Stop Slogan-Voting. Stop Hate-Voting. Stop Being Manipulated. Introduction

Stop slogan-voting. Stop hate-voting. Stop being manipulated.

We are in a fight for religious freedom in America. Religious freedom is sometimes called the “first freedom.” It is, after all, enshrined in the First Amendment. But there is another reason to call it the “first freedom.” Religious freedom is the basic human freedom on which other freedoms are built. It strikes to the core of our souls, of who we are as individuals and how we view ourselves and other people. All the questions of human worth and the proper relationship of government to the individual person have their genesis in the right to religious freedom.

If the government takes on itself the power to subjugate religious institutions, to bring them under its heel, it will also take onto itself the power to, as Elizabeth I said, “open a window” into its citizen’s souls. That is what is at stake.

The only hammer we the people have in this debate is our vote. Like the good citizens we are, we do vote. We vote. And then the people we elect proceed to represent the same special interests they represented before we voted. We change the people who hold office, but we can’t change the direction of government. It’s as if we pull a lever and find it’s not connected to anything.

I’ve spent the past few days thinking about all this; praying about it, and trying to decide what I can do in my small Oklahoma world to aid in this fight. I think that the truth is our best weapon.

I am going to write a series of posts which I will publish here on Public Catholic every Monday. I want to use this series to tell you the truth about politics as I understand it. That means I’m going to tell you some things you don’t want to hear, including things about we the people that we don’t want to face. What I’m going to say isn’t The Truth. It’s not absolute. It’s not part of the eternal verities by which we all should seek to live. It’s not anybody’s gospel, not even mine. It’s just how I honestly understand the process and what I think is true about our situation.

While what I say is not The Truth, my ideas are certainly informed opinions. I’ve spent many years in elected office and many more on the political sidelines. I’ve been on the inside of at a least one of the critical issues we face as a nation,

You can disagree with me all you want. It doesn’t bother me in the least. My goal isn’t to manipulate you into thinking as I think. My goal is to jump-start your understanding and to inspire you to begin thinking for yourself.

We the people are giving away the power of our vote by letting ourselves be manipulated into hate-voting and slogan-voting. It’s time to stop.

  • http://servusfidelis.wordpress.com servusfidelis

    i am looking forward to reading your posts. I had great hope for the Fortnight for Freedom campaign that was to “awake the sleeping giant” but I am sad to say that from my viewpoint the effort was more like a sleepwalking zombie. I visited several Masses since this began and heard nary a word from the priests. Most Catholics in the pews don’t even know its going on, much less know that it almost over.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      I know. In my opinion, many of our priests have failed to support their bishops in this incredibly important effort.

  • http://nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com neenergyobserver

    I also am looking forward to this series, if we are going to stay within the system, which is still desirable, we need tactical insight, there are quite a few who understand the fight operationally and strategically but where to start?

    I’m starting to note a swing away from Romney in conservative circles, in truth I feel the same urge but, am convinced we can control Romney better in his 1st term than Obama in his 2d.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      What a salient … and sad … point that we need to do our best to elect the people who we think will do the least harm. Sad, and true.

      “am convinced we can control Romney better in his 1st term than Obama in his 2d.”

      • http://nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com neenergyobserver

        Sad, true, and disgusting that the 40% of the population that self identifies as conservative can’t seem to get a voice. We both know that the Republican grew primarily from the northern group of the Whigs (including Lincoln). The Whigs were never about small government and it shows to this day.

        Answers, I don’t have but the time is coming soon that we had best find some.

        • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

          I think everyone feels some of this.

          • http://nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com neenergyobserver

            I know. Thanks for listening, perhaps we’ll figure it out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/steve.evans.5602 Steve Evans

    Amen, Sister! I look forward to reading what you have to say. We are gifted by God with intellect and with the ability to make decisions; also, in Christ, we are blessed with the Spirit of wisdom and truth and with God’s Word to inform those decisions for righteousness. Now, we need to be courageous enough to engage in it all while remaining people who love as Christ does. Thank you for speaking up so eloquently and so clearly. Blessings,

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Steve.

  • http://jessicahof.wordpress.com JessicaHof

    I am so looking forward to your perspective. You come to this with humility and faith, but also with so much experience of the public square. If ‘we the people’ means anything anywhere, it is in your great country. Oh how we need your nation to rise up and to witness to the Truth. Thank you so much for your witness.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Jessica. Pray for Christians here in America.

