Kansas City Bishops: "We Cannot Conceive of ... a Proportionate Reason" Overcoming a Candidate's Support for Legalized Abortion [UPDATED]
Archbishop Nauman of the Diocese of Kansas City, KS, and Bishop Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, MO, speak to the issue of "proportionate reasons" that might justify a vote for a candidate supporting legalized abortion:
... Could a Catholic in good conscience vote for a candidate who supports legalized abortion when there is a choice of another candidate who does not support abortion or any other intrinsically evil policy? Could a voter’s preference for the candidate’s positions on the pursuit of peace, economic policies benefiting the poor, support for universal health care, a more just immigration policy, etc. overcome a candidate’s support for legalized abortion? In such a case, the Catholic voter must ask and answer the question: What could possibly be a proportionate reason for the more than 45 million children killed by abortion in the past 35 years? Personally, we cannot conceive of such a proportionate reason...(emphasis added)
[Read the whole thing]
The catch here, of course, is that both presidential candidates support one or more intrinsic evils. Sen. Obama supports legalized abortion, ESCR, and same-sex "marriage". Sen. McCain supports ESCR.
The question, then, becomes whether there are "proportionate reasons" for supporting one over the other.
By focusing on "the more than 45 million children killed by abortion in the past 35 years", the Kansas City Bishops seem to provide their opinion on the matter, but don't directly answer the question I've raised.
Oops. I seem to have spoken too soon (or at least with a lack of reading comprehension skills on my part). The Bishops, in fact, DO address the question I've raised:
In another circumstance, we may be confronted with a voting choice between two candidates who support abortion, though one may favor some limitations on it, or he or she may oppose public funding for abortion. In such cases, the appropriate judgment would be to select the candidate whose policies regarding this grave evil will do less harm. We have a responsibility to limit evil if it is not possible at the moment to eradicate it completely.(emphasis added)
The same principle would be compelling to a conscientious voter who was confronted with two candidates both supported same-sex unions, but one opposed abortion and destructive embryonic research while was permissive in these regards. The voter, who himself or herself opposed these policies, would have insufficient moral justification voting for the more permissive candidate. However, he or she might justify to a write-in vote or abstaining from voting at all in this case, because of a conscientious objection.