It’s Not Cooperation with Evil If One Side is Not Evil

Mark Gordon at Vox Nova explains why he is voting for neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney.

For my part, I won’t be voting for either Obama or Romney because both promise to pursue policies that violate my understanding of fundamental Catholic teaching. To invest my democratic franchise in either would, in my opinion, be an abrogation of my first responsibility, which is to to witness to the Gospel in all its dimensions. For me, there can be no disjunction between the two. To permit any other allegiance, identity, issue or ideology to trump the Gospel – even temporarily or provisionally – is, again in my opinion – a form of idolatry. Christian discipleship must be marked first of all by an unyielding evangelical integrity: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness …” (Matthew 6:6). And just as I would hope not to choose a “lesser” evil in my personal or business life, neither can I do so as a citizen. As I’ve often written here, when you choose the lesser of two evils, you still get evil. Christians shouldn’t be in the business of choosing evil.

Such is his right, and if he genuinely believes that voting for either candidate would involve cooperation with evil, then the choice is understandable and perhaps commendable. The problem with Mark’s analysis is that only one candidate affirms positions that are clearly in opposition to dogmatic Church teaching.

Gordon begins by dismissing a standard argument:

 I have one friend, for instance, who insists that abortion, same-sex marriage and “religious liberty” are the only non-negotiables in this election, and that everything else a candidate might advocate – from pre-emptive war and torture to the abuse of workers, the environment and the poor – falls under the category of “prudential judgment.” I find that sort ofWeigelian “analysis” to be suspiciously convenient and transparently self-serving. It is Republican partisan advocacy dressed up as moral argument.

Perhaps there is something to be said about the almost reflexive resort to “prudential judgment” when discussing economic issues and foreign policy. While there is a certain ring of truth to the argument that only a few issues revolve around non-negotiables, it is a bit trite to suggest that all economic matters are issues of prudential judgment. The Church is not silent with regards to economics and foreign policy, and to dismiss Church teachings out of hand as matters outside the realm of her authority is wrongheaded. That said, it is incumbent upon those who insist that certain policies violate Church teachings to adequately demonstrate how those policies run against Church teaching. In other words – show, don’t tell. It’s not enough to say simply that wanting to roll back government spending is at odds with magisterial teaching – one must demonstrate the nexus between advocacy of lower spending and cooperation with evil.

Furthermore, the preceding argument assumes that all matters are of equal weight. This sort of thinking continues to plague many Catholics. While we cannot ignore social justice or the Church’s call to help the poor and most vulnerable, these matters are not of equal magnitude to abortion, marriage, and religious liberty. As Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Ratzinger) wrote:

Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

When it comes to President Obama, Gordon is rightly wary, although curiously he emphasizes Obama’s continuation and even furtherance of Bush-era policies over some of the more obvious examples many of us would have thought of. Gordon only tangentially alludes to the HHS mandate, and doesn’t even mention Obama’s sudden advocacy of gay marriage. At any rate, Gordon rightfully concludes that he cannot pull the lever for Obama – a conclusion that any right thinking, morally serious Catholic must come to.

What about Mitt Romney? Why is he unacceptable? This is where Gordon’s piece falls apart.

Still, his nominal position on abortion, insincere and incomplete though it is, doesn’t disqualify him from my consideration. What does disqualify him are his positions on war, torture, workers’ rights, and the treatment of the poor and immigrants. Mitt Romney was an enthusiastic supporter of the war in Vietnam, going so far as to lead anti-anti-war rallies, even while securing for himself a number of draft deferments that enabled him to avoid service. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the Gulf War, and the invasions of both Iraq and Afghanistan, even though not one of his five strapping sons ever bothered to wear the uniform and risk his own neck. Now, Romney has all but promised to launch a pre-emptive war on Iran, not explicitly – he hasn’t said “I will take us to war” – but in his unhinged rhetoric about the Iranian “threat” and in his choice of key foreign policy and military advisors, almost all of whom are neocons of the Michael Ledeen type (of the “Ledeen Doctrine,” a term approvingly coined by neocon writer Jonah Goldberg. The Ledeen Doctrine states that “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business”).

