In my parish, we are told it is our duty and responsibility to vote. We are also told that voting for evil, or candidates that support evil, is a sin, possibly even a mortal sin depending on the circumstances. No one tells us which candidate to vote for, but they address the issues that should be important to Catholics.
However, in my great, big Catholic family, they have a long history of political activism. Many are staunch Democrats. A few have been in State government. This isn't true of my immediate family as my grandfather leaned towards Republicans way back at the turn of the century when no farmer in his right mind thought that way. The other branches were the vocal, even outspoken, ones.
Back then, it was OK to be a Democrat. Today, a Catholic in good conscience cannot vote for these folks. More and more, we can't even find a Republican to vote for. Abortion is the go or no-go issue. Once that hurdle is overcome with a morally acceptible position, then the playing field is wide open. An open playing field with few viable candidates.
If Catholics only voted their conscience first, we wouldn't be in such a fix. But, that's crux of it. Democrats have some good ideas, commendable ideas that go along well with how we are supposed to love our neighbor as ourselves and take care of those in need. But not all issues are of equal weight and before I can even look at the good things they might do, I'm stopped at the door with the horror of their support for abortion, euthanasia, the homosexual agenda, etc.
My Democratic family members don't understand this. I would wager they consider themselves Democratic Americans, possibly Democratic Irish Americans as some are totally hung up on all things Irish, but none would consider themselves Catholic Americans or just plain ol' Catholics. Despite going to Mass on Sunday and some being VERY active in Catholic organizations, they don't place their religion at the top of their priority list.
I have a cousin who was awarded a prestigious Catholic award for her decades of service and involvement. Maybe that's all the people presenting the award look at. This cousin, however, is in danger of losing her soul. She is even more involved in local Democratic causes. Very active to the point of starting to believe the party line. Once a "good Catholic," she now vocalizes support for abortion, population control, euthanasia, etc. Previously, although many in the family probably suspected her positions on these issues, she never had the nerve to admit it openly. Times have changed and she has changed.
Believe it or not, I am related, by marriage, to Dick Durbin. It's unbelievable how this branch of the family is so proud to claim him as their own. On the other side of the aisle in a different state, is a cousin who is a Republican State Congresswoman, who holds a traditionally very Democratic seat. Some of my family vote for her because she's family, some vote for her because she is a Republican, others have practically disowned her.
From the Pew Forum:
Rudy, a "Catholic," is about as much a Catholic as Hillary is, with his positions on abortion, gay rights and marriage, etc. The rest have suspect, questionable or poor records on these topics, too.
Who are all these "Catholics" that are voting for these baby killers? Oh, yeah, they are my own family.
I have no idea who to vote for. If this is the best we can do...