The colors of this Sunday's pulpits, however, will not be red, white and blue. There will be only one color: black.
"For those who hope for salvation, no political loyalty can ever take precedence over loyalty to the Lord Jesus Christ and to his Gospel of Life. God is not mocked, and as the Bible clearly teaches, after this passing instant of life on earth, God's great mercy in time will give way to God's perfect judgment in eternity.
I therefore call upon every practicing Catholic in this Diocese to vote. Be faithful to Christ and to your Catholic Faith. May God guide and protect his Holy Church, and may God bless America.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C.
BISHOP OF PEORIA"
"...no political loyalty can ever take precedence."
This Sunday the pulpits will be overflowing with voting "suggestions". And some suggestions might be stronger than others, implying that if you don't vote the way God wants you to vote, you're going to hell (ahem, "putting your immortal soul at risk"). Bishop Jenky's mandate to vote (and vote as a Catholic, to be sure) was mild in comparison to what some preachers have been saying. And what they've been saying is essentially God wants you to vote in this way:: for any anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, anti-women's rights, anti-"social justice", hell, any anti-"socialist" politician that has mentioned God and Bible in the same breath a dozen times during their campaign speeches.
Since the polling results have been so close, their exhortations will smack more of desperation than authority: they might tell their congregations how their religious liberty is at risk besides their immortal souls, or they might spout extreme doom and gloom for the future of civilization. They will deal in extremes simply because they need to frighten their congregants.
After all, fear has been the Right's highest, most successful commodity.
Their fear-mongering has already worked on me: I'm too afraid to venture out to a church this Sunday. Instead, I'll be praying, as Jesus told me to, in a quiet corner of my home.
I'll be praying, of course, for sanity to return after the election.