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Sharon wrote:

Hi, guys —

Elections are coming up and I found a Christian web site with political recommendations.

On this site they recommended voting for some that were pro-choice because they said that the other candidates, while being pro-life, were not likely to win so they recommended voting for the popular candidate that is the lesser of two evils.

  • Can Catholics vote for these candidates even if there are other pro-life candidates that are less likely to win the election?
  • Sometimes it is pretty obvious who is going to lose so would that be an excuse to vote for a pro-choice candidate?

Sharon

  { Can Catholics vote for pro-abortion candidates if competing pro-lifers aren't likely to win? }

Mike replied:

Hi Sharon,

You said:

  • Can Catholics vote for these candidates even if there are other pro-life candidates that are less likely to win the election?
  • Sometimes it is pretty obvious who is going to lose so would that be an excuse to vote for a pro-choice candidate?

Optimally, if there is a Pro-life candidate who has a reasonable chance of winning an election, any faithful Christian is bound by conscience to vote for them.

If there is not a reasonable chance a Pro-life candidate will win in good conscience, the faithful Christian should discern which next candidate:

  • Has the best chance of winning, and
  • Is also the most pro-life.

A faithful Catholic is not allowed to rationalize voting for a pro-abortion candidate just because they are a Catholic.

There are others, including many Protestant Christians, who put some Catholics to shame by their strong pro-life stance.

Faithful Christian voters should look at the individual positions or views each candidate has life and traditional marriage issues, not their disclosed faith, per se.

In addition, a faithful Catholic should not rationalize voting for one candidate because of their pro-Catholic view on one issue which is of less importance in the Church's view compared to other more important issues. For example:

Voting for a man or woman running for elected office who extremely pro-Catholic on economic or other social issues isn't justified went they are also pro-abortion or pro-choice or lacks strong support for traditional Christian marriage.

The faithful voter has to prioritize the issues according to how the Church would want them to prioritize them and the first three issues at the very top would be:

  1. Are they pro-life from the moment of conception to natural death, and
  2. Are they pro-Traditional Christian marriage.
    (Will they defend traditional Christian Marriage?)
  3. Will they protect all religious freedoms of all individuals, but especially from their own members who are gravely under attack in this culture.

I hope this answers your question.

Mike

John replied:

Sharon,

Father Frank Pavone of Priest for Life put out a voting guide that has a pretty good set of guidelines.

One of the things we must also consider is if our vote will put a pro-abortion party in the majority where that party can control the agenda the in either the House or Senate.

For example, there could be a strongly pro-life Senate candidate who belongs to a party that is pro-choice running against a pro-choice candidate running for the pro-life party.

In this case, voting for the pro-choice candidate might actually be the pro-life vote.

  • Why?

Well, the first thing that candidate will do is vote for Senate Majority leader:

  • who makes committee assignments
  • controls the committees
  • controls what comes up for a vote, and
  • controls what is debated on the Senate floor.

So while the pro-life candidate might vote for pro-life legislation, his Majority leader will never give that Pro-life legislation or Pro-life judge an up or down vote. He'll keep it in committee or simply refuse to put it on the calendar so when voting for a legislator, there are a lot more considerations than what appears on the surface.

Also, it's pretty important for pro-life candidates to be gentle as lambs and shrewd as serpents. Abortion is not always the best issue to be talking about in an election cycle so he or she needs to know if, and when, to talk about these issues and when to fly under the radar.

Voters need to be able to discern the character of a candidate, without him or her having to spell everything out. The same holds true for issues like marriage. There is no reason to put a NARAL or Gaystapo target on the back of candidate and there is a time and place to bring up legislation.

If you don't have the votes to pass it, you don't bring it up. That only puts a target on your back so we need to slowly and stealthily elect our kind of candidates and when we have enough troops in place, then we make a move. To use an analogy, we need to know when to be Rambo and when to be James Bond.

Hope this helps,

John

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