Our bishops have in increasing numbers spoken out to teach that all of those government officials who support the HHS mandate are "against" us and therefore to vote for them is to vote against Christ and His Church. Many of our bishops are doing all that they can to make clear our duty to vote with a moral compass and to realize how we are or are not cooperating with a moral evil in these times of clear choice between good and evil.
There are always many men and women of good will about whom Christ speaks in the Gospel, those many who, though they do not have the fullest relationship with Christ in His Church, yet believe in some aspects of Scripture and Tradition and therefore may be willing to join with the Church in pursuing the common good.
"By common good is to be understood 'the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily.' The common good concerns the life of all. It calls for prudence from each, and even more from those who exercise the office of authority." (CCC 1906)
We have seen tragically that increasing numbers of our elected officials are acting counter to the common good by attacking our freedom of religion because such religious freedom is a "fundamental and inalienable right of the human person" given by God and not to be taken away by man.
"First, the common good presupposes respect for the person as such. In the name of the common good, public authorities are bound to respect the fundamental and inalienable rights of the human person. Society should permit each of its members to fulfill his vocation. In particular, the common good resides in the conditions for the exercise of the natural freedoms indispensable for the development of the human vocation, such as "the right to act according to a sound norm of conscience and to safeguard . . . privacy, and rightful freedom also in matters of religion." (CCC 1907)
Currently our society is set on a course which will increasingly prevent the fulfillment of the vocation of believers. Catholics, because we possess the fulness of the Christian Faith as handed down in Scripture and Tradition, are the first and most deeply to be affected. There are already many others of Christian Faith, believers in non-Christian religions and many non-believers who understand what is at stake in our struggle for religious freedom and have joined us in the fight.
A Pew Research poll recently revealed disturbing facts about Catholicsas reported by Dr. Jeff Mirus in CatholicCulture.org.
"Now, the American bishops have clearly identified the HHS mandate as a gross abrogation of religious liberty, and they have made it clear this violation is a key Catholic concern in the current campaign, the kind of concern that would prompt anybody with profound Catholic sympathies to vote against the Democrats. And yet only 51 percent of regular Catholic churchgoers state that they are willing to do so. This failure of churchgoing Catholics to defend their own religious freedom and the rights of the Church is the most significant revelation in the Pew poll."
If many Catholics have already given up their religion, it is a very small step to also giving up their religious freedom. One of the answers to this crisis is the strengthening of Catholic identity for all believers beginning with the way we celebrate Sunday Mass. Our rich and long tradition teaches us how to do that.