Healthy Eating and Healthy Voting

I’m a big fan of dark chocolate so it was with great delight that I embraced the news of dark chocolate’s anti-oxidant properties.  That was all I needed to hear in order to justify my personal intake of the wonderful substance.  Once it began being used as a cover for such things as raisins and almonds and cherries, well, it was as if the food fairy had granted my every wish.  With that knowledge in hand, convincing myself that my snacks of dark chocolate covered raisins and almonds and cherries were quite nutritious was a piece of cake (pun intended).

So, when I recently engaged in a passionate exchange about the responsibilities of being a Catholic voter, it was easy for me to recognize the ol’ it-has-anti-oxidant-properties-and-an-almond-is-good-for-you-thus-dark-chocolate-covered-almonds-should-be-part-of-any-health-conscious-person’s-daily-diet thinking of my friend.

After all, aren’t we all trying to convince ourselves of one erroneous thing or another?  Even when we know better?  And I could hardly fault this misinformed voter as I dearly clung to my one pound bag of nutritious, healthy dark chocolate covered cherries.  Isn’t that how the game is played?  If I allow you to tell yourself one thing that I know to be false, it is fair to assume you will allow me to tell myself another thing that you know to be false?

As Catholics, I am sure that we are all well aware of our responsibilities at the polls.  It is almost as if we don’t really have to have this conversation.  And yet, consider how many Catholics vote or hold office with the proclamation that “choice” is a choice, or that other issues stack up, equally, with the abortion issue. They don’t.  This isn’t my opinion, this is the teaching of our one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church.  We can try to convince ourselves of anything we want and yet it simply won’t change the reality of our obligations as a Catholic voter. No matter what, a daily binge of a pound of dark chocolate covered raisins is not going to promote a healthier me.

I have enjoyed the heated interactions on Catholic Exchange when Mary Kochan, our beloved (and sometimes beleaguered, as well) Senior Editor, suggests that the line in the sand is abortion (it being one of the non-negotiables).  Then someone logs in and offers that war and human rights are just as important.  Then Mary, God bless her, will take the time to explain how nothing else matters if we don’t sustain the human dignity of the unborn and while war can be called just or unjust, it still can’t be the line in the sand.  You can feel the passion of these online conversations and yet somehow, somewhere, we as Catholics have to get the bottom of the matter.  We must seek the Truth, which for us is in Christ.  We can wholeheartedly agree that fair wages for a day’s work and care for the elderly are critical issues we face in America, or that the demise of our health care system or predicted collapse of social security are dire and pressing matters; but they won’t matter if we vote for politicians that say unborn babies can be killed.  If we cannot honor those we can’t see; how can we honor those we can?

I do admire and encourage everyone’s interest in delving deeper into what it means to be a Catholic voter and as political ads begin flooding the airwaves, I pray that each and every Catholic voter at the polls thoroughly understands his or her responsibility to God’s kingdom and where the line in the sand is truly drawn.

Cheryl Dickow


Cheryl Dickow is a Catholic wife, mother, author and speaker. Cheryl’s newest book is Wrapped Up: God’s Ten Gifts for Womenwhich is co-authored with Teresa Tomeo and is published by Servant (a division of Franciscan Media); there is also a companion journal that accompanies the book and an audio version intended for women’s studies or for individual reflection. Cheryl’s titles also include the woman’s inspirational fiction book Elizabeth: A Holy Land Pilgrimage. Elizabeth is available in paperback or Kindle format. Her company is Bezalel Books where her goal is to publish great Catholic books for families and classrooms that entertain while uplifting the Catholic faith and is located at To invite Cheryl to speak at your event, write her at

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage

  • Amen, sister! I just hope people are listening…and as important as the Presidential election is, so are the Congressional races…

  • Grace Harman

    Thank you for spelling out the TRUTH. If a politician won’t protect the helpless unborn, he won’t protect anyone – helpless or not, or even our country!
    He has sold his soul to Satan for money and power and has traded truth for ideology.

  • Cooky642

    Years ago, when they first started talking about “one-issue voters”, I felt very defensive. Then, an answer dawned on me and I’ve used it ever since, even though I’m less “one issue”, now.

    When someone accuses me of being a “one-issue voter”, I agree with them. Almost invariably, they have to tell me about their favorite issues. I listen patiently till they run out of steam and then respond (as sweetly as I can), “You know, that’s an important problem, and his/her answers sound really good. But, tell me: what good is that going to do you if you’re not alive?”

    If they are “youngsters” (born since 1973), I remind them that their mother could just as easily have aborted them, and then what good is a better education, or better housing, or a better job, or lower taxes–they wouldn’t be here to enjoy it.

    If they are “geriatric” (like me), I remind them that a politician who has no respect for one form of life (the pre-born) cannot be counted on to respect any other form of life (like the old), and then ask what good better housing, better health-care, lower taxes are to those who’ve been euthanized because they were “in the way”.

    Works every time!

  • mevadog


    The unborn only have our voice – thanks for speaking so eloquently!