This evening I have been purging my Gmail inbox. It usually gets a little out of control as the semester progresses; there were 88 messages in my primary tab when I started. There are 25 at this point*, and one of them is niggling at me.
*That doesn't include any blog comments. Those go straight to their own folder, where I read them avidly but have not responded in...hmm...a long time. My apologies.
Shortly before our primary election, the parish pro-life council sent out a guide for voters. "Great," thought I, "there are lots of unfamiliar candidates and I'd like to know more about them." And then I read it.
You already know I am over the idea that voting while Catholic = voting Republican. But I am really seriously crankily over the idea that a document sent out through parish channels would tell me to vote Republican-- would utterly fail to acknowledge that we need to provide concrete support to pregnant women and protect gestating babies from harms other than abortion.
I have contacted my representative dozens of times since the 2016 election, and I tell you true: I'd sooner vote for an overripe banana. It is not pro-life to fight against accessible prenatal care. It is not pro-life to smooth the path for industry to dump teratogens in the water supply, where they can wreak havoc on the unborn. My rep did both of those things. And yet a vote for the posturing destined-to-fail 20-week ban apparently signifies that a pro-life hero walks among us.
I have kept the email in my inbox because I'd like to write a note to my pastor. This will come up again between now and November, and I would like their next email to be a little more nuanced. I don't know how we got to a place where a candidate could spout whatever bizarre destructive nonsense took his fancy and command the "pro-life" vote as long as he claimed he'd vote to restrict abortion. I don't know how we return from there either.
I don't know of a source for sensible voting guides. I'm not sure what such a thing would look like in the current climate, at a time when so many Alabama Christians, for instance, believed they had a moral obligation to vote for Roy Moore over Doug Jones. (Roy! Moore! FTLOG: Roy! Moore!) I don't want any more "guidance" telling me to support the candidate I've already asked so many times to heed the church's dictates. He's made his priorities clear to me. I do not share them. I will not vote for him.