The liberal Catholic voting guide

The liberal Catholic voting guide

A former USCCBureaucracy employee (USCCBureaucrat?) is leading the effort of a new “moderate” (i.e. liberal) Catholic group, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good,  to publish a Catholic voter’s guide to assure liberal Catholics it’s okay to vote for their favorite candidate. Yes, they don’t phrase it that way, but that’s essentially what it is. It’s all part of the seamless garment approach that creates moral equivalencies where none exist. For example, a Senate candidate may be opposed to overturning Roe v. Wade, but he’s also opposed to the death penalty. So the Catholic Alliance would say that the Catholic voter should “vote for candidates who may hold the ‘wrong’ Catholic positions on some issues in order to maximize the good our vote achieves in other areas.” Unfortunately, the Alliance never tells you that the Church’s teaching on abortion is non-negotiable and clearly defined, while the teaching on the death penalty allows for prudential decisions. In other words, abortion is never permissible, while capital punishment can be.

The Alliance’s guide, which it calls “Voting for the Common Good: A Practical Guide for Conscientious Catholics,” is obviously a response to the guide put out by Catholic Answers Action called “A Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics.” Many analysts have said that the guide was influential among Catholics in the 2004 presidential election and may have contributed to John Kerry’s loss among Catholic voters.

A liberal group with a liberal lineage

Technorati Tags:, , , ,

  • My reductio ad absurdum argument is this:

    Ask a liberal ‘Catholic’ if he/she would vote for a candidate who takes the following positions:
    (a) against war
    (b) supports welfare ‘rights’
    (c) against the death penalty
    (d) favors an increase in the ‘living wage’
    (e) favors higher taxes for the rich

    (f) supports a person’s ‘right’ to choose to own slaves.

    Their answer would be, of course, “NO!”  Nobody supports slavery, and that would disqualify the candidate from receiving anyone’s vote—no matter how much you approved of his/her other policies!

    The point is that there are some positions whose importance rises above all the others; there are some stances on issues that disqualify a candidate out of hand.

    It is telling that abortion is NOT one of them for the majority of ‘Catholic’ voters.

  • Just a query:  doesn’t this focus on issues distract from the character of a politician?  If we elect somebody who is all principle and no prudence(Alan Keyes comes to mind as an example), he’ll neither be able to respond with wisdom to new situations nor advance our principles in the public debate.

    I worry we often use issue stances as a poor proxy for character evaluation, when we need to be consciously working to produce candidates who combine principle and character.  It’s certainly easier to produce checklists for the former than the latter, but I wish we had better guidance for judging a man’s mettle.

  • Since torture, unlike abortion, must be defined, you can’t make it a non-negotiable. What separates torture from interrogation? Is playing Barry Manilow at full volume torture? Some would say yes. Without getting into a full Mark Shea quality blogwar over this, let’s just agree that torture is wrong, but because it does not admit of easy definition, you can’t use it as a measuring stick.