By Tim Von Dohlen

America’s Future and Your Eternal Soul come before party politics

October 13, 2016

Mother Teresa said, “We are not called to be successful we are called to be faithful.”  That includes bringing our beliefs into the voting booth with us and voting accordingly.

On a recent Sunday one of the Bible readings during Mass was from the infrequently quoted Book of Amos from the Old Testament and it was about “complacency.”  It struck me that even though the Book of Amos was written some centuries before the time of Jesus Christ, people even at that time were complacent toward their faith.

My struggle in this election

I have been mentally struggling with how to present my opinion on whom to vote for President of the United States because of the craziness of the campaign and the seeming complacency and inattention by the electorate, or maybe the perception that many voters will vote based on candidate appearance, family, personality, history of support for a given party or what he or she believes the party stands for.

I am 73 and the parties, the issues and our country are different from the 1960’s or 1970’s when I was a teenager, college student and then member of the Texas Legislature.  Today, each person, before he or she votes, should know from trusted sources about each candidate.

As directed by the Church, I have properly formed my conscience, studied the candidates and the party platforms.

How to we ensure our conscience is aligned with what God asks of us?

“Conscience is the voice of God resounding in the human heart, revealing the truth to us and calling us to do what is good while shunning what is evil. Conscience always requires serious attempts to make sound moral judgments based on the truths of our faith” —USCCB.   This means that your omission to properly form your conscience or voting for a candidate whom you know champions intrinsic evil, places the salvation of your soul at risk.

I know for whom I will vote, not because I like that person more than the other, but because I believe it is the best choice to reestablish American leadership at home and abroad and protect our country’s Judeo-Christian heritage. 

I cannot vote for someone who will (1) make bad appointments to the Supreme Court further eroding the family structure, human dignity and removing God from the public square and (2) who supports legislation that inappropriately increases the burden of taxation, emboldens countries and individuals who would attack America, and continues the movement to advance globalization at the expense of Americans’ freedom.

I must also express my decision based on my shared beliefs of those expressed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) through its book Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship that a person who knowingly, willingly and directly cooperates with a known evil places his or her soul in danger of eternal damnation IF he or she votes for a person who supports intrinsic evil (also called “the non-negotiables”) and IF there is an alternative candidate who does not support intrinsic evil or at the least will make the situation better than the first candidate.  The “intrinsic evils” or “non-negotiables” (which refers to matters that can never be supported) are: abortion, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, euthanasia and assisted suicide.  Abortion is a mortal sin, regardless of what the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled.

How do we cooperate with evil?

There are nine established ways where one cooperates with evil.  Of these, three relate directly to voting:

  1. by consent – giving approval, agreement or permission;
  2. by silence – one’s vote is private and silent but known by the voter and God; and
  3. by defense of the ill done – a vote for attempts to justify the wrong.

The greatest social justice issue of our day: Life. 

Without nurturing innocent Human Life, nothing else matters

The greatest social justice issue is the protection of the unborn and the dignity of the human person.

The tug-of-war going on inside the Catholic Church, among its members, is on social justice issues – protection of the unborn vs. providing for the poor.   So-called “progressive” politicians use their support of the poor as a carrot to win the support of Catholics looking for a way to justify their vote for a candidate who supports, even gives leadership, to advance Planned Parenthood or other pro-abortion causes.

But any attempt to equate the life issue with care for the poor falls flat. As stated before, life must take priority. Always.

Protection of human life takes precedence over all other issues.  Abortion is not “a women’s health issue.”

When a candidate or voter says, “I personally oppose abortion, but I believe in each individual’s right to choose,” or says “I will follow the court’s decision,” this is not acceptable and is another way of trying to appease one’s conscience and make the candidate or voter feel better.  As it is said, a law that violates God’s law is no law at all.

Let’s take a look now at the publicly expressed positions on selected issues that cover “non-negotiables” taken from the Republican and Democrat platforms and from their personal communications: (each candidate pledges to support his or her party platform)

“Non-negotiables” taken from the Republican and Democrat platforms:

  • ISSUE:  Supreme Court Appointments

Trump/Pence: Nominate Pro-Life Justices

Clinton/Kane: Nominate Pro-Abortion Justices

  • ISSUE:  Planned Parenthood

Trump/Pence: Defund

Clinton/Kane: Continue Funding

  • ISSUE:  Hyde Amendment (which does not allow Medicaid Funds for Abortion)

Trump/Pence: Uphold

Clinton/Kane: Repeal

  • ISSUE:  Sex Education

Trump/Pence:  Teach Abstinence Until Marriage

Clinton/Kane:  Teach Sex Education with Full Range of Family Planning

  • ISSUE:  Obamacare

Trump/Pence:  Repeal

Clinton/Kane: Maintain

  •  ISSUE:  Foreign Assistance

Trump/Pence:  Reverse Current Administration’s Radical Agenda

Clinton/Kane:  Continue and Add Abortion Coverage to be Paid for by U.S. Taxpayers

Cardinal Raymond Burke speaks out

Cardinal Raymond Burke, outspoken defender of Catholic teaching regarding life, marriage, sexuality, and the family says, “I think that what we have to do in this time is to look at both candidates to see if one of them will not, at least in some way, advance the common good, both with respect to the good of human life, the good of the family, the freedom of conscience, the care of the poor, and to look at that very carefully”.

Based on all the preceding and my informed conscience, I will vote for the Trump/Pence ticket.  If I were to vote for Clinton/Kaine, I believe I would be committing a mortal sin by cooperating in the evil which they propose and support.

You will need to make that decision for yourself.

Do you know what experiences in Hillary Clinton’s formative years still influence her today?

After college Hillary worked for the president of the Communist Party of California.  She wrote her thesis on Saul Alinsky’s socialist agenda.  In Alinsky’s book Rules for Radicals, Alinsky states “if you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive”.  Does this give us a clue about why her truthfulness is questioned?

The fact that Hillary Clinton accepted $10,000,000 (ten MILLION dollars) from Planned Parenthood for her campaign is enough for me to know America CANNOT TRUST HER to be President.

I offer the following prayer for your discernment.


Lord God, as the election approaches,
we seek to better understand the issues and concerns that confront our city/state/country,
and how the Gospel compels us to respond as faithful citizens in our community.

We ask for eyes that are free from blindness
so that we might see each other as brothers and sisters,
one and equal in dignity,
especially those who are victims of abuse and violence, deceit and poverty.

We ask for ears that will hear the cries of children unborn and those abandoned,
Men and women oppressed because of race or creed, religion or gender.

We ask for minds and hearts that are open to hearing the voice of leaders who will bring us closer to your Kingdom.

We pray for discernment
so that we may choose leaders who hear your Word,
live your love,
and keep in the ways of your truth
as they follow in the steps of Jesus and his Apostles
and guide us to your Kingdom of justice and peace.

We ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit.

We must evaluate a person not by what they say, but by what they do.  Hillary Clinton’s governmental experiences may have prepared her to be President, but her actions disqualify her!



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