The Church and Politics
By Paul A. Nelson
The times we are living in and experiencing now are dangerous and perilous. In the midst of a pandemic, we have been told by some that in order to save our lives we must stay home. In the rare times that we leave the house -- those times that are deemed acceptable by the powers that be -- we are instructed to wear masks and stay at least six feet away from the next person. According to liberal politicians, we are informed that abortion providers like Planned Parenthood is an "essential" service; liquor stores are "essential"; grocery stores are essential (of course); but going to Mass or church services is a "non-essential" action, and therefore it is still forbidden in some areas. The assumption is that worship of God and feeding one's soul is not important in the scheme of things; it's just something people do on Sunday if they feel like it. It's something we don't really need.
In the places where Mass is now beginning to return, strict rules are in place: One must have a mask on the whole time; one must be escorted to a pew in a position of their choosing, with "social distancing" (I've come to despise that term); you cannot sing; when communion commences, you are told, "We encourage you to receive in the hand," which is to "discourage" people who always receive on the tongue.
The undeniable fact is that there is NO scientific evidence -- and no medical official has suggested -- that receiving communion in the hand is more germ-free than receiving on the tongue. In fact, receiving on the tongue is still considered the NORM, in spite of the fact that most Catholics in the U.S. now receive on the hand. So for bishops and priests to dictate to us how to receive Our Lord is wrong and, in fact, illegimate. I know they use "nice" language like, "we encourage you" and "do this to be charitable," but in the process many faithful Catholics are put in the position of appearing "non-charitable" if attempting to take communion on the tongue. It becomes a situation where the priest is shaming the individual who cannot bring himself/herself to receive the Eucharist in the hand. That, my fellow Catholics, is wrong and shameful on the part of the bishops and priests who do this. Why do they do it? It is strictly in an effort to protect themselves, while being truly pastoral is to put those they are shepherding first. If they accidentally touch a tongue, or a hand for that matter, they should just take a moment to sanitize. I cannot help believe that if priests were distributing more often on the tongue, they wouldn't be so worried. Unfortunately, they are inexperienced and skeptical when it comes to giving communion on the tongue. But then that brings up the problem that communion on the tongue is not taught much at all anymore, which is a subject for another blog post.
Turning to politics and the Catholic vote. Can a faithful Catholic support a democrat politician if he is pro-life? Technically, yes, if that politician is running for mayor, city council, dog catcher, and positions like that. The problem that presents itself when voting for politicians who contribute to making laws relates to the platform of the party the politician belongs to. For instance, Joe Schmoe is a pro-life democrat -- so far so good. But Joe is running for the U.S. Congress for his district. His democrat party overwhelmingly supports the right to choose an abortion. The party believes the American people should put taxpayer money into efforts to facilitate the right to have abortions -- even at Catholic hospitals. When the democrat party is in the majority, they constantly pass legislation supporting and strengthening their pro-abortion appetite. Can one vote for Joe Schmoe and be in good standing with God and the Church? NO, he cannot. If you drive the get-away car in a bank robbery, even though you didn't actually pull a gun on someone and steal the money, you are complicit in that crime. When we as Catholics vote for pro-abortion candidates, we are guilty of the crime of abortion just as if we had done it ourselves. I know that's hard to hear for some Catholics, but if you can't see this, you are only kidding yourselves.
We are seeing the media and liberal politicians trying to protray President Trump as a racist, and several other unjust epithets. Anyone who knows anything about Trump knows that's not true; he even got awards from the black community in the past. In his first term, he has done more for the black community in our country than our first black President, Barack Obama, did in his whole eight years. Blacks and Latinos in our country have had the highest percentage of employment in half a century because of President Trump's efforts. Unemployment as a whole has been at its lowest point in decades. Jobs are coming back to America and we are beginning to produce things a lot more now -- all because of Trump's initiatives.
Look, Donald Trump is not a perfect man, and I don't like his lack of humility and some of his off-the-cuff tweets. But the proof is in his results, which have been overwhelmingly positive for this country. I'm of the opinion that God is working through him and inspiring him and his administration to do the right things. As you may know, I worked on Capitol Hill for almost 30 years, including the U.S. Senate where Joe Biden was a senator from Delaware for much of that time. I watched him up close. Joe Biden will say and do anything that will benefit himself. I know him to say one thing and mean something different. He'll smile in your face and walk away calling you every name in the book if you don't agree with him. Personally, I wouldn't elect Joe Biden dog catcher. He's the worst kind of phony, only concerned for himself. I witnessed it firsthand.
As Catholics, how should we vote? When I'm asked these days how I vote, I say, "I vote Catholic." This comes from a guy who arrived in Washington, DC, as a democrat from a blue collar steel mill town. After five years and observing how the two parties did things, I decided I could no longer be a democrat. Morally, I cannot and will not "drive the get-away car." My Church and my faith in God forbids me to join in the sins of other men. I have not voted for a democrat for any office since I left the democrat party. I simply am not able to do it. Trump is far from being a saint, but I must support him because of the results I'm seeing. If he, like Biden, were pro-abortion and supported other immoral initiatives, I simply would abstain from voting in the election. I don't understand the viceral hate that people have for President Trump. It seems demonic to me. Even though I disagreed very much with many things Barack Obama did as president, I did not hate the man with the inexplicable passion that people exhibit against Trump.
Should we as Catholics pick a side based on secular beliefs and relegate the issue of life to the back seat? Or do we look to Christ and the Church for insight? Do we choose the trappings and desires of this world, or do we choose to please God, investing in our eternal salvation in the next world? It's time to choose a side based on right thinking. After all, as I talk about in my book Christians Must Reunite; Now is the Time, we are the ones who choose our eternal destination by our faith (or lack thereof) and actions (good or bad) in this life. Time is getting short. Choose well, my brothers and sisters.