Test Day

Tuesday is YOUR big test. As a Catholic or other Christian, will you pass?

Thou shall not kill.

One candidate has pledged to do everything in her power to promote and further entrench abortion. It is a top priority for her and if elected, she will be able to do great harm. Through her Supreme Court appointments the damage will last far, far beyond her presidency.

She can not do it without your help.

Life is a top priority for God Almighty. Will you be in obedience to His will when called before His throne to account for your vote?

Hillary Clinton: The unborn person doesn't have constitutional rights.

NBC Meet the Press

Unelectable

I have been looking at this, trying to understand it, and collecting my thoughts on it for months. You probably have been too. I am speaking of “the election.” Even writing “the election” now brings me a sense of repulsion.

Unelectable Candidates

I remember a time when just a slight history of impropriety would torpedo a presidential candidate’s chances. In more recent decades we would lament how bad our choices were and resign ourselves to choosing the “lesser of 2 evils” while hoping and praying, in the future, it would get better. False hope that. It got worse, then worse again, and now…

Any objective observer would agree we have two of the worst candidates ever. The history of each and the numerous revelations which have come out about each should completely disqualify both of them. Not only do they both have a long string of serious issues, from all appearances they are also completely unrepentant.

Regardless, one will be our next president.

If you happen to think that one is morally superior to the other, you are woefully uninformed or highly misinformed. On that later point, the always biased news sources have pulled out “all the stops” to manipulate your vote.

Representative Democracy

Recalling our grade school civics classes, you and I do not get to directly make governmental decisions. We do that only indirectly through our elected officials. In effect, we give our proxy to someone else. Choosing where to invest our 1 vote is choosing the overall outcome we hope to attain with it.

Whoever the president is, they are themselves a proxy for the bundle of policies they represent. For the most part, we are not choosing a person of high moral caliber to make decisions for us as unforeseen events unfold. Rather, we are choosing a proxy to implement a vision. You can count on that regardless of who is elected. This is key.

Popularity Contest

I am AMAZED at how many people fall for this (although I understand it as an emotional reaction). People completely ignore issues as big as a mountain and focus on candidate personalities the size of a rock in long-term importance. How often have you heard “I would never vote for her…” or “I would never vote for him…”? They are rejecting her/his character and history, which they should — but that is not what our vote is about. We are not choosing a prom king or queen. Using our vote in that way is missing the forest for the trees.

Speaking for myself, I could not endorse either candidate as a good, moral person. All indications are they are both far, far from that. Despicable is a word that often occurs to me. I would not hold either as a role model. I would not like to personally meet either candidate. I could not be friends with either. I want nothing to do with either. Neither is worthy of my vote…   or yours.

Regardless, one will be our next president.

Elections have Consequences

I have heard all manner of tortured explanations why one or the other will be a better “leader.” Neither will ever be my leader. He or she will however greatly advance policies which at this point are very well known and will not significantly change. Each has a base they depend on for power and will not deviate much from those positions.

Our vote is a POLICY decision. It is not a personal endorsement. POLICY.

Long, long after the next president is gone, our country and society will be greatly impacted by their legacy. It is NOT reversible (except, maybe, over decades). It will outlive the candidates and very probably us.

Choosing a Policy Bundle

Which policy bundle should we choose? Of course, they will each have at least some pros and some cons. Do they balance out?

If you are a faithful Catholic, not even close.

We might be tired of hearing it, but the one issue that should not and can not go away is abortion. There are over 1 million surgical abortions PER YEAR in the US. Many more if you include abortifacients such as “Plan B” and various contraceptives (and you should count them, BTW). No political relabeling changes the fact that a created person, scientifically a human being, with their own unique DNA — and completely innocent is killed. A human heart is forever stilled when its human body is violently ripped apart. Our Church calls this an “intrinsic evil” because the taking of this life can not possibly be justified under any circumstance.

Some would like to balance that against a presumption that one party or the other is more war prone. That is an assumption completely contrary to historical facts. For the sake of argument, let’s pretend it is true. 1.3 million Americans have died TOTAL in all the wars we have ever been in. 1.1 million of those in the Civil War and WWII (so 200,000 outside of those sad periods). While this is terrible of itself, it pales compared to the ongoing abortion of the innocents just in the US.

One candidate is enthusiastically committed to abortion, to overturning all restrictions, to using your taxpayer money to fund it, to support it worldwide. They have a perfect NARAL rating (a bad thing), the highest honors from Emily’s List (another bad thing) and the unqualified support of Planned Parenthood (the abortion giant).

