In my last post, I outlined the teaching of the Church in regard to voting — the formation of conscience, and which issues to consider.
To illustrate how this works in practice, let me describe how I will apply these principles in my own voting decision. Now, I’m not telling anyone how to vote. I’m just saying this is the way that I’ve worked this decision through for myself.
(Important Note: I have to repeat again what is said in the disclaimer on the side of this blog — the opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone, they do not in any way reflect an official position of the Archdiocese, nor should they be considered an endorsement of any candidate by the Archdiocese.)
To me, the fundamental issue is whether a particular candidate has the basic qualifications to hold public office. This is not just a question about their education, experience, and character. It also involves whether this candidate is willing to respect and defend the fundamental principles of our society, that all people are created equal, and that all have “inalienable rights”, most especially the right to life.
Cardinal Egan once spoke very clearly and bluntly about the qualifications of our elected officials:
“Anyone who dares to defend that [an unborn child] may be legitimately killed because another human being ‘chooses’ to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name.”
This boils down to a very simple test, that I try to adhere to, as best I can: If you think that killing unborn children should be legal, then I won’t vote for you. You haven’t earned my vote. In my opinion, you’re not qualified to hold public office. I just won’t vote for someone who will promote or permit grave evil. I don’t subscribe to the principle of the “lesser of two evils”. All that means is I’m voting for evil, and it still produces evil in the end. If there’s nobody in a race that fits my standards, I’ll leave the line blank or write in a name.
When I pick up my ballot on Tuesday, I will see a stark choice between candidates who are pro-abortion, and others who are pro-life. In fact, several of the pro-abortion candidates are not just mouthing the old “personally opposed but…” sham, but are instead ardent promoters and defenders of the legalized killing of unborn children, and they have strongly campaigned on the issue. If they are elected, there is a grave danger that the evil Reproductive Health Act will be pushed forward, as well as the legalization of same-sex “marriage”.
I cannot see how I as a Catholic could vote for such persons. So for me, the choice is easy — I will vote only for the pro-life candidates.
I have thought about how to vote very carefully, not just in preparation for this election but over many years. As I have said, to me the key thing is to vote as a Catholic, to act according to a well-formed Catholic conscience, and to take seriously my duties to the least among us — particularly to the defenseless unborn.
That’s what I’m going to do. What about you?