So, the election is coming up...

I don’t know where to post this, but my friends and I are getting ready to vote for the first time, and we want to make sure we stay within our good concience. So we complied a sort of list on the potential moral scruples of voting for each party. I just want to knowing we have the right sort of idea, or if we’ve used any morally problematic logic.:shrug: I have sources for most of this stuff, and actual quotes for the first ten.
Why we can’t REALLY vote Republican…

  1. Pope John Paul II was against anyone going to war against Iraq.
    2.The Conference of Catholic Bishops requires that health care be provided to all Americans .
  2. The Catholic Church opposes the death penalty for criminals in almost all situations.
  3. The US Conference of Bishops has urged that the federal minimum wage be increased , for the working poor.
  4. The bishops want welfare for all needy families , saying “We reiterate our call for a minimum national welfare benefit that will permit children and their parents to live in dignity. A decent society will not balance its budget on the backs of poor children.”
  5. The US bishops say that “the basic rights of workers must be respected–the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions…” .
  6. Catholic bishops demand the withdrawal of Israel from Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 .
  7. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops ripped into Arizona’s law on treatment of immigrants , Cardinal Roger Mahony characterized Arizona’s S.B. 1070 as “the country’s most retrogressive, mean-spirited, and useless anti-immigrant law,” saying it is based on “totally flawed reasoning: that immigrants come to our country to rob, plunder, and consume public resources.” He even suggested that the law is a harbinger of an American Nazism!
  8. The Bishops have urged that illegal immigrants not be treated as criminals and that their contribution to this country be recognized.
  9. The US Conference of Bishops has denounced, as has the Pope, the Bush idea of ‘preventive war’ , and has come out against an attack on Iran in the absence of a real and present threat of an Iranian assault on the US.

But why we can’t really vote Democrats EITHER (perhaps even more so):

  1. All these reasons are related, but will be listed in what is generally considered their relative importance (which also happens to be the order in which each is a legal issue, apart from a religious freedom issue). Abortion is an intrinsic evil that is the murder of a completely innocent human being. It opens the door for all sorts of cruelty and injustice against the defenseless (which basically undermines all the GREAT social justice stuff like helping the poor). As such it is detrimental to the whole of society. By separating sex from the natural potential for a child, it opens new ground for men to use women without considering the consequences. It also sends the message that female fertility is wrong and something that needs to be fixed, rather than a natural bodily system functioning properly. Clearly, this attitude hurts, rather than empowers, women. By the same logic, contraception is seen as a lesser evil that helps contribute to a culture of death. No person should be forced to support what they believe to be an evil. Religious institutions, especially, must not be forced to contribute to something that directly goes against their beliefs. In this light, the contraception mandate (even after compromise) is similar to demanding that a Orthodox Jewish café owner pay a third party to give away bacon and pork chops in his restaurant. Also by the same logic (separating sex from one’s natural fertility) the Church is opposed to sex between people of the same sex. The major issue that many Catholics have with same sex marriage is that many laws would require Catholic institutions to pay for spousal privileges in a union they do not approve of (if the Church had a gay employee) or else be required to perform the sacrament of marriage in a way the Church feels is sacrilegious. However, the importance of contraception and same sex marriage pales in comparison with that of abortion.
    It is up to each individual to decide whether s/he can in good conscience decide that the 10 items on the first list outweigh the one on the second or vis versa, and thus choose a candidate. Often, the best moral course of action is to vote for different parties for different positions, in whichever way the voter thinks will be the best for the good of society.

faith more so, so we want to be sure we’re not doing anything wrong.
So, our we following the right line of reasoning, or did we make some mistake due to youthful ignorance. We both take out newly gained voting privledges seriously, and our
Also, is there any third (or 12th) candidate that somehow gets this all right (or at least more of it)?:confused:
Thanks! :thumbsup:

Well, if y’all feel that y’all can’t vote for either Republicans or Democrats, then find someone that you can vote for.

I personally am voting for Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party. He is pro-life in 100% of circumstances (just like the Catholic Church).

Now, the Constitution Party would not fit your views on immigration. But, it does support cutting all our foreign aid (thus not helping Israel)… which I personally disagree with, but I don’t care enough to cause me to stop voting for them.

