Fallacy of Catholics voting based on one issue
This letter is in response to the Saturday, Sept. 5, letter to the editor from Linda MacMonagle titled, “Catholic’s moral obligations in voting.”
While she is correct in that Catholics have a moral imperative to participate in the political process, I wish to address her fallacy that Catholics should only vote with the single-mindedness of a sole issue, the anti-abortion position.
Let me first say, I know no one who is “for abortion,” nor have I heard of anyone that was. The medical providers, the families and particularly the women who chose an abortion are not “for abortion”; rather they are pro-Choice.
As a lifelong Catholic, I am not “for abortion,” but elect to be “Pro Choice.” A choice by a woman over the control of her body.
I grow more and more convinced that the anti-abortion, so called “Pro-Life” movement has moved further and further toward becoming only a “Pro-Birth” movement. It seems the “Pro-Birth” movement has forgotten that to be ‘pro-life” that they must revere ALL human life — including the ethnic minority community, migrants, refugees, homeless, LBGTQ+ teens and people in prison — not just unborn children.
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict, stated, “When a Catholic does not share a candidates stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for the candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.”
What are those proportionate reasons? Pope Francis answers that question,
“Equally sacred are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery and every form of rejection”
When comparing the overall records of the two Presidential candidates and the political parties they represent, it is clear proportionate reasons exist to cast a vote for Joe Biden.
Biden and the Democratic Party check off a myriad of items supported by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in their report “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” including abolishing the death penalty, opposition to torture, policies to support the poor, the migrant and the immigrant, tax and wage policies, affordable and available healthcare, mandatory paid family medical leave, the protection of Social Security, affordable childcare, equitable pay for women and perhaps most importantly care for our planet.
Caring for the planet is in my opinion the most proportionate reasons for voting for Biden as our next president. While many in the “pro-birth” movement point to the approximately 500,000 abortions that occur annually in the U.S., if we do not soon counter the destructive path “global warming” the lives of 7,000,000,000 people will be in jeopardy across the entire planet. Joe Biden and the Democratic Party understand this and will take action.
Regardless of your position on any candidate, as a Catholic make sure you vote.
Former University of Notre Dame President Rev. Theodore Hesburgh called voting a “civic sacrament.”