This candidate is also strongly opposed to religious freedom as we have historically enjoyed in America. They are committed to suppression of religious liberties of constitutional “freedom of religion” to a far lesser novelty they call “freedom of worship.” That is a huge difference. In essence, freedom of worship is the concept that you can worship in private as you wish but may not bring your beliefs into the public square. If you attempt to do that, you will be harshly persecuted. There are numerous examples demonstrating this erosion of our basic liberties already. It can and will get much worse under this candidate.

The other candidate, similarly deplorable in their acts as a person, has very opposite positions on these crucial matters. This is not only about the laws these candidates will propose, but the Supreme Court justices they will nominate. Like it or not, future Supreme Court decisions will be 100% different on matters the Church has the highest interest in based on the 3 people the next president will very likely choose. That is, you will choose via your proxy of that next president. To be clear, YOU are predestining now the outcome of those future Supreme Court decisions for or against life and for or against the Church.

Choosing Based on 1 or 2 Issues?

Issues are not of similar weight. Issues of life itself and religious freedom are non-negotiable. All faithful Catholics must hold this. Most other issues are ones of prudential judgment in which we can differ in good conscience. Those are issues of security, healthcare, immigration, economics, and so on. Life itself and the freedom to live that life in good conscience must first be secure.

Clear Catholic Teaching

I considered giving you a raft of links, quotes, videos, etc. but respect your limited time (and tolerance to read further). You are probably also repulsed by this overall topic as am I. So instead I offer you only this recent video from Fr. John Lankeit (Diocese of Phoenix). Please spend a few minutes to view and reflect on it.

“Gay marriage”

Last week, as almost everyone now knows, the Supreme Court of the United States of America fabricated a new “right” for homosexual unions to be recognized as marriage.

A Legal Fiction

Legal fictions can be useful, although this one most certainly is not. A useful fiction, for example, is the way law treats a corporation as a “person.” As such it has certain rights and responsibilities including paying taxes or being subject to suit as if it were a person distinct from the owner or owners. This facilitates commerce and is morally neutral.

“Gay marriage” is simply a new legal fiction. What constitutes marriage and morality in general has never been up to government and never will be. Ideally, government is enlightened and informed by God, the creator, and recognizes all rights flow from Him. Our founding documents acknowledge this but we have “evolved” to an enlightened view of our own making to our detriment.

Consider:

  • Government long ago redefined the bond of marriage to be dissoluble. Legally marriage is a state one can enter into and exit as they wish as many times as they wish. That has also always been a fiction.
  • Government redefined life itself as something that comes into existence only when it says so (contrary to science). This allows the “termination” of life to not only be without (legal) consequences, but also to be a cherished “right.”

Built on Lies

Marriage as God created it and as it has been universally understood for millennia has not changed. This Supreme Court decision is just that, a deeply flawed and seriously harmful opinion of the narrowest majority. It is a legal construct, unfortunately divorced from reality.

The people of very few states approve of this. When put to a popular vote, with very few exceptions, “gay marriage” was defeated. In many cases however, the will of the people was overruled by their legislatures and most often by federal judges. The media ignores this fact, preferring to mislead by noting only 14 states at this point did not “allow” it. That the states who did “allow” it were forced to against their will is not mentioned.

Of special note are the Catholic justices who supported this decision: Anthony Kennedy and Sonia Sotomayor. Their votes were a clear rejection of God, Jesus Christ and His Church. There is no wiggle room on this. This travesty passed only because both of them supported it. In the 5-4 decision, all 4 of the dissenters (Alito, Roberts, Scalia and Thomas) are Catholic.

The Effect

There are three major effects of this:

  1. Religious freedom will be relentlessly attacked, long term. The heavy hand of the law will be used to bludgeon any who dare to publicly resist cooperation with this immoral fiction. Activists will seek to bully through intimidation, threats and whatever legal traps they can craft with great zeal.
  2. The valid role of government in fostering procreation within stable families, structured for the benefit of children, is further muddled.
  3. People who suffer with homosexual attraction are scandalized. Instead of helping them, they are increasingly told their unnatural and immoral temptations are actually completely normal, healthy and should be a source of pride. This will never result in their true happiness.

What to Expect

Beyond the long-lasting effects noted above, it is almost certain that further “evolutionary progress” will be made in the legal understanding of family and marriage:

  • marriage of brothers and sisters, fathers and daughters, etc.
  • reducing the minimum age for marriage
  • polygamy is more natural than homosexuality so why limit marriage to only 2?
  • polyamory, polyandry, polygyny, polyfamilies, poly-anything-goes – why not?

Most of the arguments for “gay marriage” apply to the above. Sympathetic stories will be told, individual plights of “injustice” presented in the context of fairness and civil rights, pride parades, media support followed by corporate support and it is done.

Expect to see the process of entering into and exiting marriages, however they are defined at the moment, to be streamlined.

