Homily – Christian Citizenship

Apostle and Evangelist Luke 
We should approach our civic obligations the same way we approach all our actions: as opportunities to exercise Christian virtue.  We must also resist the temptation to let politics become our religion and government our church.
Big Civic Holiday.  No, not Halloween: voting day.  No political advice.  Spiritual advice.
Why is this necessary?  Cannot segment lives.  Everything we do affects our souls and our relationships (examples).  Also true for voting.  Three points.
  • Vote as a Christian citizen.  Separation of Church and state cannot mean separation of morality from our civic actions!  
    • Voting is another opportunity to express the Christian virtues (Faith, Hope, Love, Wisdom, Justice, Patience, and Chastity) 
    • and the Seven Bodily Acts of Mercy (feed hungry; drink to thirsty, clothe naked, shelter the traveler, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, bury the dead) 
    • Does not necessarily mean voting for the party that promises to use the government to do more: figuring out the one that will actually end up doing the most good in the long term is up to you.
    • Either way, recognize that you are making compromises: there is no party that perfectly expresses the will of God.  Unintended consequences.  This means that our support for a candidate or party is going to do harm as well as good (confession!)
  • No hagiography or demonization of politicians.  Christian charity towards enemies includes politicians.  Must pray for whoever wins.  And must love even those with whom you disagree.  This means that you cannot judge them and should be charitable regarding their intentions.
  • Do not let politics become your religion and government your church.   Government is blessed by God, but it is not the mechanism of our salvation.  As a citizen, you vote in hopes that the government will pursue policies that will alleviate suffering and bring about greater prosperity.  Good policies can make the world a better place to live in; but the Church – not the government – is the only way to make it perfect.