Where would Jesus vote?

Polling station at Mass. Catholic church won’t cover crucifix

The local municipal building wasn’t structurally sound, so the town decided to use a church. Nine churches and synagogues are used in the area, but this Catholic church had the audacity to have a crucifix in its “community room” where the polling would take place. Somebody raised a stink, and, for a time, the town considered ordering everybody to cover all religious statues, symbols, etc.

I guess as a Catholic it’s difficult to understand the issue. In my experience, there are two kinds of Catholics (I’ve been them both). One kind votes after carefully considering a politician’s views and how they fit into the Church’s teachings on issues of morality and social responsibility. These voters don’t need a crucifix to remind them how to vote. The other kind of Catholics vote the way they want to vote with little or no regard for morality. They wouldn’t be likely to even notice the crucifix, and, if they did, wouldn’t trouble their minds in the least with silly questions like WWJD.

I suppose the main concern was for non-Catholics who might not be comfortable with overt religious art. I’m curious if these people have every been in an art museum. The National Gallery of Art – federally funded and part of the Smithsonian – has more images of Christ and the saints than any church I’ve ever been in (in America). Religious art is okay in a museum, but is offensive in a church?

I guess the town eventually saw things the way I do, and decided that if anybody were truly uncomfortable with a statue of the crucified Christ staring at you in agony as you pull the lever for “Catholic” twice-divorced, abortion-is-okay-with-me Rudy Guiliani, then they could get an absentee ballot or request a different polling station. Or perhaps the fear that all churches would decide they would rather not help out with the polling convinced them to be reasonable.

3 thoughts on “Where would Jesus vote?

  1. Good for the town – nice to see a bit of common sense prevailing for once.In my 13 years of voting, I have had the following as polling places:– two elementary schools– a synagogue– a community center– a Unitarian church– a Greek Orthodox churchThe Orthodox church is my current polling place, and last time I noticed they kept their icons and crucifixes in place during voting.At the Unitarian church, I had to walk past their literature board with all their various pamphlets and brochures on different aspects of UUism. (Since it’s the church I grew up in, I can attest that it was always in the same place, and that they didn’t intentionally move it somewhere conspicuous for elections.) I shrugged and walked on. I would think that a non-or-former-Christian seeing a crucifix or icon could do the same.I have trouble understanding why the government would even consider asking a Catholic (or Orthodox) church to cover up the religious symbols in order to serve as a polling place. Seems like a great way to do yourself out of polling places to me. And it’s not like they’re disenfranchising people – you have the option of an absentee ballot or an alternate polling place. Seems pretty reasonable.

  2. I just don’t get why this bothers people. There is no coercion here. There is no government trying to control your religious beliefs/non-beliefs. What IS people’s problem with sensitivity? (Although, we did realize today that people don’t like to be called insensitive, either.:)

  3. <>I guess the town eventually saw things the way I do, and decided that if anybody were truly uncomfortable with a statue of the crucified Christ staring at you in agony as you pull the lever for “Catholic” twice-divorced, abortion-is-okay-with-me Rudy Guiliani<>…Interesting imagery. I like it.

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