I have stayed out of commenting on particular political candidates this round. That is not changing. Our choices are truly horrid. They are not much better in congressional and other races. Horrid.
Yet, at the end of the “process,” the presidency and every one of these offices will be filled by people acting in our name. Their occupants will, for better or worse, make decisions which are binding on all citizens in both the near and long term. We should all be able to agree with this statement of fact.
What if I told you that some candidates support parental “rights” to terminate their newborns up until the age of 1. It would be a deeply personal, difficult choice, but would allow them not to be punished with a child they recognize as a mistake. Perhaps a woman might be abandoned by the child’s father. Perhaps the child was less than perfect. 100,000 would be erased per year in this way, with a societal benefit of lowering health care and education costs.
Do you support that? Would you reluctantly ignore that position of a candidate if you felt there were counter-balancing economic and structural positions? Could you tolerate it if the candidate supporting it was far less detestable to you than the alternative?
While this evolution is not yet on the table, abortion is and it is more than 10 times worse. People – Catholics – are struggling with this moral dilemma. That is so, so sad. This should not be a struggle at all for faithful Catholics. Choosing against innocent life is moral depravity. At this magnitude it is history’s greatest holocaust. Abortion is always an intrinsic evil (never justified) of the greatest gravity (life itself). Weighing this against prudential choices of economic policy or candidate likability is possible only by putting politics ahead of God.
Carl Anderson, head of the Knights of Columbus, spoke on this exact issue recently at the annual international gathering of Knights held in Canada.
“We need to end the political manipulation of Catholic voters by abortion advocates,” he said. “It is time to end the entanglement of Catholic people with abortion killing. It is time to stop creating excuses for voting for pro-abortion politicians.”
“Abortion is the killing of the innocent on a massive scale,” he added.
Anderson said politics does not mean partisanship, but a stand for the common good and for moral and religious values that make free, democratic institutions possible.
Foremost among these values, he said, is “the equal dignity of every human life and the right of every person to freely practice their religion.”
“We will never succeed in building a culture of life if we continue to vote for politicians who support a culture of death.”
He reflected on the political question of whether one should support a candidate 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 other issues are important enough to offset a candidate’s support for abortion,” he said.
“But the right to abortion is not just another political issue,” Anderson said. “It is, in reality, a legal regime that has resulted in more than 40 million deaths.”
He noted that 40 million is a figure greater than the entire population of Canada.
“What political issue could possibly outweigh this human devastation?” he asked. “The answer, of course, is that there is none.”
Anderson’s comments are reported in the National Catholic Register: Carl Anderson to Voters: ‘Stop Creating Excuses for Voting for Pro-Abortion Politicians’.
Please, please reconsider your support of anyone you know is going to continue the tragedy of abortion (even if they disingenuously claim to be “personally against it”).