The pro-life position is a worldview, a lens through which we should view every political, cultural, social, economic, security and international issue. This worldview must also inform every aspect of our participation in society, including how we vote.
Deacon Keith Fournier, Pro-Life in the Diaconate, the-deacon.com
This is an article about listening and having a civil discussion. So read it well before you critique.
Election Time Is Here Again
Nothing seems to stir up more heated conversation among Catholics then politics and religion. Everybody believes that their own personal preference is a divine revelation of God. An individual Catholic’s reasoning, thoughtful pondering and investigation into political and liturgical matters ends up being the official Catholic position on that issue regardless what the official Catholic position is.
If you vote for Trump your’re voting for evil.
If you vote for Biden your’re killing babies.
Unfortunately, “People today are religious about their politics and political about their religion.“
I mean, Democratic politicians *are* evil. More precisely, they advocate and defend grave evil taking place on an unthinkable scale.
Whereas Republican politicians pretend to be against such evil while doing nothing about it and assiduously pursuing other evils.
-Deacon Steven D. Greydanus
So. As I stated we have an election that is coming up. And it is time once again to cast a ballot and elect either Trump for another 4 years or Joe Biden to replace him. Sorry Bernie supporters. What is the official Vatican position on what political party American Catholics need to be a part of?
“Is the Catholic Church Republican? Democrat? And what are you? As for me:
1.I’m against abortion, and they call me a Republican
2.I want greater justice for immigrants, and they call me a Democrat
3.I stand against “Gay” “Marriage,” and they call me a Republican
4.I work for affordable housing, and stand with unemployed in DC, and they call me a Democrat
5.I talk of subsidiarity and they say: “Republican, for sure.”
6.I mention the common good, and solidarity and they say, “Not only a Democrat, but a Socialist for sure.”
7.Embryonic Stem cell research should end, “See, he’s Republican!”
8.Not a supporter of the death penalty, standing with the Bishops and the Popes against it…”Ah, told you! He’s really a Democrat!…Dye in the wool and Yellow Dog to boot!”
Hmm, and all this time I just thought I was trying to be a Catholic Christian. I just don’t seem to fit in. And, frankly, no Catholic should. We cannot be encompassed by any Party as currently defined.”-Msgr. Charles Pope
And of course, there is the minor option that proposes a third party non popular candidate. That is the option I am going with.
I will get flack from some people because I’m not planning on voting for Trump.
I will get flack from some people because I’m not planning on voting for Biden.
I don’t care, I’m voting my conscience.
The most dominant voices in this annual election season is the anti-democratic party voices. They are ringing loud warning bells telling fellow Catholics that a penalty of mortal sin is waiting for those who vote for anyone in the party that endorses the very anti-Catholic position of abortion. There should be no debate among Catholics on the issue of abortion, as it is condemned very strongly by the official teaching authority of the church no matter what any Catholic thinks.
Here I feel it urgent to state that, if the family is the sanctuary of life, the place where life is conceived and cared for, it is a horrendous contradiction when it becomes a place where life is rejected and destroyed. So great is the value of a human life, and so inalienable the right to life of an innocent child growing in the mother’s womb, that no alleged right to one’s own body can justify a decision to terminate that life, which is an end in itself and which can never be considered the “property” of another human being.
—Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, n. 83 Pope Francis On..
Can a Catholic then vote for a democrat? Do we have to vote Republican? Here is what another pope had to say on the matter.
A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons. -CDF (under Pope Benedict)
You can’t vote for a politician because they support abortion, but you can for other reasons. Proportionate Reasons. The problem is that the unofficial American Lay Catholic magisterium thinks they officially know what those reasons are. It’s true that the right to life is the most important right one can have. So, stopping abortion is an dominate issue. But what is the best way to stop it? Laws to prevent it is one concrete way. But is it the best and only way? Republicans would say yes. Pro-life democrats would say no.
I know that many of you feel that you have to vote Republican in order to stop abortion. But there are some well thought opinions of others who are pro-life who don’t think like that. They are just as pro-life as you who are pro-life and Republican. Instead of just dismissing, why not hem hear what they have to say and build bridges. Don’t have the attitude ‘I don’t build bridges with the demonic.” For the sake of unborn babies don’t have that attitude. Try to find a solution with Catholics you might not otherwise think you could work with. Someone you can help bring an end to abortion with. The best way to end abortion is to convince others that it is bad for the child and the mother. We must win the hearts and minds of the people who are pro-choice.
It is important to know why women want to abort. If we know why we can fight to make changes in our society so they don’t want to. Simply outlawing it, as important as it is, is not the only thing pro-lifers should be concerned about. Let’s not concentrate solely on outlawing it, which were told every election will happen if we vote Republican, but concentrate on some other aspects of stopping abortion that are important also. Let’s listen to those women who are might want to abort and help them to change their mind by helping to change the reasons. If we don’t listen to them, we are not helping the pro-life movement.