Honestly, I don’t think there is a third party that y’all would agree with totally going off of that post. So, here’s my suggestion: clearly you are convinced that the 2 party system is not representing you. So, just rage against the machine and tell them that with your vote. If they don’t represent you, don’t vote for them.

A good showing for the Third Parties would be if all of them got more than 2% of the total vote combined on election night. So keep that in mind. [IE: nitpicking their policies makes a lot less sense than it does when you nitpick the Republican/ Democrat policies]. If all the people who refused to vote for the 2 parties chose to vote for a 3rd party instead of stay home, then we wouldn’t have a 2 party system right now.

But the vast majority stay home.

Keep in mind that a huge percentage of the populace are probably less informed than you are when they cast their vote. So, you should at least vote for someone. And if you can’t be convinced that that is the Republican or Democrat parties, then vote against them. But still vote.

I’ll leave you with this:
http://www.cpalabama.org/image.axd?picture=2012%2F5%2FSmallSign.jpg

You can argue all you want about neither the Democratic or Republican candidate for president presents a moral choice for you in the forthcoming election. But the reality of the situation is that no third party candidate has a snowballs chance in Hell of winning; and, in fact these third party candidates just siphon off votes from the more conservative candidate. Likewise abstaining from voting.
Voting for a 3rd party candidate or abstaining from voting is the most immoral of all your choices because in effect such votes will help in the re-election of Obama, the most anti-Catholic and deceitful President in the history of the United States!
All of these arguments are designed by Obama supporters to divert attention away from his failure with our economy. He had 2 years of a Democratically controlled Congress and Senate and all he and his team accomplished was to squander a couple of trillion dollars and by the way de-value it. In addition, he has all but destroyed the coal industry by putting into effect impossible to obey regulations by unelected bureaucrats under his command. This has added several thousand miners and electric plant workers to the unemployment rolls.
and, he has by-passed Congress to fund Planned Parenthood- the largest abortion mill in the history of the world!
The real damage to this country, if he is re-elected, is that he will be able to appoint at least 2 new radical Supreme Court Judges-and he will by pass Senate conformation by appointing them when the Senate is not in session.
So, if you want to feel smug and self rightous by not voting, or by voting for a third party candidate, go ahead and destroy your country.

Thanks, but I guess I was unclear about what I was asking.

I was not asking what I should do, but rather if my reasoning about the issues is sound fron the perspective of Catholic morality.

As it stands, I’m probably voting for Romney, almost purely because of Obama’s stance on abortion.

Just a point here: a Catholic is not required to think that the Democratic Party’s approach to social justice is superior to the Republican Party’s.

Many do. I would argue that they are wrong, but from a basic what can a Catholic believe without contradicting the fact that he calls himself a Catholic standpoint, it is neither required nor forbidden to believe that the sort of big government solution is the best.

Likewise, a Catholic can disagree with the opinion of the current bishops/pope on the morality of a specific war or the death penalty (very specifically stated by then Cardinal Ratzinger), so long as he agrees on the principles and is doing his best to apply them. Which is not to say that he should do so lightly, or that doing so is wise - only that it is possible. (And I’m not sure preventative war or the Iraq war can be said to be terribly relevant at the moment, since nearly all politicians - especially Democrats who supported the war as well in many cases - are distancing themselves from that.)

Further, Republicans in general want to help the poor - they just don’t like the Democrats’ method for doing so. So if it were true that Republicans supported the idea of employing at unjust wages, or of depriving people of necessities of life, that would be a reason that Catholics would have to oppose them on principal. But they don’t. They do tend to think that care should be taken when imposing requirements on others - even for the sake of the poor - and so tend to favor less legislation forcing higher wages and the like, but this is not the same as saying that they are not in favor of wages and conditions rising. Only that they want to make sure they bring this about in a way that they consider to be both effective and just.

Of course, just as I can disagree with the Democrats and think that they’re methods are ineffective and unjust, so can you think that the Republicans’ methods are ineffective and unjust. But while our Catholicism should influence the sort reasoning we use to try to figure this out at all stages, given that humans do not have perfect reason it is not necessary that all Catholics arrive at the same conclusions. That is, while one is certainly better, and while many of us think we can spot which one, it is not the case that this is such an immediate consequence of our Catholicism that to pick the wrong one means rejecting a Catholic principle.

