A reader writes:
“This conscience voter phenomenon is so bizarre.”
Exhibit A in why I think we need to focus more on the impact voting has on the voter and less on the (virtually non-existent) impact the vote has on the outcome of an election.
That a pro-life Catholic should find the idea of voting out of conscience and not out of political expediency “bizarre” is perhaps the single most eloquent testimony to the corruption our politics has wrought on our moral formation as Catholics. And she is not alone. I am hearing from people who are telling me that consideration of the impact of voting on the voter is a “novelty” (as though Jesus never said “What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”) I’m being told it is “Protestant” to consider how voting can form and deform the conscience. I’m being instructed that the common good trumps conscience–as though virtue and the common good are enemies.
Honestly, it is not Obama who is making the case against supporting Romney. It is his Catholic supporters and their amazing tendency to distort elementary Catholic teaching in order to rationalize support for him. The sole case for Romney is this: he sucks less than Obama. That’s it. As soon as Catholics try to move beyond this, they nearly always succeed in making it clear that they have no grasp of Catholic teaching at some very fundamental points and that they are, when push comes to shove, hostile to it and prefer Romney talking points. The Postmodern Left wants to persecute the Church. The Postmodern Right wants to teach it that obeying your conscience is “bizarre”.