Wednesday, October 17, 2012

To all Internet Catholics who are debating what voting is all about

Who we should vote for, how we should vote, or if you think voting is a big fat waste of time or not, I give you the following straight from the Bishops' pens:

35. There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental
moral evil. 
36. When all candidates hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods. 
37. In making these decisions, it is essential for Catholics to be guided by a well-formed conscience that recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions. These decisions should take into account a candidate’s commitments, character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue.

You'll notice it really isn't that hard.  It assumes we should vote because apparently the Bishops think voting is worth something beyond my focusing on my own soul.  Apparently, however, how you end up voting is up to you, as long as it's based on careful reflections on Church teaching and allowing your conscience to be guided accordingly, not based on party loyalty, personal loyalty to a candidate, adherence to an intrinsic evil, or, if I may, based on your own personal opinions that no matter what the Church says, you know all voting is evil, stupid, or all parties are evil.  There's more than one way to skin a non-Catholic inspired approach to voting.  Best to look to what the Bishops say in such cases, not what someone on the blogosphere says the Bishops really meant if you were really smart enough to understand their secret meaning.

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