So disagreeing with the Republican party on most of the issues you listed is not mandatory.

If you do disagree with the Republican party on such issues, then yes you must weigh them against the issues with the Democratic party (which, for the most part, we must disagree with).

But it is quiet possible to agree with the Republican party on most of them, in which case you’d be like me and see it as a choice against a party that is wrong about very nearly absolutely everything and a party that just needs to ease up a little bit on one or two issues.

You’ll find a fairly wide spread of opinions here. Very few of them will be eliminated by the basic principals alone, though I would argue that quiet a few (eg all that aren’t mine) are eliminated by those principles plus logical thought. (Of course, it is true that many are eliminated by the principle plus logic, but a priori we don’t know which ones - which is why we argue so much.)

I would advise you to vote for Gary Johnson. Although libertarianism is not the conventional stance among some Catholics, I believe that since government is based on taxation (which is taking money from people) the government is completely immoral (“thou shall not steal”). Government also kills people in wars, which violates the 6th commandment. Virgil Goode is another option along similar lines. If you are leaning towards the Democrats because they seem to appeal more to “social justice” (via taxation and therefore theft), keep in mind this quote:

“Man, no doubt, owes many other moral duties to his fellow men; such as to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, care for the sick, protect the defenceless, assist the weak, and enlighten the ignorant. But these are simply moral duties, of which each man must be his own judge, in each particular case, as to whether, and how, and how far, he can, or will, perform them.”

-Lysander Spooner

…and no, Lysander Spooner was not Catholic, but he still offers wise words.

P.S. I’m a newbie to the forum.

I wouldn’t say youthful ignorance is the mistake, just misinformation.

I don’t live in America but as a concerned Catholic living in the western world you just dont realise how much it makes a difference to us. Please please please please pleaseplease please please please please please please pleaseplease please please please please please please pleaseplease please please please please please please pleaseplease please please please please please please pleaseplease please please please please please please pleaseplease please please please please please please pleaseplease please please please please please please pleaseplease please please please please please please pleaseplease please please please please please please pleaseplease please please please please please please pleaseplease please please please please please please pleaseplease please please please please please please please please please please please please please please pleaseplease please please please please please please pleaseplease please please please please please please pleaseplease please please please please please please pleaseplease please please please please please please pleaseplease please please please please please please pleaseplease please please please please please please pleaseplease please please please … vote against the HHS mandate.

I suggest that the OP read this article:

prolifecorner.com/president-obama-an-opponent-of-catholicism/

Does the OP realize that 100% of the Catholic bishops condemned the HHS mandate?

In our church narthex (lobby outside of the nave), there is a huge poster that says, “Defeat Obama’s HHS mandate.” The implication is very strong–it’s not just the mandate that must be defeated, but Pres. Obama as well.

The very apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, our bishops, are opposed to Pres. Obama, although they cannot come right out and denounce him without sacrificing tax-exempt status for our churches (although under Pres. Obama, there’s a good chance that tax exemption for churches will no longer be an issue). The article that I provided a link to, above, is pretty strong stuff coming from a priest.

I realize that the OP wants to think for themselves, and that’s admirable. But does the OP really think that they have a better handle on the issues than the bishops, who have not only an “American” mindset, but also a world mindset.

I think it is wise for Catholics to recognize the intelligence and wisdom of our apostles who have already thought out all these issues, including war, poverty, health care, etc. and follow their lead.

Christians MUST present a united front during this election. If we divide our votes, then our claims that abortion must end will just look extremist. And if we vote for President Obama, all indications are that we are voting for the end of religion as we know it in the United States.

  1. Pope John Paul II was against anyone going to war against Iraq.

It’s my understanding that the whole Iraq debacle was based on faulty intelligence.

I agree with the Pope, but what upsets me about this was the lack of attention given to the Oil for Food Scandal. which traced to be at the highest levels of government in France and Russia. Germany and China also had some interest, as did the UN office of the Secretary General.

I was at the original House hearing on this matter and still have copies of testimonies given back on it in 2004.

