Posted by: Christine Johnson | July 10, 2008

Average Joe for President

I’m not decided what to do in November (aside from the obvious of NOT voting for a man who believes in after-birth abortions), but some Catholics are looking at “Average Joe” Schirner, who wanted to run on the Green Party platform.  (They rejected him because he’s Pro Life – 100%.)

I’m not sure how I feel about him, but there is actually very little past that stance that we agree on.  Banning farming chemicals that are bad for the environment (okay) and pushing organic (which I can’t afford, to tell the truth).  Getting people to go more green and dealing with the energy crisis that looms by telling us to turn off the AC and put on a sweater in the Winter (which we already do – now what?).  Signing the Kyoto Treaty!?  Complete amnesty for illegals already here and a worker-visa program that is expanded to allow for more people to come in and work, then go home (supposedly) to Mexico.  Social Security being an insurance program that you pay into but don’t collect from necessarily (if you make “too much” money – no actual figure given, but a “for example” one is given – I wouldn’t go on that number, no matter how I feel about his platform). More and better diversity training in schools (because there’s not enough of that in public schools already) and one-third (yes, 1/3) of the curriculum becomes volunteer work.  National Sales Tax of 30% (okay!) that covers half of budget.  (Um…where’s the rest from?  Won’t that replace my income taxes?  No – he’s still for a progressive tax code.)  Health care done locally with local taxes (ugh, more of my money to the government) and having doctors and nurses volunteer more (because they don’t work enough).  Oh, but a shortened work week for everyone else.  And living wages.  Meaning my occasional meal out to McDonald’s will be more expensive as we pay teenagers a living wage for their part-time summer jobs.  
This post on his blog (linked from his campaign site, where he proudly tells us he’s been running for president for three election cycles now), tells me a bit more about him, and it sort of bugs me a little:

… We went to an ultra-new and tremendously expensive St. Michael’s Church for Sunday Mass.  High gloss marble, high expansive ceilings, costly stained glass, central air condidtioning…  One of the prayer intentions this morning was to remember the increasing number of people in the Third World who were hungry because of rising food prices.  I wondered how many millions of meals the cost of this new church would have provided — for the poor?  There is such  a phenomenal spiritual disconnect in this country…  

Okay, I once attended a parish that had a building like that.  It was GORGEOUS.  It was brand-new (replacing the old building which was, at one point, a satellite parish from another parish in town).  It had marble floors, a huge and beautiful altar, a Tabernacle that probably cost more than $50,000, a chapel for said Tabernacle (behind the altar) with glass panels and beautiful brass doors, and Waterford Crystal chandeliers brought back from Ireland by our pastor.  The parish cost more than $10,000,000 to complete.  Parishioners volunteered time, labor, and building materials in addition to the funds to put it together.  And we managed to pay it off in under three years’ time.  
And, at the same time, our parish was the number-one fundraiser for the annual bishop’s appeal.  When missionaries came from foreign lands, we opened up our purses and gave generously.  When there was a food drive, we gathered it.  When our Haitian brethren asked for help, we sent it.  We did not skimp on our fellow man, but neither did we skimp on our Lord.
Why do some people think it has to be one or the other?  Our Faith teaches us to look for the both/and in these situations.  I just find it a bit judgmental of him to cast doubts that this parish managed to build a beautiful home for Christ as well as provide to charities that feed and clothe the poor.
I know his intentions are good.  But he just doesn’t seem like a viable candidate to me at all.  And not someone that I agree with enough on other issues (aside from ones related to life) that I could cast a vote for.
I miss Sam Brownback.

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