For a century, Catholic migrants to America were chary about bringing faith to public life. The power structures in the nation — from the White House to small town city halls — were suspicious of the newly arrived Catholic rabble.

While virulent anti-Catholicism has dissipated, Catholics in a place like Oregon still seem timid in the face of civic discourse. Like our immigrant ancestors, we tread carefully lest we face scorn. We want to fit in.

In 2020, it’s time to speak and vote with confidence. Remember the roots of that word — it means “with trust” or “with faith.” Why feel confident? Because our faith tradition offers precisely what society needs.

Though we do not push for theocracy, we ought not keep Catholic social teaching to ourselves. It offers a sensible, consistent and beautiful vision that would lead to human flourishing. If we propose our social teaching generously and confidently, many Oregonians of goodwill might just embrace it.

Sadly, neither dominant U.S. political party is up to the fullness of Catholic thought. The nation’s Catholic bishops avoid picking sides and wisely guide us to vote out of deep respect for human life, human dignity and regard for those on the margins. They tell us that we should be guided by our faith, not our party affiliation.

Pope Francis’ new encyclical offers further counsel as we fill out ballots. In “Fratelli Tutti: On Fraternity and Social Friendship,” the pope reminds us that God’s plan for justice and peace should shape how we organize and operate societies and economies. The pope’s consistent teaching has called humans to shake off their individualistic funk and serve society out of deep love, even if it means challenging the status quo. Now that’s something to vote for.