      • http://jessicahof.wordpress.com JessicaHof

        I do. It is good to know there are politicians like you in the world.

  • http://hiddeninjesus.wordpress.com Jessica

    Echoing everyone above, I’m looking forward to your making the muddled clear for us. You have such a gift of cutting through the you-know-what to present what we (mostly) already know to be true but can only verbalize or act on clumsily.

  • http://RealityOfChrist.wordpress.com Reality Of Christ

    I couldn’t agree with you more!! It upsets me soo much that christians all around the world keep silent on issues. If you are not voting, then you are casting your vote with the majority… be it good or bad. Evil thrives when the christians of the world sit back and do nothing….So sad!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Too true.

  • http://scpeanutgallery.com abcinsc

    Thank you… bring it on. I look forward to your insights and honesty in this season of national discontent. What could be more appropriate on the 4th of July? Let freedom ring!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks Art.

  • pastorjeffcma

    Allow me to add mine to the crescendo of voices longing to hear some truth “from the inside.” I, as so many others, am anticipating what you have to share. I hope it will be both illuminating and motivating.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Pastor Jeff.

  • Durable

    ,Sounds great but lets not forget the ways we vote every day: where we spend, where we save our earnings, where and how we live, and yes, where we worship and fellowship.

    It is hard these days to separate global corporations, national scale banks, and government entities. Our spending should be local as much as possible.

    Our savings should be in credit unions, sound money (that cant be devalued thru a printing press), and tangibles.

    Our lives should produce value and we should reduce our dependence on those who seeks to control us.

    And our fellowship should be with those who share our values not just those who share a label.

    Uhow can two walk together unless they agree?

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      I’m going to focus on the area where I feel I can add the most value to the discussion, which is electoral and legislative process and politics.

      I’m not sure exactly what you mean by fellowship. I’ve found that it’s quite possible to work very well with people of other faiths in the areas where our interests coincide. It’s also possible — and rewarding — to share friendships with people of other faiths.

      Atheists who are attracted to politics, at least the ones I’ve dealt with, seem to actively hate Christians, traditional Christians who support the sanctity of human life and traditional marriage, in particular. They can be very ugly and vicious in the way they treat Christians. I have found it almost impossible to work with them, even when we agree about something.

      Personal friendships, if that’s what you mean, are something I would probably talk about (if at all) in posts with a different topic than this series.

      • http://www.durablefaith.com Durable

        I look forward to reading the series.

  • http://catholicnomad.wordpress.com Catholic Nomad Girl

    Sounds good! I will be keeping an eye out.

    Thanks!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      I really enjoy your blog. Thanks for stopping by.

      • http://catholicnomad.wordpress.com Catholic Nomad Girl

        Thank you. I appreciate that very much.

        Your blog goes to town though! :-)

        God bless.

  • http://jessicahof.wordpress.com JessicaHof

    A happy 4 July to you all – and may the day remind you why you all fight for freedom as you do :)

  • http://jamesbrownlord.wordpress.com J.G.Brown

    It sound great it sound good but you shall find that the entrenched older members of the Democratic and communist party’s will vote O man no matter what. As to the progressive like Madame Sectary of state they will do that which has the appearance of good while working to do something entirely different and as always if found out they have a scapegoat all prepared it all because of a vast ring wing Republican conspiracy.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Keep reading J.G! I’m interested in your reaction to what I’m going to say.

      Happy 4th of July!!

  • http://alifeinhishands.wordpress.com rsmunchel

    Interesting beginning; I look forward to seeing the development of this series. Blessings to you for this walk of faith. To be able to vote not only by values but with a bit more knowledge would be nice for those of us not so well informed in the political arenas, which honestly, more often than not, just seem ultra depressing. Like we just can’t win. But because many have been voting in recent years, both in the earthly and heavenly courts, more according to values, there is a shifting in the works. This post is just one of the inklings of the true change that is coming.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you. My main concern in this is that the truth will depress everyone so much they lose hope. Please let me know if the things I say in this series start having that effect. We need the truth, but part of the truth is that we are NOT helpless!

