With the upcoming general election, it’s good for us to reflect on the role of Catholics in the political sphere. Fr. Blake and Brandon discuss a Catholic approach to politics, why Christians should care about the common good, and how to react if your preferred candidate doesn’t win in November.

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  • Hello, Brandon and Father Blake!

    Thank you for the good conversation as always. However, I would like to voice a concern I have been experiencing as I have been following various news sources over the past several months.

    While a Catholic should not equate a particular party, such as the Republican Party or the Democratic Party, with the Catholic Church, or prioritize their political views over the Catholic Church, this election year seems to be more unusual given the pandemic and the economic downturn due to the lockdowns; the actions of mayors and governors who have taken advantage of the pandemic to enforce unjust policies as exemplified in New York City and certain parts of California; and the tearing down and defacing of statues, public buildings, the looting and the riots and other forms of social unrest in various cities across the country.

    It is on this last point that I wish to speak.

    It seems to me that in this year of 2020, there is far more at stake than just the “usual” election issues such as abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, and traditional family values (though, certainly, the significance of all of these issues should not be downplayed in any way, shape, or form). This year there is a generally prominent attitude of shame, disgust, and hatred that has emerged that is directed towards western civilization, western culture, and Christian values, manifested in the defacing and even removal of edifices honoring Saint Junipero Serra, Saint Damien of Molokai, Christopher Columbus, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and others. While this attitude previously lurked under the surface, this year it made itself seen and heard all over the country, especially this past summer. I view these open attacks and the general support from mainstream media and many prominent Democrats as a grave threat to the values upon which our nation was founded and upon the practice of my faith as a Catholic.

    In conclusion, I believe that Catholics have a duty to consider two key points in addition to the usual election issues: 1) if the candidate for whom they are voting will strive to safeguard western civilization and the Christian values which form its bulwark; and 2) if the person they are voting respects the principles upon which the United States of America was established – freedom of speech, freedom of the practice of religion, and equal opportunity for the pursuit of a meaningful life for every individual.

    Thank you again for the good conversation, and for considering my response to your podcast episode.

    • Dear Emily, Thanks for sharing your thoughts about our country whose foundations and core values were well stated here. I share your thoughts as stated here. It is well written and truthful. We should reiterate it to remind our fellow men what makes this our Nation great and wonderful place to live. We are the envy of the world. They cannot duplicate because they don’t have Founding Fathers like ours whose mind is focus on God and His good works as reflected in our USA Constitution. Some people of bad intentions tried to destroy our country, but God’s people will prevail because God and our Blessed Virgin is on our side. All we need is stay close to God through prayers and supplications and most of all attend the Mass every day. Sunday’s Mass is a must but in this trying time we need to come to Mass every day. Signed Nona Mamaradlo

  • Thank you for a great discussion about an important topic. We Catholics need to be rightfully educated about what actually is Catholic Social teaching. Many Catholics are unclear about the topic. This talk makes clear the Catholic beliefs about Social justice and I am grateful to both of you for helping Catholics ,like me, who need clear explanation of the Catholic viewpoint. Can’t wait to read the book you, Brendan, talked about . I will look for the publication on word on fire.org.

    .

  • Thanks! Very practical advice. Appreciate website recommendation, USCCB document and Catholic social teaching resources. Well done!

  • I voted for Trump. It’s going to be bad no matter who wins because the Democrats are sore losers. It’s all in God’s hands.

    It’s easy to praise God When every thing goes well
    but the man worthwhile is the man who can praise God when every thing goes to hell.

