“The world of politics is muddy, it’s polarizing, it’s uncomfortable, it’s murky... but we must wade into it; we have an obligation to do this.”
These words were spoken last week by a man who is no stranger to the world of politics, Lt. Gov. Mike Foley, during our second Catholics at the Capitol event – “Why a Good Catholic Meddles in Politics.” His assessment and challenge really resonated with me, especially as we are in the throes of the Legislative session and advocacy efforts with our priority bills. And although we have done our due diligence with research and taking positions on bills (visit https://necatholic.org/what-we-do/bill-tracker.html for more info), every day there are new amendments, debates, questions, and challenges to address.
Things can get very murky. But as the Church, it is our duty to contribute to the good of society, to bring clarity to the murkiness, to show order in confusion.
Speaking of murkiness and confusion, as you read last week, the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) recently released a first draft of Health Standards meant to guide curriculum for all Nebraska schools, including public and non-public schools. While there is some quality material in the draft, there is an abundance of concerning issues regarding marriage, family, and human sexuality that are contrary to Church teaching.
Not only would children be exposed to problematic content starting at a very young age, the standards ignore the role of the parent as primary educator of their child, especially on matters of human sexuality. Now we are asking you, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, to speak up for the children in our state and help protect them from a false and damaging understanding of God’s design for marriage and sexuality.
Visit our website, necatholic.org, to learn more about the health standards and how you can advocate. The best thing you can do now is fill out the survey provided by the NDE for feedback (https://nde.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8dI1y2pRSfXlG8R ) and contact your State Board of Education representative (https://www.education.ne.gov/stateboard/members/).
Remember to be specific, constructive, and charitable as you provide comment. We expect there to be multiple drafts of the standards and for the process to last several months, so stay connected for updates into the fall.
As Lt. Gov. Foley said last week, sometimes we think that big issues about life, marriage and family, and education are questions for the White House or the Supreme Court. While those institutions and the decisions that come from them matter a great deal, we can do so much to effect change at the local level in our communities and state. Most important of all is what we do to show the truth and love of Christ in our own hearts and homes.
While it can often be daunting or discouraging to think about all we need to do or change, I will reflect on these words from my good friend Nikki Shasserre during last week’s event: “Remember that the victory is already won. We know how this story ends... we just need to be faithful in the battle.”
Thank you for your faithfulness and advocacy in this sometimes muddy and murky political world. We need you!
To watch a recording of “Why a Good Catholic Meddles in Politics,” visit https://necatholic.org/news-events/catholics-at-the-capitol.html.