Showing posts with label Voting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Voting. Show all posts

Sunday, June 30, 2013

On Voting Rights

While many in the Catholic blogosphere have been discussing the other Supreme Court decision (and doing it well), I thought that today I might draw attention to the Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act: I admit that when I first heard about the decision, I didn't fully grasp the significance. I guess to a certain extent, I take the right to vote for granted. I greatly appreciate that right - I know people died so that I could have that right, and I ALWAYS exercise it. Most recently, I walked over to my local polling place this past Tuesday so that I could cast my vote for the Massachusetts Senate election. I knew the candidate I was voting for had little chance of winning, but I still feel it matters to get out there and vote.

But, here is the thing I took for granted - it isn't a hardship for me to vote.  I can walk to my polling place, or if it is a lousy day outside, I have a car so I can drive. I fill out my census form each year, so I am on the voting rolls. I go in, give my address and my name and pick up my ballot. I speak and read English so I have no difficulty with this at all (our ballots are also in Spanish, but I'm not sure how they accommodate other languages). I have a home so I have an address. I have a driver's license so even if they asked for an id, I could provide one without difficulty. These are all things I don't have to think twice about. I admit I never really gave much thought to the challenges of voting for those who aren't as fortunate.

This article I read this weekend in US Catholic really opened my eyes a bit and got me thinking. Voting Block: New Laws restricting voting rights hit African Americans and the poor particularly hard. It's worth reading.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

High Stakes for Life in Massachusetts

With the election less than two weeks away, I am once again turning to the subject of the "Assisted Suicide" bill on the ballot in Massachusetts. For those of you not from Massachusetts, I respectfully ask that you pray that this bill be defeated. For those of you from Massachusetts, I beg you to please vote "no." This bill is bad on so many levels (no safeguards, no need for a psychiatric evaluation, etc.) but fundamentally it is wrong because it does not respect God as the author of life.

I invite you to read this article by Justin Bell which appeared in the September 2012 issue of Columbia magazine: High Stakes for Life in Massachusetts - As doctor-prescribed suicide is sold as 'compassion,' Catholics and others witness to the true dignity of life.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Difficult Voting Choice

The election is less than one month away and I think that many, myself included, are finding it to be a difficult choice. I am a pro-life Democrat. If only Obama would change his position on abortion, life would be so much easier. In fact, both my husband and I signed a petition yesterday sponsored by the National Right to Life Organization asking Obama to rethink his position. I have been supporting McCain throughout this election season, but have done so with a heavy heart. I take voting seriously, and I know that so much is at stake for our country. It is indeed a very difficult decision. At this point, I will probably vote for McCain, but I will continue to pray that the right man will win because I truly do not know who that is.

Here are two takes on the issue:

As an institution, the Roman Catholic Church does not tell believers for whom or against whom they must vote, despite what some politicians, pundits, and pastors suggest. Rather, as the U.S. bishops write in Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (2007), “the responsibility to make choices in political life rests with each individual in light of a properly formed conscience.” Certainly Catholics must seriously consider any candidate’s stance on “intrinsic evils” such as abortion, racism, and torture. Catholics may not vote for a candidate who supports an intrinsic evil “if the voter’s intent is to support that position.” Yet Catholics may choose a candidate who does not unequivocally condemn an intrinsic evil for other “truly grave moral reasons.” Catholics ought to choose the candidate who is least likely to promote intrinsic evils and the most likely to promote “other authentic human goods.” So the question becomes: Are there “grave moral reasons” that permit Catholics to vote for Obama, or any other candidate, despite his or her prochoice stance, or would such a vote be “intellectually careless or downright disingenuous,” as Carlin asserts?

In the U.S. political context, where no candidate perfectly mirrors Catholic teaching on issues such as abortion, war, stem-cell research, poverty, discrimination, gay marriage, and immigration, voting should be a difficult matter of conscience for Catholics. Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship argues that these issues “are not optional concerns which can be dismissed.” While John McCain’s voting record on antiabortion legislation may be more consistent than Obama’s with Catholic teaching, he supports federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research—an intrinsic evil that Catholic teaching unambiguously condemns. He supported and promises to continue a war that the members of the Roman curia and the U.S. bishops deemed unjust.

Once again the bishops of the United States have provided important guidance through their statement on "Faithful Citizenship." This is especially important since Catholics often confront a dilemma in deciding how to vote: Can we support a candidate who may be attractive for many reasons but who supports abortion? Some partisan advocates have sought to excuse support for pro-abortion candidates through a complex balancing act. They claim that other issues are important enough to offset a candidate's support for abortion.

But the right to abortion mandated in the United States by the Supreme Court's "Roe v. Wade" decision is not just another political issue; it is in reality a legal regime that has resulted in more than 40 million deaths. Imagine for a moment the largest 25 cities in the United States and Canada suddenly empty of people. This is what the loss of 40 million human beings would look like. In fact, 40 million is greater than the entire population of Canada.

What political issue could possibly outweigh this human devastation? the answer, of course, is that there is none. Abortion is different. Abortion is the killing of the innocent on a massive scale.
From "Columbia" magazine October 2008 - a publication of the Knights of Columbus.