Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Neither parties will do OUR job

I had great plans for this post. I was going to stealthily tip toe between the nail-biting subject of politics and the clearer world of Catholicism to argue what you already know: Catholics don't have a party.

Both Democrats and Republicans should check themselves against morals. The political right in the Church have to avoid harmful selfishness, warmongering, and supporting murder through the death penalty and euthanasia. The political left in the church have to avoid creating too much power for the secularized government and avoid supporting abortions, euthanasia, and other non-negotiable beliefs by association.

As I am a recovering politicaholic, I have tried hard to avoid the subject of politics and elections on this blog, other than on an issues basis. This post was going to climb over that wall I built and offer the reader a hand to see both sides. Like I said, I had great plans.

The talented and insightful Anna Williams has done a much better job than I could have done and I would rather just point you to her for your political feast:

In pursuit of Catholic politics at VirtuousPla.net.

Politics are a tricky business, even trickier for a Catholic. Anna reminds us that our Catholic faith encompasses our entire life, not just the parts outside of the voting booth.

Now I must go off and guide where the rubber meets the road: it's off to the voting booths for me. Lord, please guide my thoughts, so that I may cast my tiny vote in a way that helps and does not harm my community.


Anthony S. Layne said...

Happy voting!

Jim said...

I have a question about Anna's VirtuousPla.net article that I have been struggling with and would like to submit to my fellow Catholics for advice. Since her thread is no longer taking comments, I hope no one minds if I ask it here.

Like both Anna and Elizabeth, I too believe that Catholicism transcends the lines of political parties. This has lead to a very non-partisan voting record on my part that is based on prayer, discernment, and following my conscience. However there are a number of my Catholic fellows who have chastised me for this, insisting that there is indeed only one political affiliation for Catholics.

I think the reason for this is because as Anna points out in her article that the Bishops have made it clear there are issues that neither party can ignore, to their minds the Republican Party platform at least is more in-line with Catholic teaching on the absolute, non-negotiable issues than the Democratic Party platform. So to them it is unacceptable, indeed morally hazardous, to vote for a Democratic candidate for any reason.

Obviously I tend to take a more nuanced approach, as Anna says, to not allow Church teaching to be reduced to a handful of issues and I have never voted for any candidate specifically because of, or in order to promote, items on their agenda that the Church teaches are intrinsically evil.

Has anyone else encountered this problem? Also, would anyone be able to give advice on how to respond to this type of thing in a manner that is best reflective of Christian charity?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Elizabeth said...

Jim - A "cop-out" option I have chosen several times was to write-in the candidate I want to fill the position. I know you've mentioned your daughter and the benefits that the new healthcare legislation brought to her life, which was a beautiful reminder.

However, many others believe that the same legislation will create a panel that will decide that your daughter is not worth spending money on. Thus, we're stuck again.

I truly believe that we need to adhere to the non-negotiable guide, after prayer and discernment. Perhaps we need to get more fully involved in the grassroots movements on the issues that we disagree with on the Republican platform and make sure they uphold that for which we voted for them. Similarly, if we can find a pro-life Democrat who doesn't violate any other non-negotiables and upholds the Churches teachings on the death penalty/euthanasia, Glory!

It's your decision, which I know you make after discernment and prayer.

Jim said...

I'm right there with you Elizabeth. Through the intercession of Saint Thomas Moore may we get more men and women elected to office of any party that truly works for the common good.

To put it a little less delicately, the trouble I have is in responding to the folks who very much act like Church teaching outside those non-negotiables may as well not exist and voting for a Democrat, no matter the reason, is tantamount to a mortal sin.

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