Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hesitancy and backpeddling

It is funny how things affect me. I am clinging this morning to what is past. This is not due to what lies ahead in anyway being unbearable, just a bit of hesitancy, of not wanting to let go, dragging my feet, wanting to stay where I feel safe. I feel oppressed by time today.

On an unrelated note, I am still mulling over kRad's comment last Saturday. It kind of brought me back, to borrow from our CL election statement, to what I hold dear in terms of the election. When I look at life issues, especially abortion, family issues, especially marriage, and education, especially school choice, Sen. McCain is clearly more in tune with I what I believe. I can state this in an up-front manner. I worry about healthcare and trickle-down economics. I also worry about the consequences of an aggressive, antagonistic, and exceptionalist U.S. foreign policy. On the other hand, being a bit more calculating, I am leery of one party holding the presidency, the House, and the Senate. The roots of our present difficulties, I believe, can be traced to this being the case for six of eight years during the current Administration. It brings things like the very troublesome Freedom of Choice Act and Supreme Court appointees to the fore. It sets back necessary reforms, like school choice, and creates an environment unfavorable in many ways to the bedrock institution of marriage. I have to admit, as if it were not already obvious, the choice of Gov. Palin as the G.O.P. vice-presidential nominee really complicates things for me. I am actually angry at Sen. McCain for choosing her, especially given his age and health. In most presidential elections the V.P. candidate does not require as much concern and scrutiny.

Again, the reason we have to use proportional reasoning to arrive at a prudent judgment is because, at least in this election, as in virtually all elections, there is no candidate about whom, as a Catholic, I do not have serious misgivings. It is important not to use that as an excuse to vote whomever.


  1. Hi Deacon,

    I wanted to post to support the various arguments you have been making about whom to vote for. I've been following your posts, though I haven't posted yet.

    My point is this: A Catholic can vote for either candidate in good conscience. I've come to this conclusion over many years. I grew up a Democrat, making inadequate excuses about why abortion didn't matter in my voting. Then, I converted to the "more orthodox than thou side", and decided that no one could vote for pro-choice candidates, and I voted for Bush in '04. Now, I have gradually come to see that these arguments are a matter of prudence and proportionate reasoning.

    While I don't think I personally will be able to vote for Obama(I might blank ballot), I try to defend the right of Catholics to disagree in good concsience over whom to vote for.

    Unfortunately, this seems to be a harder position to hold. My priest said on Respect Life Sunday that "no issue or combination of issues could outweigh 1.3 million abortions per year." I agree, but that implies that how we vote this year will actually stop 1.3 million abortions next year, which is not the case.

    Sorry for the long post, that has been building up for a while.

  2. Since the economic meltdown and the fear-mongering tactics against Obama, I decided I can't vote for such an irresponsible ticket. I can't in conscience vote for Obama either. I'm really frustrated with the pro-life blackmail to get my vote, especially since the Republicans have done little for the unborn and have other human rights issues to answer for. I'm going to vote my conscience which is third party. We are in for a necessary chastening as people of faith, and we may be wiser come next election. Sharon

  3. Thanks, Sharon and Joe. Joe no apology necessary. Your remarks are good ones. I, too, believe that Catholics can vote for either candidate in good conscience, or for a third party.

    I also felt better after reading comments by Christopher Buckley, (son of the late Wm F. Buckley, Jr) regarding Palin, which comments caused him to resign from NR. He wrote:

    "My colleague, the superb and very dishy Kathleen Parker, recently wrote in National Review Online a column stating what John Cleese as Basil Fawlty would call 'the bleeding obvious': namely, that Sarah Palin is an embarrassment, and a dangerous one at that. She’s not exactly alone. New York Times columnist David Brooks, who began his career at NR, just called Governor Palin 'a cancer on the Republican Party.'"

    I hate to sound so harsh. I am sure Sarah Palin has her good qualities, but she is not qualified AND there is just too much at stake. This irresponsible choice, along with his support for the initial push into Iraq, his role in the Savings and Loan and banking deregulation, the nasty turn he took on immigration to appease many Republicans, and the tone and tenor of his campaign, which he has allowed to be highjacked by Turd Blossom's spawn, are enough to convince me NOT to be vote for John McCain.

    Somewhere Mitt Romney is smiling.

  4. I think George Weigel has some important points on prudential judgement that can be found here:


  5. Thanks, Deacon.

    Did you know that JPII wrote in EV that not only is abortion an intrinsic evil, but that laws permitting abortion are also an intrinsic evil?

    It's at section 73: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae_en.html

    That gives me pause.

  6. Joe:

    Yes, I am aware that abortion is an intrinsic evil and that laws that specifically permit abortion are also intrinsically evil. That is why voting for a candidate because s/he is pro-choice constitutes formal cooperation with evil. This is not permissible. So, if we choose to vote for a pro-choice candidate it cannot be because s/he is pro-choice. In addition to not voting for a candidate because they are pro-choice, we have to have proportionate reasons for voting for them

    I am very happy that you are doing good things, like reading EV, etc. It is important to have properly formed and informed consciences.


A political non-rant

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