      • http://alifeinhishands.wordpress.com rsmunchel

        AMEN! I remember too well the phrase “you can’t fight city hall” in my youth. I think we took that to be truth. Time to turn the tables, and know that we can!

  • http://thoughtsfromanamericanwoman.wordpress.com thoughtsfromanamericanwoman

    I am looking forward to your articles. I try to be as informed as I can – so that when I vote I can honestly say I know what I am voting for and that is what has me concerned this election, I can’t with a clear conscience vote for either one. Maybe understanding the political system will help me sort things out and give me hope that even I can “fight city hall”. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us so we can become better informed. Blessings ~ Patty

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Patty. I’m going to try to share a lot of what my grandmother called “home truths.” Stick with me through the whole series and don’t get discouraged. We CAN do things. But we can’t be effective without that nasty-tasting “home truth” medicine.

  • http://sonworshiper.wordpress.com sonworshiper

    Honesty is refreshing even if the story told is not what we might want to hear. My wife is pretty sick of all politicians, and she appreciated the tone of your introduction. We both look forward to what you have to say about your experiences.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks — and tell your wife thank you, too!

  • http://www.wesleyheights.org Jim

    I am always amazed at how many good and faithful Christians allow themselves to be manipulated by scare tactics. I’ve heard some pretty amazing reasons why some vote for the candidate they think they like (all actuality they don’t know if they like them or not because they only hear the louder side of the story). I look forward to your posts.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Jim, we have to remember that the people doing the manipulating are either pros, or they are part of a large cabal that is backed by pros. The best defense is an unalterable allegiance to Jesus First, Jesus Only through the teachings of the Gospels.

  • http://homelesscrisis.wordpress.com @homelesscrisis

    :-))! I think i read Part 1 before the Introduction to this particular blog. I want to again say Thank You Ms. Hamilton! This is so extremely refreshing to hear from someone in your position. May you be blessed and empowered even more with God’s Holy Spirit as you stand your ground. Thank you for your Service!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks again! Keep in touch.

  • http://biblicaldiagnosis.wordpress.com biblicaldiagnosis

    Rebecca, thank you for liking my recent posts. I truly appreciated that. I look forward to your series on this particular subject. Blessings to you!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you! Your posts are great! I especially like the ones on anxiety and coming to Jesus just as we are.

  • http://scpeanutgallery.com abcinsc

    I have re-posted your introduction and will follow up with additional comments. Thank you again for your candor and honesty. You are “a mighty rushing wind” (Acts 2.2) sweeping down the plain. Here’s a link: http://scpeanutgallery.com/2012/07/06/like-a-mighty-rushing-wind-public-catholic-speaks-to-the-grassroots/ Thanks again.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you my friend.

  • http://invenibus.com TJ Shaw

    I unlike a lot of my friends do not put politicians all in the same bucket, meaning, some think all democrats are bad for the economy, I do not necessarily believe this. As Americans we should stand on our beliefs. If we truly believe that the wealthy need to pay more in taxes then believe it. What I believe is that this country is in moral and ethical trouble. There are some liberals that would like to take the very thing you and I believe in, the one true God away. When if they would just realize that scripture, the word of God is so rich in heritage and the fact that it was written over such a period of time, there are such great life rules in it. I am not a politician I am a theologian I do not know Politics but I do know Scripture. If someone could just get these people in a room and listen to what the Scriptures say about our number one problem, finances they would be amazed. You may or may not know there is 2350 verses in the bible that can be directly related to how to handle one’s finances. I have to say Paul Kelly said it boldly over the weekend, “We must stop spending money we do not have.”

    I came to look at your blog because you visited mine. I believe I can reach the generation that has left the Church in a relevant way. I am new to blogging so I am not sure what I am doing or what works to get exposure. I made a statement that I believe we need to teach these individuals Christianity as a way of life, not religion. I would love to hear from you and I will certainly like your blog on Facebook. I can’t wait to read more from you. God bless! – TJ

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      TJ — Just speak Christ from your heart. The rest will take care of itself.

  • http://biltrix.wordpress.com Biltrix

    Looking forward to this series, Rebecca. I would be interested to know what the rest of us can do to inform our peers better about the current threats facing our culture and why it is important to become more politically involved — in the right way, of course.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you. I’m going to do my best. I will lay some groundwork first, which takes a while. Please let me know if I manage to communicate and if you find it helpful.

