Voting For Pro-Abortion Politicians Is A Sin

I am pretty sure that Martin Luther did not want to form his own Church. He never wanted a “Lutheran” church. He believed himself to be a Catholic during his dissension even though the Catholic Church had already named him an outsider.

The Church teaches that those that have actively participated in the abortion process are excommunicated automatically. This is not a punishment it is a statement of fact that THEY have separated themselves from the Church. I do not believe that this would apply to all taxpayers since we do not get to determine how tax dollars are spent, yet I am making an assumption on how God will Judge me for the spending of tax dollars that I have little control over. That being said** if I vote for someone that I know will spend MY tax dollars supporting abortion then I am taking an ACTIVE part in the abortion process.** I have actively helped others procure abortion. **You can argue any way you want to but in the end you need to address this in prayer because the justification of your actions and separation from the church is with God. **

The above being said I am sure you can find a priest somewhere that would counter church teaching. It has been happening for hundreds of years, but it still does not make the protesting priest any more correct than Luther.

Now, the problem is that every candidate has something against the Church’s teaching. Now, suppose that every candidate supports abortion. It is a dilemma for the Catholic.

I assume you are suggesting that no American Catholics can vote in the upcoming election then, since both major candidates and all third party candidates I’ve looked at so far have supported abortion.

Interesting argument, but I believe it’s flawed…

I do have sympathy for Martin Luther but if he wanted to live as a Catholic then why did he marry? I agree with Luther and his fight against the abuses of the Church at that time but he became political and that tarnished him for me.

Luther was an Augustinian Monk and knew that marriage was aginst his vows, and that to do so was automatic excommunication.


It is my understanding that to ‘actively participate’ is to vote precisely supporting the opposing view of the Church. There are circumstances where it is permissible to vote for a candidate for other reasons.

Forming Consciences for a Faithful Citizenship

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Basically, voting to advance narrow interests or ‘partisan’ preferences without weighing other morally grave reasons can be using a candidate’s opposition to an evil justifying an indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues.

Some see stances on war, immigration, healthcare, and social security as important moral issues involving human life and dignity. These issues open doors for people to make arguments of being concerned of how they will be judged because of their participation in deciding how tax dollars are to be spent. Christ said to render unto Caesar, that which is Caesar’s, without placing people into a position of being judged for how Caesar used the ‘tax’. Was Caesar’s government of those times any better than any government of today?

It is an individual’s calling to form a faith based conscience, while maintaining a love for all others. I don’t see a calling for one individual to make condemning statements towards others, to the extent of proclaiming blanket excommunications which has an appearance of lacking the required love for one another. The laity especially, has no authority to make such blanket declarations. To do so is usurping the rightful authority of the men of the Church, and viewed by some as reasons that are suspect of lacking some of the instructions given.

voting for one of the non negotiable is a sin, you can’t find a perfect candidate but that isn’t an excuse to vote for someone who is pro choice

if no pro life candidate is on the ballot then you vote for the person who will do the least damage. In that case it wouldn’t be a sin

All the Pharisees are awake this morning, I see!

Some say that it is permissible to use your own judgment to weigh the relative impact of your vote for a pro-choice politician with other competing values. Others say that personal judgment on these issues is not allowed because abortion is an intrinsic evil and these competing values cannot ever be comparable to abortion. That appears to be the position you are taking.

Let me address that question with an analogy that has nothing to do with voting but has everything to do with abortion. Suppose an acquaintance of yours has some pro-life yard signs and he asks you to put one of these signs on your front lawn. You look at the signs and see that they are a little tacky - not professionally printed. Furthermore, suppose you are in the process of selling your house and one of the selling features of your house is beautiful landscaping. You decide, for reasons of aesthetics and an upcoming open house , not to accept the yard signs. Is that necessarily a sin?

By choosing to preserve the beautiful look of your lawn over proclaiming a pro-life message you have made a value judgment that weighs abortion against some entirely selfish concerns. But depending on the situation this may have been a valid prudential decision. If you agree that refusing a pro-life yard sign might be ok then you must agree there are situations where it is valid to weigh issues relating to abortion with lesser issues.

