Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Partisanship and the faith

I saw this image on Facebook today. It seemed to me to be the epitome of what happens when we let our political partisanship trump our Catholic faith.

After all, what does the sign mean when it says that Democrats are "soft on terrorists?" The ill-advised War on Terror continues, after all. People--our own countrymen and women among them--are still being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The present administration, for all of its pre-election promises of speedy withdrawal from these conflicts, has not delivered on these promises, and our young men and women remain in harm's way.

No, what the sign means, I think, is that Democrats are less enthusiastic about "enhanced interrogation" than Republicans, who will presumably appoint Jack Bauer as the Torture Czar if they win the White House in 2012.

Catholics, of course, should be enthusiasts for neither torture nor abortion. We should be able to say to both the Democrats and the Republicans, "No, sorry. We don't like abortion, and we also don't like torture. In fact, we think both of them are evil. We'd rather not vote for people who support these things at all."

But in our two-party system, saying such a thing means, of course, that the Baby-Killers and Terrorists Win. The fact that there are few Republicans willing to oppose ESCR, for example, is just a distraction--hey, at least Republicans are only supporting the death of the unborn if there's money to be made in medical research as a result of it, right?

I think we need to remember something, something that's going to be on a lot of people's minds as we approach election season:

Voting for the
lesser of two evils…
is still voting for evil.


  1. "Voting for the
    lesser of two evils…
    is still voting for evil."

    This is only true if the intent is to vote for that lesser evil.

    Voting is not any different than any other compromise, of which we make many each day. We don't choose the evil, but choose the most efficacious of the choices available.

    Homeschooling has its drawbacks, so do the government schools have their drawbacks, and so do the private schools have their drawbacks. Those are the choices. When choosing which schooling to use, we don't choose the drawbacks, but we choose which is the most efficacious for obtaining the final objective which is educating our child while causing the least amount of harm from those drawbacks.

    If the voter intends to elect a government, then the choices are limited to those two parties, because there is overwhelming experience that only one of those two will be elected. And thus the choice is which of the two is the more efficacious, which is what is actually voted for.

  2. I might also add that the war in Afghanistan most likely met just war criteria. Even Pope John Paul II noted with regards to Afghanistan after 9/11 that a nation had a right to defend itself.

  3. It's disappointing to me how easily most media outlets (whether mass media or social media) confuse moral and political ideas.

    Political parties are made up of human beings, ordinary schlubs like you and me. They're not perfect. They make mistakes.

    Yet both major parties demand a kind of loyalty that sets politics above moral principles, and views political affiliation as the measure of a man.

    What we need is for good people in all political parties to stand up to their own parties, to demand rigorous examination, to demand apology and retraction where necessary, and to commit themselves to pursuing the true goal of government: not accumulating greater power and influence, but serving the common goods of the citizens.

  4. That facebook page could substitute Liberal Catholics for Democrats and be just as true.

    This blog should be named Coalition for Unclarity.