Well he kind of starts out okay, noting that Romney can’t exactly be trusted when it comes to abortion – something I’ve asserted myself many times – but that fact of the matter is that at least nominally he is pro-life, though with exceptions. The rest of this screed is frankly bizarre. Citing Romney’s youthful support of the war in Vietnam – Vietnam! – as a rationale for implying that Romney is some kind of warmonger seems to be stretching things beyond the realm of credibility. Gordon then writes of Romney’s support for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and issues a non sequiter about Romney’s sons lack of service, indicating that Gordon’s analysis is burdened by overwrought emotion and lacking in any kind of cool reflection. Further, Gordon has to invent a position based on a unique ability to read Mitt Romney’s mind. Gordon just knows that Mitt Romney is going to bomb bomb bomb Iran. In other words, he’s picking up on a theme left from the 2008 campaign where it was asserted without proof that John McCain was certainly going to lead us into war against Iran. Catholics for Obama repeatedly made this argument in 2008 when justifying their vote. Where did that leave us? Well Gordon doesn’t mention Benghazi in this post.  (A topic notably absent from Vox Nova for two months now. I guess since it only involved the deaths of four Americans it didn’t really merit a mention.) Benghazi happens to be in Libya – the cite of one of our two military interventions undertaken during the Obama regime. But hey, he (incorrectly) used the term neocon, so there’s that.

Gordon continues.

Romney explicitly promises to reinstate the Bush torture regime, and approves of the NDAA, the Patriot Act, Obama’s illegal and immoral drone warfare campaign, and the growth of the national security police state here at home. He has promised to further militarize American foreign policy and even the American industrial base (40% of which is already tied to “defense”) through huge increases in our military budget, which now exceeds the combined military budgets of the rest of the developed world, including China and Russia. War is a growth business for Romney, and like a good investor he’s prepared to put your money where his mouth is, knowing that he and his won’t have any skin in the game if things go bad.

The “torture regime” is a lovely remnant from the early days of the Catholic blogosphere . Whether a citation of a poorly written blog post constitutes proof that Romney will institute a “torture regime” is a question I will leave to the reader. The rest of the paragraph seems to be a recitation of talking points swapped from the Obama campaign. Even if every word of it were true, none of it seems to impinge Catholic teaching in even a tangential way. I was unaware that the Church has written authoritatively against certain percentages of government expenditures being related to military defense, though I welcome any corrections there.

More:

On the other hand, Romney the businessman sees the poor, the elderly, the handicapped and the unemployed as bad investments, and he has promised to undermine decades of bipartisan commitments to help those who struggle with poverty and infirmity. Romney’s endorsement of the Paul Ryan’s Randian budget – which would cut the legs out from under Medicaid and other social safety net programs – along with his repeated indictment of food and housing aid, his disparagement of the 47% of Americans who receive some form of transfer payment from the federal government, and his tax proposals that favor the wealthy all demonstrate that his Mitt Romney’s America would exercise a preferential option for the rich, in direct contradiction of Catholic Social Teaching and the spirit of the Gospel.

Again, this isn’t analysis but rather a recitation of talking points and strawmen caricatures. Here Gordon resorts to turning Mitt Romney into some kind of creature ripped from a Charles Dickens book, albeit one who finds his way into Ayn Rand’s world. (Now that would be an interesting bit of crossover fan fiction.) At no point does Gordon even attempt to confront Mitt Romney’s proposed policies and examine precisely how they undercut Church teaching. Instead he takes anti-Romney talking points as Gospel (pun intended) and blithely asserts that R0mney is thus, in essence, a heretic. Again he tells but doesn’t show.

Gordon then rails against Romney’s opposition to health care, again just echoing Democrat talking points. But at least here he attempts to demonstrate the nexus between Romney’s position and its anti-Catholicity.

 Here’s a fact: Opposition to universal healthcare is un-Catholic. Period. Full-stop.

Well then. It’s a fact – and why? Because Mark Gordon says so. Isn’t debating easier when you get to simply assert that your position is the correct one? Actually Gordon does offer a single statement taken from a message written by Pope Benedict XVI: “Justice requires guaranteed universal access to health care. It is one of the ‘inalienable rights of man.’” Well case closed then. If the Pope insists that access to health care is a universal right than it logically follows that a complicated legislative initiative mandating that companies provide certain levels of insurance is something that all Catholics are morally obliged to support. Full stop.

