I received an email from a group called the Catholic Voting Project inviting me to their web site to see a cartoon about how Bush and Kerry were both selecting from a cafeteria menu of Catholic issues and to take a quiz to see how my political positions stack up against Bush, Kerry, and the US bishops. I think the whole thing is flawed.
For one thing, they fall for the classic mistake of making all issues equal. For example, while prudential judgments about war are possible, abortion is always intrinsically evil. Yet they make Bush seem like a one-issue candidate, while Kerry is shown to have a lot of “good” policy positions, at least by their point of view, and just one bad one: abortion. Sorry folks, it doesn’t work like that.
And their quiz is flawed too because it too presents the choices to starkly. It’s not a matter of multiple choices. The issues, apart from that of abortion and stem cell and the others of the so-called five non-negotiables, are complex and admit to varied interpretations as to how the could best encapsulate Catholic teaching. The reality is that the US bishops’ voting guide is itself flawed because it outlines as settled many positions on which faithful Catholics can disagree.
Of course if you look at the bios of all the contributors to the project, you can see a litany of left-wing causes, courses of study, and colleges listed so it’s not surprising how it turned out.