    We are constantly being tested

  • Thank you Father Blake and Brandon. I’ve enjoyed so many of your episodes and have been recommending your podcast to friends and family. This was another great one and has given me a lot to think about. I think you may have answered this question towards the end when you said that you would not condemn someone for voting for the candidate of either major political party, but I’ll ask it in another way to help clarify my own thinking. Does this mean that Catholics in good conscience can come to different conclusions about the candidate/party that is most in line with Catholic Social Teaching? When in it comes to forming our conscience based on the principles of Mother Church, it seems to me that there is a hierarchy of moral goods and evils that would help us to discern which candidate is a proponent of the greatest goods and the greatest evils. Doesn’t it follow that Catholics should then be able to come the same conclusion? Again, this does not mean affirming everything that one candidate/party espouses. I’m really struggling with this and do wish the Church would clearly articulate which issues are of prime importance when forming our conscience. I noticed in Part II of the USCCB’s “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship”, “Human Life” is listed first. Does this mean this is the most important principle to consider? How does the Church want us to balance all of these issues? The document goes on to say “While people of good will may sometimes choose different ways to apply and act on some of our principles, Catholics cannot ignore their inescapable moral challenges or simply dismiss the Church’s guidance or policy directions that flow from these principles.” This statement is confusing to me. Why do you say that the Church can not endorse or condemn a particular political party or candidate when it has condemned political systems like socialism? This would still give freedom to Catholics to vote for the other major political candidate or 3rd party. Clearly I need some help weeding through all of this 🙂 Thank you for your time and for considering my question.

  • Another phenomenal podcast… Honestly, you both radiate the beauty and splendor of the Catholic Church! I sincerely mean that. Having said that, as others have already stated, if the church can say NO to socialism for an obvious reason, why can’t she say NO to a political candicate who espouses a socialist or marksist idealogy? Idealogies in themselves do not cause harm to the common good; politians who espouse such political philosophies do.

    Mother Church is reluctant to tell us who to vote for because she respects our freedom and doesn’t want to treat us like children. Seriously? Jesus told us the kingdom of God belongs to the child-like. I wonder sometimes if the Church presumes too much in thinking that ALL her children are smart enough that they will figure it out. Have we forgotten that we live in a highly secularized and anti-Catholic America? The most coveted “golden middle” position may be equally dangerous as the far right or far left position. Might the middle position be analogous to being neither hot or cold, but lukewarm? In judgement day it is not going to matter whether or not we stood in the far left, middle, or right. What will matter most is whether or not we upheld the truth, not as an ideaology, but the person of Jesus Christ.

    If the Church’s role is to teach the truth, then the Church cannot afford to dance in the middle for fear of tipping the three legged stool. Every analogy limps. The Church is not an equal partner with the State or other not-for-profit organizations–it is the Kingdom of God on earth! As already mentioned, the stakes are too high for the Church to remain in the “safe middle” position, a vague or ambiguous political space. Francis Cardinal George of happy memory was fond of saying (reportedly) that he is a Catholic (period) rather than liberal, moderate, or conservative. If Mother Church is truly (in the world but NOT) of the world, then, she needs to proclaim the Gospel–that Jesus Christ is Lord–from the rooftop boldly.

    Sadly, Mother Church has succumbed to silence, fear, acquiescence for lack of courage or perhaps for fear of persecution or martyrdom. She is already being persecuted, her baptismal fonts empty and dry, her doors restricted to 10 people or 25% capacity, her children forced to tuck-in Holy Communion under a mask for fear of a disease induced by a virus. Mother Church cannot afford to hide under her philosophical and theological abstractions (moral intellectual tradition). Her children are starving for truth and for courageous moral leadership.

  • Thank you Brandon and Fr. Blake, this was excellent insight into how we are to conduct ourselves graciously around those who do not agree with our positions on various political topics. You are correct that we must be well informed about Catholic Social Teaching. And, if we all walk with the Heart of Jesus instead of our own, we might make better decisions in all areas of our lives.
    God bless you abundantly with His Love, Mercy, Peace and Joy.
    Andrea

  • Great distinction between ‘reporting’ and ‘commentating’!
    In addition to becoming informed by reading a politician’s actual words, I’ve found it helpful to research a candidate’s past governing record/history. It takes time to do the digging, but it’s well worth the effort because it reveals ‘the facts’ of the individual’s governing principles. It has never failed to confirm the adage that (past political) actions speak louder than (sometimes poll inspired) words.
    God bless you for continuing to raise the bar in relevant podcasting.

  • “A rational judgement to the higher good”? “Blind us to the fact that he (Biden/Harris) might actually be the better candiadte? How much research and or discernment is needed at this point to see which side is fighting for the higher good?

    I can sort of understand that perspective when it’s “business as usual”; but we are living in very very unusual times.

    Given the stakes, it’s perplexing to me why the majority of our Mother Church insists on taking this weak vague middle ground.

