Patti Armstrong is an award-winning author and was the managing editor and co-author of Ascension Press’ bestselling Amazing Grace series. Her latest books are: Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories From Everyday Families and Dear God, You Can’t Be Serious. She has a B.A. in social work and an M.A. in public administration and worked in both those fields before staying home to work as a freelance writer. Patti and her husband live in North Dakota, where they are still raising the tail end of their 10 children.
Our melting pot of a country has degenerated into oil and water. Virtues are often mistaken for a hindrance and politics seem to be a race towards Armageddon.
At such a time in history, there is no real compromise since Christians must keep fighting evil and not compromising on good. And so, campaign seasons are more desperate these days. One of our biggest fears is that if we get another extreme pro-abortion president, our country’s moral decline will continue. Yet, a prolife president will face angry and determined forces. Is it possible that there is a person who can actually lead our country away from abortion and other evils? How can any one leader bring us together?
Jesus and the Government
Keep in mind that during the time of Jesus, moral leadership was not the norm. It is noteworthy, however, that Jesus stayed out of politics although teaching truth often irritated people within governments. Ven. Archbishop Fulton Sheen put politics and religion in perspective in his book Characters of the Passion written in 1947. He looked at the Passion of Jesus Christ and related it to our modern world.
The Church does not interfere in politics, according to him, but it is often the other way around, that the government “usurps the soul and enthrones party over conscience.” Sheen pointed out that that when the Church teaches right and wrong, it is not interfering with politics but is addressing theology. “When a state sets itself up as absolute as God, when it claims sovereignty over the soul, when it destroys freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, then the state has ceased to be political and has begun to be a counter-Church,” he wrote
Sheen noted that the state is supreme in temporal matters. But when politics make religious proclamations such as women have the right to end the life of their unborn babies – politics enters religion and claims supremacy over the human soul. Voting and campaigning against candidates and issues that compete with religion, is not against politics, Sheen explained, but against a counter-religion.
He reminded us: “It was Jesus Christ who suffered under Pontius Pilate; it was not Pontius Pilate who suffered under Jesus Christ. The grave danger today is not religion in politics but politics in religion.”
A New President
Recall that Jesus told Pilate: "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."
It comes back to us, the ones electing the president. But if there are less of us out there than there are of them, how can we elect someone who reflects Christian teaching? And how can a mere man overcome anti-God inclinations in citizens?
It begins and ends with the power our country once tapped into wholeheartedly—God. “You build your house in vain unless God builds it,” according to Anthony Mullen, Chairman of the Children of the Father Foundation, a lay apostolate to help the Church achieve a New Springtime of Christianity through a unique outpouring of God's Divine Mercy. “Our country will continue to be divided and spin out of control until God is put back,” he said. “Separation of church and state doesn’t mean eliminating church. We should be free to recognize a Supreme Being.”
Mullen pointed out that the U.S. is more polarized and more extreme than it’s ever been. “So I would say, who cares who becomes president?” he said. “How could it change anything? A president is not going to get all the Republicans and Democrats to work together.” Mullen said that that our country was blessed for so many years because our founders recognized God as sovereign over our country and asked him to bless us. “They publicly recognized him and wrote about him to the point that some of their addresses sounds like sermons,” he said.
“Any Christian should understand that man-made solutions will not change anything unless we look to God,” Mullen said and pointed to the Blessed Mother, prayer, and fasting as tools given to us by God. He said he wants to help people understand that fasting and the Rosary will draw people closer to God because both are powerful weapons to defeat Satan’s influence over the world.
Through one of Children of the Father’s ministries, MyConsecration.org, Mullen is encouraging people to take the Lenten Mercy Challenge in order to grow closer to God and fight evil in our world with one decade of the Rosary on Fridays and fasting on bread and water at lunch. By joining together with others, we become an army against evil.
Lent has more power than a presidential campaign to help our country. Before Jesus began his ministry, he fasted for 40 days. And anything good enough for Jesus is good enough for us—Mary being one that was good enough for Jesus.
Padre Pio encouraged people to pray the Rosary, which he called “the weapon.” He also encouraged fasting with prayers for miracles. Our country certainly could use a miracle and I don’t expect any president to be able to deliver one.