Catholics Are Prohibited From Voting for Obama / Educational Video [with transcript]
Published on Sep 26, 2012 by rosaryfilms
This video version of the “Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics” is intended to help you cast your vote in an informed manner consistent with Catholic moral teaching.
On most issues that come before voters or legislators, a Catholic can take one side or the other and not act contrary to the faith. But some issues, particularly those concerning non-negotiable moral principles, are so key and fundamental that no one endorsing the wrong side of these issues would be acting consistent with the Church’s moral norms. This video addresses your role as a Catholic voter, identifies five issues involving non-negotiable moral values in current politics, and offers practical advice on how to identify acceptable candidates for national, state and local offices.
First, let’s discuss your role as a Catholic voter.
Catholics have a moral obligation to promote the common good of the country by exercising their voting privileges at the ballot box. It’s not just civil authorities who have this responsibility. Service of the common good requires all citizens to fulfill their roles in the life of the political community, but voting can’t be arbitrary. A well-informed Christian conscience doesn’t allow voting for a political program or an individual law that contradicts fundamental morals. Citizens support these immoral laws indirectly if they vote in favor of candidates who propose to advance them, thus to the greatest extent possible, Catholics must avoid voting for any candidate who intends to support programs or laws that are intrinsically wrong. Instead, as best possible, you should vote for those who promote policies in line with the moral law (picture of 10 Commandments shown). When all of the candidates endorse morally harmful policies, you must vote in a way that will limit the harm likely to be done.
Now that we’ve outlined your role as a Catholic voter, here are the five non-negotiable issues.
These five current issues concern actions that are intrinsically immoral and must never be promoted by the law or deliberately performed under any circumstances. It’s a serious sin to endorse or promote any of these actions and no candidate who really wants to advance the common good will support any of them.
The unborn child is always an innocent party and no law may permit the taking of his or her life, even when a child is conceived through rape or incest.
Abortion is the intentional and direct killing of an innocent human being and therefore is a form of homicide. The Church teaches that it is never acceptable to vote for a law permitting abortions. The unborn child is always an innocent party and no law may permit the taking of his or her life, even when a child is conceived through rape or incest. The fault is not the child’s and the child should not suffer death for another’s sins.
Often disguised by the name “mercy killing,” euthanasia is also a form of homicide. Since no one has the right to take the life of any innocent person, in euthanasia, the ill or elderly are killed by action or omission out of a misplaced sense of compassion. But true compassion can’t include intentionally harming another person.
Human embryos are human beings. The Church opposes embryonic stem cell research but allows adult stem cell research since respect for human beings’ basic dignity does not permit manipulating or exploiting the human embryo. Everyone wants to see life-threatening diseases cured, but recent scientific advances show any medical cure that might result from research on embryonic stem cells can be developed by using adult stem cells instead, without doing harm to the source of the cells. That being said, no valid medical argument exists favoring use of embryonic stem cells, period.
The Church opposes cloning of human beings for any purpose. Attempts to create a human through cloning are contrary to moral law since they are in opposition to the dignity both of human procreation and of the marital union. Human cloning involves homicide because the rejected or unsuccessful clones are destroyed. Human life should never become a commodity created to then be terminated for experimental research.
Marriage is the union of one man and one woman, the view held across all cultures and religions for thousands and thousands of years. Marriage recognizes commitment, love and the natural capacity of men and women to have children, the next generation of society. Legal recognition of any other union as marriage undermines true marriage, permanently denies children their rights to have both a mother and a father and also encourages immoral behavior. Thus, Catholic lawmakers have a moral duty to vote against any legislation favoring recognition of homosexual unions. To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is immoral.
Drawing on these five non-negotiables, here are some guidelines that help you narrow down the list of acceptable candidates and make the best moral choice. Don’t just vote based on your political party affiliation, earlier voting habits or your family’s voting tradition. Today, you need to take a look at the stands each candidate takes and perhaps vote for candidates from more than one party.
Also, do not vote for candidates simply because they declare themselves to be Catholic. Unfortunately, many self-described Catholic candidates reject basic Catholic moral teaching. And most importantly, don’t vote for candidates who will vote wrongly on key moral issues, even if you agree with their views on lesser issues. Although a candidate may have voted in line with Catholic values except for, say, abortion, the candidate still should not get your vote unless the other candidates have voting records even less in accord with these moral norms.
Now that we’ve clearly expressed the importance of your role as a Catholic voter, the five non-negotiables and how to narrow the choices, here’s how you can take action and put these ideas into practice.
First, for each national, state and local office, determine how the candidates stand on each of the issues that will come before him and that involve non-negotiable principles. You can educate yourself about the positions of candidates by reading newspaper articles, researching their views on the Internet, contacting local campaign offices or studying one of the many printed surveys that are distributed at election time. Remember, that your vote today – even for local elections – may affect the offices the candidate later achieves.
Next, eliminate from consideration candidates who are wrong on any of the non-negotiable issues regardless of how right they may be on other issues.
Finally, choose from among the remaining candidates who hold the right views on fundamental moral issues by assessing each candidate’s views on other lesser issues. In some political races, where every candidate endorses positions contrary to non-negotiable principles, choose the candidate who takes the fewest wrong positions and who is likely to do the least harm. If several are equal, evaluate them based on their views on secondary issues or you ultimately may choose to vote for no one.
By voting for candidates whose positions and legislative records reflect the teachings and values of the Catholic Church, you can advance the common good of society for this generation and beyond.
Voting Catholics have the power to transform our nation, making it more supportive of life, families and the most vulnerable. In the past, you may not have considered the act of voting a moral choice or decision, but today the role of citizens and elected officials in our society is to promote intrinsic moral values as much as possible and Catholics are obligated to participate in the political life of our nation. Like all citizens, we are entitled to use the tools of democracy to create a better society. To achieve this, we must strive to put in place laws and political programs that are in full accord with non-negotiable moral values. By voting for candidates whose positions and legislative records reflect the teachings and values of the Catholic Church, you can advance the common good of society for this generation and beyond. As a Catholic citizen, you can confidently place your trust in the unwavering moral teachings of the Church as you vote Catholic.
To obtain a free copy of the more comprehensive print version of the “Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics” from Catholic Answers, please call 888-291-8000 or visit us online at www.catholic.com