Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Voting With a Clear Conscience

...Suppose a candidate came forward and said, “I support terrorism.” Would you say, “I disagree with you on terrorism, but what’s your health care plan?”

Of course not.

Rather, you would immediately consider that candidate as disqualified from public office. His position, allowing the killing of the public, is radically inconsistent with public service.

So it is with abortion. Abortion is no less violent than terrorism. Any candidate who says abortion should be kept legal disqualifies him/herself from public service. We need look no further; we need pay no attention to what that candidate says on other issues. Support for abortion is enough for us to decide not to vote for such a person.

Pope John Paul II put it this way: "Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights -- for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination" (Christifideles Laici, 1988).

A call for human rights while claiming authority to take away the most basic right – life – from unborn children is “false and illusory” precisely because if government can take away rights from some humans, then those rights aren’t human rights at all. Such a politician, in other words, is saying that rights like health care only belong to some humans, not to others.

If a politician cannot respect the life of a little baby, how is he or she supposed to respect yours?...

This superb application of spiritual responsibility comes from Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life in a really terrific article entitled, "Ten Easy Steps to… Voting with a Clear Conscience." The article (which would make an absolutely first-rate e-mail or pass-around piece) is located on the Priests for Life website.

(Note: I was alerted to Fr. Pavone's article earlier today by Fr. Damien Cook, the fairly new Director of Pro-Life Activities for the Omaha diocese. Fr. Cook spoke at a luncheon banquet hosted by the Business and Professional People for Life and he openly admitted taking liberally from Fr. Pavone's article in his talk. Not a bad move. Any of us, even non-Catholics like myself, would do well to season our pro-life presentations with Fr. Pavone's clear and challenging remarks.)