Voting with a
Director, Priests for Life
Fr. Frank s Columns are available via Podcast.
Listen to this column in MP3
There are ten easy steps to
having a clear conscience in regard to how you vote on Election Day.
First, make sure you actually
vote. Election Day is Tuesday, November 7. The Catechism tells us that voting is
a moral obligation (n. 2240). Take advantage of early voting if your
state allows it, and if you’re going to be out of state or are homebound, use an
absentee ballot! Bring your voting decisions to prayer.
2. Know the candidates.
Be sure you know where the
candidates stand on the issues.
3. Reject the Disqualified.
If a candidate came forward and said, “I support
terrorism,” you wouldn’t say, “I disagree with you on terrorism, but what’s your
health care plan?” Similarly, those who permit the destruction of innocent life
by abortion disqualify themselves from consideration.
4. Distinguish Policy from
Most disagreements between
candidates and political platforms do not have to do with principle (“Is
there a ‘Right to Crime?’”), but rather with policy (“How do we
reduce crime?”). But the dispute over whether there is a right to life
deal with principle, and is therefore more fundamental.
5. Weigh other issues
Not all issues have
equal weight. The Catholic Church teaches that war
and capital punishment, for example, may at times be morally justified, but
abortion and euthanasia never are.
6. Keep your loyalty focused on Jesus.
Your loyalty to Jesus Christ must be stronger
than your loyalty to any political party.
7. Remember, the Party
Elections do not only put
individual candidates into power; they put political parties into
power. Consider what the parties stand for, and how the outcome of the election
affects the balance of power.
8. Distinguish “choosing evil”
from “limiting evil.”
If two opposing candidates both
support abortion, then ask: Which of the two candidates will do less harm to
unborn children? This is not "choosing the lesser of two evils," but
rather choosing to limit an evil, and that is a good.
9. Support the candidate with
more than your vote!
Additional activities include
donating to the campaign, volunteering for the campaign, handing out literature
for the candidate, making phone calls and visits on the candidate’s behalf,
sending emails, using yard signs and bumper stickers, and praying for the
Elections are not contests
between two candidates. They are contests between two teams. The bigger and more
active team will bring in the most votes.
10. Mobilize as many other
voters as possible!
Each of us has one vote, but each
of us can mobilize hundreds, even thousands of votes. Focus on mobilizing those
who agree with you rather than convincing those who don’t. If you can take the
day off on Election Day, do so. Spend the day contacting people by phone and
email, reminding them to vote, and helping them get to the polls.
Having done all this, rejoice in
a clear conscience, and trust the Lord to bring about the victory for a Culture
[Note: To obtain Fr. Frank’s
booklet, “Voting with a Clear Conscience,” which has an extended commentary on
these same ten points, visit www.PoliticalResponsibility.com.]