Throughout her history, the Church has said both Yes and No to
the State. "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's" is the yes; "Give to God what is
God's" contains the no.
The "yes" is echoed in Scriptures such as Rom. 13:1-7 and 1 Pt.2:13ff,
indicating that the state is established by God, and that we must honor the
emperor, pay taxes, and pray for those in leadership. Jer. 29 even instructs the
exiles to pray for and build up the city of their captors!
The "no" takes over, however, whenever a human command or law strikes at the
law of God or the core of the faith. We must obey God rather than men (Acts 4
So it is with abortion. The Church teaches that laws permitting
abortion are not valid laws, and lack all authority.
You and I are called to change such laws by participating in self-governance.
Our bishops have written, "The Gospel of life must be proclaimed and human
life defended in all places and all times. The arena for moral responsibility
includes…the voting booth." -- 1998, US Bishops, Living the Gospel of Life,
There is a lot that the Church can do to encourage people in their political
responsibility, including the following:
* Speak about the issues
* Speak about the duties of government
* Declare that unjust laws are unjust
* Inform us of our duty to vote
* Tell us what issues matter the most
* Conduct non-partisan voter-registration drives
* Inform us about where candidates stand on the issues
* Allow a candidate to appear at a Church service
* Allow others to distribute candidate literature in Church parking lots
* Allow political news stories and even ads (at the normal rate) in the
You can get guidance on all this, including direction toward candidate info,