Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fr. Fox on "For Whom Can I Vote" [UPDATED]

I somehow missed Fr. Martin Fox's excellent series of posts from last week on Catholics and voting. I'm late to the game, but I think they still merit a link:
For Whom Can I Vote? (Part 1)

For Whom Can I Vote? (Part 2)

For Whom Can I Vote? (Part 3)

For Whom Can I Vote? (Part 4)

For Whom Can I Vote? (Part 5)
Well worth a read if you haven't read them already.


UPDATE
And let me just say that I am in complete agreement with Fr. Fox in opposing the notion put forth by some that pro-lifers are morally obligated to vote for John McCain. It's absolute hogwash to say that one MUST vote for John McCain or by implication support the election of Obama! (In fact, I reject the notion that, morally speaking, one MAY NOT vote for Obama; I think it quite clear that one SHOULD NOT vote for him, but it goes too far to say that Catholic teaching forbids one to do so.)

I would NEVER vote for Obama; but that in no way means that I am under some moral compulsion to vote for McCain. I've addressed the matter in detail, among other places, here.

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1 Comments:

At 6/26/2008 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In fact, I reject the notion that, morally speaking, one MAY NOT vote for Obama; I think it quite clear that one SHOULD NOT vote for him, but it goes too far to say that Catholic teaching forbids one to do so."

Jay, I understand your hesitance to be absolute regarding this, but I respectfully disagree. It is true that one cannot categorically state that it is never permissible (for example) to vote for a candidate that supports the unfettered legal right to abortion. This cannot be be stated because there could be a proportionate reason for supporting such a candidate (for instance, the other candidate also supports abortion and additionally is in favor of mass genocide). See Cardinal Ratzinger's 2004 Worthingess to Receive Holy Communion Principles http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/bishops/04-07ratzingerommunion.htm.

Nevertheless, in the instance of Obama, no proportionate reason exists. It's true that this determination requires a weighing of the particular candidates and their positions, but the Church often makes statements (not infallible, true) regarding moral issues which are dependant on the facts (think JPII on the War in Iraq and death penalty, and the USCCB on every socialist document they've ever produced which opposes "poverty" and takes stances on particular pieces of legislation). The Church may certainly state that no Catholic may permissibly vote for Obama because there's no proportionate reason. The institutional Church will not do this becauase it doesn't want to inject itself in politics (I wish it would do the same in all the other areas mentioned above), but lay Catholics may certainly make the argument and in my opinion, should boldly proclaim that "No Catholic may permissibly vote for Obama."

Of course, this doesn't mean Catholics are required to vote for McCain (I may not), but Obama is certainly off the table.

Boethius

 

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