Catholics: Let your faith show this election season

September 21, 2016
Design by Doug Puller/Bread for the World.

By Dulce Gamboa

As Catholics, we are called to bear public witness to our faith, not to keep it to ourselves and our families. Otherwise, it would be impossible to fully embrace our commandment of loving our neighbor. Our public witness gives us the opportunity to influence politics through our faith, which teaches us about the common good, human rights, and human dignity. Therefore, faith is not and cannot be a private matter.

In this election cycle, we glorify God when we raise issues of hunger and poverty before our federal and local candidates. We need to tell them that we care about these issues and how, if elected, we want them to spend our tax dollars. We should turn our attention to this election as faithful Catholic citizens committed to justice and compassion, and responsibility for the common good.

But how can we evaluate the issues and candidates in light of our Catholic faith? Here are some guidance and resources to challenge you to get actively involved in the public square —by voting and engaging others in their civic duties in the next 49 days until Election Day.

Five steps to help you discern and bring your Catholic values into the process of electing leaders:

  • Inform yourself about the church’s teachings. You can check the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website on faithful citizenship and Catholic social teachings. And if you want to be inspired, read the social dimension of evangelization by Pope Francis.
  • Educate yourself about the issues. Listen critically to the candidates to learn what their plans are to end hunger and poverty in the United States and overseas.
  • Let your candidates know where you stand on critical issues, like hunger and poverty. And commit yourself to vote to end hunger by signing Bread’s pledge.
  • Pray regularly. Take your concerns for hunger and poverty, as well as your candidates for public office, to God and ask for God’s guidance and wisdom in your discernment. You can sign up for our biweekly prayer digest to keep hunger and poverty front and center in your prayer life.
  • If you want to go further, you can also get your church involved in Bread’s I Vote to End Hunger campaign. You can find here easy actions for your church to participate with Bread. The USCCB also has some practical suggestions for churches on this issue.

With our Catholic vote, we can transform the future for those facing hunger and poverty in the U.S. and abroad. With faith rooted in the Bible, Catholic social teachings, and the papal documents, Catholics are encouraged to respond to the basic needs of human beings through social justice— food, shelter, health care, education, and employment.

Let’s make these issues a top priority for the next president and Congress.

Dulce Gamboa is associate for Latino relations at Bread for the World.

With our Catholic vote, we can transform the future for those facing hunger and poverty in the U.S. and abroad.

Tools
from our Resource Library

For Education

For Faith

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

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  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

    Bruce Puckett urged...

For Advocacy

  • U.S. Hunger and Poverty State Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C. 

  • Fact Sheet: Hunger by the Numbers

    In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.

  • Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017

    Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.

    Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...

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