In This Week’s Lansing Update:
- MCC Election Message on Faithful Citizenship
- Before Voting, Say a Prayer
- 2/3 Tax Proposal is Harmful to Representative Democracy
- Resources for Election 2012—Faithful Citizenship in Action
Michigan Catholic Conference has created an audio message on faithful citizenship [Link no longer available —Ed.] which urges Catholics to apply Scripture and Catholic Social Teaching to their consideration of the candidates and issues and to vote all the way through the ballot on Tuesday, November 6. It is a moral obligation for Catholics to vote and to strive to make prudent and informed choices. Before voting:
- Consider how a candidate stands on a variety of issues that are important to the Catholic faith, such as religious freedom, the sanctity of human life, education, economic justice, marriage, and immigration. The U.S. bishops state in Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, "a voter should not use a candidate's opposition to an intrinsic evil (abortion, euthanasia, racism, genocide, etc) to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues of human life and dignity."
- Evaluate a candidate’s positions on the issues according to the moral weight of the issue—the U.S. bishops emphasize that all issues are not morally equivalent. The Bishops state "the direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life… is always wrong and is not just one issue among many. It must always be opposed." While Catholics can disagree on the best way to deal with the economy or the best way to care for the poor, intrinsic evils such as abortion, euthanasia, racism, and genocide should always be opposed.
- Pray about your voting choices, and pray that all candidates and elected officials keep in mind the common good as they compete for a chance to make decisions about the future of our state and our communities.
While the number of races and issues may seem overwhelming, it is important to take the next few days to carefully consider each race and proposal that will appear on your ballot through the lens of a well-formed conscience. Please listen to the message and share it with friends, family, and fellow parishioners before the election.
Here is a great prayer from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to use before voting this Tuesday:
Lord God, as the election approaches, we seek to better understand the issues and concerns that confront our city/state/country, and how the Gospel compels us to respond as faithful citizens in our community. We ask for eyes that are free from blindness so that we might see each other as brothers and sisters, one and equal in dignity, especially those who are victims of abuse and violence, deceit and poverty. We ask for ears that will hear the cries of children unborn and those abandoned, men and women oppressed because of race, religion or gender. We ask for minds and hearts that are open to hearing the voice of leaders who will bring us closer to your Kingdom. We pray for discernment so that we may choose leaders who hear your Word, live your love, and keep in the ways of your truth as they follow in the steps of Jesus and his Apostles and guide us to your Kingdom of justice and peace. We ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Michigan Catholic Conference is recommending a No vote on Proposal 5, the proposal which would require 2/3 of the Michigan House of Representatives and State Senate to agree to any tax increase. In effect, this proposal would allow only 13 elected officials to decide tax policy for the entire state of Michigan. This would silence the voices of millions of Michigan citizens who elected men and women to represent their communities in Lansing and limits the ability of lawmakers to make revenue decisions for the operation of state government and the common good. For further reading on the proposals:
For access to MCC voter resources, including guides on the statewide ballot proposals and issues to consider before voting, visit Michigan Catholic Conference’s web page, www.micatholic.org, and click the “Resources for Election 2012: Faithful Citizenship in Action” banner. In addition, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has published a helpful summary on Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, which provides a brief explanation of how to form one’s conscience based on Scripture and Catholic Social teaching.