It is important to undertake one’s responsibility to vote at elections. We pray in our services for good laws to be established in our country. This is part of our Christian witness. But we also need to understand that our witness to Christ is a transcendent one, made in this world but pointing beyond this world. So, when we go to the ballot box, we vote on matters that are inevitably part of the fallen world. But whether abortion is legal or not doesn’t change things; because from the perspective of Orthodox Christianity, the Church does not bless abortion. We are bound by the teaching of the Church. Whether same sex marriage is legal or not doesn’t change things, because same sex marriages cannot be blessed in the Church. Whether you believe in gun control or not doesn’t change things, because if someone takes the life of another with a gun or other weapon, that person would still be expected to go to confession in the Church. There is a recognition that to take a life of another even if “justified” is not what we were created for. It is symptomatic of something that has gone wrong in the world. Only Christ, by His death on the Cross can make things right. The thief on the cross still suffered the consequence of his crime (capital punishment), but was also forgiven by Christ at the Cross due to his repentance and was told, “this day you will be with me in paradise.”
So, before I address the voting issue, I wanted to share the following thought.
I think it is important in family life that ongoing discussions take place between parents and their children about the current events of our day. Since kids do this in school, it is important to bring those discussions into the home. Parents need to help their children understand the teaching of the Church on certain issues and why this is so. It is so important for a parent to be a good listener here. We need to teach the virtue of tolerance to our children. One may not agree with another on a certain issue, so we agree to disagree and treat others with differing viewpoints with respect.
There are no easy answers to these questions. That is why parents need to seek out the guidance of their priest in how to engage in these ongoing discussions with their children.
Next week I will continue to discuss voting and civic responsibility.
The blessing of the Lord be upon you,
The unworthy +Paul