Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Monday, October 20, 2008

All Right. Now I'm just annoyed.

You can look all you want on the television and around the internet for commentary on this political season. You can read all the commentary on our beloved bishops' document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship that you want. Yet, what you're not likely to find is commentary on one small, simple sentence:

When all candidates hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma.

Two questions which this statement brings to the forefront is: "What about when only one candidate doesn't hold a position in favor of an instrinsic evil?" and "What about when only one holds such a position?" I've yet to read any commentary on that possibility.

The comment box is open! Perhaps you care to chime in.


Anonymous said...

Here is an issue I also would like to see addressed. I feel pigeon-holed by the Republican party on the issue of abortion. I wholeheartedly agree that it is the most critical issue above all others. But I do not see what Republicans have done to fight against abortion, and furthermore, how they are "pro-life" on many other issues, including the death penalty. While I can vote for a candidate who gives lip service against abortion, I do not trust our elected officials to actually do anything about it. This saddens me greatly. With this disillusionment I find it difficult to vote for any candidate. So when is somebody going to run who is truly pro life and supports the dignity of the human person? Are we supposed to just swallow the entire Republican agenda because they have pitched their tent in the anti-abortion camp?

Deacon Mike said...

Deacon, you did not post the full text that you quoted from...

36. 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.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon. I, a pro-life voter, feel that so-called pro-life candidates have merely held that position in order to garner the pro-life vote. And then have done little or nothing pro-life.

But this is a wide-ranging problem. As for the presidential election, I do not believe that I can vote for either major party candidate in good conscience. This would be what Deacon Mike quoted in his post: "The voter may decide to take the
extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate."

Deacon Tyler said...

While I tend to agree that "pro-life" elected officials at the federal level have moved slowly in enacting pro-life legislation, I think a few things should be noted to give hope in this regard:

1) The partial-birth abortion ban was passed the Senate over and over. It was vetoed several times by President Clinton, but enacted under the current administration.

2) The appointment of Justices Roberts and Alito have proved a net gain on SCOTUS in terms of anti-Roe justices. These were appointed by the current administration, and approved by a pro-life majority in the Senate.

Moreover, the election of pro-life candidates has had profound effects State legislatures. In my home state of South Dakota, the legislature passed a ban on virtually all abortions (the first vetoed by the governor because of a technicality that would have removed all of our limitations on abortion during litigation of the law). There were several other states prepared to pass similar legislation contingent upon the success of the South Dakota bill (which failed on a ballot referendum).

Our pro-life work has been incrementally successful. Among these increments are the election of pro-life candidates. Take heart. We will eventually win the day.

Deacon Tyler said...

One more point: SCOTUS upheld the partial birth abortion ban, evidencing their willingness to reconsider Roe.

Don said...

Well, I suppose I would draw attention to the fact that there are actually six people running for POTUS. It would certainly be better to cast an affirmative vote for someone authentically pro-life than to abstain just because the two major party candidates aren't.

Our process is rigged against third parties, so they're not gonna win. But it sends a message.

Don said...

Strategy is another issue though. I recognize the strength of the argument for the lesser of two evils in light of the immanent SCOTUS openings.

The Washington consensus on national sovereignty, border control, national debt, currency, and foreign policy is too awful for me to pull the lever.

The best option is clearly to secede from the Union. :)

Don said...

We haven't actually addressed the post's questions.

The answer seems obvious. Isn't it as simple as excluding such candidates from our list of considered choices?

If that's the case, we hesitate to say so because it feels like endorsement.

The Bugle said...

The problem in this current election is that neither candidate is pro-life. Bush was not pro-life when he commenced an immoral war. McCain isn't pro-life as he supports the same war, is pro-death penalty and in favor of embryonic stem cell research. Obviously Obama Hussein isn't much better. So it seems like the life issue really isn't one as there is no one pro-life candidate.

Deacon Mike said...

I must disagree on this issue:

From the Obama website:
"Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe that we owe it to the American public to explore the potential of stem cells to treat the millions of people suffering from debilitating and life-threatening diseases."

"Barack Obama understands that abortion is a divisive issue, and respects those who disagree with him. However, he has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women's rights under Roe v. Wade a priority as President."

"The Act will also end insurance discrimination against contraception, improve awareness about emergency contraception"

From the McCain website:

"John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench."

"The pro-life movement has done tremendous work in building and reinforcing the infrastructure of civil society by strengthening faith-based, community, and neighborhood organizations that provide critical services to pregnant mothers in need. This work must continue and government must find new ways to empower and strengthen these armies of compassion. These important groups can help build the consensus necessary to end abortion at the state level. As John McCain has publicly noted, "At its core, abortion is a human tragedy. To effect meaningful change, we must engage the debate at a human level."

"Stem cell research offers tremendous hope for those suffering from a variety of deadly diseases - hope for both cures and life-extending treatments. However, the compassion to relieve suffering and to cure deadly disease cannot erode moral and ethical principles.

For this reason, John McCain opposes the intentional creation of human embryos for research purposes. To that end, Senator McCain voted to ban the practice of "fetal farming," making it a federal crime for researchers to use cells or fetal tissue from an embryo created for research purposes. Furthermore, he voted to ban attempts to use or obtain human cells gestated in animals. Finally, John McCain strongly opposes human cloning and voted to ban the practice, and any related experimentation, under federal law.

As president, John McCain will strongly support funding for promising research programs, including amniotic fluid and adult stem cell research and other types of scientific study that do not involve the use of human embryos.

Where federal funds are used for stem cell research, Senator McCain believes clear lines should be drawn that reflect a refusal to sacrifice moral values and ethical principles for the sake of scientific progress, and that any such research should be subject to strict federal guidelines."

"There is no greater nobility than to sacrifice for a great cause and no cause greater than protection of human dignity. Decency, human compassion, self-sacrifice and the defense of innocent life are at the core of John McCain's value system and will be the guiding principles of a McCain Presidency."
These quotes are taken directly from the "issues" sections of each candidates website. In this regard there is a clear and definitive difference between the two candidates.

Additionally, the war in Iraq and the death penalty are not issues where intrinsic evils are at stake. The fact that the death penalty is allowed for (in certain circumstances) in the catechism #2267 and that there is a "Just War Theory" proves this point sufficiently. This means that in regards to war and the death penalty, these two issues are subject to a person's prudential judgment. To raise them as counters to abortion serves only to obfuscate the issue.

Jonathan said...

You just wanted to use the word "obfuscate."

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