"I’d rather go moose hunting than be involved with politics."
Sarah Palin's dad said that, but I certainly could have.
I feel his pain. I don't like politics, don't understand the process, and don't particularly want to. In the past 25 years that I've been voting, I've based my decisions on a simple formula. How does this candidate line up with Catholic teaching? Is he/she prolife?
It's a simple strategy that has served me well.
The first election that I really got emotional about was the Bush/Clinton contest in 1992. I remember feeling so despondent when Mr. Clinton won. What disturbed me the most was that so many of my Catholic friends didn't seem to care that Clinton supported abortion rights. For me, it was all about the babies. It was not the economy, stupid, and who cares about character? Let's focus on the babies.
I still focus on the babies, and while that does keep things simple in many regards, I am not naive. I know that these things, like most, are complicated. Are these candidates qualified? Are they people of good character? Are they fit to lead our country?
I was, honestly, not very excited about John McCain. He was more prolife than Mr. Obama, so he had my vote. That was it. But when Mrs. Palin joined the contest, I must admit that I got a tiny bit excited.
My husband says that a vote for Sarah Palin is a vote for me. That's amusing, but we do have a thing or two in common. I'm just amazed that a woman like her -- a prolife woman, the mother of five -- is a candidate for vice president of our country. The recent chatter about her pregnant daughter is compelling. Is it Mrs. Palin's "fault" that her daughter is pregnant? Is this about sin and scandal? Would readily available contraceptives -- not the abstinence education that Palin promotes -- have prevented this seventeen year-old's blast into adulthood?
Is it my fault when my kids don't listen to me? You can imagine where I stand on this. I'm just not passionate enough about the political process to spend lots of time here writing a commentary.
I want a world where God is honored. I want a country where we forgive the sins of others, and let God do the judging. I want to live in a place where each life is honored and nurtured and welcomed.
Instead, I live here, in this real world, in the United States of the 21st Century.
Eden is a long way off, a distant memory.
Let's do our best to vote for candidates who are aiming to know, love and serve God. And let's do our best to live individual lives of virtue that lead other souls to Christ.
Most of us lack the political savvy to make much of a difference in that arena. We cast our votes and go home. Let's work to make that home a place that reflects our goals as Catholics.
Let's live without judgment and hostility. Let's save the babies and each other. Let's be such atractive examples of the Christian life that everyone will want to find out more about Our Lord.
None of the candidates are perfect. None ever will be. Let's work to do the best we can to attract, promote, build up, edify, strengthen, and nurture.
I'd go moose hunting now, if I could. Instead I'll get back to the work of being a humble Catholic wife and mom trying to love others as she loves herself.
That's the best I can offer.