The majority of women who succumb to abortion are poor. Poverty is a dehumanizing force that leads people to feel trapped and to make this horrible choice. The Gospel of Life demands that we work for economic justice in our country and in our world. In a society where the rich are getting ever richer and the poor poorer, abortion looms ever larger.”Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s Whole Life Homily
I used to think it was a definite mortal sin to vote democrat, but I see now that Catholics may have good proportionate reasons for not voting republican. So I don’t judge another person’s soul for their voting decisions.
“I see too many smart, thoughtful, honorable people on both sides for me to find either opinion self-evidently indefensible. (There are also, obviously, stupid and immoral people on both sides.)
I’m well aware that we’re all fallible and have blind spots, and even smart, thoughtful, decent, honorable people can wind up holding opinions that are self-evidently indefensible. I’m so aware of this, in fact, that I think it behooves us to reflect deeply that this is a petard on which any of us may find ourselves hoist, however, smart, thoughtful, decent and honorable we may be.
Out of intellectual and epistemological humility, I am reluctant to make very sweeping, very final judgments placing myself among the smart, thoughtful, decent, honorable people who are also brilliantly right in our prudential opinions, and consigning other smart, thoughtful, decent, honorable people who disagree with me to the shameful ranks of the crashingly wrong. “
Deacon Steven D. Greydanus
Here’s some more food for thought from Albany Rose: Post-Abortive Pro-Life and the importance of dialogue.
When pro-choicers say, “it’s all about control, they don’t care about babies they hate women,” and when pro-lifers say, “it’s all about selfishness and they just want to be allowed to kill as many babies as they want,” they’re equal in the simplest way.
Arrogance. Pure, willful arrogance.
They’re regurgitated statements with no logical thought behind them. They both take personal pent up anger and throw it around like monkey crap in a cage, claiming the other side stinks and ignoring just how much crap they themselves are covered in.
If you’re only position ever comes down to telling the other side exactly what they think, believe, and supposedly know, you aren’t listening. You’re not trying to see where someone is coming from. Like it or not, you actually have to listen to the opposition to understand. You have to be willing to shut up for five minutes and hear them out no matter how much you disagree. If you don’t do that, all you’re left with is crap.
So one final note…
Remember the reasons certain Catholics don’t want to vote Republican.
The actions/words of Trump and too many Conservatives are not pro-life, nor are they rooted in the teachings of Christ. They are pro-gun, pro-war, pro-unmanned drones, anti-immigration, pro-torture, pro-death penalty, anti-poor relief, pro-business to extent workers are lucky to have jobs no matter the pittance they are paid, want to deprive people of health care, pull the financial rug out from under disabled people who rely upon Social Security Disability as their sole source of income, and yet claim to be pro-life. Until conservatives/ republicans are demonstrably consistent on all matters of Catholic/Christian morality (i.e., poverty, immigration etc.) they will continue to lose credibility on pro-life and religious freedom. Their Achilles’s heel is their hypocrisy. The heart of Christ’s teaching is mercy and I’ve seen scant of it in their actions, words, budget proposals or policies. Antonietta From FB
Remember if you do vote for a Democrat
I do want to continue to say loudly, that if you are a Christian AND you vote Democrat,
YOU MUST BE VERY VOCAL IN TELLING THEM THAT THEIR PLATFORM ON ABORTION IS AN ABOMINATION.
You have the moral obligation to reach out to your representatives and say something like “I support you only because you have the right view on dreamers and are doing great things for the homeless in our district…but your statements on abortion are horrendous. We need to be working together across the isle to figure out how to support women in need, not simply give those in most need of our help the single option of abortion.”
Or something like that.
I understand that you are sick of the partisanship of abortion, but we can never give up the fight that needs to take place in policy as well as in our direct charity to women and men in need. – Joshua Klickman from Facebook
Here’s to another wonderful election season among the baptized believers in the Catholic Church.
Official Authoritative Teaching
Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship –
Part II – Applying Catholic Teaching to Major Issues:
If one contends, as we do, that the right of every fetus to be born should be protected by civil law and supported by civil consensus, then our moral, political and economic responsibilities do not stop at the moment of birth. Those who defend the right to life of the weakest among us must be equally visible in support of the quality of life of the powerless among us: the old and the young, the hungry and the homeless, the undocumented immigrant and the unemployed worker. Such a quality of life posture translates into specific political and economic positions on tax policy, employment generation, welfare policy, nutrition and feeding programs, and health care. Consistency means we cannot have it both ways. We cannot urge a compassionate society and vigorous public policy to protect the rights of the unborn and then argue that compassion and significant public programs on behalf of the needy undermine the moral fiber of society or are beyond the proper scope of government responsibility.
Right to life and quality of life complement each other in domestic social policy.
Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, Cardinal Bernardin’s gift fits all sizes by Michael Leach (Nov 6, 2012) ncronline.org