How Should a Catholic Vote? Holding One’s Nose

How Should a Catholic Vote? Holding One’s Nose October 19, 2016

Yesterday, in fear and trembling, I released a podcast telling Catholics how to vote.

You can listen to it here:

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  • Mark VA

    Excellent exposition in my opinion, nuanced, with zero BS. So if I may, stop trembling, both of you, eh?

    I wonder though, if certain personalities are drawn to politics or the corporate world? I’m thinking of the study below:

    • No BS. I thought it was mostly BS! With some good EG.


      B(rett) S(alkeld)

  • Thales

    Great podcast. Great thought, right on the money.

  • Ashley

    Ugh, every four years (before US presidential elections) we see this same exposition from people trying to connect their theology/world view with how they think others should vote, My objections: (1) there are a lot of elected offices besides president to consider too (I keep meeting people who insist they are interested in politics but who can’t name their rep in the House of Representatives). (2) the issues mentioned are frequently not issues. Is euthanasia really an issue? Is abortion? Abortion should be an issue but until Roe v. Wade is overturned there is little elected officials can do about it. Is immigration? The elites in the two parties in the US agree about immigration even if the common people disagree with them. Is torture? No.

    In the words of James Carville: it’s the economy, stupid. That really is the only issue.

    • Mark VA

      Several points, Ashley:

      (a) The exposition provided is that of the Catholic Church (a very exact and faithful one, in my opinion). It is not exclusively “their theology” as you put it, i.e. a private point of view;

      (b) This subject comes up periodically because we hold elections – periodically;

      (c) Abortion is definitely an issue during this election cycle- in the third debate, the two candidates explained their diametrically opposed positions. This election will also impact the composition of the future Supreme Court of the US;

      (d) In the words of Jesus Christ: “It is written, not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.” (Matthew, 4:4). Economy should not be an only issue, if we strive to be faithful to Christ.

      • Julia Smucker

        Regarding their stated “diametrically opposed positions” on abortion, I wish even that were true. Despite the businessman’s skill in marketing brashness as sincerity, I’ve seen no reason to believe he has either the ability or the will to deliver on his sudden pro-life promises. People pinning their pro-life hopes on him (even if that hope did all hang on the composition of the Supreme Court, which is also questionable) are being played. So are people pinning their economic hopes on him, or on her for that matter. Yes, economy is also an issue, certainly not the only one, nor should it be, but a large-looming one in actuality. And one in which the traditional (to the extent that word even has any real meaning in American politics) appeals of the major parties have been turned on their heads, to borrow an insight from Shields and Brooks’ thoughtful discussion on the PBS NewsHour.

        Unfortunately, the Republican Party is no longer the pro-life party, and the Democratic Party is no longer the party for the poor – if they ever truly were. If there is an ironic silver lining, it’s that perhaps now the veneer is coming off and we can start being more truly prophetic in our concern for the vulnerable – speaking truth to power rather than trusting in princes (cf. Psalm 146) – whoever sits in the Oval Office.

        • Mark VA

          I partially agree with you Julia – regarding the two candidates’ positions on abortion, I should have added “as articulated by them”;

          For me, this issue also includes calculations based on probability – can I reasonably, in some small degree of correctness, foresee their possible future actions using their past histories?

          Like you, I also believe that there is a “silver lining”, despite of everything that we are witnessing during this election. I think that big parts of the meta-narratives of the past few decades are coming apart, for both main parties. No amount of propaganda, in the strict meaning of the word (see Norman Davies, “Introduction” to “Europe”) is likely to prop them up any longer;

          I completely agree that we should not trust in princes (or princesses). However, on occasion, a Till Eulenspiegel will arise out of we the people, to the chagrin of the princes, princesses, and many others:

      • Julia Smucker

        Just remembered that I also wanted to mention, especially given the lack of decent presidential nominees, that I agree with Ashley on the importance of “down-ballot” elections and measures. The least we all can do is try to make some kind of difference locally.