Returning to the issue of voting for a pro-choice politician (but not specifically because of his pro-choice position), again you can consider other issues along with abortion. How much weight you give to the abortion question is something that only God knows. No one here on CAF can know what is in someone’s heart, although many here like to guess. But if it ok to compare your landscaping with abortion then it is ok to compare other social justice issues with abortion. Justice for the poor is more important than a beautiful lawn.

Exactly, thank you :slight_smile:

It is way inappropriate and out of line for a layperson to demand of another voter such things as, ‘prove what is as proportionate as this or that’ because it will be different to each individual. They’re all important issues, or they wouldn’t be included in the Bishops’ guidelines. If it was all about one issue, then the document would have only been about that one issue. One layperson doesn’t have the authority to demand such things of another and claim that the other is in sin just because his/her issues aren’t as important as another’s. We do all have our callings and we go about accomplishing our goals in different ways.

‘Faithful Citizenship’ needs radical revision. It is not specific enough. It is not in keeping with comments made by Pope Benedict on the issue of abortion and voting. Pope Benedict wrote in a letter to the US Bishops in 2004:

“While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment,” he said. “There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia,”

That quote from Pope Benedict does not seem to be in keeping with statements in the ‘Faithful Citizenship’ document from sections 34-37. These sections create loopholes for Catholics to vote for a pro abortion politician if they feel there is a ‘‘morally grave’’ reason (35), if they do not intend to support a position (34), or if if a political candidate will pursue ‘authentic human goods’ rather than ‘morally-flawed’ position he/she holds (36).

This is so out of keeping with statements made individually by the Bishops on the issue of abortion and voting; Bishop Vasa who contributed to the ‘Faithful Citizenship’ document has rejected the spin that the document excuses people to vote for a pro abortion candidate:

'When we were working on the document ‘Faithful Citizenship’, and the issue of whether or not a person’s adamant pro-abortion position was a disqualifying condition, the general sense was ‘yes that is a disqualifying condition’.

Bishops Kevin Vann and Kevin Farrell insisted there are no ‘truly grave moral’ or ‘proportionate’ reasons, singularly or combined, that could outweigh the millions of innocent human lives that are directly killed by legal abortion each year.’

Apparently dozens of individual Bishops have issued clarifications on the confusion of the document.

Archbishop Raymond Burke believes that Faithful Citizenship helped ensure the election of Obama, said the document had ‘led to confusion among Catholics.’

When you have a leading Vatican prelate speak out on the problems of USSCB document, something is wrong.

Bishop Joseph Martino has gone as far as to say:

No USCCB document is relevant in this diocese. The USCCB doesn’t speak for me.’

The diocese released in statement which said Bishop Martino was ‘concerned because of the confusion and public misrepresentations about Catholic teaching on the life issues.’

Certain groups and individuals have used their own erroneous interpretations of Church documents, particularly the U.S. Bishops’ statement on Faithful Citizenship, to justify their political positions and to contradict the Church’s actual teaching on the centrality of abortion, euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research,”’ the statement said.

I am curious how you would apply this understanding of “no compromise” on abortion to the yard sign quandary I raised in post #9.

Sorry, but that still doesn’t tell Catholics that they must be single issue voters. If you vote with only one issue in mind, that’s fine as it’s your right to vote as your conscience guides you. But that’s not how I will be voting.

By not putting up the sign, you are not, by that act (or non-act) supporting abortion. You’re simply not opposing it in a particular (and likely unsuccessful) way. By voting for a person as dedicated to abortion on demand as Obama is, and knowing full well that he is, one is supporting abortion. One is taking direct action knowing the act promotes abortion.

It does, however, tell Catholics they cannot vote in favor of a candidate who promotes abortion or same-sex “marriage”. On the basis of those issues, then, a Catholic cannot vote for Obama.

Some make themselves feel better by not voting at all or voting for someone as a mere 'gesture"; like voting for themselves or Mickey Mouse or someone who can’t possibly win. Failing to oppose an inherent evil when one has the means of doing so is also evil.

