Saturday, September 13, 2008

Who are you going to vote for? How are you making that decision?

My friend Shaun just sent me the link to this video. Please share it with others!

(Edited 9/20/08 to add this great rebuttal from to the comment left by "Kathy" on many blogs.)

We received the most bizarre comment from “Kathy” to an earlier post showing a Grassroots produced clip on Catholic Voting. Let me share it with you:

The video and website, were produced by Fidelis. They have very strong ties to the Republican Party and to the McCain campaign. In February of this year they issued a press release endorsing John McCain for president and their website includes articles from Deal Hudson who is an advisor to the McCain campaign as a member of the “Catholic Outreach Committee”. They have given campaign contributions only to republicans and even supported republican Senator Rick Santorum over Bob Casey, a pro-life Catholic democrat, during the 2006 election cycle.

If you forward this video or link to the website in your official capacity you may be in violation of IRS regulations and Church policy. You will also be distributing materials that contradict Church teaching.

Among other things, the video glorifies US economic and military power. This runs contrary to Catholic Social Teaching which emphasizes a preferential option for the poor and solidarity. It also runs contrary to the Cathecism which teaches us that “Respect for and development of human life require peace.”

There is more than one intrinsic evil at issue this year. They include genocide, racism, torture, targeting non-combatants and engaging in unjust wars. They are all life issues and they all require our attention as Catholics.

Whether we vote Republican or Democrat this year what defines us is that we are Catholic.

Don’t let the political parties redefine what it means to be CATHOLIC.

Vote the Common Good!

I hardly know where to start.

Bob Casey as a pro-life Democrat, really? With a 65% positive rating from NARAL, I suppose that from the MM and the Democrat party perspective, he is pro-life but he is not pro-life in any meaningful sense of the term.

The Grassroots video clip contradicts Catholic Social teaching because it “glorifies” US military and economic power? Only the most partisan of minds could find this to be the case. In fact, it says quite the opposite. It says America’s strength comes from a commitment to moral values rather than just military or economic strength. It’s real offense, I suspect, is that its depiction of a Catholic’s obligation of a commitment to protecting the dignity of life from conception to natural death goes against the Democrat party platform.

Implying that McCain and Palin embrace policies that embrace “genocide, racism, torture, targeting non-combatants and engaging in unjust wars” is simply ludicrous. McCain was one Republican who stood up very early against what he believed to be interrogation techniques that fell into the category of torture. The other claims are quite outside the pale of reasonable discourse. One can only envision that these claims are coming from partisans who are desperate to find reasons to be able to justify voting for the most egregious “culture of death” ticket ever presented to the American electorate. There is absolutely no question here. While both parties present morally problematic positions (Obama/Biden hardly needs to be explained, McCain/Palin is problematic in the area of embryonic stem cell research and abortion in the cases of rape and incest), the McCain ticket still possesses a 100% prolife voting record. When this is compared to the voting record of the Obama ticket and the promises Obama has made about his “culture of death” priorities starting with the “Freedom of Choice Act” the thin veneer suggesting that there is room for prudential judgment in this matter quickly melts away. In order to follow Catholic moral teaching in this case, one must vote under the rubric of the principle of double effect. The evidence clearly points to the fact that the overwhelmingly smaller proportion of evil will come from a McCain presidency. Thus, given this choice, a faithful Catholic cannot materially cooperate in the evil that would come from supporting an Obama presidency.

Discussing all of this, apparently, is putting the Catholic Church’s tax exempt status in jeopardy. If that is true, then I suppose we need to abandon dependence upon that status because what we are doing is nothing more than applying the principles of the Catholic faith to the concrete circumstances of this years options. Of course, Kathy’s claim is ridiculous. I cannot figure out if Kathy actually thinks that we are that ignorant or if the fault lies with her understanding.

Since this video does nothing other than present what the Church teaches and never mentions any candidate, what Kathy really intends to say is that anyone who understands Church teaching and applies it to the choice of candidates this election season has only one choice of the two major parties; and it is not her candidate. Thus, she calculates, professing Church teaching is tantamount to advocating McCain. In other words, in condemning the video she tacitly admits that one cannot both be a faithful Catholic and vote for Obama.

There is one thing on which I am in agreement with Kathy. It is that we cannot allow either political party to redefine what it means to be Catholic. However, neither can we allow confused Catholics like Kathy to do so either. Catholics must vote for the common good, but the common good is not served by the thinly veiled dressing up of the Democrat platform to appear as Catholic social doctrine. Unfortunately, this is what Kathy and her “vote the common good” partisan group