The state of civic discourse in this country (especially on social media) is not good. Engaging around politics online is a tricky thing, and many ministries opt to stay out of the conversation because it’s laden with so many landmines.
But we know that readers are talking politics online, so why should the Church stay on the sidelines? A healthy democracy depends on robust public debate with differing viewpoints, and there is a treasure of wisdom we can bring to this dialogue. Engaging in election-season dialogue doesn’t mean endorsing a particular candidate or trashing a certain party (your community of faith contains both Democrats and Republicans, remember). It’s just a matter of offering thoughtful and faithful principles that help readers be better citizens.
What are readers looking for from ministries at this time? A balanced and respectful approach to dialogue, and thoughtful guidance on the principles that can animate political engagement.
We’ve been gathering a number of stories around civic engagement and discourse to share as resources here. They range from the practical (how to make a plan to vote and research your options) to the personal (how to speak with people you disagree with) to the principles that inform our work for the common good (what is Catholic Social Teaching; how to live in solidarity).
I Voted — Now What?: You’ve shown up at the polls — now it’s time to show up for each other. Here are 4 virtues to keep you grounded this week as election news unfolds.
Need Some Good News? Watch These Videos: If election anxiety is just too much for you to take right now, here is something different: video stories of folks doing good in the world. These #GrottoStories will brighten your spirits — and restore your faith in humanity.
Go Vote! | #GrottoMusic: The lines at the polls can be really long this year, but we have you covered: here is a playlist built from Grotto community suggestions that you can listen to while exercising your right to vote today.
Why You Need Media Literacy – and 5 Steps To Get There: The antidote to the plague of disinformation and fake news? Media literacy — bring these 5 questions to your newsfeed to become a more savvy citizen.
These Sources will Help You Prepare for the Polls: The election is right around the corner. Have you done your research before you head to the polls or mail in your ballot? These sources will help you prepare to exercise your right to vote thoughtfully.
How to Have a Good Conversation When You Disagree: It has become difficult to have a civil conversation with someone you disagree with because of the stress and negativity of the current political climate. Here is how we can engage in true dialogue.
Take These Steps to Make Sure Your Vote Counts: Do you have questions about how you will cast your vote in a pandemic? Whether you’re mailing in your ballot, voting early, or going to the polls on November 3rd, follow these steps and make a plan.
Struggling to Talk Politics in an Age of Division? Lead with Curiosity: The national discourse around American politics is extremely polarized — this division has even seeped into conversations with friends and family. So how do we engage with those who have different political convictions? How can we begin to rebuild trust?
IG: When it comes to voting, a few things are certain — one of those being that the right to vote is significant. Though it may not always feel like your vote makes a difference, it does. Today, we’re sharing how to bring thought and intention into your voting. It involves inviting both our own beliefs into the discernment process as well as doing outside digging. Learn more by reading “How to Take a Thoughtful Approach to Voting” by @GrottoNetwork via the link in our bio.
FB: Voting is our opportunity to contribute our voice to making lasting change in our country. How we vote matters — and it’s important that we exercise our right to vote with care and diligence. Here are some things that @GrottoNetworks shares are important to remember when it comes to being a thoughtful voter.
TW: We use both our head and our heart to make important decisions — that includes #voting. Learn more via @GrottoNetwork’s article.
IG: No matter where you stand politically, one thing is clear: we seem to have lost touch when it comes to talking politics with one another. Even if your views are on the polar opposite side from a friend’s, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should avoid all politics-related talk. In fact, it is much healthier in the long-run to talk through disagreements and differing points of view. If both parties are willing to listen and have compassionate, considerate dialogue, then they can only grow from the experience. Learn more via @GrottoNetwork’s article, “How to Talk Politics with Family and Friends” — find it via the link in our bio.
FB: Talking about disagreements is a key component in any lasting relationship — whether it’s a family member, a partner, or a friend. This goes for politics, too. By sharing opinions and listening to those of others, we open the door for growth and healing. Learn more via @GrottoNetwork’s article.
TW: If you only ever talk about your #political views with those who sympathize, how can you #grow? Find out more about having civil politics-related talk via @GrottoNetwork’s article.
How to Navigate Some of Today’s Most Pressing Issues (Catholic Social Teaching introduction)
IG: We’re facing a lot of big questions right now. How do we dismantle systemic racism? How do we deal with unemployment? And what do we rebuild back into our lives in the wake of this global pandemic? Surrounded by these challenges, it’s tempting to say that there is too much to do. But in the face of injustice, giving up before the battle’s won is not an option. Ready to make a change? @GrottoNetwork shares 5 places to start — find them via the link in our bio.
FB: Change won’t happen on its own. And though it can be overwhelming to take in all the work that needs to be done to create a better world, it is necessary work. To help you get started, @GrottoNetwork shares 5 ways you can lean into social change now.
TW: When we look at everything that needs change, it can be overwhelming. But we can’t use that as an excuse to not try. Learn what you can do via @GrottoNetwork.