Sunday, June 15, 2008

Voting with conscience

As I promised I found the document, Faithful Citizenship, which I referenced in an earlier post, because I wanted to read about Catholics not being permitted to opt out of politics. As is typical in the press, it seems the document was misquoted.

I refer you to the document, item number 36 which reads:

When all candidates hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods.

Obviously this document allows for a conscientious voter to reject all candidates and not vote, or to opt out. This is what I'm considering doing. I may have only a few readers, but the intelligence of those readers is very high. One comment I found in the comm box suggested that I write in a candidate rather than do nothing. I like that suggestion...I wonder how you do that, I will have to find out. The same commenter also remarked that we have been fooled into thinking we have a two party system, the two parties are the same. I do believe there are differences but the philosophical differences amount to very little in actual job performance of the candidates. Or do they? I don't know. If Bush hadn't been elected would we still be in a war right now? I don't know. If an oil man was not in office would gas be $4.21 a gallon? I don't know. If we elect Obama, do we have to worry about abortion survivors being legally murdered despite surviving once, against all odds? Can you compare war with abortion? Can you compare the economic crisis with the loss of human dignity? Or, is the economic crisis a loss of human dignity in another form? Initially it is less shocking, the murder of babies seems more critical than the price of gas. But when you consider that people are losing their homes or are unable to heat their homes because they cannot afford the cost of gas and oil, will we see people freezing this winter? What about the people who cannot afford to buy food because food prices are escalating due to gas prices, and the cost of getting to and from work is so high, yet, paychecks are the same? Is this not still a loss of human dignity in a disguised form?

I can see that voters can, with a clear conscience according to the teaching of the Catholic bishops, opt for the 'lesser of two evils' but I detest that as a basis for voting. I'm not sure, in this day and age we can say we will not vote for Obama because his policies are intrinsically evil (which they are) and by casting a vote for him we are guilty of formal cooperation in a grave evil (which we would be) is any different than voting for a politician who will continue the war in Iraq and keep the price of oil so high that people will be destitute come winter. Is that not also a formal cooperation in a grave evil which compromises human dignity?

This post has more questions than statements. Again, any opinions or guidance would be welcomed. Meanwhile I will continue my research into these questions.


Alexandra said...

Thanks for sharing this the document! Opting out is something I'd consider as well.

Lily said...

You are welcome. I desperately need some input for this election, if you come across something interesting, pass it on. As of now, I'm thinking of opting out.

deb said...

The roots of a lot of the problems that we face go further then our current president. Sorry though Lily, I don't think that there is a canidate who is speaking about fixing those root problems. They mainly want to put a bandage on our nations problems with oil and credit.

Lily said...

I don't think there is a candidate either, Deb. That is why I probably will not vote. I will keep researching (in my loads of free time, lol).

Anonymous said...

I'm writing in Mike Huckabee. I think it's better to vote for someone who shares your beliefs, even if you have to write in your husband.

Bush may have made mistakes, (although it's easy to be a Monday morning quaterback in regards to the war in Iraq) but Obama's policies are pure evil. And no you can not equate the price of oil, with abortion...but since Obama is against drilling it doesn't matter.