…but this and his comments to Erin, Tom K., and Zippy was not his finest hour.
The simple truth is that the Church calls us to vote to limit evil. It does not demand that we vote for the Lesser of Two Evils candidate. The Church merely says we can vote the lesser of two evils if we can find a proportional reason to do so. It does not command us to do so and leaves it up to our prudence to find other ways to limit evil (such as not voting for candidates who support grave evil at all if our conscience demands it) if that seems best to us. Both prudential judgements are open to us. As I noted yesterday, I can respect those who make the Sucks Less case for Romney as Dale Price does. What amazes me, though, is the absolute contempt some Romney supporters heap on those who, moved by conscience, make a different prudential judgment.
John accuses those who make a different moral calculus than him of a posturing prissy self-regard, as though wishing to avoid mortal sin is selfish. He accuses them of onanism, as though anything but a vote for Romney *is* a mortal sin. But these claims are quite obviously false. In my own blue state of Washington, a vote for Romney is as wasted a vote as a vote for any third party. So why should I not spend my choice on supporting virtue and not supporting somebody I know to be a cynical duplicitous liar with no interest in the things that matter most?
Similarly, the reality is that, quite obviously, a desire to avoid mortal sin is not selfish but is attempted virtue that should be commended, not sneered at or treated with contempt.
I can respect people who feel forced to make the Sucks Less choice for Romney. It would be nice if such people could extend the same respect to those–like the thoughtful, kind, and good Erin Manning–who cannot, in conscience, vote for either major party.