Your Vote, Their Voice
Maggie Buckley, Copy Editor
The email. The handbook. The message from the president.
I am sure that if you are reading this, you know exactly what I am referring to.
It is more than obvious that we are living in a contentious and divisive time, especially with Election Day rapidly approaching, so the Campus Ministry at Assumption University stepped in to arm students with the knowledge, provided by the Catholic Bishops of the United States in “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” needed to make an informed decision at the polls.
It just so happens that this knowledge perpetuates hatred and exclusivity, most especially against those in the LGBTQIA+ community.
I cannot begin to comprehend what it must be like to have my identity under fire, being told that my sexual orientation is a “violation of human dignity,” but many Assumption students can. I will not sit here and pretend that I know what it is like to be treated with “dignity, respect and compassion” that involves discriminating against where I find love.
I can be abhorred by it. And I am. I sympathize with each and every individual who was offended by this act of cruelty, but I cannot empathize with them. I cannot truly understand. Go find someone who truly understands what it must be like to have such an intimate and integral part of you torn down in such a public way.
That is not something I can write about.
But here is something I can.
I have attended Catholic school since I was five-years-old. I know what the church views as right and wrong. I know it tells you that each individual is created in the image and likeness of God, but spits in your face if you dare to love someone outside of a heterosexual union. And I know that it loves to impose its beliefs onto others.
I completely understand that I attend a Catholic university, so the homophobic contents of the email, of the handbook, and of the un-apology did not surprise me. The Catholic Church is nothing if not transparent on these sorts of issues. They believe marriage is something reserved for a woman and a man. Do I agree with it? No, absolutely not. I was just not surprised.
Here’s the thing though, and this is something that I have taken an issue with since I was a little girl, who is the Catholic Church to tell us how to vote?
Never mind the fact that the church tells us who we should or should not love. Never mind the fact that the church tells us what we can or cannot do with our bodies.
Who is the church to tell us how to vote?
What happened to the separation of church and state?
There is a line drawn between these two entities, yet that line was crossed when this piece was written, and it was thrown out the window when it was sent out to every student at Assumption University.
The church claims that these forms of hatred are in fact “moral applications” that voters, particularly Catholics, need to be informed about. Know that a woman having a right to choose, not necessarily exercising it, but having access to a safe procedure when she deems it necessary, is evil. Know that a person who finds love in an individual of the same gender is immoral. Know that being true to yourself by defining your gender and taking ownership of your body is disgusting and wrong. A candidate’s stance on these issues may “legitimately lead a voter to disqualify a candidate from receiving support.”
“Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” endorses hatred and, along with that, a certain candidate who ensures abortions will not be legalized, the LGBTQIA+ community will not be respected, and that the polarized state of the nation will not subside.
How dare they tell us what to do with our voice?
How dare they tell us who or what to vote for, shrouded in the disguise of “moral applications”?
How dare they prompt hate, when what we need most is love?
If hate truly does have no home here, then we need to rethink everything that was said in that piece.
If hate truly does have no home here, we need to decide about what is truly important to us.
If hate truly does have no home here, we will all cast our ballots and make our voices heard.
We need to stand up for what is right, for kindness and for love.