Will it take a miracle to get Catholics to vote like Catholics?
**Please read on to learn about Tim Staples’
brand-new CD set called Five Non-Negotiables.
It’s yours for helping us distribute our famed voter’s guide.
Dear Friend of Catholic Answers:
It’s frustrating to admit it, but most Catholics don’t even think about making sure they vote in line with Church teaching. It never occurs to them to do so.
It’s not that they oppose Church teaching (most of them, anyway).
It’s that they either don’t know that teaching or haven’t realized that it should guide their voting habits.
The result is that Catholics vote pretty much like other Americans, which means they vote for candidates and ballot measures that undermine authentic Christian values. That’s much of the reason our country is in such a mess.
I’m sure you recall the popular campaign line, “It’s the economy, stupid!”
The economy is important, but that line should have read: “It’s the morals, buster!”
After all, you can’t get the economy or foreign affairs or anything else right if your morals are wrong.
If Catholics—who are about 23% of the population—had consistently voted in line with Church teaching over the last few decades (and had insisted that their elected representatives do likewise), things would be much different today.
We have virtually unrestricted abortion? We wouldn’t, if America’s Catholics had raised a ruckus about it forty years ago—and kept raising a ruckus.
We have embryonic stem-cell research? We wouldn’t, if Catholics had told Congress, “Not with our money, you don’t!”
We have same-sex “marriage” and euthanasia and even human cloning making headway? We wouldn’t, if Catholics had been persistent in voting according to Church teaching on these matters.
But the sad fact is that Catholics haven’t voted like Catholics. They haven’t really made their faith part of their civic lives.
Oh, sure, many of them go to Mass regularly, and they self-identify as Catholics when asked about their beliefs. But that’s pretty minimal, and it’s not enough. It’s not enough because we have a duty to apply our faith in the public square.
That’s right. Catholics have an obligation to live out their faith publicly, not just privately.
That includes learning about public issues, evaluating them, and then supporting or opposing them according to the teaching of the Church (which is simply the teaching of Christ, after all).
I know you’re in agreement with me on all of this, and no doubt you already apply your faith this way. You, at least, don’t hesitate to take your faith into the voting booth.
But what about the rest of America’s nearly 70 million Catholics? How do we get them to follow your good example and vote like Catholics?
Yes, it can be done—and I have proof.
I can’t offer anything as sure-fire as a miracle (I don’t have that much “pull”), but I can offer something that has a proven track record in getting Catholics to vote like Catholics: our Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics.
Since 2004 this plain-spoken booklet has been turning Catholics who “don’t want to impose their religion” into Catholics who happily apply the Church’s moral teaching when in the voting booth (and elsewhere!).
The great thing about our voter’s guide is that it tells the reader how to form his thinking and his conscience, but it doesn’t tell him which candidates to vote for, which political parties to join, or which ballot propositions to endorse.
It’s all about principles, particularly as those relate to five key moral issues that are facing our country.
I already listed those issues above. We call them the “five non-negotiables.” Granted, they aren’t the only important issues out there, but we decided to highlight them because (a) they strike at the core of what it means to be a virtuous society and (b) they’re in play politically.
These five issues (abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning, and same-sex “marriage”) are make-or-break issues when it comes to evaluating a society as just, wholesome, and, yes, virtuous. (And a society should be virtuous, because the ultimate goal of society is—or at least should be—to help us get to heaven.)
These five issues are in the news and on ballots throughout the country, which means that Catholics who vote like Catholics have a real chance to make a difference. (There are other non-negotiable issues that aren’t in play politically today. That doesn’t mean they aren’t important. It just means that there isn’t much we can do about them at the moment.)
As I said, Catholic Answers’ Voters Guide for Serious Catholics has a proven track record.
Over the years, we’ve heard from countless Catholics (and many non-Catholics too) who said our voter’s guide changed their minds and helped them see their duty as Catholics in the public square.
They said that in past elections they entered the voting booth with a fairly secular mindset. They didn’t give thought to applying Catholic teaching to what they were about to do.
But, after reading our voter’s guide, their attitude changed. They realized that they had to vote according to Catholic moral principles.
Our voter’s guide changed their votes—and a lot of other people’s votes, too.
Now just imagine if, say, another million or five million or ten million Catholics went through the same metamorphosis!
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