Voting with your Moral Conscience with Amanda Thompson

I really don’t care, do you?

This was the statement on the back of the jacket that Melania Trump wore on her way to visit incarcerated children and parents on the border. Whatever the intent of the message was, we have to ask ourselves in this election season, do we care? And if so, whom do we care about?

Do we care about Black lives in this country? Do they matter? Do we care about abortion more than pregnancy discrimination that mostly affects the poor? Is it possible to care about both? Do we care about climate change enough to make sacrifices for the common good?

This has been a year of digging deeper. Our lives have been upended because of COVID 19 and we all have had to adjust in ways that are very uncomfortable and even painful particularly for those who have lost their jobs and loved ones. We have this moment to pause, question, and dig deeper.

St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac lived in a time of disease, great poverty, a mini ice age, and war. They saw pain and suffering and responded that they did care. They saw the need for those with power and privilege to care.

Theologians throughout the centuries and Jesus himself invite us to question what we stand for and stand on. This is a good thing. We must constantly ask the question, “Who are we thinking about when we form our moral conscience?” Are we focused on our own needs or the needs of others? We live in a highly polarized world. Is there any politician or political party will embrace fully the ideals that Jesus has called us to live up to?

So we go to the polls considering what is the vote for the greatest common good. In the end, whoever wins the presidency will not represent all of what is needed to embrace the common good. We must do that in our own families and communities. So, I encourage us to dig deep, do the work of understanding our country and its racism and denial of human rights of people of color, and cast your vote for the person you think will help bring our country together to care for one another.

Then after November 3, continue the personal work needed to understand the roots of people’s fears and anxieties. Do the work to educate, inform others and stand with those who are poor and on the margins. That is what Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac did and we, as the Vincentian family, are called to do the same.

I really do care, do you?

Amanda Thompson
Director of Catholic Campus Ministry
[email protected]