Over 1 million Iraqis, mostly children, starved because of European, Asian and UN corruption.

That’s at least 10 times the casualties from war.

2.The Conference of Catholic Bishops requires that health care be provided to all Americans .

Health care is not a Constitutional right.

It’s important to understand that health care benefits came from the private sector where companies would use it as an incentive to hire the best people.

Free-market solutions are the only way out of this mess, and if the USCCB had actually read and understood the AHA beforehand, the whole contraception mandate would not have surprised them.

The alternative: health care gets rationed, especially for retired religious, and Catholics will be forced to violate their conscience, although it’s quite clear some are more than fine to do that out of political correctness.

  1. The Catholic Church opposes the death penalty for criminals in almost all situations.

There’s no reason whatsoever that someone should be executed in this country. The death penalty works in principle, but should not be carried through.

  1. The US Conference of Bishops has urged that the federal minimum wage be increased , for the working poor.

That is not entirely acceptable. Increasing minimum wage is a big reason why youth, particularly inner-city youth, cannot find work and instead commit crimes and join gangs.

Wages should be just but they should also be between private contractors.

The problem with government involved in this is that many if not most government representatives—or bishops and priests for that matter-- have never owned or started up a business.

If you have to pay everyone 10-20 bucks an hour, you are going to have to hire less people.

  1. The bishops want welfare for all needy families , saying “We reiterate our call for a minimum national welfare benefit that will permit children and their parents to live in dignity. A decent society will not balance its budget on the backs of poor children.”

How about borrowing money from the poor (ie China) and future generations? Is that just?

Maybe the USCCB needs to look at it from that angle.

The only way to balance the budget is to cut spending.

I think that the cronies in businesses like Solyndra and over-paid union bosses in places like Detroit can go without government help and billionares in the Midwest don’t need farm subsidies.

Reagen was able to double the revenue to the government using free-market economics and by getting the government out of the way of businesses.

As a result, charitable giving increased and Reagen increased spending on family programs by 18%.

  1. The US bishops say that “the basic rights of workers must be respected–the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions…” .

Unions should be limited to the private sector. Government unions are bankrupting this country, and unions have long since outlived their usefulness. They have become as corrupt as those whom they were originally formed against.

  1. Catholic bishops demand the withdrawal of Israel from Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 .

A complete withdrawal overnight could mean war in the Middle East.

  1. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops ripped into Arizona’s law on treatment of immigrants , Cardinal Roger Mahony characterized Arizona’s S.B. 1070 as “the country’s most retrogressive, mean-spirited, and useless anti-immigrant law,” saying it is based on “totally flawed reasoning: that immigrants come to our country to rob, plunder, and consume public resources.” He even suggested that the law is a harbinger of an American Nazism!

Cardinal Mahoney has been criticized for thinking first about increasing the Church membership.

The Arizona law is designed to protect its citizens and frankly, immigrants do come to this country time after time for the hand-outs and companies who will hire them.

Arizona cannot be blamed for that nor can they be blamed for the open-borders mentality of the democrats who want it just so they can get more votes .

I’d love to see how the left would feel about open-borders if Hispanics and other immigrants voted republican in perpetuity.

  1. The Bishops have urged that illegal immigrants not be treated as criminals and that their contribution to this country be recognized.

That’s fine, but some of them are criminals.

So sorry if the bishops can’t see that not everyone who crosses the border are hard-working Catholic families.

The border patrols have found al quedia literature in the desert, drug smugglers and human traffickers take advantage of the situation and there are rumours of Chinese intelligence snooping around as well.

  1. The US Conference of Bishops has denounced, as has the Pope, the Bush idea of ‘preventive war’ , and has come out against an attack on Iran in the absence of a real and present threat of an Iranian assault on the US.

I’m not for war with Iran at all.

You’re right that there are less than ideal attributes of either party, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, be sure that the information is correct. We cannot assume that Republicans are anti-poor just because the Democrats say they are. Nor can we assume that Democrats are socialists just because Republicans say they are. In campaign seasons, the spin factories are working overtime.

Second, we need to be careful about how we categorize the issues. We cannot just make a list of bullet points and assume that we should vote for the opponent of whoever has the most negative bullet points. What kind of negatives? Both parties say they want to help the poor in principle. What is different is their policies to obtain that morally laudable end goal. And Catholics can disagree about the best methods to obtaining that goal.

