Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Voting Morality: "What's a Catholic to Do?"

Great post over at Jimmy Akin Website, by SDG (aka Not Jimmy).

He talks about the challenge of deciding which one of the candidates has the higher moral ground, best reflects our Catholic values.

It's lengthy but worth the read.

Elections, Voting and Morality Part I

In this election season, questions about voting and morality are naturally under discussion in the Catholic blogosphere and the larger Catholic world. At times, the range of possible answers being proposed and discussed has included some dubious opinions and claims.

There are good reasons not to be thrilled with either of the two major candidates, and it's not surprising that some thoughtful and serious Catholics and others may choose not to vote at all, or to vote for some quixotic third-party candidate as a form of protest against the major candidates.

More surprisingly, some serious Catholics have seemed at times to incline toward the view that, although one of the two major candidates is far less problematic than the other, even the less problematic candidate is still problematic enough to make supporting or voting for either of the two major candidates not only not obligatory, but actually objectively wrong. Rarefied theories regarding the purpose and moral significance of voting have been floated that seem hard to reconcile with Catholic teaching.

Even more surprisingly, some serious Catholics have actually gone so far as to argue that the preferable candidate is one whose agenda is about as radically opposed as it is possible to be to Catholic teaching on fundamental moral issues (including abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research, therapeutic cloning and same-sex marriage) rather than his opponent whose views are much more convergent with Catholic teaching on most, if not all, of those issues. (More on this later.)

This last view has become most widely associated with Douglas Kmiec, Professor of Constitutional Law at Pepperdine University's School of Law and former Dean and St. Thomas More Professor of Catholic University's law school. After working with fellow Catholic scholar Mary Ann Glendon on Mitt Romney's presidential bid, Kmiec stunned American Catholics by endorsing Barack Obama for president.


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