Romney’s contempt for workers and workers’ rights is on display every time he degrades the contributions made by unions to building up and sustaining the middle class. This rhetoric is of a piece with his own record as a businessman. Not only was Romney’s Bain Capital one of the pioneers in outsourcing American jobs overseas, but even here at home Bain was a leader in pushing big box retail on thousands of American communities, at the expense of local office-supply, hardware, and other small businesses and their workers. Subsidiarity and respect for work and workers, anyone?

Again, it does not logically follow that criticism of union behavior is a demonstration of one’s “contempt” for workers and workers’ rights. And the invocation of Bain capital, an institution that has led to more wealth and job creation than has four years of Barack Obama’s governance, shows a definite lack of seriousness.

Finally, Mitt Romney promises to make life so unbearable for undocumented immigrants that they will beg to pass back through the borders. This, of course, flies in the face Church teaching,

Again, just because Mark Gordon says something flies in the face of Church teaching doesn’t make it so. From the Catechism:

The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

Which aspect of Church teaching is Mitt Romney violating?

Throughout the primary season, Romney gleefully joined in the GOP chorus that heaped insults on the heads of our (mostly Catholic) brothers and sisters, who come here to work and raise their families.

Once again this is simply caricature. At no point did Romney, nor any other GOP candidate for that matter, “heep insults” on any would be immigrant. In fact they merely echoed Church teaching and said that migrants must respect the nation’s laws. It is not “mocking” someone to insist that they observe the law.

In the end, I can’t in conscience vote for Mitt Romney because his positions on war, torture, and the dignity of workers, the poor, and immigrants. These are not “negotiable” issues for serious Catholics, in my view, because they directly oppose fundamental Catholic teaching and even the Gospel itself.

A morally an intellectually serious person would make convincing arguments about how Mitt Romney’s position “directly oppose fundamental teaching and even the Gospel itself.” Mark Gordon has failed in that regard.

Now it’s interesting that Gordon uses the term “serious Catholic” because it echoes something my pastor said this morning in his homily, and it’s what inspired me to bother writing this refutation of Gordon’s post. I am paraphrasing, but he said that no morally serious Catholic would claim that any party or politician perfectly represents Church teaching. On the other hand, a morally serious Catholic should notice when one party or candidate repeatedly takes positions at odds with Church teaching.

In this election there is an imperfect candidate running against a president whose positions with regards to issues that Catholics hold most dear are completely unacceptable. It would probably have irked Gordon to hear my pastor explain that the only issues that truly matter in this election relate to abortion, marriage, and religious liberty. But he was correct. Oh sure, we cannot deny that economic concerns are  driving this election campaign, but to a morally serious Catholic the three issues mentioned above MUST be paramount. They pertain to core issues surrounding life and our ability to truly live our Catholic faith. The false equivalency which would put all issues on an even moral plane is repugnant and frankly dangerous considering the time in which we live. Is there anything more important than fighting for the rights of all unborn children to be protected from the abortionists’ tools? Or guaranteeing that the basic building block of society be preserved? Or that individuals be allowed to truly practice their faith without interference from the government or subject to mandates that violate their conscience?

Simply put, voting for Mitt Romney is not a cooperation with evil, and no Catholic should be led to believe otherwise.

With that said, is voting for a third party or not voting at all cooperating with evil? No. But that doesn’t mean that one who engages in either action should have a clean conscience.

I have a tough time telling anyone who doesn’t want to vote for Mitt Romney that he or she must. For the longest time I resisted casting a ballot for him, rationalizing that I live in a non-swing state sure to give its electoral votes to Barack Obama. But I could not live with myself if I even remotely aided the re-election of a man who stands opposed to my core beliefs.

I’ve already expressed my reservations with this crop of third party candidates. It would be a curious choice for any Catholic to vote for Gary Johnson out of protest against Mitt Romney considering that Johnson is pro-abortion, favors legalizing prostitution, and would have government out of the marriage business altogether. In other words, voting for him is truly cooperating with evil.

More than that, it’s an unserious vote. On January 20 (or 21), 2013, either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney will be sworn in as president. Barring some unforeseen tragedy, no other person will be taking the oath of office that day. To cast a ballot for some third party is the equivalent of not voting for president. Given how one of those men truly stands against the Church, against life, and against our liberty to practice our faith, sitting on the sidelines is not an option.