But there are some issues where there is a difference in principle. Abortion is one such issue. One party clearly favors the legality of abortion, which is an intrinsic moral evil. That type of negative bullet point carries much more weight than a dozen negatives regarding differences of opinion regarding policy issues.

If everyone who voted for third party candidates voted for John McCain in 2008, Barack Obama would still be up for re-election in 2012. McCain still would have lost.

Also, the arguments against third party candidates make it seem like I’m taking a vote away from a major party candidate. Sorry, but it’s my vote and it doesn’t belong to you. Honestly, I don’t care about how they are doing. As Libertarian Party nominee, Gov. Gary Johnson says, “You know what will happen if you waste all your votes on me? I will be the next President.” Why should I conform to how others will vote? Why can’t they conform to how I vote?

Also, here’s a great article I just found from the Acton Institute, a Catholic economically libertarian think tank:
blog.acton.org/archives/37025-counting-the-profit-of-a-third-party-choice.html

Limit the evil. From Priests for Life:

politicalresponsibility.com/votingstatement.htm

Peace,
Ed

We’re not saying “Oh you cant vote for zie Drei-parteis” We’re just saying Virgil Goode and Gary Johnson are loser candidates and will not win.:thumbsup:

Without quibbling with the minutiae of your ideas, I’d say you’re generally on the right track. You DO need to look at the overall picture of issues and stances and then you need a means by which to prioritize thos issues. Past issues of “Faithful Citizenship” by the USCCB have been rather lengthy and ambiguous, but one clear principle that document succeeded in articulating was that when there is no clearly totally ‘good’ candidate, which is sadly typical, one must look at the problematic stances of each candidate and assign a priority to that issue according to its “proportionate impact.”

In practice, this REALLY makes this a simple process in today’s culture. All of the problems of the republican party platform combined (unjust war, inadequate safety nets, immigration, etc) don’t amount to 50 million dead human beings in the last 40 years. They just don’t.

It’s easy to get numbed to the reality of the situation and lose perspective. But history has a lot of lessons for us here. What do school kids learn about US history in the 1850’s? It’s slavery and the Civil War it caused. Just like today, they had thousands of other issues competing for attention that seemed important AT THE TIME. But history doesn’t remember any of them because they pale in significnace. Abortion is the slavery of OUR time. Get that issue right and be on the right side of history. Human beings derive their dignity from being created by God, not from their usefulness or capacity to enjoy themselves. Don’t cooperate in allowing certain cultural elite forces to continue the erosion of this basic American value. Don’t vote in such a way that you have to explain to your grandkids how you failed to do all you could to act on the defining issue of your time.

Okay, thanks. I just wanted to know I was deciding with a well-formed understanding. My understanding has always been that I need to vote against Obama because of abortion. I was just making sure that none of my reasoning up to that point was actually immoral.
Also, I’m careful to make sure I can do my grandkids proud, even if pro-life clubs have been banned from my campus (the ban was lifted this year, but there’s hostility) and school functions are sponsored by ChoiceUSA. In fact, that’s art of the reason I posted this. I just want to make sure my moral reasoning is not being corrupted without my noticing.

No, neither Gary Johnson or Virgil Goode will win the 2012 election.

However, just because someone “can’t win” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t vote for them.

Everyone said Rick Santorum couldn’t win. He won 11 states in the primary.

How many more states could he have won if all the people who chose not to vote for him solely because of his lack of “winnability” voted for him? Why not vote your principles instead of who can “win”.

If the GOP had nominated Santorum there would be a lot fewer people talking about a third party right now. 16% of people on this site, according to one thread.

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Please charitably discuss the issues not each other

I agree with that :thumbsup:

We don’t have the word “nonnegotiable” for nothing!

Constitution Party is good but it can wait until after this election. Paul Ryan is one of us.

Much progress has been made on the pro-life front and Obama/Democrat Party are the most radical pro-abortionists ever.

Later Term abortions, etc. aren’t even considered in Europe yet we had people like Russ Feingold D-Wisconsin (now out of office) being proponents of it.

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