Many more (although not all) countries will follow in our footsteps. The UN will push harder to “recognize” this as a basic human right. Hollywood will celebrate with gay weddings appearing in most television shows beginning this fall.

Christian Response

Our respect and love for people with same sex attraction must not diminish. We will be tested in this regard, count on it. Remember too that not all people with same sex attraction support this (although many who dissent are no doubt bullied into silence).

The word “marriage” has lost its common and proper meaning. We must separate what we mean by the life-long union of one man and one woman in formation of a family from the fiction presented by the law. Words have meaning and we clearly need a new one to replace being married, getting married, marriage ceremony, marriage invitation, etc. A word is needed to accurately convey the concept given to us by God. Continuing to use the word marriage will just contribute to confusion.

Finally, we must not cooperate. This must be opposed in every way possible for the benefit of society and every person in it. This is a major setback but not a lost cause. The cause is lost only when we accept it.

“Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.

But beware of people, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to another. Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master.

Support Archbishop Cordileone

Faithful bishops around the country are concerned by the examples some teachers in their diocesan Catholic schools present to children in their care. Certainly it would be best if the teachers were all faithful Catholics. However, dissident Catholics and non-Catholics are also offered positions provided they do not lead students astray by words or actions contrary to Christ.

Therefore, teachers are increasingly asked to sign very basic morality clauses in their contracts promising that their public conduct will not openly oppose the teaching of the Church. This is not a free speech issue any more than a business asking their salesmen not to promote products of competitors or politicians refusing to hire campaign workers who promote opposing ideology. Moreover, even the supreme court has ruled in favor of religious schools (see the unanimous Hosanna-Tabor decision) in support of such obvious and reasonable requirements.

San Francisco Archbishop Cordileone is an honorable, holy and faithful shepherd assigned to a formidably difficult archdiocese. He is the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage and is in no way any kind of “extremist.” Opposition to a very basic morality clause is fierce and mobilized in a political style backed by large sums of money, a high-power PR firm, an aggressively hostile city council and strongly biased media. Everything is against him except the truth.

In this lion’s den Archbishop Cordileone needs our prayers and our support. Please consider joining me and 34,000+ other fair-minded individuals in signing the petition sponsored by American Life League and Life Site News. Sign the petition HERE. Ask your friends to do likewise. More information is available at that link or feel free to contact me.

It reads:

To: The San Francisco City Council, San Francisco Catholic school board, teachers, and administrators

We, the undersigned, wish to express our strong support for Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s courageous, commonsense, and fatherly efforts to strengthen the Catholic identity of the Catholic schools in the San Francisco archdiocese.

We categorically condemn the distortions and attacks against these efforts, and the archbishop personally, spearheaded by those who seem neither to understand the basics of Catholic teaching, nor the importance of religious liberty in the health of our society.

We demand that these shameful attacks against the archbishop’s efforts to protect the Catholic identity of Catholic schools immediately cease.

We pray as well that Catholic teachers and administrators in the schools will use this controversy as an opportunity to deepen their personal commitment, as exemplified by how they live their personal lives, to Catholic teaching and to providing an authentically Catholic education to their students.

Finally, we offer our heartfelt prayers for Archbishop Cordileone and wish to express our deep gratitude for his personal courage and charity in the face of these unjust public attacks.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

SIGN NOW

Voting Catholic

We count in our numbers as Catholic literally millions of people who will put Jesus in second place on election day – behind their political party and its candidate. I hope for the sake of their eternal salvation, that their actions are mitigated by true ignorance or deep confusion sewn by highly heterodox groups (e.g. “Catholics” for Choice).

For the rest of us, our choice will be based upon true Catholic moral teaching and understanding the difference between intrinsic evil and prudential judgement.

Intrinsic evils are moral choices which are always wrong and unacceptable. Abortion is the most important example of this because it involves life itself. The destruction of innocent lives is such a heinous act that it must be given priority above all else. Note that direct involvement in abortion automatically incurs latae sententiae excommunication whereas the murder of an older person, while also an extremely grave mortal sin, does not. Such is the weight given by Holy Mother Church in the name of our Lord.

Some other examples of intrinsic evils include so-called “gay marriage,” suicide (including physician assisted), embryonic stem-cell research and human cloning.

Prudential judgment reflects our personal choices on competing (moral) positions. For example: the most effective means of helping the poor, how to make healthcare more accessible to more people, immigration reform, when a specific war is just, when the death penalty is justified, the proper balance between solidarity and subsidiarity, specific government programs, tax plans, and so on. Often the choice is not between “right” and “wrong,” but between competing solutions to recognized problems. It is therefore debatable, among Catholics of good faith, which candidate’s or political party’s position will ultimately be most helpful to the poor, providing healthcare, creating jobs, defending the country and so on.

