Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Diocese of Honolulu:
Peace be with you!
We are all probably very weary of the Presidential campaigns by now. We have
heard debates and speeches, seen blogs, read newspaper articles, and seen
opinion polls. No matter what the polls may have said at any given moment,
there is only one opinion poll that matters, and that is the vote itself.
One of the candidates will emerge victorious because of the people who
supported him with their votes.
I urge all of you to cast your vote on November 4. It is our civic
responsibility. But I ask you in these final days before the election to
pray over the choices, to reflect upon the values of the gospel of Jesus
Christ, and to make an informed choice.
There are many issues to consider: war, the economy, ecology, the stability
of the family, health care, education, the elimination of poverty at home
and abroad. Among the many issues to be weighed, however, one issue alone
far outweighs all others: the right to life. Without life, all other issues
do not matter. It is the right to life that is fundamental. Abortion in a
special way is an issue that we need to focus on, since it is a violation of
the human rights of human beings who are so vulnerable they cannot speak for
or defend themselves. It is the most widespread – and the only legal – form
of domestic violence. It is a cancer that erodes our respect for one another
in many different ways. It is a hidden source of anger, depression and
denial for those who cannot admit what they know in their heart of hearts,
that it is the deliberate taking of the life of a real human girl or boy.
I have often heard the slogan, “You cannot legislate morality.” It is meant
to say that there are different opinions and no law can make people do what
is right. However, I think the slogan is false. If we cannot legislate
morality, then what is it we do legislate? Why is there a need for
government at all, if not to articulate and guide society in doing what is
right and just? Is that not what morality is? Respect for one another, and
the most fundamental respect for life are the bases of all morality and all
law. All government officials must serve not by doing what is convenient or
popular, but by insisting on higher values for the good of all in society,
especially the most vulnerable.
I urge all to vote. But before you do, please pray about what the Lord wants
us to do in our society, about what the gospel of Jesus demands. Pray for
the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Pray for the strength to do what is right
not only in the election but in the years that will follow it, so that we
can all remain citizens who are faithful to the Lord and Giver of Life.
What was said or not said during this long campaign matters only now in how
it leads us to vote for our new President and other leaders of government.
May the Lord enlighten and guide you!