Living in a free country, where most citizens can vote without being hassled, can sometimes lead us to become a bit a lax about the privilege. Perhaps we have to get up earlier or come home later. And yes, the tones of the many campaigns are downright nasty and off-putting.
But we shouldn’t let that deter us from exercising our right … and our moral obligation to vote. Yes, moral obligation. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, article 2240, “Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one’s country.” The Catechism goes on to cite as its authority this from Romans 13:7:
“Pay to all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, whom reverence is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.”
In fact, the whole section, “Authorities in Civil Society” (2234-2257) is fascinating — including the footnotes, many of which refer to Part 2, Chapter 4 of Gaudium et Spes, The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. Couldn’t find you a direct link to this chapter of that most famous Vatican II document, so you will have to scroll, but it’s worth the time.