    After nearly 100 years, the evil one & his minions have finally gained control of every institution of our country & Nov 3 will be the beginning of the end if the candidate of the left wins…not much time left.

    We need more, if not all, shepherds like Fr Altman, Cardinal Burke, Archbishop Vigano, Fr Heilman et al who will step up & give us a severely needed reality check.

    FYI: Lest we fail to see what is at stake….this from TheVenerble Bishop Sheen:
    https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-dcola-001&hsimp=yhs-001&hspart=dcola&p=bishop+sheen+%26+marxisim+you+tube#id=1&vid=77f6dc1f8fc1f48564bf331360198285&action=click

    • I am on board with John Platania!!!! I have been very disheartened at the lack of voices from our Church leaders. After about a third of our bishops disagreed with making “Abortion” the preeminent issue at a recent USCCB Conference, it did in the end remain so. It sounds so good to say it is a “preeminent” issue, so what does that mean to us Catholics? No explanation on that!!! I know the Church can not tell us “who” to vote for, but She sure could point out the plans of both parties when it comes to this huge LIFE ISSUE! A letter I read in a recent church bulletin from St. Lucy Parish in Boco Roton, Fl, was exactly what we should be reading in every church bulletin before Nov. 3rd. What will God say when He meets us at our Particular Judgment, or if Jesus comes back before that happens? Will He say, “Well done my good and faithful servant,” after we have voted for a candidate and running mate whose plans are for furthering the annihilation of God’s beautiful creations, made in His image and likeness. Go on line and read what these two Democrats have to say about Abortion and the plans they have when they get in.

      Respectfully and sorrowfully submitted,

      Therese Farnsworth

  • Thank you for a very informative podcast on faith and politics. I am in the midst of reading David McCollough’s Truman, the president who served until the year I turned 8. I find the wheeling and dealing of politics fascinating. Mostly because some are dragged down by it while others rise above as it seemed Truman did. But we humans cannot judge the heart or intentions. We can only turn it all over to God. I particularly liked what Fr. Blake said about spending time in adoration and praying before making a decision about the election, whether local or national. Let God lead us to what needs to be done and all will be well!

    • With all due respect Bonnie – & other Catholics who don’t seem to be thinking this through…I don’t believe at all that after spending time in prayer & adoration God will lead us to vote for Joe Biden, a candidate who is ok with forcing nuns to provide contraceptives in insurance plans, who supports expanding the bogus “right” to murder millions of unborn babies, or a candidate who celebrates same-sex marriages, or who says NOTHING about the desecration & defacing of Catholic churches & statues. But I do believe the “other” one – you know “he who prowls about the world seeking the ruin of souls” – is very happy to guide your “heart & intentions” and lead you to vote for that candidate.

  • Thank you so much, Brandon and Fr. Blake!! Have been avidly listening to this podcast, and have greatly enjoyed each episode and topic. A couple recommendations: I think a Lord of the Rings episode would be terrific. I love the map of Middle Earth on Brandon’s wall! Similar to many books that have focused on finding the Catholic meaning in the Lord of the Rings, I think you guys could do a terrific job drawing that out, connecting the dots, not just in the Lord of the Rings, but in the Silmarillion as well!
    Second, I know you have done an episode on the Blessed Virgin, and I was hoping that you’d soon be able to do an episode on St. Joseph. I recently finished Fr. Calloway’s consecration to St. Joseph (essentially the Josephine counterpart to 33 Days to Morning Glory), and he has some beautiful reflections on St. Joseph, and has really helped me to grow in my relationship with St. Joseph, and also with Mary as a result. I think St. Joseph really deserves an episode on this podcast. I am praying for you both, and thank you for this wonderful tool in evangelization!

    AMDG,
    Luke

  • After watching the Biden Crime Family operate, I don’t know how any intelligent person can honestly vote for him? President Trump has strengthened our military, has created more jobs, has brought jobs back to the U.S. all why being fought by the left. How can anyone disagree with that? Imagine if he had a little help from the Democrats? We are ONE country, lets start acting like it?

  • Thank you Father Blake for being clear on the preeminent issue we need more Bold Holy Priests like you thank you answering Gods call

About the Hosts

Learn more about Brandon Vogt and Fr. Blake Britton, the hosts of the podcast:

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