25 Responses to It’s Not Cooperation with Evil If One Side is Not Evil

  • “3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

    Cardinal Ratzinger

    http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/bishops/04-07ratzingerommunion.htm

  • Rozin says:

    Gordon essentially argues that “If the Pope insists that access to health care is a universal right than it logically follows that a complicated legislative initiative mandating that companies provide certain levels of insurance is something that all Catholics are morally obliged to support. ”

    The flagrant sleight of hand between universal insurance and universal healthcare really gets me mad and particularly because Repubs and even conservatives so seldom call it out. Obamacare and in fact any socialized medical system as in the Soviet Union or the Uk etc etc explicitly state that Health CARE will not be equally available. Ironically It is most true in the US which doesn’t mandate universal health insurance but does make every effort to provide Health Care even in the absence of insurance. Just read Ezekiel Emanuel or Tom Daschle (Obama’s medical gurus) about how millions of people are going to be denied health care because of age or cost or current medical condition unless euthanasia is now defined as “medical care”. Anyone who uses Insurance as a synonym for care as Mr Gordon does is not worth reading. Any insurance program is merely that “horror of horrors” to such individuals, a voucher system. If I buy insurance I merely have a promissory note and expectation that I can use my insurance voucher when I need it. If the govt is broke or feels it wants to fund something else they will start creating ex post facto conditions which will effectively negate the insurance. They will delay health care indefinitely without formally denying it. I don’t see any sentence in Mr Gordon’s specious arguments which even touches upon these health care issues which currently exist in other countries. (If he does mention it somewhere else then it doesn’t seem to bother him unduly since he doesn’t emphasize it here.)

  • Bonchamps says:

    Yes, I don’t really see the problem here. I believe there are other statements by Ratzinger indicating that one’s motives for voting are really what are most morally relevant.

    I think if you prioritize the issues correctly and vote rationally as a Catholic, Mitt Romney is an obvious choice:

    Obama is assaulting the Church.

    Nothing can be more important to a Catholic than the structural integrity of the Church.

    Stopping Obama’s assault ought to therefore be the number one priority.

    Electing Mitt Romney stops Obama’s assault.

    Ergo, vote for Mitt.

    A vote for some other candidate is fine if you live in a state where your presidential vote doesn’t matter. Libertarian, Green, Constitution, Socialist, whatever (some of those aren’t options for “serious” Catholics, by the way). I live in CA, so I can do that if I want and it makes no difference.

    If you live in a battleground state, though, you really do have more of a moral obligation upon you. A vote for Obama is a vote not only for taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, among other moral atrocities, but also for a continued direct assault on the Catholic Church. A vote for a third party candidate or no vote at all is sheer petulance, in my opinion, at least under those circumstances. And a vote for Romney is not necessarily an endorsement of Romney – it can be a vote of no confidence in the current regime, which I think it will be for most people anyway.

    So consider that even if you believe some of Romney’s positions are “evil”, and on foreign policy they may be in my opinion at least objectively (but NOT on economics, where I think he’s just what the country needs), consider that your reasons for voting as you do also matter.

  • Henry Peter says:

    I have a question regarding which I don’t see much discussions although I remember reading this in an article by the Holy Father.

    Isn’t there a difference in voting for a candidate who has taken a position, say intrinsically evil, but voting for that person not for that cause but for other causes which are critical? In this case it is not a directly being ‘complicit’ but rather a different degree, if you will. Please explain.

  • PM says:

    “Now it’s interesting that Gordon uses the term “serious Catholic” because it echoes something my pastor said this morning in his homily, and it’s what inspired me to bother writing this refutation of Gordon’s post. I am paraphrasing, but he said that no morally serious Catholic would claim that any party or politician perfectly represents Church teaching. On the other hand, a morally serious Catholic should notice when one party or candidate repeatedly takes positions at odds with Church teaching.”

