Monday, November 03, 2008

Faith and Politics

With one day to go, perhaps a post on the election is in order. Truthfully, I have paid little attention to it. But I did vote, and so did the kids, and so will the Quiet Husband, and I think that for once we are all united in our views, and it looks like our guy may actually win. Whatever the outcome, I hope that the new occupant of the White House is paying attention to Nicolas Kristof's Saturday column in The Times, urging us to "Rejoin the World," because I think that the way in which we have isolated ourselves into a corner is our most pressing foundational concern.

That said, what interested me over the week-end was what local religious leaders had to say to their congregations about the election. In my own small personal orbit:

At Mass, the priest did not mention the election once. It was All Souls' Day there and he focused on purgatory. However, during the prayer time, individuals prayed in gratitude for our right to vote, in hope that we would use it wisely, and for the safety of both candidates. And when I went out to the parking lot, I discovered that each car bore an election placard checking off John McCain as the "right" vote for those concerned with issues from what might be termed a Catholic point of view. Of course, each issue is so complex that one could, in my view, hardly identify a "Catholic position." I suppose that if I gave it some thought, I would be offended by such a partisan interruption to an experience of worship, even after the final words were said and even in the parking lot and regardless of my personal viewpoint. Whatever.


In my own Presby church, the prayers of the people also included prayers that we would exercise the gift of the vote with wisdom. And our pastor did a masterful job of weaving the matter of the election into a sermon 0n Jesus' groundedness, arguing that at the core of the agitation in our nation is a question of identity and that we have lost touch with our ground of vaues. Jesus, he pointed out, identified himself with the humiliated, the powerless, and the poor. And then he segued from Jesus' identity to our own, from the election to All Saints' Day. The core of our being, he said, is a gift of God, and our dead are beloved because they had God's breath in them.

So ~ how did it go in your place of worship this past weekend?

6 comments:

Kathryn J said...

I did the children's liturgy this week at church. It did not come up. I wish I could have heard the homily.

Posts at two levels about your worship services on Sunday - thank you for writing!

Kris said...

I had many thoughts of you yesterday. One being what you would have thought of Father Vic's homily. No politics at all. He was sharing his thoughts of how WE are a gift from God to Jesus. If I was as good as you I could quote were he pulled that from for that interpertation. But I am not. It was very interesting though. I was wishing you were there to ask "what do you think? is he right?" I do have to say I like that idea. Me, a gift from God to his Son. Cool.

mompriest said...

sounds like the pastor in your Presby church did a fine job with the sermon....we did not address it at all - but we had a lot going on yesterday.

I haven't voted yet, will tomorrow...I hope the lines are not too long!

Alexandra said...

the only politics in church were a prayer for wisdom for leaders . . . . and good in the world, regardless of who is elected.
And, on All Saints Day, that is enough, I think.

RevDrKate said...

My team member who preached did a nice subtle job of connecting Jesus who reached out for those at the margins as a community organizer of his day and one who offered a new hope of change with those in our time who have done the same and are named as saints (Rosa Parks was an example she used) and are doing so today (no names) in big ways and in our own lives and then she talked about her own grandmother and invited us to recall our saints. It was the personal, the political and the Gospel, all nicely woven.

Lisa :-] said...

I didn't go to a place of worship, but I had a discussion last week with my sister who has taken a job as office manager at a Catholic Church. She mentioned that the "official" stance of the church had to be in favor of McCain due to his (party's) stand on reproductive rights. I said, however, that I don't see how the Church's stance could be quite so cut and dried, given the Republican stand on the death penalty, which the Church also condemns. Most thinking Catholics that I encounter are not single issue voters; and I think that is why the guy standing behind the pulpit avoided the issue altogether...