Wednesday October 12, 2016

Voting by Faith

As of today, we sit 26 days until the day of the election of the next President of the United States. 

By now, I’m sure everyone is rather sick of hearing about anything to do with politics. By now it’s nearly impossible to turn on the tv without being assaulted by non-stop political ads— to drive to the grocery store without driving on neighborhood streets lined with yard sign after yard sign. Luckily, in 26 days, it will all be over. In just 26 days, we’ll all hopefully find ourselves in the voting booths choosing who we believe to be the best candidate for our country. 

Unfortunately, according to a poll by CNBC, 25% of voters still do not know who they are going to vote for. In possibly one of the most polarizing elections in history, it’s rather easy to see how there’s still such a large percentage of undecided voters out there. 

Earlier this week I attended a speaker panel on the idea of personal faith in relation to voting and political activism here on campus— a panel comprised of 6 faculty from various backgrounds with the University. The general idea from this panel was the following: it is your religious duty to vote, and to uphold your beliefs through this form of political activism. Now each speaker on the panel brought a new perspective to this issue, but one called attention to the following quote from Pope Francis in his address to a joint session of congress last fall:

“In this land, the various religious denominations have greatly contributed to building and strengthening society. It is important that today, as in the past, the voice of faith continue to be heard, for it is a voice of fraternity and love, which tries to bring out the best in each person and in each society. Such cooperation is a powerful resource in the battle to eliminate new global forms of slavery, born of grave injustices which can be overcome only through new policies and new forms of social consensus.”

Pope Francis calls us to embrace our faith—especially in this time of political discourse. When we embrace our faith, we are united in strength. It truly is a polarized election, but we may be able to see through the murk when enlightened by our values and beliefs. 

Get out to vote!

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