Monday, November 7, 2016

The Clinton Emails and the Roman Catholic Church. . .

I have to admit that I have not read all of them, not even part of them, but only a very few of those notorious emails.  The stories of how the Clinton campaign attempted to front "Catholic" organizations and endow them with cash and put them in front of the media is not news.  Such strange groups have existed for a long time and seldom reflect the folks in the pew anymore than they influence the people in the sedelia (or sedan chair).  It was positively humorous that John Podesta and other Clintonistas thought they could spin Pope Francis with money from George Soros!  The audacity of it all.  But underneath it all, I am somewhat encouraged.

The attention the Clinton emails have given to the Roman Catholic Church and Roman Catholic voters only signals that these things still matter.  At a time when we presume that denominational loyalty, doctrinal integrity, and uniformity of practice have all rendered the churches rather benign, the emails suggest otherwise.  Faith is still a force in politics.  That is a good thing.

When you encounter Roman Catholics in name only who presume to tell the world that the things of faith are not such a big deal and that doctrine can be changed as quickly as politicians change their positions, it is good to know that there are still those who believe the faithful as the faithful are a force to be reckoned with in politics and in society.  You may be disgusted by all of this -- and there is plenty to be disgusted by --  but I found it oddly encouraging.  They had not written off the Roman Catholic vote but were seeking to use the "Catholic brand" itself to shape the faithful to vote more friendly to the Clinton cause.

My surprise in all of this is that I did not think they would waste their time on something that they believed would not matter in the long run and that they have done so tells me faith and the faithful still do matter as a force within society and at the ballot box.  You should be surprised and encouraged by this.  YOU, the faithful, are a force to be reckoned with.  Do not discount your witness or the impact of the faith and the faithful upon the world around you.  It is not neat and clean but messy.  It is not predictable and controllable.  It is not satisfying and rewarding.  But living in and not of the world rarely is.  You do make a difference.  By the witness of your words, by the pattern of your life, by your faithful Sunday attendance, by the causes you support, by the values you express, by the votes you cast.  You make a difference.  If you didn't, those whose business it is to gather the votes would have ignored you a long time ago.

Christians are not some uniform, homogenous voting block, but we do matter.  Especially in the area of life issues we matter.  We vote our faith (either in favor of those who mirror those positions of faith and/or against those who conflict with them).   God bless you.  The emails confirm a positive answer to something we have fretted about for a long time -- do we matter as orthodox and faithful Christian people casting a vote.   The days of a silent majority or a moral majority may be long gone, but it is not too late to make a difference at the ballot box.

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