Yes, Catholics may vote for Bernie Sanders
[Three “Catholics” (a modernist invoking the USCCCP and a “neo”, in turn invoking another “neo”) state their cases – despite what Popes have said especially Pius XI: “Socialism cannot be reconciled with Catholic Doctrine”]
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders raises his fist as he speaks at his caucus night rally in Des Moines, Iowa
By: Charles C. Camosy (associate professor of Theological and Social Ethics at Fordham University)
February 8, 2016
Religion News Service
U.S. Catholics who identify as traditional or conservative sometimes fail to understand the church’s teachings on social justice and their duty to the poor.
That is why it was so heartening to see the Rev. Dwight Longenecker make this point on his traditional and popular blog:
No economic system is perfect and no single economic system can be said to be “Catholic,” but it would not be inconsistent for a Catholic to vote for a Democratic Socialist. Indeed, the reason so many Catholics voted for the Democratic Party over the years was because they perceived the Democrats to be the party of the poor, the marginalized, the workers and the “little guy.”
So far so good. It is Catholic doctrine that wealth exists to be shared; private property is under a social mortgage for the common good; workers must be paid a living wage; health care is a human right, and we must be on the side of the poor first.
For Catholics, these are non-negotiables.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops explains that we voters face a dilemma when “all candidates hold a position which is intrinsically evil” — as is the case with positions on things like abortion, torture, assisted suicide, and usury.
In such cases, the bishops appeal to voters’ prudential judgement, which includes what they think of “a candidate’s commitments, character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue.”
Suppose a voter believed the following:
1. Republican lawmakers rarely sacrifice other concerns in defense of prenatal children.
This is especially true when such protection requires using the federal dollars to give mothers necessary resources. It is just not clear that Republicans are actually committed to protecting prenatal child, and it is therefore not clear we should trust them.
2. Women are structurally pushed toward abortion.
The best way to save the lives of prenatal children, at least in our current political reality, is to provide women in difficult circumstances the resources to keep and support them. Right now, with no paid family leave, hopelessly expensive child care, and a massive disparity in pay, women are put in a difficult spot. Abortion rates tend to be significantly lower in countries with stronger social welfare systems.
3. Catholics must favor the poor first.
Jesus doesn’t talk about hell very often, but when he does it is almost always seen as the result of a failure to be on the side of the poor. Sanders’ commitment to the poor blows away any GOP candidate in this regard.
The U.S. bishops insist a Catholic’s voting choices “may affect the individual’s salvation.” Would a person with these views have proportionate reasons for voting for Bernie Sanders?
In voting for Sanders on the basis of the above reasons, such a person is strongly affirming the need to protect prenatal children, while at the same time also giving due reverence to the other serious and non-negotiable values at stake in this election.
[Addendum by Tom the AQ Moderator:] Fr. Longenecker also quotes a fellow neo-Catholic:
As Mark Shea explains here, if someone even worse than Sanders were his opponent–someone who supported abortion AND torture AND indiscriminate bombing of civilians AND indiscriminate deportation of immigrants– (like Trump) then a vote for Sanders could be the lesser of two evils.