However, intrinsic evil must always be given precedence over prudential judgements. Therefore, no matter how much better we judge a candidate’s position on aid to the poor, healthcare, immigration, war, death penalty, etc. – if they embrace intrinsic evils, then that fact must be given the greatest moral weight. In this presidential election, it is NOT debatable which candidate fully embraces abortion or unnatural marriage (both grave, intrinsic evils).

When your bishop or priest speaks of the importance of voting a properly formed conscience, he is referring to one rooted in true Catholic moral teaching. He is NOT referring to some fuzzy feeling you may have or some emotional attachment to one party or candidate. For a number of reasons, he unfortunately can not simply tell you “therefore, in this election it would be highly immoral to vote for candidate so-and-so.” Do not interpret that to mean there are not disqualifying, immoral positions.

In this presidential election, neither candidate is perfect but one candidate alone embraces several positions which are intrinsically evil and alarmingly to the maximum extent possible. No faithful Catholic with a well formed conscience will vote for Barack Obama. We may vote for his challenger, Mitt Romney, for a third party candidate or if necessary for no candidate – but we can not vote for Barack Obama. We may even admire his vision, his social programs and his character – but we can not vote for Barack Obama. To do so makes us personally complicit with his gravely sinful positions.

The same moral requirement of well formed consciences must guide our votes not only in the presidential election, but for every race.

This video presents Catholic moral teaching, as applied to voting, very well:

Cardinal Raymond Burke (Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura and Archbishop Emeritus of St. Louis), has presented an excellent pastoral letter on voting that also addresses these points. Here (with my highlighting) is the Catholic News Agency’s (CNA) coverage from two years ago (he was Cardinal-designate at the time):

Cardinal-designate Raymond Burke stressed to Catholic voters in a recent interview that they have a “very serious” obligation to uphold the truth of “moral law” in the upcoming mid-term elections. He specifically cited protecting unborn children from abortion and defending traditional marriage.

The American Vatican official, who was recently named by the Holy Father as a future cardinal, spoke on Oct. 20 to Thomas McKenna, president of Catholic Action for Faith and Family, just hours after the Pope’s announcement.

Cardinal-designate Burke opened his remarks by saying that “as a bishop it’s my obligation, in fact, to urge the faithful to carry out their civic duty in accord with their Catholic Faith.” Clarifying that he does not endorse particular candidates, the prelate also spoke of his duty to relay “principles” to the faithful to help inform their vote.

Speaking on the contentious topic of abortion in the upcoming mid-terms, Cardinal-designate Burke said one “can never vote for someone who favors absolutely the right to choice of a woman to destroy a human life in her womb or the right to a procured abortion.”

“You may in some circumstances where you don’t have any candidate who is proposing to eliminate all abortion, choose the candidate who will most limit this grave evil in our country,” he explained, “but you could never justify voting for a candidate who not only does not want to limit abortion but believes that it should be available to everyone.”

The Vatican prelate also addressed the issue of same-sex “marriage,” asserting that maintaining the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman is not unjust discrimination.

“Where there is unjust discrimination – “for instance, where you say that a fellow human being, because of the color of his skin, is not a part of the same race as someone, say, who is a Caucasian, that is a kind of discrimination which is unjust and immoral,” he said.

However, he added, “there is a discrimination which is perfectly just and good, and that is the discrimination between what is right and what is wrong.”

“Between what is according to our human nature and what is contrary to our human nature. So the Catholic Church, in teaching that sexual acts between persons of the same sex are intrinsically evil, are against nature itself, is simply announcing the truth, helping people to discriminate right from wrong in terms of their own activities.”

In his interview, Cardinal-designate Burke also urged Catholic politicians who have caused “scandal” by endorsing positions contrary to moral law to repent through a “genuine reform of heart.”

“That’s done through the Sacrament of Penance,” he said, adding that political figures must publicly “renounce” their errors, recognizing and recanting the “evil” they have promoted.

Fans of Father John Zuhlsdorf (I am one!) may also wish to read his recent comments on the above. Cardinal Burke’s full interview, upon which the above text from CNA has been transcribed, is here:

As a voter, you may exercise free will in every election. In this election, you are presented with one clearly immoral choice. Bishop David Ricken (Green Bay) warns: “To vote for someone in favor of these positions means that you could be morally ‘complicit’ with these choices which are intrinsically evil. This could put your own soul in jeopardy.” Bishop Thomas Paprocki (Springfield) similarly warns: “a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy.

The last word goes to Father Daniel Doctor: “to attack life at any stage of development is to attack God Himself as the Creator – and then to call this a right or a freedom – is the most absurd of lies.”

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