A Boise coworker of mine sent me this opinion piece from the Idaho Statesman, by Will Rainford, the legislative advocate for the Roman Catholic Diocese: "When I weigh all the issues of importance to me as a Christian, I must vote Democrat."
I admire his bravery to speak out in such a public forum in a staunchly red state. And his words resonate with me, too. As a Christian, I must vote my conscience and my beliefs. It's very hard for me to understand how someone can profess to be a Christian and believe in what Jesus Christ taught, and support politicians who vote against funding of children's health care and helping the poor, and are in favor of warmongering and discriminatory policies. How do people reconcile being a Christian with these things? I just don't understand.
There's no doubt that a great deal about the Catholic church gives me personal grief, but one thing I do admire about it is its consistency in supporting life and caring for the poor and disadvantaged. Personally, I am pro-choice, but I have an easier time understanding Catholics who are against abortion, the death penalty, and big war and defense spending than understanding someone who is anti-choice at the same time as advocating killing in the form of war or the death penalty.
This country is so deeply divided. I realize that the comments in any newspaper online run the full gamut of extremes (judging from the comments below this editorial and also our own Oregonian forums), but it is clear that there is no unity in sight.
I wish that I felt more hopeful about the future of this country. I guess the reason for hope is in our young people, who seem a lot more tolerant than their parents are!
This one's for you, Shelia! :)