The upcoming mid-term elections have many people animated from one side to the other, so I decided to make some clarifications on Church teachings when it comes to morals and voting. We are all obligated to vote with our conscience. It is not all about how much money we make, though that is a valid criterion when choosing who to vote for. This goes along with foreign policy as well as domestic, taxes and so on. Being a Church, and Catholic Christians, we are obliged to contemplate God’s will in our decision process.
It is difficult to base our decision on whether we think a candidate is being honest or not. So many accusations go back and forth that who knows what is going on anymore. But we can choose by the principles that the Church has set before us. One of the main principles that we as Catholics take into consideration is the Life Issues, such as Abortion and Euthanasia (compassionate killing). These deal with the basic right to life. Without life, no other liberty can be enjoyed. Life is the most fundamental and foundational right any human being has. Abortion is always wrong, without exception, even in cases of rape. Every baby has a right to life and is not to be suppressed because of their father’s sin.
It is a shame that many Catholics do not understand the importance of the right to life. It is so important that the Church teaches that if a Catholic votes for a “pro-choice” candidate because they are for abortion, then they are sinning (Mt 23:15). It is, in fact, a very grave matter. In the minds and hearts of every Catholic, it would automatically disqualify that candidate from being elected. To say that the baby is not a person is to say that it is sub-human. That is diametrically opposed to the Catholic Teachings. Some even want tax dollars to pay for elective abortions.
There is a hierarchy of importance on issues, and life issues is on the top. The second is religious liberty. This is another issue that should never have been taken, but as our politicians seem to find one more thing to offend the people, we have to stand firm. There actually are some candidates who support targeting faith groups within its population. There are candidates who still want to force the old HHS mandate on the Little Sisters of the Poor to force them to pay for abortions and contraceptives. These things go against the Church’s teachings, and these holy women should not be forced to do this. If we ignore this issue, we undermine the fruitfulness of the Church and everything we do as a church. Already, the Catholic Charities in Illinois is no longer having adoption programs due to Illinois law. The Church always claims its right to serve the community in the name of Jesus the Christ. It is not only a right, but a duty, given by the higher authority of God.
These two issues of right to life and religious liberty are non-negotiable. They go before all other issues. Politicians will always try to get us in all the emotional debates and create division. Know what lies behind all the issues, but especially these two. In both issues lie, at the heart, our true freedom and our future