From a moral perspective not all issues are qualitatively equal. Some values carry more weight than others. Some values are more fundamental than others. There is justification for placing more emphasis on some issues than other issues, and there is justification for placing more emphasis on some issues at certain times.

Abortion is the preeminent threat to human life. Abortion attacks life itself. The most fundamental moral good is life itself. Life is the condition necessary for all the good works that we may do. Ignoring the problem of abortion is to misunderstand the nature of the threat of abortion.

“If we do not soon stop the genocide of abortion in the United States, we shall run the course of all those that prove by their actions that they are enemies of God –* total collapse, economic, social, and national.** The moral demise of a nation results in the ultimate demise of a nation. God is not a disinterested spectator to the affairs of man. Life begins at conception. This is an unalterable teaching of the Catholic Church. If you do not accept this you are a heretic in plain English. A single abortion is homicide.”

“No other issue,** not all other issues taken together, can constitute a proportionate reason for voting for candidates that intend to preserve and defend this holocaust of innocent human life that is abortion *(Father John Corapi).”

But you just said it was ok to fail to oppose abortion by declining to put up a pro-life yard sign. I dispute your denigration of the effectiveness of public declarations like billboards and yard signs. They have potentially more effect on the number of pro-life votes than casting your one single vote in secret. If you think that a yard sign is “likely unsuccessful” and therefore unnecessary then would you also say that if the polls show the pro-life candidate is likely to lose then it is ok not to vote for him? After all, voting for someone who the polls say is not likely to win is like putting up a yard sign that you think is likely unsuccessful. If you are allowed to make the prudential judgement that a yard sign is not effective at opposing abortion then I am allowed to make the value judgement that voting for a particular candidate is not effective at opposing abortion.

You are the one who said the signs were “tacky” looking, suggesting that it might have done more harm to the cause than good. And what evidence do you have that even a good the yard sign would be more effective than voting against an abortion-promoting candidate? Do you really think the homeowner would have been justified in putting up the sign and then voting for an abortion promoting candidate?

There are lots of ways of opposing abortion on demand, and your person could have done other things. He was not, in failing to install the sign, supporting abortion in any manner. If he voted for Obama, however, he was supporting abortion in doing so.

If the polls show that a candidate has absolutely no hope of winning the presidency…yourself for instance, then one is failing to oppose evil. I did not say the prolife candidate has to be a “sure thing” to win, only that he has a reasonable chance of winning. Throwing one’s vote away on a hopeless candidate is an act of vanity, not one of taking a responsible moral stance in opposing abortion.

Ok, then assume a not-so-tacky professionally printed pro-life yard sign. Am I still allowed to decline to put it up?

And what evidence do you have that even a good the yard sign would be more effective than voting against an abortion-promoting candidate?

I don’t need to prove the yard sign is effective any more than you need to prove voting for a pro-life candidate is effective. But consider this: a pro-life yard sign might do more than influence a vote. It might actually influence a pregnant girl who is undecided about having an abortion to decide to have the baby.

Do you really think the homeowner would have been justified in putting up the sign and then voting for an abortion promoting candidate?

We are not necessarily talking about the same person. The person who does or does not vote pro-life is not the person who does or does not put up a yard sign. For purposes of argument you may assume that the person with the yard sign quandary always votes pro-life.

There are lots of ways of opposing abortion on demand, and your person could have done other things.

Are you saying that opposing abortion in one of those other ways might excuse him from opposing abortion in voting? Why is it that voting is mandatory while all other ways of opposing abortion are optional?

If the polls show that a candidate has absolutely no hope of winning the presidency…yourself for instance, then one is failing to oppose evil. I did not say the prolife candidate has to be a “sure thing” to win, only that he has a reasonable chance of winning. Throwing one’s vote away on a hopeless candidate is an act of vanity, not one of taking a responsible moral stance in opposing abortion.

It sounds like you are opening the door to prudential judgement in deciding when and to what degree to oppose abortion.

It does not say that. At all.

I promise, I won’t be throwing my vote away by voting for Mickey Mouse or someone who can’t possibly win :wink:

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