Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Reflections on Election Day

3 Put no trust in princes, in mere mortals powerless to save.

4 When they breathe their last, they return to the earth; that day all their planning comes to nothing. (Psalm 143)

At the time I write this, I do not know which party will come out ahead (though the news stories seem to be pessimistic about the Democrats at this moment which I write).  During this election season we have seen party positions endorsed as being for our salvation and others as being the worst thing ever.

I believe one thing we need to remember that if we replace one party with another on moral grounds, or work is not done on November 3rd.  It begins on November 3rd.  If the party which champions everything Christians must oppose is in power, we cannot remain silent of course.  However, if the opposition is elected we cannot remain complacent.  Just because the "bums" may be thrown out, does not mean our work is over, because just because one party may favor things like abortion rights and so-called "gay marriage" does not mean our job is done in opposing that party.

As Catholics, called to evangelize the world, we are called to stand up for what is right, called to denounce evil and called to remind the world that it is in sin and in need of a savior.

There are those Catholics who seek to distort the Church teaching, seeking to say abortion is merely "a issue" and if the Candidate is good "on the whole" it is ok to vote for a pro-abortion candidate over a pro-life candidate.

This is in fact contrary to what the Church teaches.

Evangelium Vitae tells us:

73. Abortion and euthanasia are thus crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize. There is no obligation in conscience to obey such laws; instead there is a grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. From the very beginnings of the Church, the apostolic preaching reminded Christians of their duty to obey legitimately constituted public authorities (cf. Rom 13:1-7; 1 Pet 2:13-14), but at the same time it firmly warned that "we must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). In the Old Testament, precisely in regard to threats against life, we find a significant example of resistance to the unjust command of those in authority. After Pharaoh ordered the killing of all newborn males, the Hebrew midwives refused. "They did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live" (Ex 1:17). But the ultimate reason for their action should be noted: "the midwives feared God" (ibid.). It is precisely from obedience to God-to whom alone is due that fear which is acknowledgment of his absolute sovereignty-that the strength and the courage to resist unjust human laws are born. It is the strength and the courage of those prepared even to be imprisoned or put to the sword, in the certainty that this is what makes for "the endurance and faith of the saints" (Rev 13:10).

In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to "take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law, or vote for it".

It goes on to say:

A particular problem of conscience can arise in cases where a legislative vote would be decisive for the passage of a more restrictive law, aimed at limiting the number of authorized abortions, in place of a more permissive law already passed or ready to be voted on. Such cases are not infrequent. It is a fact that while in some parts of the world there continue to be campaigns to introduce laws favouring abortion, often supported by powerful international organizations, in other nations-particularly those which have already experienced the bitter fruits of such permissive legislation-there are growing signs of a rethinking in this matter. In a case like the one just mentioned, when it is not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law, an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality. This does not in fact represent an illicit cooperation with an unjust law, but rather a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil aspects.

So we must keep in mind that we may never do anything which promotes abortion, or support those who promote it, but must in all cases oppose abortion and seek to restrict it.  (See HERE for insights from Cardinal-Elect Burke).

Those who say abortion is merely a matter of opinion to the Catholic voter and can vote for a pro-abortion voter over a pro-life voter speak falsely about what the Church believes.

20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who change darkness into light, and light into darkness, who change bitter into sweet, and sweet into bitter!

21 Woe to those who are wise in their own sight, and prudent in their own esteem!

22 Woe to the champions at drinking wine, the valiant at mixing strong drink!

23 To those who acquit the guilty for bribes, and deprive the just man of his rights!

24 Therefore, as the tongue of fire licks up stubble, as dry grass shrivels in the flame, Even so their root shall become rotten and their blossom scatter like dust; For they have spurned the law of the LORD of hosts, and scorned the word of the Holy One of Israel.(Is 5:20-24).

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