  • http://www.maryjsnustad.wordpress.com Mary

    Looking forward to your insights, Rebecca. My generation (30 somethings ;) is thirsty to be better informed (even though some may not know it yet!) Thanks for reading my blog Caregiving with Grace!
    I enjoy your straight forward honesty in your writing..keep up the great work! God bless!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Mary! Your blog is especially helpful to me since I’m a caregiver for my elderly mother.

  • http://thearmchairapologist.wordpress.com/ Ivan Latham

    Looking forward to reading yor posts. I’m from the UK, but politics is politics wherever we may be, and your insights will be appreciated considering that the same issues affecting the States are also affecting us over here in terms of Government undermining traditional values — or at least seeking to do so.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Ivan. I think we are facing the same problems on both sides of the pond.

  • http://getrealchristianity RJ Dawson

    Thank you for your insights and courage, Rebecca. The word is definently getting out and real change is happening. Keep it up. I support you 100%.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you RJ.

  • http://xercised.wordpress.com/ Mike

    Hi Rebecca, like many others I’m also looking forward to your series. The Fight for Freedom is also going on over here. We need those in the Political realm to speak out from a Christian worldview perspective. And I just don’t see it happening. Is it really too much to ask for the freedom to disagree – sadly it’s becoming so. And then we’ll all wish we had said more.

  • http://catholibertariandotcom.wordpress.com Teresa Rice

    I am looking forward to your posts on this topic. Part of the problem is voter apathy, or apathy of people period. Part of the problem is our culture and what it deems to be important. Somehow religion and religious freedom is at the bottom of the totem pole as far as society is concerned.

  • http://cornerstonefaith.wordpress.com Barbara Arndt

    I am a new reader. I really want to say how much I appreciate your stand on abortion. Thank you for the insight I am gaining from reading your posts. Honest truth is always best, even when very painful. I believe that our religious freedom is at stake and has been for a long time. May God continue to bless you richly each new day and may you remain His good and faithful servant as you serve your country.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Barbara, I agree that our religious freedom is being threatened. Thank you for your comment.

  • http://christianagnostic.wordpress.com christianagnostic

    I’m a little confused….what do you mean that religious freedom is being threatened?

    As far as I can tell, Christian missionaries still wander my neighborhood without harassment, no churches are being threatened of shutting down, and all religious ministers and ministries still receive very generous tax breaks without much proof that they actually contribute to the public good. My local schools still allow the distribution of Christian evangelistic concert flyers and events that students are involved with…shall I continue?

    respectfully-christianagnostic

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I’m sorry it took me so long to get to your comment. I put the answer to another comment on here a couple of days ago, realized my mistake, took it off, etc.
      Yes, I do mean that religious freedom is being threatened. When the government takes it on itself to require religious institutions to violate their long-held teachings or face crippling fines and penalties which will result in the closure of their various missions, then that certainly qualifies as a threat to religious freedom. That is what is happening with HHS Mandate. There are other examples, but the space here is too limited to go into them.
      Thanks for your comment and your patience.

      • http://christianagnostic.wordpress.com christianagnostic

        no problem… I understand being busy. I don’t know what HHS stands for, going to google right now.

        Thanks

  • http://christianagnostic.wordpress.com christianagnostic

    ok got it now…seems to me that business owners should not be able to dictate how people use their health care. No one is forcing Catholics to use contraception or get abortions. It just seems like a strong arm tactic to me. Bu that’s my off hand opinion…I’ll read some more of your articles.

  • Arkenaten

    Ah, yes, religious freedom. Sigh…Where’s Constantine the Great when you need him, eh? ;)

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Religious freedom, the freedom to inform your own conscience, and as St Paul said, work out your own salvation in fear and trembling. What you are engaged in right now. :-)

      • Arkenaten

        The theological two-step. I love it! I don’t require salvation, this is a church concept designed to frighten children.

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          Yes my friend, you DO require salvation. We all do.

  • http://talonspoint.wordpress.com Talon’s Point

    You must be doing something right if someone is holding a protest sign calling for you to be censored. I’m jealous.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I told my pastor something similar: That I guessed I was doing something right to make the devil so angry. Be careful what you ask for, btw. It was not a good time, getting attacked like this.


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