    Thank you for this post. When I read something that objects to a practical approach to voting in this imperfect world with veiled innuendo about what Mitt Romney may do, a little of one or the other of the seven capital sins pops out through the stated effort to be so loyal to the Gospel. Anger, pride, or envy? Unknown, but there is something that brings to mind the Beatitude:

    Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

  • Micha Elyi says:

    Because his vote does less than it could to prevent the largest portion of votes from possibly ending up with the candidate championing the gravest evils with the most vigor, is Mark Gordon at Vox Nova commiting a sin of omission?

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour says:

    May I recall some words of Cardinal Ratzinger, as he then was, addressed to the Catholic members of the Bundestag on 26 November 1981

    “It is of course always difficult to adopt the sober approach that does what is possible and does not cry enthusiastically after the impossible; the voice of reason is not as loud as the cry of unreason. The cry for the large-scale has the whiff of morality; in contrast limiting oneself to what is possible seems to be renouncing the passion of morality and adopting the pragmatism of the faint-hearted. But, in truth, political morality consists precisely of resisting the seductive temptation of the big words by which humanity and its opportunities are gambled away. It is not the adventurous moralism that wants itself to do God’s work that is moral, but the honesty that accepts the standards of man and in them does the work of man. It is not refusal to compromise but compromise that, in political things, is the true morality.”

  • simonne says:

    Good Lord, the Obama administration is attacking the Catholic church & he won’t vote for Romney. Do some research on Romney as I did, a very good & moral man.

  • Paul Zummo says:

    Henry,

    From the letter Don linked to above:

    [N.B. A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.

    In other words you can vote for a pro-choice candidate despite their position so long as there are proportionate reasons. I don’t think advocacy for single payer, for example, would be a proportionate reason.

  • Jay Anderson says:

    “If you live in a battleground state, though, you really do have more of a moral obligation upon you… A vote for a third party candidate or no vote at all is sheer petulance, in my opinion, at least under those circumstances.”

    If you say so.

  • Phillip says:

    “Isn’t there a difference in voting for a candidate who has taken a position, say intrinsically evil, but voting for that person not for that cause but for other causes which are critical? In this case it is not a directly being ‘complicit’ but rather a different degree, if you will. Please explain.”

    As Paul point out above, this relates to the problem of cooperation. Quickly, we live in a world where it is unlikely that we would be able to do anything if we were stopped by possible evil outcomes. Moral theologians have long recognized that under many (?most) circumstances, it would be impossible for someone to do good without being involved to some extent in evil. Along with the principles of double effect, the principles of cooperation were developed in the Catholic moral tradition as a way of helping those in the world to discern how to properly avoid, limit, or distance themselves from evil (especially intrinsically evil actions) in order to avoid a worse evil or to achieve an important good.

    For example, one works in a hospital as a nurse. Abortions occur in the hospital. Does the nurse working there make her involved in evil? It depends. If she agrees with abortion and works there either to support the hospital’s mission in providing abortions (even if she is not directly invovled in abortion procedures) then she is involved in formal cooperation. This is necessarily cooperation in evil and makes here complicit in the evil.

    But what if she does not agree with the abortions. This will change the analysis from formal cooperation to what is called material cooperation. However, just because she does not agree with abortion does not get her off the hook. What if she is an OR nurse and assists with the abortion procedure. Then this is immediate material cooperation. Her assistance is directly necessary to performing the procedure and, even if she does not agree with the procedure, her actions are necessary to the procedure being performed. Immediate material cooperation is also always illicit.

    Now we get a little more complicated. What if her actions are not directly necessary to the procedure taking place. Say she is a recovery room nurse and does not agree with abortion but is called upon to take care of women after abortions. The procedure did not require her help to take place but she is indirectly helping in that if there were no post-op care the procedure could not take place. This gets to what is called mediate material cooperation – the situation where one does not agree with the intention of what was done (in this case abortion) but still assists indirectly.

    This is mediate material cooperation and the licitness of this depends on three factors (tired yet?) Mediate material cooperation is morally licit according to a proper proportionality between the goods to be protected or the evils avoided, on one hand, and the evil of the principal agent’s act, on the other. The graver the evil to which the cooperator contributes, the graver the good sought or the evil avoided must be. Second, The reason for cooperation must be proportionate to the causal proximity of the cooperator’s action and the principal agent’s action. That is, is there sufficient reason to be invovled given the evil involved.

