What I Wish College Students Knew About Voting
"Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual... but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country." - US Founding Father, Samuel Adams, 1781
It's been said that “bad politicians are elected by good people who do not vote.” In the upcoming elections we have that duty to vote as Catholics and to model it to those we serve on campus and with whom we interact. Recent statistics show that only 1 in 5 Catholics are registered to vote. YOUR VOTE IS NEEDED IN 2012! This election is of utmost importance because our religious freedom as Catholic citizens has been taken away, and serious threats have been made against human life in its most innocent form.
Politics can be very disenchanting and are exhausting for many of us. Where do you begin with the propaganda that's out there in the news? Who do you believe?
Here are five things I wish college students knew about voting:
1) Make sure you are registered. Visit www.focus.org/vote, click on the “find out here” link on the right side of the page and check to see if you or your friends are registered in a state (it takes literally 15 seconds, all you need is a name and their state of residency). If you have questions about "How Does a Catholic Vote?" visit http://www.ewtn.com/vote/voting_faq.htm. It is a great source for clear answers!
2) Get informed. Be wary of ANY sites you visit for your news. Most of the major media outlets have turned into campaign wings for secularism and godlessness. Not only is the reporting biased, but often pro-life news is intentionally underreported. No news outlet is going to be completely 100% fair and unbiased, but this is what Catholics today encounter daily with the media. With any news agency, it is always good to look around and see what both sides are saying on an issue. One good pro-life news site is www.lifesitenews.com.
3) Make a social faux-pas. Talk about politics in public & at the dinner table. Bring it up with family, friends, students, and discuss issues that are of utmost importance to Catholics: abortion, religious freedom, and other issues. You'll find yourself being pleasantly surprised and motivated to get involved as you talk to more people.
4) Know about your Local and State officials! While you’re there voting, remember you also have a duty to vote in local and state elections (and to shore up the local officials before they head to Washington 10 years down the road!). Check out this info on the National Right to Life Office with state-by-state pro-life endorsement links: (Information coming at http://www.nrlpac.org/endorsements_2012.htm) or contact them by phone at (202) 626-8838. Every state has some sort of Right to Life Office, so get familiar with yours & your list of pro-life candidates on their websites! Or visit http://www.ontheissues.org/default.htm to view state by state elected officials and where they stand.
5) Pray. The most obvious, but not the least way, to get involved. Pray for people to vote for life and use their voice for those who are unable to speak.
You have the opportunity to participate in this call to live these words and to be a *Catholic* voting American. Let's turn the tide in this culture war and participate in elections this year, and commit ourselves to taking responsibility for our nation and our Church. No candidate is ever going to be 100% perfect, no democratic system is without its flaws. There are plenty of distracting side arguments that we could probably split hairs over for an eternity, but we must be certain that there are certain issues that trump every other argument and we must be accountable to God for our ballots. As Christians, we are called to shine light into the darkness of our culture and work with the world we live in, not and abandon it.
Early Christians didn't tear down the old temples in Rome, they Christianized and consecrated them for Christ. We are all a work in progress. Remember, it’s our duty to vote for the BEST, (not just the perfect) civil servant to steer our country, and this year is a crucial election for every American to vote in. Being an absent voter in a culture that so badly needs direction is abandonment, and we’ll be held responsible to God for our apathy and ignorance. Let's band together and get behind the best man and be at the polls in November.
The opinions expressed here are those of our contributors, and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinions of FOCUS (The Fellowship of Catholic University Students).
This blog article is in conjunction with FOCUS’ new Vote Life initiative.
For more information, go to: www.focus.org/vote. On this page you can learn more about how to register to vote, how to vote absentee, how to share the prolife message on social media, and much more. Please spread the word by sharing this article or website via social media.
This post is a apart of the “What I Wish College Students Knew” series. We wanted to get popular Catholic authors and speakers to write about topics that were close to the minds and hearts of college students across the country. To read more posts in this series, click on the links below. Feel free to give your input and join the conversation on these important topics.
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What I Wish College Students Knew About Voting
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Since the pontificates of Pope Paul VI and John Paul II, the Roman Catholic Church has been commissioned to engage and embrace the world with God's message of love once more with ‘new methods, new ardor and new expression.’ It has come to be phrased, 'the new evangelization.'
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