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ak | 0 posts | Member since 02.09.08


RE: The Democrats are Blowing the Election—and the Catholic Vote
As a Catholic always looking to grow deeper in my understanding of our faith and how to best apply that to the world we live in, it is disappointing to read the comments by DCSONI. DCSONI has obviously not read the USCCB report Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (http://www.usccb.org/faithfulcitizenship/FCStatement.pdf) very carefully. While I recommend the whole document, sections 31 - 37 and specifically 34-36 address the question of whether or not it is acceptable to vote for a non-pro-life candidate: 34. Catholics often face difficult choices about how to vote. This is why it is so important to vote according to a well-formed conscience that perceives the proper relationship among moral goods. A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter’s intent is to support that position. In such cases a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity. 35. There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil. 36. When all candidates hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods. There are an awful lot of words here if Catholics are only permitted to vote for pro-life candidates. Section 35 would seem to indicate that if there are other grave moral evils at stake, then voting for a non-pro-life candidate (while not supporting the specific position) is acceptable. I would recommend everyone read the USCCB report and judge for themselves, which I gather is the point of a document designed to help form a faithful conscience. Two more things, section 29 and 37: 29. The second is the misuse of these necessary moral distinctions as a way of dismissing or ignoring other serious threats to human life and dignity. Racism and other unjust discrimination, the use of the death penalty, resorting to unjust war, the use of torture, war crimes, the failure to respond to those who are suffering from hunger or a lack of health care, or an unjust immigration policy are all serious moral issues that challenge our consciences and require us to act. These are not optional concerns which can be dismissed. Catholics are urged to seriously consider Church teaching on these issues. Although choices about how best to respond to these and other compelling threats to human life and dignity are matters for principled debate and decision, this does not make them optional concerns or permit Catholics to dismiss or ignore Church teaching on these important issues. Clearly not every Catholic can be actively involved on each of these concerns, but we need to support one another as our community of faith defends human life and dignity wherever it is threatened. We are not factions, but one family of faith fulfilling the mission of Jesus Christ. 37. In making these decisions, it is essential for Catholics to be guided by a well-formed conscience that recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions. These decisions should take into account a candidate’s commitments, character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue. If anyone can (honestly) square section 29 with the Republican platform or section 37 with its candidate for President, please let me know.

RE: The Democrats are Blowing the Election—and the Catholic Vote
Chassup, what is the point of the document, in your opinion? Why would the USCCB go through the hassle of creating such a document if the point is Catholics cannot vote for a non-pro-life candidate? The point of this document is to help Catholics form their conscience in a responsible way; to empower Catholics to get involved in the American political process; to help advance Catholic Social Teaching, completely, or if necessary, incrementally. I think we should be clear that Republicans are hardly pro-life -- pro-birth, maybe -- but being for the death penalty, for preemptive war, against universal health care and against entitlement programs that support the least of our nation is not a model, I think, that the Vatican would put forth. I also think the Pope might have an issue with your initial comments"...I am not “pro-life” for Iraqis who are doing battle with American troops. I am for blowing up their stuff and killing them..."

RE: The Democrats are Blowing the Election—and the Catholic Vote
Chassup, you can call it what you want, the semantics don't matter to me, but if you want to have a discussion about this with someone who is "pro-choice or pro-abortion, as you say, all you do is start the conversation of on the wrong foot and set it up for continued disagreement...but I digress, we'll call it what you want... What has nothing to do with "to help advance Catholic Social Teaching, completely, or if necessary, incrementally.”? You don't know what is in my heart or my motives? That wording, maybe not verbatim, is in the report released by the USCCB. Just because you disagree doesn't mean it's a "common misconception" Why would they create this document if voting for pro-life candidates was the only acceptable thing for a Catholic today? Clearly in presidential politics, that is not an option? And the USCCB would now this...so why not just say you can't vote for a democrat for president? The USCCB document wasn't written in a vacuum, was it? It was written very recently. Clearly all the relevant moral issues of our time are on the table...So I ask you again, what is the point of this document, if it is not to give Catholics the opportunity to look into their hearts and soul and decide which way to vote in order to best promote our Catholic values? Just because you disagree with my approach, doesn't mean that we don't have the same goals... Also, I read the letter...clearly it's a thoughtful and heartfelt letter, but again, it seems to me (and a large number of Catholics) that is doesn't not jive with the document issued by the USCCB. If you consider 1 abortion vs 1 death due to war, which is worse? A life is a life, isn't it? Why, then is there a "Just War Doctrine" and not a "Just Abortion Doctrine"? The problem I have with the republicans is that nothing has changed since 1973....there has been virtually no progress made. The reason is that both sides are trying to eat the whole elephant all at once. We would have more success in reducing the number of abortions if we said, "leave roe v wade for now" we want to take the 1 million+ abortion each year and turn it into 500,000 in the next couple years, then half it again. There is a real possibility to do that...but not with Republicans saying its all or nothing. All that does is keep the status quo. Which is why I think it is our morally responsibility to lower the number of abortions as much and as quick as possible. While you are fighting for the number 0 and leaving the number at 1 million, we could be working together to cut that number in half...

RE: The Democrats are Blowing the Election—and the Catholic Vote
I appreciate the discussion, but I've made my point. (And I think you've helped make my point). We don't appear to be getting any further. I do enjoy that both of you are "not republicans" yet there is no other choice for a "good", "honest", "intelligent" Catholic in American politics. If it walks like a duck and it talks like a duck...it's a Republican.

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