You Decide: Politics or Religion? 9

Bishop Thomas Paprocki

Recently, 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,, 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.


  1. The media’s tactic is to create a narrative in people’s head: “If you vote against Obama for religious reasons, you are just as small minded and bigoted, blindly following (stupid) religion. Religion can NEVER be involved in politics…unless Obama is explaining murder away.

  2. Hey, James!
    Great post; excellent vids.

    Ethics throughout our life has always been an intrinsic part of Christianity. I’m not getting into the whole “grace” debate; just that if you do not live in an ethical manner, that would not be what Jesus taught us to do.

    Every priest, IMHO, should be delivering some version of this message.

    Oh, and BTW: I think your last “would” should be a “wouldn’t”, unless I misread it.

    • Thanks, JTR!

      The Church would not be doing what Jesus instructed it to do if it did not preach the Gospel. The truth cannot set you free if you do not abide by the truth.

      BTW: Thanks for catching that typo for me!

  3. Bishop Paprocki might not say what party you can and cannot vote for, but I will: You cannot, in good conscience, as a Catholic, vote for any party that holds intrinsic evils on its platform. PERIOD. Any other party (Republican, Libertarian, Green, whatever) that does not hold intrinsic evils as values is fair game for voting. But, until the Democrat Party removes abortion and gay-marriage as their “civil rights agenda”, not a single Democrat who is in affiliation with the party platform should be voted for.

    Again, this is not politics. This is all about souls. Align yourself with intrinsic evil as the Democrat Party has done, and you will be culpable for the evils the Party stands for and you will be held to account.

    That’s all =) .. God bless!


    • This is a tough pill to swallow. I would like for there to be pro-life democrats and individuals within the party who want to redeem it and reform it. But you put it very well, Travis. Anyone who affiliates themselves with the platform says that they support those non-negotiable issues by doing so. It’s not so hard to figure that out. If I am missing the point, I wish someone else would explain it to me.

      Thanks for your comment! God bless!

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