Thursday, August 21, 2014

How To Vote: "Distinguish Choosing Evil from Limiting Evil." Really?

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I appreciate the work of Priests For Life.

However, they are circulating a message that I believe every conservative and person of Christian faith should very carefully evaluate.

It is regarding your vote. Its titled, "Ten Easy Steps for Voting With A Clear Conscience."

Steps #7 and #8 caught my attention.

Number 7 is "Remember the Party Matters."

Number 8 is "Distinguish 'Choosing Evil' From 'Limiting Evil'."


The Priests For Life message is based on a booklet by Fr. Frank Pavone titled, "Voting With A Clear Conscience."

I agree with much in the booklet.

However, the advice in chapters 7 and 8 may make voting "easier," but I'm not convinced it will produce a clear conscience for an informed person of faith.

Let's take a closer look.

7. Remember The Party Matters.

The booklet says "voting with a clear conscience also means that you consider how the outcome of the election in which you vote affects the balance of power."

This is true.

Elections do not only put individuals into power, but political parties as well.

The book says, "And it is not only the candidates who have positions, so do parties---what is the platform of the party?"

The problem with that both locally and nationally is that we have seen a growing disregard for what the Republican platform actually says.

In more recent years the obsession to "win" has been such that candidates backed by the "Party" are more and more "moderate" and less and less supportive of the Party platform, particularly on moral issues.

This, they say, is the formula for success. But they don't win. And many of the candidates appear to the public as someone who says one thing---the platform---and does something very different---the candidates actual belief.

The public consistently concludes they prefer an honest left wing progressive to a Republican, claiming to be one.

The GOP continues to move away from the conservative values toward the center and even left of center, claiming a desire to produce the "most electable conservative."

How liberal or progressive must a "conservative" become before he can be elected?

The GOP in Washington State is committed to this idea, as is the National GOP. Neither has won in a long time.

The kind of thinking the priests are advocating will lead conservatives and people of faith to vote for someone like WA State Sen. Steve Litzow--District 41 (Mercer Island) who is actively pro-abortion and anti-marriage. Litzow publicly supported the redefinition of marriage in Washington State and openly supports Planned Parenthood, NARAL and the abortion industry.

An evangelical pastor on the East Side "picked" him as an endorsed candidate simply because he is a Republican, then later removed his name after considerable back lash.

US Senator Rob Portman is considering---strongly considering some say, a run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.

He is a nice person and a capable politician. He claims to be an evangelical Christian. He also supports same-sex "marriage."

He changed his mind about homosexual behavior after his son came out as a homosexual last year.

Portman says his change of mind on the issue " has opened the door for broader conversation on economic and fiscal issues."

He says his new beliefs "makes younger people less antagonistic toward a Republican."

Really? Read my article yesterday. That's not what many "younger people" are saying.

Portman echo's what the "Party" is saying and the Priests are suggesting. He is saying, "We need a broader party. If we're not doing a better job with millennials and women and Hispanics, African-Americans, Asian- Americans and others, we will have a tough time being a majority party at the national level."

Mitt Romney is strongly supporting Rob Portman.

Is same-sex "marriage" somehow the gateway to winning elections? Or is the gateway simply thought to be the ability to declare one value, while practicing another?

Memo to GOP: Neither is working.

Last election in Washington State, the GOP repeated this same formula for success and choose to not support highly qualified candidates who actually believe in the principles stated in the platform, in favor of those who do not believe in the platform's moral principles, but were "more electable." They all lost---Rob McKenna, Reagan Dunn and others in whom the Party invested its resources and influence.

There are a number of other possible presidential candidates who are "Republican" but do not embrace the Party platform on these moral issues. Chris Christie looms big.

I'm certain McKenna and other so-called "moderates" are preparing for round two in Washington State as we speak.

If moral issues such as the sanctity of life and traditional biblical marriage are important to you, can you actually vote for someone who actively undermines those very beliefs? Is that an easy path to a clear conscience?

Fr. Pavone says "yes."

8. Distinguish "Choosing Evil from Restraining It."

He is suggesting people of faith ask themselves which candidate" will do less harm to unborn children if elected?"

One then should also ask themselves which candidate would least advance the homosexual agenda, even though the candidate supports it.

The Priest says, "It is morally acceptable to vote for candidates who will do less harm."

"By your vote," he says, "you will keep the worst person out."

Pavone says, "Your vote is not to praise a person with whom you disagree, but it is about a 'transfer of power'---thus the idea of loyalty to a political Party."

There may be some merit in that, but is that the path to a clear conscience? Is it the right thing to do?

Choosing leadership is often challenging---it's tough because all to often what you see (and hear) from a candidate is not what you get after you have elected them.

The most acute problems in our country and our communities are spiritual and moral, not fiscal or political.

I strongly suggest you make this a matter a prayer. Ask God to give you discernment in this matter. I firmly believe He will hear and answer that prayer.

Also keep in mind it was Jesus Himself who asked, "Can the blind lead the blind? Will they both not fall into the ditch?" (Luke 6:39).

Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Informed. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.


6 comments:

  1. I don't see that it's a problem, especially from Priests for Life. Most of this deals specifically with abortion and euthanasia, which are absolutes under Catholic doctrine. While the Catholic Church doesn't recognize the validity of a same-sex-"marriage" (and never will) there's still room for discussion among faithful Christians on how far the secular government should mirror Church doctrine.

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  2. I agree with Joel. I think that perhaps you are misunderstanding the PFL guide. Father Pavone would NEVER condone voting for someone who supports abortion, euthanasia or so-called homosexual marriage just because they are a member of a party with a pro-life, pro-marriage platform. Now, if as is often the case, you must choose between a weak and wobbly Republican (say one who is "pro-life" but makes an exception for rape and incest, or who is in favor of "SSM" but who would carve out protection for religious objection, etc.) and a rabidly pro-abortion, anti-marriage Democrat, then they factors you have identified could come into play to limit the evil intended. I actually think that the party platform section is largely directed at cultural Catholics who voted Democrat just because that is how their family has always voted. As always, I pray that God will raise up truly virtuous and principled candidates so that we are not caught is a "who is less bad" decision scenario.

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  3. As voters I believe we should always vote for the lesser of two evils, but this lukewarm stuff is frustrating.

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  4. And next time let's not vote for somebody just because they are tall, slim, and can speak without a stutter. This isn't about picking a high school prom king or queen.

    I'd rather vote for a short, fat, ugly guy who stutters, but who also has some good sense.

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  5. Often, we voters are confronted with the delima of choosing between the lesser of two evils because those are the candidates on the ballot. To not vote at all would be worse in my opinion. My dear friend doesn't vote because she doesn't believe her vote would count. What to say to such people. An intelligent voter will try to be informed about the candidates and issues. Bring on Bobby Jindahl

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  6. Joel and unknown- If you follow Father Pavone's reasoning he is actually advocating voting for someone who supports abortion "if" you believe they will allow fewer abortions than the other candidate. I can not do that in good conscience. Thanks Gary for putting this on the table. It is a very important issue especially here in Washington.

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