So over the last few days I have received multiple comments, emails, facebook messages, and everything else about my decision not to vote from my Catholic friends. These ranged from supportive of my decision to and excellent post emphasizing the duty of voting to those who have been unceasingly trying to convince me that I must vote for John McCain. So, here is a response to the latter of the two.
First of all, as per voting. I also believe that I have a duty to vote. In fact, the catechism says (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".
That's pretty plain, and I think I mentioned that in my post before last, when I said I felt it was my civic duty as a Catholic (and as a Knight of Columbus) to vote, and I will. I will walk in the booth with a voting ballot and I will make the selections that I can morally make with my own conscience. However, my conscience will not allow me to vote for someone who supports an evil that puts life at risk without good reason. I cannot vote for Obama because of his stance on abortion. I cannot vote for McCain because of his stance on the war (where many innocent children are dying every day, something that I truly believe to be intrinsic evil) and his stance on the death penalty, which the Catechism describes as only morally acceptable only when there is no other way to prevent the person from harming others. Capital punishment, in the words of Pope John Paul II is morally acceptable only very rarely, if ever at all in our modern society.
Now let's talk specifically about the Republican Party for a little while. I'm not convinced that John McCain is the "lesser of the two evils". We have had Republican Presidents in 28 of the last 40 years (yes, only 12 years of Democratic presidents). Guess what has happened in that time? Roe V. Wade, the growth of abortion, and an increase in the intrinsic evil that all of us hate. If abortion was illegal and did not exist in the country, how many votes do you think the Republican party would receive? Very few. So, what's the best way to keep winning elections? Keep the issue of abortion on the table. It drives us away from a party who cares more for the poor and has traditionally been anti capital punishment (the current lackluster candidate notwithstanding). Republicans can stomp and scream and shout about gay marriage and anti abortion amendments till the cows come home, but eventually they have to do something about it.
So, sorry but I can't vote for either one. I might, however, find one of these candidates that I can vote for.
Update: I think I've found my man and he's actually more conservative on the abortion issue than McCain (not that hard to do).
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