Monday, February 25, 2008

The Voting Catholic

At National Review, Ramesh Ponnuru explains how a Catholic is expected to vote:
The bishops do not suggest that conscientious citizens should be single-issue voters. They do say that voters should will justice for the unborn, which precludes voting for a pro-choice candidate because he is pro-choice and also precludes voting for such a candidate without ascribing to the injustice of killing the innocent the profound weight it is due.
I'm not a Catholic, and abortion isn't a salient issue for me, but I see this misunderstanding a lot, and it seems worth clearing up. A faithful Catholic may not vote for a pro-choice candidate over a pro-life candidate because of their stands on abortion (does this even need to be said?), nor may he ignore their stands on abortion, but he may vote for the candidate who is less aligned with the church on abortion if the reasons for doing so outweigh the reasons for not doing so. A pro-choice stance must be considered a count against a candidate, but it doesn't necessarily have to be decisive.

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