Jeannie Gaffigan writes:
Here is my confession: I am a real Catholic, and I am not going to vote for Donald J. Trump….
My faith, family and Catholic education have given me the belief in the innate dignity and worth of every single human being. Human life is sacred, and all humans have equal value. Of course, this means it is wrong to intentionally take a human life under any circumstances, but it is also wrong to disregard human life through racism, unjust social and economic structures, providing inadequate access to health care, wantonly harming the environment, abusing or neglecting anyone—a child, a mother, a father, a grandparent, an immigrant. I am not sure how one thing that harms a life can be weighted more strongly than another, but based on the reaction to Jim’s now-infamous tweetstorm, it is abundantly clear that there is a segment of the Catholic Church that feels that the single issue of abortion, for lack of a better word, trumps every other evil. Somehow a vote against Mr. Trump has become synonymous with not only being a “bad Catholic” but ultimately, being complicit in murder. And even worse, the murder of “society’s most vulnerable.”…
The dignity of the human person extends to all of us created in his image, both in the womb and out of the womb. As a Catholic I desire to support a society that strives to protect every life. Systemic racism in our culture has led to such economic and social inequality that it is virtually impossible to have a “culture of life” without addressing the fact that we have been complicit in a long history of devaluing our fellow human beings based on the color of their skin or the way they came to this country.
Can we really sit in our homes with our private health insurance and judge our neighbors who have nothing? How can we strive to heal the tragedy of abortion without acknowledging the deep wounds and life-threatening crises that drive people to it? How arrogant we are to condemn women of any color living in poverty, faced with the unimaginable and horrific circumstances that would drive them to seek an abortion, without taking a good look at how we have failed them by not offering adequate health care, child care, education and employment opportunities? Do we ever stop to think about how far we are from achieving a “culture of life” in light of the well-documented and video-recorded police brutality against Black Americans? Are refugee children, homeless pregnant women or the prisoners on death row not also “society’s most vulnerable”?…
Some Catholic friends have advised me to simply cast a “protest vote” so I can walk away with a clean heart and conscience. I’ve got news for you: This is going to be a close election. There is only one candidate that has a chance to unseat President Trump.
As much as some of my well-intended fellow Catholics will hate to hear this, it is crystal clear to me that the right thing to do is vote for Joe Biden. I believe it will be impossible to tackle these other issues with a president who is working overtime to sow division and hatred in this county through insults, intimidation, fear and blatant racism. This venomous “us against them” mentality is trickling down, seeping into our churches and poisoning our pulpits. To a culture of life, vipers are deadly.