Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A Catholic Gentleman's Guide to Voting

From The Catholic Gentleman's Guide:
The Catholic Church does not tell us who we should vote for. It cannot bind us to vote for a specific candidate or political party. However, we are bound to follow our conscience, which binds us to follow the Church’s moral and social teachings. It is through these teachings that we can arrive at the principles that are used to make informed and prudent decisions when it comes to voting. Equipping ourselves with the Church’s guidance will ensure that any voting situation can be approached in a morally responsible way.

What is the Primary Purpose of Government? – The correct answer to this question will always influence the choice of any voting Catholic. Although our politicians and governments may be oblivious to this reality, the fact remains that governments are in place to serve and protect the common good, human dignity, and rights of human persons.2 All we must do is exercise our prudential judgement to determine which candidate is best suited to achieve this purpose. It goes without saying that many of our society’s laws and social perspectives don’t truly serve the common good, nor do they attempt to acknowledge the fundamental rights of all human persons that stem from our inherent human dignity. It is a candidate’s policy towards these types of issues that must be at the forefront of our minds as we enter the voting station.

Abortion – Any Catholic resource on voting will always list Abortion as the primary issue of importance when determining a candidate to vote for. Catholics are obsessed with abortion. But we have to be. The Catholic teaching on abortion is that it is always objectively wrong, for it is the destruction of innocent human life and violates both human dignity and human rights (and the common good for that matter).  Saint John Paul II reiterated the Church’s teaching that the right to life is our most basic and fundamental right, and is the necessary condition for every other personal and human right. As such, any candidate who proposes pro-abortion views excludes himself from a Catholic Gentleman’s vote. It is also worth mentioning that a Catholic is permitted to vote for a candidate who proposes incremental restriction on current abortion laws, so long as we still intend to see the rights of the unborn unconditionally upheld in time.

Assisted Suicide / Euthanasia – For the same reasons as abortion, Assisted Suicide is also an issue of primary concern because of it’s direct attack on human life and human dignity. This is an emerging challenge we continue to face in our own times and it’s widespread acceptance is yet another sign of our culture of death. Again, just as with abortion, a candidate who supports Assisted Suicide excludes himself from a Catholic Gentleman’s vote. (Read more.)

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