Posted by: Thomas Richard | October 14, 2015

Reflections Upon A Coming Election

Election time is quite a revelation.  Since politicians keep close to the mind and heart of the electorate – at least, close to a majority of the likely actual voters – the political campaigns verbalize and emphasize the national concerns, our actual hopes and fears as a society.  It ain’t pretty.  It is not an encouraging revelation.  It is a mixture, true, but the mix is sounding less and less hopeful as the years go by.

A democratic republic is a beautiful idea!  Representative government, elected by the public, power divided and balanced according to legislation, execution and judicial overview – it sounds good, prudent, rational and reasonable.  Mistakes can be corrected in time through periodic elections, discordant views and opinions and philosophies can be harmonized with fraternal compromise.  It all is a beautiful idea if, that is, if the foundation upon which the edifice is build is solid and true.  Is it a rock?  Is it sand?  Is it true?  Is it fantasy, false and deceiving?

The experiment that was named the United States of America came mostly out of European cultures, and the English tradition of law and justice.  Judeo-Christian morality was as commonly accepted and unchallenged as the air we breathed and the clear water we drank.  Our differences were over the styles and meanings of worship, not the duty of it.  Some might have sought freedom from religion, but the vast majority recognized that men who would deny a divine Creator were lacking in reason and honor.  Freedom of religion was a pervading tenet claimed, even insisted upon as a right worth fighting for and dying for.

One crucial understanding of the moral foundations of the culture was the family: it was one man, one woman, mutually faithful until death do they part.  The family was taken for granted, so obvious it was.  Its roots were clear: created in the very beginning God Himself established marriage, and its definition and universal application among men was affirmed by Christ.

Now, in one man’s lifetime (mine) all this has changed.  Not just changed incrementally: changed radically.  Man has succeeded in marginalizing God – expelling Him even past the boundaries of modern society – such that human morality, and indeed even what is thought of as “human nature” itself, has been redefined.  Man is no longer “created in the image of God.”  Now, God is an idea shaped by the opinions and imaginations of the individual person.  God is now “formulated in the image of man.”

Good and evil, once made meaningful in the truth of Holy God, is now relative, subjective, transitory, “in development.”   Man has seated himself in the Holy Place – and all the while, his very heart is decaying into corruption.

The abandonment of God immediately brings the abandonment of reality, truth, goodness, happiness, peace.  Man’s spiritual suicide immediately pervades all society, with the consequence of national, cultural, social illness – grave, terminal illness.  Like the dog gnawing off his own leg, Western culture is devouring itself and cannot even perceive it.

So the politicians promise whatever it takes, reasonable or absurd, sincerely or deceitfully.  To many of them, it seems, the distinction does not matter: for many, “they rule for the sake of ruling,” as Augustine described leadership in the City of Man that opposes the City of God.  America seems sick of “business as usual” politicians!  Yet without building a government on truth – on rock – on that which is authentic and real and lasting – what substantial change can possibly come?

God sent a light – His light – into this lost and dark world!  That light was His Church.  How has our light become so compromised, so indistinct, so dimmed, so ineffectual – so much a faint echo of man, and not the vibrant proclamation of God?  Church, when will you awaken and sound the alarm?  Without your faithful witness to Christ, what hope remains for this world?


  1. Thanks, Thomas, for your reflections. Coming elections in the USA need increasing reflection and increasing prayer for Light to overcome the darkness.

    May God enable each member of His Church to reflect seriously on whether or not Christ is shining before men as Christ urged us in His Sermon on the Mount. May we so shine that Our Father is glorified. (cf Mt. 5: 14 – 16)

    Yesterday, Oct. 13 was the anniversary of the 6th Apparition at Fatima in 1917. In a homily given in 2010 at Fatima, Pope Benedict XVI quoted Blessed Francisco Marto’s words (one of the children to whom Mary appeared): “What I liked most of all was seeing Our Lord in that light which Our Mother put into our hearts. I love God so much!”

    By God’s Grace may we become like children open to receive and to give the Light which comes to us through Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit.

  2. Thanks for your thoughts on the election and Western society in general Doctor. I agree completely with your reflections here. Reversing this trend of godlessness has to start with the way we Americans raise our kids. May God bless the United States and especially the faithful living here.

    • Hello Charles, thank you for your comment. Concerning family, children, parenting in general and being a father in particular – if you haven’t yet seen this excellent letter from Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, I recommend it:

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