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Where Do I Fit as a Young Catholic Voter? Five Ways You Can Discern Your Vote

Updated: Oct 30, 2020

By David Herrera

The views expressed in this blog post reflect only those of the individual writer, not those of the BRCC as a whole.

In the midst of the pandemic and other various events happening in the world, we are reaching a climax in American politics: the general elections are coming up this November. If you are a registered voter, you will be expected to vote for a legislator for the House of Representatives, a senator (if your state has a senate race), and for the next president of the United States of America. This responsibility can be best described in the words of Uncle Ben, Peter Parker aka Spiderman’s uncle who said, “With great power there must also come great responsibility." Whatever the results may be this November, your vote will affect the direction that this country and its political leaders will take. You have been entrusted with power through your vote and we depend on how you use it.

However, exercising your vote is not always easy. The current political environment almost seems like both political parties are constantly trying to out-best each other without finding common ground to serve society. Even more, scholars have argued that political polarization or the divergence of political attitudes closer to ideological extremes seems to be dominating politics. Negotiation and compromise among parties is less visible today than in other times such as in 2001 when our country came together to confront terrorism. Now days, the conflicts between Republicans and Democrats do not just happen in the political arena but also in our very own homes, social spaces, and social media. It’s okay you’re not alone. I have often tried to avoid conversations with close family friends who are strongly opinionated about politics. It is hard to fit into conversations where you are expected to take a side.

When we are deciding to vote for a candidate of one party or another, there are several ways we can better discern for whom to vote for this fall.

  1. Ask Jesus in your personal conversation and prayer to help you make this decision. Share your thoughts, fears, concerns, and even confusions with Him. I have also often found myself praying the rosary so that our mother could intercede for me when I needed clarity on a concern.

  2. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops provides “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” document addressing many key areas in political engagement. These teachings are closely aligned to the teachings of the Catholic Church. I encourage you to read these documents to help guide your voting.

  3. Find a balance of political media sources that enables you to see different sides to the issues. You may be surprised to find that even trusted media sites can have some bias too.

  4. If you have not already checked out the podcast The Mama and the Papas, hosted by our very own Megan, Fr. Albert, Fr. Edmund check it out! They talk about the Catholic Bishops document and much more.

  5. Most importantly, before getting on the voting booth do not forget that you will not perfectly fit into any political party. Our faith cannot entirely be translated or understood through political platforms. After all, we belong to Jesus and He desires for us to be faithful to Him through our lives.

The views expressed in this blog post reflect only those of the individual writer, not those of the BRCC as a whole.

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