When packing out my desk I found two wonderful books for those interested in Catholics and voting; Voters Guide for Serious Catholics by Catholic Answers and Catholics in the Public Square by the Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmstead 01 of The Shepherd’s Voice Series Revised 2nd Edition. I wanted to write something up on them before they are lost in the black hole of moving boxes for an unknown time. From these two excellent guides we find several wonderful points about Catholics and voting. This post is taken in part from these two works. The Catholic Church’s intervention in social questions is needed at times. As the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (510) teaches, “The Church intervenes by making a moral judgment about economic and social matters when the fundamental rights of the person, the common good, or the salvation of souls requires it.”
When Pope Benedict XVI visited the United States in April 2008, he told the American Bishops, “Any tendency to treat religion as a private matter must be rested. Only when their faith permeates every aspect of their lives do Christians become truly open to the transforming power of the Gospel.” There are several issues that are “not negotiable” for Catholics in political life because they involved matters that are intrinsically evil. In an address to European politicians on March 30, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI states:
“As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and the promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles that are negotiable. Among these, the following emerge clearly today:
1. Protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death;
2. Recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family – as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage – and its defense from attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role;
3. The protection of the rights of parents to educate their children.”
The issues that “real Catholics” should not disagree on is the opposition of abortion, euthanasia, embryonic Stem Cell research, human cloning, so-called homosexual “marriage” and support for school vouchers (or now that Satanic and homosexual material and free sterilization is given out in schools removing the property tax completely). What is not on this list? There is nothing in there about calling out the evils of both crony-capitalism of Halliburton and bourgeois socialism of Apple both supporters of the TPP. There is an entire host of issues that the “conservative libertarian” movement is interested in, and will be discussed at the 2015 Idaho Liberty Expo that “real Catholics” can cooperate with.
Also of note is what to do when there is “no acceptable” candidate. When you cast your vote in a situation where there is no acceptable candidate that many of you are forced to do who are living in occupied America, and some of us need to do even in the American Redoubt this is not morally the same as a positive endorsement for candidates, laws or programs that promote intrinsic evils: rather, it is an action aimed at limiting the evil, and an action that limits evil is good. As Pope John Paul II indicated regarding a situation where it is not possible to overturn or completely defeat a law allowing abortion, “an elected official whose absolute personal opposition to procure abortions was well known could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality” (EV 73; also CPL, n.4).
Where an ideal candidate, law, or program is not on the table, we are to choose the best option, the one that promotes the greatest good and entails the least evil. There are many ideas conservative libertarians advocate for to reduce the overall evil such as: decriminalization of drugs, labeling of genetically modified organisms in your food, 2nd Amendment issues, civil forfeiture concerns, police and surveillance state concerns and ending the Federal Reserve. None of these issues are “not negotiable” by believing Catholics according to Catholic teaching and Popes.