Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How Should a Catholic Vote

Today is primary voting day.  Here in Texas we have a ton of different races on the ballot and many of them are being hotly contested. With that in mind, there are two items I want to feature.

1 - Archbishop Chaput went to Houston Baptist University, the site of the infamous JFK speech where he promised not to have the Vatican run the White House, and gave a speech about the situation with Catholic politicians today and the legacy of JFK's speech.  This is a masterful speech that highlights the problem of Catholics and politics.  Here is a snip, though I recommend a full and close reading:
Fifty years ago this fall, in September 1960, Sen. John F. Kennedy, the Democratic candidate for president, spoke to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association. He had one purpose. He needed to convince 300 uneasy Protestant ministers, and the country at large, that a Catholic like himself could serve loyally as our nation’s chief executive. Kennedy convinced the country, if not the ministers, and went on to be elected. And his speech left a lasting mark on American politics. It was sincere, compelling, articulate – and wrong. Not wrong about the patriotism of Catholics, but wrong about American history and very wrong about the role of religious faith in our nation’s life. And he wasn’t merely “wrong.” His Houston remarks profoundly undermined the place not just of Catholics, but of all religious believers, in America’s public life and political conversation. Today, half a century later, we’re paying for the damage.
I think he is right. There is more that you should read.

2 - I frequently get the question, "How Should a Catholic Vote?" So, I thought I might take a snip of an answer to that question and post below, though I again recommend a full reading.
two mistakes that many Catholics are prone to make.
1 - The mistake of not making proper distinctions. Some issues are always intrinsically wrong and others are not. We cannot act as if all issues are the same.
2 - The other mistake is making the distinction, but then ignoring the "less important" issues all-together. Even if they aren't intrinsically evil or if there are different answers in how to solve the problems, we can't just ignore them when voting (e.g., how to serve the poor, health care, etc).
Read the rest here.
Happy primary day. Go vote!

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