Many Catholics reject the Democratic Party and understandably so. Abortion-on-demand and same-sex marriage are now part of the platform. Additionally, new developments like the HHS mandate clearly show us the intolerance of relativism. If you have your truth and I have mine, there is no point in trying to use reason to argue. Relativism creates a stale-mate. All that is left is “might-makes-right” if there is going to be any movement. Agree to violate your beliefs or be fined by the government. Hard to believe it has come to this.
Many Catholics see the Republican Party as better, but still unacceptable. They are not exactly a collection of saints either. Abortion is commonly accepted by many Republicans to one degree or another. Catholics may feel that Republicans are much less likely to be concerned about the poor & disadvantaged, and perhaps more likely to start unjust wars.
Given all this, a fair question comes to mind. Is supporting a third party candidate the best way to go? We all want to be good stewards of our citizenship, but what can we compare third party voting to in this current presidential election?
What about a food analogy? We are starving and must vote on what food we can receive. Food A is mostly rotten (say 75%), food B is about half rotten (50%), and food C is pure. Food A and B can be quickly & easily delivered by local suppliers. Food C has no supplier. Although food C is real and can be obtained if enough people can be persuaded to help, there is no way to build a consensus & a supply-chain in time. We need food now. Where will your vote go? Should you vote at all? The best choice may be to take what is best about food B for now, and continue to push for food C or an equivalent afterwards.
How about a runaway train headed toward a fork in the track? Taking the left track will kill two children playing on the tracks; taking the right track will kill one child also playing on the tracks. There is a third track that you can see that is perfectly safe for everyone, but it is not connected to the track you are currently on. The third track is real and is a perfect solution if there was only enough time to convince enough people to help construct a connection, but you need to decide what to do right now.
The same kind of logic can apply if Catholics or Christians completely reject the Republican Party. Republicans would still want to win, so they could try to appeal to the more secular portion of society as a “business decision”. Perhaps adopt a pro-choice and same-sex marriage platform similar to the Democrats. After all, one rule of success is to emulate the winners. They could still differentiate themselves from Democrats by focusing on smaller government, fiscal responsibility, strong military, etc. Any help protecting conscience rights/religious freedom would obviously be forgotten about. Instead of “boycotting” the Republican Party, perhaps the wisest choice is to take what is better, but continue to lobby for what is best.
There is also the logic that says one single vote doesn’t matter anyway, but what if every Catholic reasoned liked this? The reality is we can affect many votes if we include our sphere of influence among family, friends, co-works, church, blogosphere, etc. A voting block is made from individual votes, just like a building is made of individual bricks. Just consider the voting power in following Q&A*…..
Q: How many Catholics are in the U.S.?
A: About 77.7 million (I like how it’s #7 three times; very symbolic).
Q: How many people does it take to elect an American President?
A: Less than 70 million.
|All in all, a vote is another brick in the wall.|
In the end, debates about candidates and political parties are endless. Beyond any discussion about voting, it should be made clear that if we can evangelize the culture around us, the rest will take care of itself. The election will soon be over, and regardless of who wins, our work is still cut out for us because too many will still not see the reality of our faith or how to act in accordance with it.