My brothers and sisters in Christ, election time is almost upon us. We are fortunate to live in a place and time where our vote can have an enormous impact on our society. So, please vote! And more so, vote with a well-formed conscience, that is, a conscience that aligns with the will of God. How do we do that? First of all, through prayer and close attention to the teachings of Jesus, as found in Scripture and taught by his Church.
When it gets down to specifics, the bishops of Michigan have formulated some questions you should ask about each candidate and issue – and you should ascertain the answers before you cast your vote. You can find a lot of information at www.micatholic.org.
Here are some of the things we should ask of each candidate, and should prayerfully consider his or her answer:
- What is your position on broadening educational choice in the state by giving parents options beyond traditional public school for their children’s education?
- What is your position on legislation that provides equitable educational benefits to students and teachers in nonpublic schools as compared to those received by public school student and teachers?
- What is your position regarding the 1973 decision from the United States Supreme Court that legalized abortion throughout the United States?
- What is your position on the amendment to the state constitution that prohibits capital punishment in Michigan?
- What is your position on Michigan law that prohibits assisted suicide?
- What is your position on legislation to prevent federal agencies and states that receive federal funds from discriminating against health care providers who do not perform or participate in abortions (Hyde-Weldon Amendment)?
- What is your position on keeping current levels of aid for refugees who are fleeing from persecution abroad and providing adequate funding for the U.S. refugee admissions and resettlement programs?
- What is your position on the 2004 constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman?
- What is your position on Congress reducing future unsustainable deficits in a manner that protects poor and vulnerable people by adequately funding programs that address hunger and joblessness, and that help people rise above poverty?
- What is your position on requiring employers to provide employee benefits to which they are morally opposed, such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandating coverage for objectionable contraception?
- What is your position on legislation that would allow for faith-based organizations to provide services to the general public in a manner consistent with that organization’s religious teaching?
- What is your position on allowing juveniles who were sentenced to life in prison without the opportunity for parole, prior to the Miller v. Alabama ruling, to have the opportunity for a parole hearing at some point in their sentence?