Deacon Paul and Helen McBlain of St. Joseph Parish in Collingdale have been married 48 years and have seven children and 21 grandchildren.

She says:
Erica: It’s election season and we are being bombarded with telephone calls and junk mail supporting various candidates and positions. I want to throw it all directly into the recycling bin and I refuse to pick up the phone when I do not recognize the number. Bill gets angry when I do that and admonishes me for not taking part in the electoral process. He says all that stuff is important and we need to pay attention and discuss together the literature we receive. I am afraid it will just lead to arguments. I just want it all to be over!

He says:
Bill: I try to explain to Erica that this country was founded on the principles of freedom and many people have given their lives throughout our history protecting our rights. My grandfather died in Europe in World War II fighting those who would take away the right to vote. We, as citizens, have a duty to become educated in order that we make knowledgeable choices at the polling place. Besides, through our discussions, I can help her to make the right selections.

What do they do?
It can be maddening when your mailbox is crammed with election materials day after day and the phone rings at the most inopportune times with a robo-call singing the praises of a particular candidate. However, elections are important and knowing the particular positions of the candidates is crucial, especially in areas that may impact upon our religious beliefs and morality. “May the Lord, the God of the spirits of all mankind, set over the community a man who shall act as their leader in all things, to guide them in all their actions; that the Lord’s community may not be like sheep without a shepherd.” (Numbers 27: 16-17)

But it is not necessary that every single campaign leaflet be saved and pored over as a couple, especially since many are repeats and very few contain insightful information, more so, applauding tales of a candidates accomplishments. Erica & Bill need to develop a reasonable plan that fits the time and disposition of both.

Why not agree to take an allotted period of time each week, create a list of the candidates who are standing for election in their particular area, and, together, search the internet for each candidate’s website to ascertain their stated position on the important issues? Also, many independent websites are available that evaluate and compare candidates’ positions.

Politics can be polarizing. Some of your research and subsequent discussions may result in differences of opinion. Erica and Bill need to understand that effective communication with each other in this area includes a level of trust that neither spouse must convert the other to their personal belief and with an agreement to disagree when a mutual understanding cannot be achieved. “The start of strife is like the opening of a dam; therefore, check a quarrel before it begins!” (Proverbs 17:14)