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September 8, 2020

Election 2020: Left, Right, or Politically Homeless?

A Salt and Light Online Gathering for Catholics under 40 in partnership with the Archdiocese of Washington DC Theology on Tap

Man holding hands in prayer over USA flag background

In the middle of a challenging presidential campaign, the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life and the Archdiocese of Washington’s DCCatholic Young Adult Ministry Theology on Tap program partnered to help young U.S. Catholics think critically about applying Catholic teachings to the 2020 election. Does our faith shape our politics, or is it the other way around?

A diverse group of Catholic leaders discussed:

  • How should our current context—including a renewed national focus on racism and racial injustice, a global pandemic, an economic crisis, and a “throwaway culture” that fails to protect the most vulnerable among us—affect our actions as citizens?
  • How should Catholics view the vocation of politics?
  • What are our responsibilities as Catholics in the face of bitter polarization in our political life? How can we stay informed as Catholic voters?
  • Where do young Catholics fit in the politics of 2020? What should guide our choices and priorities? Issues? Character? Party? Our own interests?
  • Should U.S. Catholics align with a particular political viewpoint or party, or are we politically homeless?
  • Does our Catholic faith compel us to vote for a particular candidate? What does it mean for Catholics to have a “well-formed conscience”? Can we disagree about who to vote for?
  • In a discussion on political engagement, is the decision regarding who to vote for the end of the conversation, or just the beginning?

Kim Daniels, associate director of the Initiative, moderated the conversation.


Election 2020: Left, Right, or Politically Homeless? Video Player

Showing the Election 2020 Left, Right, or Politically Homeless Video


Resources

View a list of articles, statements, websites, and other resources for this dialogue.

This Salt and Light Gathering was for Catholics under 40 years old who seek to explore the links between faith, Catholic social thought, and their lives and work and was part of the Initiative’s Faith and the Faithful series. This gathering was co-sponsored with the Archdiocese of Washington’s DCCatholic Young Adult Ministry Theology on Tap program.

Participants

Meghan Clark

Meghan Clark

Meghan Clark is an associate professor of moral theology at St. John’s University, a senior fellow of the Vincentian Center for Church and Society, and a faculty expert for the Holy See Mission to the United Nations.

Abigail Galván

Abigail Galván

Abigail Galván is the communications and program officer of the Crimsonbridge Foundation, the former development director of the Religious Freedom Institute, and a V Encuentro region IV delegate.

Charlene Howard

Charlene Howard

Charlene Howard is a religion teacher and the religion department chair at Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, DC. She is a former adult faith formation instructor in the Archdiocese of Washington and a former principal and teacher at St. Francis DeSales Catholic School.

Stephen White

Stephen White

Stephen White is the executive director of the Catholic Project of The Catholic University of America, which seeks to promote the role of the laity in the Church and society. He is also a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.