Me to editor: “Please headline this column ‘Lutherans and Catholics agree: Vote “no” on amendment.'” Editor to me: “Really?! That’s a big story!” Me to editor: “Well … it’s not that amendment. And it’s not the Lutheran and Catholic churches’ official governing bodies. But yeah, I think it’s a big deal.” When this state’s two leading faith-based social service agencies, Lutheran Social Services and Catholic Charities, speak out in opposition to a proposed constitutional change in voting requirements, this long-ago religion reporter smells a story. Many Lutheran synods and Minnesota’s Roman Catholic dioceses have staked out opposite sides of the proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage that’s on the Nov. 6 Minnesota ballot. Their differences have been widely trumpeted in the 15 months since that amendment went on this year’s ballot. Some Minnesotans might not appreciate the religious overtone the marriage amendment debate has acquired. But it was to be expected. Marriage is a matter about which religions claim considerable authority. What isn’t as well-known is that some prominent church folk are also talking about the “other” amendment. The governing boards of both Lutheran Social Services (LSS) and Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis (CC) think the proposed photo-ID-to-vote requirement ought to be rejected.
LSS has taken the rare step of asking Lutheran congregations in Minnesota to insert a position statement into Sunday-morning worship bulletins. CC’s Office of Social Justice is contacting parishes offering information and even a skit to get their message across. Why should nonpartisan, faith-based social service organizations care about whether a would-be voter needs to wave a government-issued ID card to get a ballot at the polls? It’s because such a requirement would make voting more difficult for “the least of these” — these agencies’ frail elderly, disabled and homeless clients.
Full Article: Catholics, Lutherans and voter ID | StarTribune.com.