Word from the Pastor
Is it morally permissible to vote for all candidates of a single party?
This situation would depend on the position held by the candidates of a single party. If any of them held positions that were opposed to the natural law, then it would not be morally permissible to vote for all candidates of the one party. Your correctly formed conscience transcends the bounds of any one political party.
If I think that a pro-abortion candidate will, on balance, do much more for the culture of life than a pro-life candidate, why may I not vote for the pro-abortion candidate?
If a political candidate supported abortion, or any other moral evil, such as assisted suicide and euthanasia, for that matter, it would not be morally permissible for you to vote for that person. This is because, in voting for such a candidate, you would become an accomplice in the moral evil at issue. For this reason, moral evils such as abortion, euthanasia, and assisted suicide are examples of a “disqualifying issue.” A “disqualifying issue” is one which is of such gravity and importance that it allows for no political maneuvering because of being intrinsically evil. It is an issue that strikes at the heart of the human person and is nonnegotiable. “A disqualifying issue” is one of such enormity that by itself renders a candidate for office unacceptable regardless of his or her position on other matters.
You must sacrifice your feelings and thoughts on other issues because you know that you cannot participate in any way in the approval of a violent and evil violation of basic human rights. A candidate running for office who supports abortion rights or any other moral evil has disqualified himself or herself as a person that you should vote for. You do not have to vote for a person who is pro-life. But you may not vote for any candidate who supports abortion rights. Key to understanding the point above about disqualifying issues” is the distinction between policy and moral principle. On the one hand, there can be a legitimate variety of approaches to accomplishing a morally acceptable goal. For example, in a society’s effort to distribute the goods of health care to its citizens, there can be a legitimate disagreement among citizens and political candidates alike as to whether this or that health care plan would most effectively accomplish society’s goal. In the pursuit of the best possible policy or strategy, technical as distinct, although not separate, from moral reason is operative.
Technical reason is the kind of reasoning involved in arriving at the most efficient or effective result. On the other hand, no policy or strategy that is opposed to the moral principles of the Natural Law is morally acceptable. Thus, technical reasons should always be subordinate to and normed by moral reasoning, the kind of reasoning that is the activity of conscience and that is based on the Natural Moral Law. The Natural Law is a First Order Law and truth and all other laws are subordinated to it. It is a cultural and social condition in many situations that seek to supersede the Natural Law.
A simple rule of thumb:
When facing two goods – chose the greater good.
When facing a good and an evil – chose the good.
When facing two evils chose the lesser evil. If all the candidates are pro-abortion, chose the lesser of the evils.