One Vote

 

Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi

 
  10/26/2012
 

I have one vote to cast on November 6. It seems so insignifi cant. What is one vote among millions? It also seems so inadequate since there is much which I want to say with my one vote.

I want to cast my vote in a way which says that our nation needs to care about the poor, the unemployed, and all those struggling to make ends meet. Quality education and health care can be available to all.

I want to cast my vote in a way which says that I do not appreciate the pervasive negative campaigning in our country. I am tired of "I gotch ya!" when one candidate tries to pounce on the slip of a tongue of the opponent. There is far too much effort at demonizing the other side.

I want to cast my vote in a way which says that our nation’s character has been formed by both respect for law and welcoming the immigrant and that there is no reason why we cannot find a way to continue both in our own day.

I want to cast my vote in a way which says that religious liberty and other fundamental rights are not to be sacrificed for the political agenda of the moment. The freedoms which the founders of our country bequeathed to us, and which countless people have sacrificed for and safeguarded, cannot be so lightly treated as to be considered as pawns for furthering one’s ambitions.

I want to cast my vote in a way which says that our generation has a duty to maintain the economic health of our country for the next generation. We have no right to create a crushing debt as the legacy which our young people will inherit from us.

I want to cast my vote in a way which says that marriage and family are the basic components of any society. For our contemporary society to ignore this fact contradicts human wisdom derived from millennia of experience. Academic evidence is mounting that the decline of the family and the attempts to redefi ne marriage have profound social costs for our society and especially for our kids.

Without hesitation, I wish to cast my vote in a way which says that human life is to be respected and cherished, and that the right to life precedes and underlies every other right. Without life, no other rights matter. The lives of the pre-born baby, the elderly, and the terminally ill, cannot be viewed as burdens to society. They need to be viewed as who they really are, precious, unique, human beings who are each a child of God.

Obviously, there is a great deal which I wish to say with my one small vote. Regardless of the candidates I will vote for, this I know, that my decision as to how I vote is a moral decision. I must cast my vote knowing that one day I will stand before God to give an accounting of my life - every aspect of my life. All my decisions in life must be made with that realization. I cannot say to God that I followed Him in some areas of my life, but not in others. God wants our whole heart and wants to be a part of our entire lives. We will be accountable for all decisions we make, including how we voted.

There can be the temptation to think that, since I have only one vote, my vote does not really make much difference in the moral fi ber of our nation. How much infl uence does one vote make? However, there is an old saying that no individual snowfl ake ever felt responsible for an avalanche. Yet we know that every individual fl ake contributed to it. We contribute to the moral character of our country in the decisions and actions we make, including voting. Let us remember this and let us pray that God’s wisdom will guide us and all voters as we prepare to cast our one vote.