Deacon Paul and Helen McBlain, members of St. Joseph Parish in Collingdale, have been married more than 50 years and have seven children and 21 grandchildren.

Deacon Paul and Helen McBlain, members of St. Joseph Parish in Collingdale, have been married more than 50 years and have seven children and 21 grandchildren.

She says:

Hope says: All my life I have belonged to and voted for the same political party as my parents. This election I have some concerns with the candidate running, and see a change in some of the beliefs the party holds.

I usually do vote, and always have voted for the same party that I grew up with. I feel like I would be doing a dishonor to my parents, who were involved in politics, if I voted otherwise.

I listen to what Dexter says, but do not seem to be able to get beyond my allegiance to my parents’ party. It appears as if my Mom and Dad’s party has always kept our country on a straight line and been good to us.

Dexter makes sense with what he says, and we are fortunate that we are able to discuss everything, even our political choices. I do agree with Dexter on many points, but cannot seem to break out of the “old vote” mode.

As we grow closer to Election Day, it appears the discussions have started to “heat up.” I don’t want to see this become a problem in our relationship.

He says:

Dexter says: I usually vote according to the person running for the office and his or her appeal to me. I do not vote just along party lines. I research the background and views of each of the candidates and make a selection based upon their “resume.”

This election is really crazy … not your usual progression of events. I still think I should vote for the person who I think can do the job. His or her credentials or theories do not mean as much to me as their future plans. I keep telling Hope she needs to consider such differences when she goes into the voting booth.

I also take into account the church’s teachings. Right now, I am not convinced that either candidate has abided by many church teachings, but I do think that, as a Catholic, I should consider which candidate holds at least some church values. I do see clear differences, especially with life issues and with respect to foreign policy.

Hope keeps telling me that she respects the choices her party makes in selecting their candidates, and that is good enough for her. I told her in no uncertain terms, that this election is too important for that kind of thinking.

What do they do?

Hope and Dexter both appear to be sincere in their beliefs and choices at the polls. Dexter appears to be more open and examining than Hope.

We are blessed to live in a country where we are able to vote in free elections. Loyalty to a party needs to bow to the recognition that God’s law is higher than any human law. We are citizens of a nation and our vote matters.

As Catholics, we are challenged by Jesus Christ to bring his Good News to the world. As Catholic Christians, we have a commitment to justice, to the sanctity of matrimony and to the dignity of each individual human life.

Hope and Dexter need to lower the temperature a little bit in their discussions. After inviting the Holy Spirit into their conversation, Hope and Dexter should tell each other the reasons they are for a particular candidate. This means that Hope is going to have to educate herself on her party’s candidate and views.

After this exchange, Hope and Dexter should make a list of the points on which they agree and a separate list of the topics of disagreement.

And then do some joint research together on the areas of disagreement.

The idea is not to come to a mutual agreement on a candidate that Hope and Dexter will both vote for, but to be informed as to both candidate’s ideas and opinions. Then each should individually search their own conscience as to whom they believe should receive their vote. It is not necessary that their choice be disclosed.

“Entrust your works to the Lord, and your plans will succeed” (Proverbs 16:3).