Saturday, September 04, 2010

Voting as a Catholic

If you listen closely, you can hear the steady drums begin to beat. Listen very carefully, and the drums give way to a steady, mindless chant: "Vote for Republicans in November. Most important election ever." We are always told this.

Yet even aside from the unlikelihood that supporting the lesser-evil party will do anything to achieve conservative goals--whatever they are--there are serious ethical concerns which prohibit Catholics from voting for most politicians in 2010 America.

Courtesy of Ryan W. McMaken over at the LRC blog, fellow Catholic Mark Shea captures this point well:

I have abandoned the game of supporting candidates who advertise themselves as “30% less evil than the other leading brand.” I will not support candidates of any stripe who ask me to support intrinsic grave evil. Please don’t tell me that’s expecting perfection. It’s not. It’s a bare minimum request for least common denominator civic decency. I don’t ask perfection of either GOP or Dem. I simply ask that they stop telling me I have to support policies which Catholic moral teaching describes as “worthy of the fires of hell”. Both parties do this in various ways, therefore I will not support any candidate from either party that does. Conversely, if any candidate from either party tells me he will not be supporting grave and intrinsic evil, I will at least consider voting for him. So far, the pickings are slim.

Now, this doesn't alter my position that voting itself is of highly problematic nature. (The columns I wrote for the Lode on the matter have disappeared; if I find them, I'll try to add the links.) Anyway, Shea offers the minimum for the Catholic who believes participation in democracy is morally desirous.

It might be an amusing exercise to see how many politicians meet this criteria, but we'll save that for another day.

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