With the presidential debate still fresh in everyone's minds, everyone is very strongly feeling the impending doom of the election in November. Especially as Catholics, it feels like either presidential candidate is going to lead to the dystopian novels and movies we take such thrill from but would never advocate.
It's so easy to despair, but here is an important reminder:
Politics is not the solution.
We can easily assume that having the perfect political system will solve all our societal problems. Likewise, having the worst possible political leaders will be the end of the world. However, I think we need to change our perspective: God is the solution. Not politics. Placing our trust in God instead of politics will bring us to peace. Politics never will bring us lasting peace. And yes, we should always uphold our country and promote a political system that does not oppose religious freedom; however, it's not an end in itself. It's certainly a means to happiness, but it does not guarantee it.
Likewise, we should never despair nor lose our calm if the United States government goes downhill in a major avalanche after the presidential elections. Look to the early Christian martyrs as an example. They had no religious freedom whatsoever. All worship took place in secret. They were threatened with horrific deaths by a society that strongly promoted sex and other worldly pleasures. And yet, Christianity thrived. There are so many parallels with the Roman Empire and modern society today, and I'd like to think that if Christianity could thrive with a political and societal structure such as ancient Rome, it can thrive today.
See, we've been graced with religious freedom and we can take our faith for granted. Many of us have lived mediocre Christian lives, and having to defend one's faith, even with the threat of death, is as foreign as it gets. Perhaps God is allowing this political trial in order to push us to embrace the faith with a greater fervency, in order that we no longer take our faith and beliefs for granted.
God allows evil to bring about a greater good. Good can come out of this election, but we need to trust in God. No more jokes about moving to Canada if Clinton gets elected. No more despairing. Let's stand unwavering, confident that even through the trials and suffering which are inevitably to come, good will prevail and Christianity will thrive.
So I challenge you all to pray for the strength to trust in God and to reflect on the actions of former saints who suffered under political and societal persecution.