Recently, Rightwingwatch.org posted this video of Bishop Thomas John Paprocki (Springfield, Illinois) cautioning Catholic voters to think before they vote.
Two different online news sites copied the Right Wing Watch headline: Catholic bishop: Voting for Obama jeopardizes the ‘eternal salvation of your own soul.’ A third source, examiner.com, took to interpreting it differently with the following headline:
Catholic church: Voting for Obama may cause you to burn in hell
I have included two videos below. The first is the segment from Right Wing Watch; the second, a slightly longer version (about 3 1/2 minutes long) that was posted on the Catholic Times website. Between the two videos is a link to Bishop Paprocki’s full text.
Before you watch the video, I have a question. Are we looking at religion, politics, or scare tactics? And, who is using what to scare whom?
Read the full text or watch the next video below.
Bishop Paprocki only mentions Obama once in the entire speech, and rather favorably at that. Moreover, he does not say anything about burning in hell. You hear many people say they prefer Christ’s message of love over fire and brimstone preaching on hell and damnation. And who wouldn’t?
All the while, some groups are rather unashamed of using the threat of hellfire to turn voters away from the Church, whose message in this case is simply this: Think before you vote.
The other side wants you to think as well. That is, if thinking means thinking in line with them (unthinkingly).
As for the Catholic Church, it is concerned for the salvation of your soul. For that matter, it wants voters to vote in good conscience. That is not politics. It’s a matter of religion. If the Bishops and priests were not advising us to cast our votes ethically, as they do in every election year, they wouldn’t be doing their job.