Monday, September 15, 2008

Catholic Vote 2008



Brant Pitre said...

Wow. Absolutely Beautiful...

Slatts said...

It's very nicely made, but there is one thing that irks me about this production. It suggests a false dichotomy by only showing Obama and McCain, neither of whom will be any good for our country.

I for one will not waste a vote on either. I can't stomach to decide between coke and pepsi every election. They're both politicians. We need statesmen and I intend to vote for one.

Drew said...

What I am not a fan of is that again the plight of the poor, healthcare, and education are not the focus and should be which support many traditional Catholic values.

The focus on abortion and homosexuality mitigates these other concerns. Catholic social teaching has a lot to it and a lot going for it and I am afraid that these are missed by the undue focus on these two issues. I would like to see a much more nuanced pro-life position that includes these as well. How can Catholics show that they are pro-life in numerous ways beyond the moral status of the fetus? This does not do well in that regard.

Sister Mary Agnes said...

We will always have the plights of the poor, healthcare and education in every society. Our efforts to help the poor, the sick and the uneducated are fruitless if the people we aim to help are already dead.

Life is the paramount issue. Until our culture values life from the moment of conception to natural death, it will never come to balanced, just solutions to other problems in society.

The Catholic Church emphasises this, without neglecting other issues. Bishop Joseph Naumann and Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City just released this pastoral letter from which I quote here:

"Many Issues: Prudential Judgments

Every Catholic should be concerned about a wide range of issues. We believe in a consistent ethic that evaluates every issue through the prism of its impact on the life and dignity of the human person. Catholics should care about public policies that:
a) promote a just and lasting peace in the world,
b) protect our nation from terrorism and other security threats,
c) welcome and uphold the rights of immigrants,
d) enable health care to be accessible and affordable,
e) manifest a special concern for the poor by attending to their immediate needs and assisting them to gain economic independence,
f) protect the rights of parents to be the primary educators of their children,
g) create business and employment opportunities making it possible for individuals to be able to provide for their own material needs and the needs of their families,
h) reform the criminal justice system by providing better for the needs of the victims of crimes, protecting the innocent, administering justice fairly, striving to rehabilitate inmates, and eliminating the death penalty,
i) foster a proper stewardship of the earth that God has entrusted to our care.

This is by no means an exhaustive list."

The Bishops go on to say that some issues take priority over others:

"The Priority of Rejecting Intrinsic Evil

There are, however, some issues that always involve doing evil, such as legalized abortion, the promotion of same-sex unions and ‘marriages,’ repression of religious liberty, as well as public policies permitting euthanasia, racial discrimination or destructive human embryonic stem cell research. A properly formed conscience must give such issues priority even over other matters with important moral dimensions. To vote for a candidate who supports these intrinsic evils because he or she supports these evils is to participate in a grave moral evil. It can never be justified.

Even if we understand the moral dimensions of the full array of social issues and have correctly prioritized those involving intrinsic evils, we still must make prudential judgments in the selection of candidates. In an ideal situation, we may have a choice between two candidates who both oppose public policies that involve intrinsic evils. In such a case, we need to study their approach on all the other issues that involve the promotion of the dignity of the human person and prayerfully choose the best individual.

Limiting Grave Evil

In another circumstance, we may be confronted with a voting choice between two candidates who support abortion, though one may favor some limitations on it, or he or she may oppose public funding for abortion. In such cases, the appropriate judgment would be to select the candidate whose policies regarding this grave evil will do less harm. We have a responsibility to limit evil if it is not possible at the moment to eradicate it completely.

The same principle would be compelling to a conscientious voter who was confronted with two candidates who both supported same-sex unions, but one opposed abortion and destructive embryonic research while the other was permissive in these regards. The voter, who himself or herself opposed these policies, would have insufficient moral justification voting for the more permissive candidate. However, he or she might justify resorting to a write-in vote or abstaining from voting at all in this case, because of a conscientious objection."