My (very neoconservative) parents are subscribed to The Wanderer Press and receive the paper on a regular basis. We stopped over yesterday and I was just browsing through it and came across a letter to the editor about how it is not Catholic to vote for the "lesser of two evils". A little bit of background: This has always been a touchy subject within my family because I agree with that statement and my parents don't. When I tell them I can't consciously vote for Romney, they tell me that by not doing so I am casting a ballot for Obama. I don't believe that we as Catholics are called to participate in the "lesser than two evils" game; I believe we are called to a greater cause. I feel it is truly detrimental to one's soul to compromise their faith for politics. I, myself, just can't do it.
Anyhow, I asked my mother, "Did Dad read this article about how you're not supposed to vote for the lesser of two evils?". Immediately, she replied "Yes you can. Did you read the one after that?" I hadn't yet, so I did.
I wish I could cite the letters here but you have to have a subscription to the paper to access them online. I will try to summarize them the best I can from memory. Basically, the first was from a man who was stating, while citing infallible papal doctrine, that as a Catholic you cannot willingly participate in voting for the lesser of two evils. It is not morally acceptable to prefer one evil over another because they are both inherenty evil and we have a duty to prefer what is inherntly good, whether popular with society or not, over evil at all times. We cannot compromise for the sake of the greater good. I agree with him wholeheartedly and I have scripture (Romans 3) and infallible doctrine to back me up.
The second letter was written in response to the first, as requested by the newspaper. It quotes Cardinal Ratzinger on the topic of choosing the lesser of two evils--a controversial topic for him at the time: http://www.personal.psu.edu/glm7/m198.htm
. It also quotes a Dr. William May: http://www.christendom-awake.org/pages/may/maycv.htm
. Not to discredit him, but his opinion on moral theology doesn't trump infallible doctrine, or scripture. It also says that the author of the first letter was misinterpreting the infallible papal doctrine that condemns choosing the lesser of two evils. I was open to receiving any credible truth in the second letter until I read a specific part that literally turned my stomach. I will do my best to summarize. It basically said that if, as a voter, you had a choice between two candidates who could be described as follows: both pro-abortion, both pro-euthanasia, both pro-war, both pro-everything else bad, but ONE OF THEM was against something that you as a Catholic were also against, that you as a Catholic had a duty to vote for the one that was less evil than the other. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?! Does that not ring an alarm to anyone else? How can that be justified? My mind is just completely blown that a Catholic newspaper is actually prescribing that Catholics sacrifice their faith in order to play fair in an inherently evil game of politics.
I guess what upsets me the most, is that I am imagining my parents reading these articles. I'm sure my Dad read them first. He probably read the first one and was somewhat upset. Especially since the guy quoted infallible papal doctrine. But, then he read the second article, quoting simple opinions and talking in secular, faithless terms, and was immediately relieved that he could consciously participate in the game and could justify it to anyone who challenged his decision. That's how my mom responded to me when I mentioned the first article, it was like, "Actually, I'm right, you're wrong.. nice try". I just don't see how, as "Traditional" (I say that in quotations because yes they attend the Latin Mass, but they are very modern in every other aspect of their lives) Catholics, they could read those two letters and choose the second over the first without even thinking twice about it. Are politics really that important that you can't see past the propaganda and put the salvation of your soul before the political well-being of a secularized country? It just seems to me that if we continue to permit and contribute to an increasingly evil government, it will only continue to get worse. I guess I'm just kind of venting here--I apologize. My parents are very hard-headed though and refuse to listen so I can't really talk to them much about this, they just shut me down with political BS and call me an Obamanite.
I am thinking about sending this excerpt from an article I linked to above to my parents, but I'm still not sure if I should:
"It is one thing to tolerate evil by living in an America where God's laws are mocked. It is something else to contribute to it by not working to eradicate it as best as one can. And voting for the lesser of two evils is not eradicating evil; rather, it is contributing to it because the lesser of two evils is still evil. Do we see the other side even TOLERATING the slightest opposition to evil? No way! They want to jail all those who do. They are not working incrementally. How long did it take before sodomy became the law of the land when the pro-sodomites were given carte blanche by an apathetic populace to demand support for aberrant lifestyles as normal under force of law? A Paulist “priest” who gave the benediction at the coronation of Kerry as leader of the “party of the devil” at the party’s convention in Boston told the country that it should embrace individuals as neighbors, “regardless of their sexual orientation,” with no distinction whatsoever that we are called by God NOT to embrace sin. To truly love a sinner does not mean confirming him in his vice, which this priest did not make clear. Moreover, this priest erroneously gave the impression that a homosexual orientation exists in a innate, final, immutable sense, which is a well-known lie. Of course, this was not clear, because he did not even define what “sexual orientations” he was referring to, i.e., did he also mean that we should embrace as neighbors those inclined to necrophilia, sadism, masochism, and bestiality? Relatively speaking, this "moral sea change" happened at the speed of light, sadly with the help of clergy like this priest."
So what do you guys think? I'm just looking for opinions of any kind.. on the subject of voting for the lesser of two evils, on how to handle things with my parents, on alternative ways to eradicate the evil that is politics in this country... etc. Thanks!
ETA: I do plan on voting, just not for Romney.