Keeping our Catholic values in mind is extremely important when we enter the voting booth. Remember we are Catholics first and foremost, before we are Republicans or Democrats or whatever party affiliation we might belong to and hold a membership. We need to keep this in mind and vote our Catholic values. We have a moral obligation to do just that. There are five non-negotiable issues we as Catholic Christians are to never support: abortion, cloning, euthanasia, same sex marriage, and embryonic stem cell research. These are in direct conflict with moral law.
Whether we are voting in a presidential election or any type of an election, here are some guidelines and a prayer to help you in the process. Use these to guide you when voting for any elected official - be it the next president, senator, house representative, as well as state and local officials.
The Catholic vote is one of the largest swing votes in the United States. That means we can make a difference! Thoroughly research all candidates running for the offices you will be voting for and compare their views on important issues to your Catholic values.
What if you really like one candidate on all issues but one? What if that issue is one of the five non-negotiable issues? Should you vote against that candidate? Absolutely.
What if both candidates support one of the non-negotiable issues? Do you just not vote? No, of course not. Research and choose the lesser of the two. For example, if one candidate supports abortion in all cases and another supports it in only certain circumstances, vote for the latter.
What if a candidate says he or she is Catholic? Should you automatically vote for him or her? No. Research the candidate just as you would any other candidate to make sure his or her views on issues are in union with our Catholic morals and values.
Pray. As when making any important decision in our lives, we should pray about it. Below is a prayer I wrote to help us when preparing for an election.
Help me as I prepare to vote in this upcoming election. Give me the knowledge I need to make an informed decision based on my beliefs and trust in you. Please guide those who are elected to office to respect the dignity of human life and the values set forth in the Good News you gave to us. Be with each newly elected official as he or she takes office and leads our country, state or city. Guide each one to do the best job for all mankind.
Peace in Christ,
© Melissa Knoblett-Aman
From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Catechism of the Catholic Church - Review