Editorial on Election from Matt Siblo

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As I drove around this past weekend, the first since the results of decision 2004, I couldn’t help but get depressed. With the massive amount of Kerry/Edwards bumper stickers still prominently displayed, I was constantly reminded of the crushing defeat of the 48% candidate. Last Tuesday knocked the wind out of me both literally and figuratively and I have a feeling that I will be reeling for weeks to come. I write this to both vent my frustrations but to also bring up a point to which I often feel is ignored by most Christians. While George W. Bush is commonly seen as the ‘pious’ candidate due to his staunch views on abortion, stem cell research and gay marriage, I do not believe that our role as Christians should be so limited to only vote on these select issues. As Bob Herbert eloquently stated in his OP-ED in November 8th’s New York Times, we as a country must be wary about this self-selective proves of “faith” intermingling with political practices. If America is to exert this religious fervor, should it not be universal instead to further the country’s best interest? No one will argue that Saddam Hussein was evil and needed to stopped, but many dictators of the same caliber are still at large and ignored by this country. If we are in fact going to take on this role of the ‘world police’ or liberator (a questionable tactic in it of itself) should we ask not ourselves why have we decided to just single out Iraq? Another strong Christian value that is seriously missing from the current administration is a sense of personal and collective humility. As Americans continue to recover from the tragic events of September 11th, let us remember that nationalistic pride can be a great attribute, so long as it doesn’t drift into arrogance and a superiority complex. This country might not care what other nation’s think of us, but what does this self-righteous behavior says about our so-called ‘faith’. For those of you who instinctively believe that the Republican only represents the Catholic or Christian position, I implore you to look towards Catholic Social Teachings, including works by Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu and Archbishop Oscar Romero. As this country forges ahead for another four red state years, let us never lose sight of the fact that as Christians we are called by God to serve more than just ourselves. It is also detrimental that we never lose sight of the fact that as the greatest melting pot nation, no one religious belief should solely guide legislative policy. Let us remember the definition of freedom with our actions, not our American Flag paraphernalia. It is with these hopes for the future that I am able to get through those painful bumper sticker moments.