Tuesday, November 07, 2006
ELECTION DAY!! A voter's guide... for "Serious" Catholics only... sigh...I guess I am such a bad & unserious Catholic
Amidst all the hoopla, Election Day is finally here. Phew! Now for me, this pix is telling me that I did the right thing when I voted a straight Dem ticket on my absentee ballot this election. By doing so, I AM FIGHTING the Devil. But if I were to consider the advice on this pdf from the Catholic Answers Action called the Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics, this pix should have a whole 'nuther meaning. Whoa... for Serious Catholics ONLY? What about semi-serious ones? Or a "usually lighthearted to mask some childhood insecurities" kind of Catholic? Sheesh... Speaking of absolutes, this pdf lays out the 5 Non-Negotionable Issues, that I as a Catholic, I am supposed to believe absolutely are intrinsically evil and must NEVER EVER promote thru the law. Here's the problem: I disagree w/ the Church's stance on every single one of these issues, except for one. Not to mention the glaring fact that each of these 5 issues (abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and gay marriage) also happen to be the much pimped GOP buzzwords to stir up the ugly wedge issue pot. 1) Abortion: Sorry, but the issue is simply not white and black. It is probably the 1 issue that has more shades of gray than most. The Serious Catholics belief is that abortion must NEVER EVER happen in any circumstances. Well, when the patriarchs of the church are faced with dying during pregnancy, being forced to bear the fetus of a rapist, carrying to term a child w/severe genetic abnormalities (and then provide the lifetime of expensive care that child will require) then they can tell me my stance on abortion is intrinsically evil. Also, if they're gonna take that "life under any circumstances route," then they had better be anti-war and anti-death penalty. Is it really too much to expect them to be consistant in that they should mourn the loss of the 655,000 lives in Iraq, and the deaths that take place at the hands of the grossly abused capital punishment system in the US as much as they claim they mourn the loss of the unborn? 2) Euthanasia: Sorry, but once again, this issue is not white or black. I'm not talking about walking up to your granny and shooting her in the head b/c she's sick, but I am talking about a person having the right to use methods to end their pain & suffering. Every single human being knows their own threshold for pain & suffering, and as such, we deserve the right to put an end to our pain & suffering, and to die w/ dignity if we choose to... not turned into a political spectacle a la the Terri Schiavo debacle. We euthanize our pets b/c we love them and cannot bear to watch them suffer or linger in pain unnecessarily. The same dignity should be extended to human beings. If the Church refuses to acknowledge that human beings find pain & suffering unbearable and will do anything they can to put a stop to it, perhaps they should take a trip to one of BushCo's secret "black prisons" and see what extraordinary lengths humans will go to end their pain & suffering. 3) Embryonic cell research: On this issue, the Church is just wrong. These embryonic cells will simply be tossed into the trash ANYWAY. There has never been any bills proposed for an unsupervised, free-for-all human testing, where diabolical people are going to start harvesting embryos and/or conceiving babies to cure diseases. These are embryos that infertile folks have lying in wait in frozen petri dishes, that will be thrown away if they are not used in a certain amount of time. Instead of being used for cures, the GOP and the Serious Catholic thinks that we should dispose of all these stem cell lines. It is a heartbreakingly cold stance on their part considering how many people suffer from chronic and debilitating pain that can be cured. Wouldn't it be refreshing and compassionate if the Church instead made universal access to health care an essential safeguard of human life, a fundamental human right, and an urgent national priority? 4) Human cloning: Absolutely human beings should NOT be cloned (in fact, I also think that animals should NOT be cloned either.) But the Church's position that stem cell research and human cloning are 1 in the same is ridiculous and wrong. One is for cures and improving the lives of those afflicted w/ diseases, and one is straight outta Mary Shelly's Frankenstein. If the Church wants to protect the unique "human-ness," of people, why don't they make economic justice, decent working conditions, a living wage, and dignity for families and children a Catholic priority, instead? 5) Gay marriage: First of all, I don't recall ever choosing to be hetero, and I don't know of any people who chose to be homosexual, so unless the church can prove to me that people deliberately choose to be gay just to be a blight in the eye of religion, I think the Church has little to say about this issue. God recognized that it is not good for man to be lonely and that humans need companions (that is why He made a mate for Adam), so why would God want homosexuals to lead a solitary life of loneliness and despair? Gay people have been around since the dawn of time, so obviously, if God thought they were such a problem for humanity, He could have easily wiped their existence away forever. But, since homosexuals make up about 10% of the population, they truly must be a part of God's plan that some folks are simply meant to be gay. To continue to demonize a good chunk of the population is doing God a great disservice, and promotes bigotry and hatred. Besides, people have the right to get married in a civil ceremony instead of a religious one, so why does the Church make civil marriages any of their business at all when that responsibility lies w/the state govt? So, b/c I believe that all of the Serious Catholics' stances reflect a push for power and dominance, and are GOP talking pts, I guess that makes me an very-unserious Catholic and I suppose I didn't punch Satan out w/my vote, huh? But I guess I would have to actually believe that the Church's stance on these issues wasn't hypocritical and power-hunger based. Abortion is not so much about babies as much as it is about reducing women's rights. Euthanasia isn't about saving sick people as much as it is about using vulnerable people as shields and rallying cries w/o caring about the person. Embryonic Stem Cell isn't about saving babies, it's about blocking research and enforcing a minority's morality over the majority of people. Anti-gay marraige isn't about anything but superiority, persecution, and more moral grandstanding. Make sure you vote today, if you haven't already, and be vigiliant, raise your voice & get proof that something shady is going on if you suspect voter fraud or tampering. As for me... well, I guess I should be chucking out my rosaries or else getting "serious." And oh yeah... I will be acting as a volunteer for the Dem party in my county. My job? Collecting some Dem absentee ballots (of mostly elderly voters who have been unable to mail their ballots in for a multitude of reasons) & getting them into the Board of Elections before our polls close at 7:30 pm.