Tag Archives: 1986

The Mission: Voting for The Right Person




Thirty years ago the film The Mission came out starring Robert De Niro (Rodrigo Mendoza) and Jeremy Irons (Father Gabriel). “Jeremy Irons plays a Spanish Jesuit who goes into the South American wilderness to build a mission in the hope of converting the Indians of the region. Robert DeNiro plays a slave hunter who is converted and joins Irons in his mission. When Spain sells the colony to Portugal, they are forced to defend all they have built against the Portuguese aggressors.”
It becomes clear that The Church is in no way willing to protect and defend the village and its people and so Father Gabriel and Rodrigo Mendoza become the sole European allies of the Indians. Mendoza is a competent and experienced mercenary. He tries to convince Father Gabriel to take up arms with him and defend the people. Father Gabriel refuses to kill others, even if it means the village will perish, himself included. Mendoza can’t understand his pacifism and uses his mercenary experience to go on the offensive. There is a moment when he kills the first of many Portuguese soldiers where we realize that all of the grace Mendoza received from his conversion and penance had slipped (he was a former slave trader and murdered his own brother after all). Two steps forward, one step back. 
In the end the Portuguese army is far more equipped to decimate the village than they could reasonably fight against. In the final scene Robert De Niro is killed (if I remember correctly, by his own booby trap) anyway and despite his efforts. Father Gabriel is killed as well—but he dies leading a holy eucharistic procession, alongside dozens of villagers of all ages, both male and female—singing hymnals and marching forward as the roof of their church burns in the background.

When I first saw the movie I was shocked by the ending. The good guys are supposed to win in American blockbusters. But here, they didn’t.
But then I realized the lesson in it. It is wrong to do evil so that good may come of it. 
Father Gabriel was killed just as Mendoza was, but it was Father Gabriel who died with a clean conscience.
That is how I feel about this election. I have been under significant enough pressure by people I care a lot about to vote for both Trump and Hillary (but mostly for Trump). The argument for Trump is that he is our only hope of getting a pro life Supreme Court justice. He is an “uncertain ally” but nevertheless our best shot.
To me it is as clear as day that Trump is not sincerely pro life but rather saying what he needs to say to win the election, much like Obama said he supported traditional marriage in 2008 to win the election but then reneged quickly thereafter. Trump wants to be President. He’ll do whatever. It is illogical for anyone to be simultaneously pro-life and display the kind of sexual recklessness he does.
Hillary of course did not legitimately win the Democratic primary. Bernie Sanders did. The people wanted Bernie Sanders and I liked him too (although I vehemently disagreed with him on abortion and other significant policy issues). Hillary succeeded in ballot fraud and it is clear that she is demonstrably more powerful than those of us who appreciate and play by the rules. Like the Portuguese military in The Mission I believe there is no stopping her.
Therefore on #electionday2016 I will not be using my vote as a weapon against Hillary like many Trump supporters are suggesting. I will support the third party candidate Evan McMullin who believes in protecting life at conception, but also sexual restraint and strong marriage and families. I will also be voting for Evan McMullin because of his policies concerning police brutality and the unjust mass incarceration of black men and immigrants seems to me to be humane, reasonable and respectful of the facts of the circumstances. There is deep racial tension in this country and some healing is more than due. Evan understands the connection between fatherlessness and crime and appears to prescribe policy changes that work to rebuild and rehabilitate minority communities. We can’t put people’s parents in jail for life and expect the next generation to be okay.
Those of us who vote for Evan may be “throwing away” our vote and securing a pro abortion supreme court justice. I’m not sure who is more dangerous, Hillary or Donald, but I am certain that I do not have the power to fight them. So I will go to mass the morning of the election, take in the eucharist, go to the voting booth, and do what my conscience dictates which is vote for the man whose policies and character I truly prefer.
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