the African slave trade, the maltreatment of Irish immigrants, and today with the negative light that Hispanic-Americans, African-Americans, and Muslim-Americans are put in. So, the question arises, what should I do as a Catholic? The answer is simple: love. We are called to go out into the world and love as Christ loved, even to the point of death on a cross. Now, living in the United States, we may not ever be crucified, but we are all called to witness and endure the persecution that will be there. So, what is there to do? First of all, we need to vote with a Catholic Conscience. This presidential election is a rather perplexing situation for anyone trying to vote with their Catholic Conscience. Why? Because all four candidates go against their Catholic conscience. “Four? I thought there were only two?” While there are only two big candidates, there is still the option to cast a third party vote for a man named Gary Johnson or a woman named Jill Stein. Many people will try to convince you that this is the way to go if you want to avoid voting for Trump or Hillary, and it is a reasonable thought to have, because it would seem that out of the four Gary Johnson is definitely the most clear headed and Jill Stein doesn’t seem as dubious as Hillary. Gary Johnson is actually good on a lot of stuff and he almost had my vote. Almost. There was just one thing that I could not reconcile myself with in regards to Gary Johnson: he is very much pro-choice. Now, he may not be pro-choice to the degree that Hillary Clinton is, but as long as he advocates for the killing of the child in the womb, a Catholic can not cast a vote for Johnson in clear conscience. Now, onto Hillary Clinton. Mrs. Clinton, the wife of former U.S president Bill Clinton, is really shaking the world at its core. She is the first candidate for the U.S presidency that has the potential to be the first female United States president. As exciting and groundbreaking as this is, a Catholic cannot vote for her in clear conscience either, primarily for the exact same reason that one cannot and should not vote for Gary Johnson: she advocates abortion. Hillary Clinton could very well be the devil incarnate, although the assertion of such may have drastic theological repercussion, so we won’t say that. This woman has proven herself to be incredibly dishonest and duplicitous in regards to the email scandal concerning her, the Benghazi tragedy that she is allegedly responsible for, and her provocation of racism and sexism in the United States. “How is she even remotely responsible for racism and sexism in America?” you might ask. “She’s been fighting to rid us of it.” You may say. I’ll contend that both of those assertions are false to the extreme. You see, a woman like Hillary Clinton depends on enmity between men and women and whites and blacks,  because of the stereotypical affiliations that the groups  have. Old, white men are typically thought to align themselves with the Republican party, while blacks and women are typically thought to align with the Democratic party. Let me say one thing, with us there is no such thing as Republican or Democrat, we are Catholic, and that takes precedence over any political affiliation. Hillary Clinton needs there to be division so that she can pander to blacks and women, when in reality she is doing nothing to help them. Example: the riots in Ferguson, Missouri and in Baltimore were both supported and instigated by the so called racism of police officers and other whites against blacks. Now, I’m sure that many of you saw the videos and the aftermath of these riots and were absolutely appalled, and you should be. Now, imagine if Martin Luther King jr. saw these riots and what they did, not only to whites, but also to blacks. Do you imagine that he would be proud? No, I contend that he would probably be horrified to see all that he had worked for to be torn down to the point that what he had worked so hard to destroy was suddenly reinvigorated. Imagine what God things about the mess that we’re in. Do you think that God is pleased when our government perpetuates and allows the killing of innocent people, the destruction of innocent people’s property, and the hate that is manifesting itself in our hearts? I do not believe that God is pleased at all with how our people treats our own people, and I do not believe that it is in good Catholic Conscience to vote for a woman who not only approves of such behavior, but encourages it as well. Hillary Clinton is also very much pro abortion. She not only believes that it is a woman’s right to choose, but she believes that it is a woman’s right to choose to murder her own baby up until the point that the baby is literally coming out of the birth canal. The Catholic Church teaches that life is Sacred from conception until natural death, and yet some of us are going to go out there this November and vote for the woman who believes that it is the highest good for a mother to murder her own child. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” These are the words of God to the prophet Jeremiah, the exact verse is Jeremiah 1:5. “Those words were about Jeremiah, not us.” Some people may says this, but here’s the thing. God not only says this to Jeremiah, he says it to all of us. Yes, he set Jeremiah apart from the rest of humanity as a “prophet to the nations,” but he also sets each and every one of us apart. He says to us everyday, “Before I knew you in the womb I knew you.” Before! God literally says that He knew us before he formed us in the womb! This is before even our conception! Before we appear in our mother’s womb, God knows us. If you read the Philosopher Boethius you will learn that God exists outside of time, meaning that all things are present to him. There is no past, future, or present with God, all things are happening now with God. However, I think that when God says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,” is a little more special than just that. In the book of Genesis you see that God formed man with the dust of the earth, He took the time to fashion us with His own Divine Hands. But the human being isn’t just a body, the Church has always taught that a human being is a composite creature of both a body and soul. God took the time to fashion you in heaven, in His own image and likeness, when he created your immortal soul. Our mother is a co-creator with God because it is in her womb that we are formed physically, and yet God knew us even before then because he fashioned us in Heaven with his own Divine Hands when he created who we are: our will, our intellect, our free will, our soul. Yet numerous Catholics are going to go out and vote for a woman who explicitly denies this by her condoning the killing of the unborn. Jill Stein is on the same boat as Hillary, she is very much an advocate of abortion and the use of contraceptives, which is also gravely sinful to use and is against Church teaching, and she also adamantly supports embryonic stem cell research. She views religious liberty as a “surrogate for patriarchal domination”. So, not only will she promote gravely sinful acts such as abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and the use of contraceptives, she will also work towards taking away your religious liberty, and yet a small part of our Catholic brothers and sisters will go out and vote for her. We are not a faith that takes the destruction of God’s precious children lightly, yet so many of us grow lazy in our pursuit of holiness. We speak of change, we speak of an end to abortion, and while we are all called to pray fervently for this end to come, we must also step up and do something. Now, on to Donald J. Trump. I have many friends who support him adamantly. I also have friends who despise him. Economically, I believe that Trump is the best choice out of the four candidates; however, this is not just about economics. We are fighting a very real battle against Satan and all his minions (demons). So, we can’t just say that this candidate is the lesser of the two evils, because when you vote for the lesser of two evils, you still vote for evil. God is a purely good. We hear St. Paul say that “the greatest of these is love” out of the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and love; and this is due to the fact that while our faith comes from God and our hope rests in God, God IS love. God is purely love, and so when we vote for evil, even the lesser of the two, we vote against love, God’s very essence. Well, what’s wrong with Trump? He isn’t pro-choice. This is true, but while he isn’t pro-choice, there other things a Catholic still cannot vote for in good conscience. He may not be racist, but he still doesn’t promote unity, which is what the Church is all about, that’s why we call Her Universal. While Trump may not have as many things wrong with him as Hillary Clinton and Jill Stein, or even Gary Johnson’s pro-choice stance, he is not a promoter of peace and unity as we are called to be. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Trumps vulgar comments about women and his degrading comments about immigrants saying that they “bring drugs” and “bring crime” and “are rapists” is not only unfair to those immigrants, illegal or not, who come over here with a legitimate desire to find a better life for themselves and their children, but it also a very blanket statement, which aren’t very fair to any particular group of people. That’s like saying that all white people are racists or that all blacks are thugs, because it’s just not true. Not all white people are racists, not all black people are thugs, and not all immigrants are criminals, druggies, and rapists. HOWEVER, the things wrong with Trump are by no means comparable to the things wrong with Hillary or the pro-choice stance held by Gary Johnson. Why? Because the murder of the innocents in womb is a crime and a sin to the highest degree. We are called to protect the innocent, God’s little ones, and to willingly murder them, either directly or indirectly through complacency, we are committing a very grave and mortal sin. Abortion is not even comparable to capital punishment, which the Church is also opposed to. Look at this passage from the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the death penaly:

“Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility. The efforts of the state to curb the spread of behavior harmful to people’s rights and to the basic rules of civil society correspond to the requirement of safeguarding the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and the duty to inflict punishment proportionate to the gravity of the offense. Punishment has the primary aim of redressing the disorder introduced by the offense. When it is willingly accepted by the guilty party, it assumes the value of expiation. Punishment then, in addition to defending public order and protecting people’s safety, has a medicinal purpose: As far as possible, it must contribute to the correction of the guilty party Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.”(CCC 2265-2267). 

Also:

If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity with the dignity of the human person.

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm — without definitively taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself — the cases in which the execution of the offender is an abolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.” (John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 56)

Now on Abortion:

“Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life. Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law: You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae , by the very commission of the offense, and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.  The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.” (CCC 2270-2272, 2275-2278)

So, I highly encourage you not to vote for any of the three candidates that I mentioned. Additionally, Bernie Sanders is also not a good candidate, even though he is not longer in the race. He advocates abortion just as much as Hillary does and socialism is just not a good form of government for a country as large as the United States, maybe a small community, but not a full fledged country. I would also like to encourage all of you Catholics to not just sit out and not vote, because that is just as bad as voting for any of the candidates above, because while you may not be voting for them directly, you are still committing a sin of omission by idly standing by. So, what is a Catholic to do if we can’t vote for any of the three candidates listed above and we can’t just sit the election out? I will give you the suggestion that my own girlfriend gave to me, write a candidate in. Now, some of you may say that doing so would be a waste of a vote, and I totally understand that. But, you guys, there are nearly 70 million Catholics in the United States, we make up nearly a quarter of the population, and if we all just voted with a Catholic Conscience we could literally change the world.

 

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