The courage of Jim Jones and a handful of other Republican leaders over the past few years is to be commended in a red state where the scourge of Trumpism overshadows the party of Lincoln.
Recently, Jones, a lifetime Republican and former Idaho Attorney General and Chief Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court, noted his decision to vote for Joe Biden.
That decision did not sit well with an individual who chose to confront Jones while Jones was at his brother’s funeral. The man claimed that Jones must be for abortion and therefore not pro life.
This same type of mistaken analogy is leveled by some ministers within the Christian community. A few Catholic priests and Evangelicals have sometimes shared with their congregation that there was only one choice for a practicing pro life Christian in this year’s election. That single choice was President Trump.
Also, while listening to Catholic Radio, a call in listener was cautioned that his soul was in danger of eternal damnation even if voting for a pro life candidate on a third party ticket as the vote was one taken away from Trump.
Some priests and ministers readily note this action by some ministers as a form of spiritual abuse against those who vote with an informed conscience. Other ministers insist one is in danger of damnation if voting Democrat regardless of other life issues.
In the meantime Pope Francis, in an apostolic exhortation, stressed the importance of opposition to abortion while also cautioning against the one issue voter noting the “equally sacred lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned...etc." Francis has also emphasized the importance of taking the necessary environmental steps to save our planet for future generations.
Reflecting on Jones’ decision, the words of Pope Francis, and that of many of my fellow Catholics and other ordained ministers, I , too, voted pro life.
I voted for leadership which would take the necessary steps to save God’s creation, our planet, with reasonable regulations protecting our environment from corporate greed. I voted for the unborn and born of future and present generations. I voted pro life.
I voted for leadership capable of making critical national security decisions in a time when an incompetent or narcissistic move could result in nuclear annihilation. I voted pro life.
I voted for leadership which is not self serving and which will listen to experts during times of crisis resulting in the savings of thousands of lives born and unborn. I voted pro life.
I voted for leadership which welcomes those fleeing with their families to a nation which offers hope and for leadership which reaches out to the disenfranchised and the poor. I voted pro life.
I voted for servant and empathetic leadership knowing that an extreme narcissist ultimately serves only himself. I voted pro life.
I voted for a practicing Catholic who embraces the Beatitudes as guidance in his personal life and who grasps and prays his deceased son’s rosary when confronted with difficult moments.
I voted for Joe Biden knowing that the alternative of embracing evil in leadership never results in a greater good.
And I remain thankful that God, and not man, is my final judge.