Reprinted with permission of BustedHalo.com.

Any Catholics who vote for candidates who stand for abortion, illicit stem cell research or euthanasia... any Catholic politician who would promote so-called "same-sex marriage" and any Catholic who would vote for that political candidate place themselves outside the full communion of the Church and may not receive Holy Communion until they have recanted their positions and been reconciled by the Sacrament of Penance.
--Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs
May 1, 2004 (read the pastoral letter)
Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. I last confessed on retreat a few weeks ago, but I unfortunately forgot one horrendous sin. I guess I didn't realize how deeply in sin I was at the time (isn't that always the case?)

I'm a Democrat.

Whew. It feels good to get this off my chest. I mean, I can deal with the fact that I often ignore the homeless on my way to work, and I'm glad the church isn't thinking of refusing to give me communion because I think they're dirty stinky people and I often don't value their life as much as my own. But this Democrat thing..well I don't quite know how I can ever expect God to forgive me of that. How can I ever be worthy to receive the Eucharist again, knowing full well that I'm supporting John Kerry? Granted that yelling at my wife when I'm angry with her is something that might eventually ruin my marriage, but it just can't compare with not being a single issue voter.
I'm really glad that Bishop Sheridan has brought it to my attention that I need to go to confession every time I pull that lever for someone who supports abortion rights, stem cell research (oops, there goes a few Republicans too), euthanasia, or same sex marriage. Imagine if I were made to go to confession every time I voted for someone who abolishes welfare or executes criminals or wages a pre-emptive war (or bought products from someone who underpays workers or refuses to let them organize)? I'm glad the good bishop has allowed me to ignore these other teachings of the Church so that I can get my priorities straight. Lucky me, I'm now on the traditional American straight and narrow again, ignoring the needs of the poor, and promoting legislation that has no hope to eliminate abortion but instead will certainly push this scourge of our time into hidden back-alleys. I mean, even if I do work hard to change the economic situation for people I suspect will resort to abortion without my help, that won't mean a thing if I vote for the person who won't change the law. Maybe I should stop worrying myself with my parents' old age and how health care costs are driving them below the poverty line, because, after all, that's really not a concern, is it? Not like voting for a Democrat. Maybe it's okay if I cheat on my wife this week, because God knows that there are a lot of beautiful women out there. As long as I don't vote Democrat, I know the rest of my sins will simply be second rate.
Father, I can't imagine what kind of penance you can assign me. 25,000 Hail Mary's? Lugging a 30 pound block of frozen Holy Water on a trip to Lourdes? 35 lashes with a cat o' nine tails (sorry, I just saw The Passion)? I'm probably doomed for all eternity. If only I'd had the sense to push the lever for President Bush last time, I could consider myself saved. Just like Iraq. I'm sure that there are other Democrats out there, Father. I'm not sure if they all know about the danger to their eternal souls, but I am planning a campaign so they'll know how evil they really are. I was thinking we ought to have people carry their voting records up to communion from now on; it's really not fair to the politicians who by law have to disclose how they voted in Congress or the state legislatures. Shall I start that grassroots campaign?

For this most grievous sin, Father, I am truly sorry. I ask for absolution. Please help me stay out of trouble and most of all, tell me who the real moral politicians are, anyway.

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