In the first session, "Rooted in Love?", we began a process of "thinking about our think" by stepping back to remember where our political views originated.
First, we read as a kind of litany part of an article by Bishop Zubik that listed all the many reasons Catholics gave him to urge him to forbid people from voting for Hillary Clinton--or Donald Trump! [You can read it here (+).] Clearly, there is a diversity of political opinion within the Catholic Church. Why do we see things differently?
We sought to explore that question by recalling our own histories. In small groups we answered questions such as:
After a break, we considered further questions:As you look back in life, when do you think your basic political outlook was formed? What was going on in the political world at that time? Was there a group of people who were important in that development?
Finally, we considered our religious "touchstones" in forming our political views. That is, which stories (from the Scriptures or from the lives of the saints, for example) or practices (practices of prayer; the Eucharist) inspire and guide our decisions?Do your political ideas connect with your religion or faith?When and how did that happen?Who were the people who were most important to you in forming this connection?
As you can imagine, sharing our own stories gave us insight into how we are formed politically--and religiously! The people we were with at important times in our lives (and especially young adulthood) seem to have had a large influence on us. And it was easy to see how different experiences led us to differing political ideas.
Before and after the break, we watched short videos on Catholic social doctrine. We began with one from Trocaire, the international aid organization of the Irish Catholic bishops, on "CST [Catholic Social Teaching] in 3 minutes." You can watch it here (+).
We also watched a brief video from the U.S. bishops and Catholic Relief Services (our international aid organization) on "Life and Dignity of the Human Person." You can watch it below.
We ended with a different sort of litany--a litany of our hopes for our nation.