    Mediate moral cooperation is further distinguished between proximate and remote. The distinction between proximate and remote refers respectively to mediate material cooperation that has a direct causal influence on the act of the principal agent (proximate) and that which has an indirect causal influence (remote). So in the case of the recovery room nurse she is involved in proximate mediate cooperation. The care of the woman however may justify her being involved and such care would be licit (some may disagree). An example of remote mediate cooperation would be a janitor who cleans the hospital. Clearly he is invovled in the hospital’s mission but is so far removed from the abortion acts as to have no significant complicity.

    The third criteria is he danger of scandal (i.e., leading others into doing evil, leading others into error, or spreading confusion) must be avoided. Even if one can licitly cooperate, if there is a significant risk of scandal, one should avoid cooperation.

    So I’m tired now. If you have questions, I’ll try to get to them later.

  • Phillip says:

    One last thing.

    “Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. ”

    This also from John Paul II regarding illegal immigration in his letter on Migration Day, 1995:

    “4. When no solution is foreseen, these same institutions should direct those they are helping, perhaps also providing them with material assistance, either to seek acceptance in other countries, or to return to their own country.”

    As the first quote shows, the state may limit immigration. As the latter quote shows, those here illegally can be compelled to leave.

  • c matt says:

    It would probably have irked Gordon to hear my pastor explain that the only issues that truly matter in this election relate to abortion, marriage, and religious liberty.

    Your pastor is simply wrong. War, torture, assassinations are also important issues. The difficulty is that the two leading candidates are not that different on these issues. I suppose O is slightly less likely to go to war with Iran (slightly, or maybe just not as quickly).

    Also, according to the logic employed here before, isn’t Gordon really voting for Romney by voting third party? He would have likely voted for Obama, but now that he is voting 3P rather than O, he is therefore voting for Romney. Or does that logic only work when you are tagged a “likely Romney voter going 3P”?

  • Paul Zummo says:

    I probably erred or over-stated what my pastor said (I should have asked for a written copy of the homily). But those issues are the most important, and the ones that impact us as Catholics the most.

    I’ve actually never liked the “a vote for a third party is as good as a vote for Obama” line. No, only a vote for Obama is a vote for Obama. So it doesn’t work in either direction. Now, I’ve reached the conclusion that it is unwise to vote for a third party in this election considering the stakes, but that I still think that cliche is wrong.

  • Foxfier says:

    For example, one works in a hospital as a nurse. Abortions occur in the hospital. Does the nurse working there make her involved in evil? It depends.

    Something a bit closer to my heart– finding an OBGYN that doesn’t do abortion, push sterilization, and throw a fit when you won’t take a subscription for birth-control post birth. I think I’ve finally found one that at least remembers I want to have kids….

    I find that one focuses the mind wonderfully on what levels of cooperation with evil are like.

  • AC says:

    I think the issue of abortion, marriage and religious freedom vs war, torture and assassinations gets to what Pope Bennedict said (as cardinal) about proportionality.

    In the US, there have been 53 million abortions. The US gov’t has done far less in the last 40 years in terms of war, assassinations and torture.

    It is worth noting that NEITHER canidate or canidates party has forsworn war, assassination and torture, but one party and canidate have sworn for 100% abortion.

    With that said, we must each vote our concious.

    Foxfier – don’t know if you will be back or not, but my sister is in NC and has a Doctor practice she goes to that has a Catholic take on fertility (ie no Abortions and won’t prescrib BC pills). In fact they have said to potential new doctors at the practice ‘if you want to do these things, don’t join us here.’ I wish you luck in finding the same

  • Foxfier says:

    *grin * I’m always back, though I’ve been quiet of late….

    Sadly, I live in Washington. As best I can tell, everyone has to offer at least referrals for these things, if they’re a doctor.

    Made the mistake of trying the Franciscan health group, assuming it would be Catholic friendly… first doctor kept urging me to get sterilized, and when I told him I had religious objections, he wanted to know what religion. Claimed he’d never heard of a Catholic objection to tube-tying in over 20 years…..

  • FGA says:

    Phillip -
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

    Would that I had your education and eloquence – but now I am one step further down that road – Thanks so very much for your enlightening responses to Henry Peters’ question. I had the same ignorance but not enough smarts to formulate the question… so my thanks to Henry too!

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