The past few weeks I’ve been using the uCampaign app to send invites to Catholic friends around the country encouraging them to support Senate candidates in battleground states. Many of these races are within the polling margin of error and once again, active Catholics could be the deciding factor on election day.
Out of dozens of invites I have sent, I only received two responses explaining why someone chose not to accept my request to support a given candidate.
One Catholic in Colorado asked me if the Republican candidate, Cory Gardner, supported over-the-counter abortifacients, and didn’t that mean we couldn’t support him?
Another Catholic in a swing state, reminded me that he couldn’t publicly endorse a candidate for office because he is a clergyman.
I know several of my friends will not vote in this election because they dislike both candidates, both parties, or think that politics in general is a waste of time. Some of my friends have very principled and thought-out reasons why they cannot in good conscience support any candidate up for a vote in these elections.
I sympathize with all of the people I mentioned above, but I don’t agree with them. To me, it’s pretty simple. Vote out evil. In almost every race, it’s not hard to figure out which candidate is more actively going to do harm to the weak and vulnerable.
Yes, Cory Gardner reversed his position on the Colorado personhood amendment and has been filling voters mailboxes with leaflets touting his support for over-the-counter birth control. Neither of these moves ingratiate him to me. Quite the opposite, in fact. But his opponent, Mark Udall, is even worse. Udall supports abortion on demand without apology. Udall has spent nearly the entirety of his campaign claiming that Gardner is “anti-woman”, so much so that he has been nicknamed “Mark Uterus” by the press. Defeating Udall in Colorado would help end the harmful stereotypes propagated by the “war on women” meme. Practically speaking, Udall would support Pres. Obama and Senate majority leader Harry Reid and continue to attack the unborn and erode a culture of life.
If I were in Colorado, I would vote for Cory and I would still do what I’m doing now: I would encourage my friends and family to vote for Cory too. Because I’m not expecting to see Jesus or Pope Francis or Mother Teresa on the ballot. What I would expect to see is Mark Udall’s name on the ballot. And I would leave an active blank by his name. If I stayed home and didn’t vote for Cory Gardner, that’s a vote for Mark Udall. And I would have that on my conscience.
And I’m not off the hook having voted against Udall, either. I would have to contact Cory Gardner’s office and say I voted for him only because he was less pro-abortion then Mark Udall, and that I would expect Sen. Gardner to be fully pro-life in every way he promised during the campaign, and I would urge him to re-examine his position on contraception. But at least I’ll be going to him as a supporter, not a conscientious objector.
Speaking of Catholic conscientious objectors to voting: it’s not just about voting. If you don’t exercise your right to vote, you still have the obligation to inform your fellow citizens and participate as a citizen in our democracy. In fact, if you refuse to vote, I would argue you have more of an obligation to do something. Transforming the culture doesn’t begin with staying home on election day.
If none of this persuades you, I challenge you to watch these three videos and still plan on sitting this one out….
These are three examples of pro-abortion progressives trying to get their supporters to vote. In a country where only one side votes and takes the time to encourage their friends and family to vote, we lose.
In next Tuesday’s election, Republicans have a chance to take control of the U.S. Senate, depriving Pres. Obama and the Democrats of the chamber they’ve used to block good legislation, pass bad legislation and appoint people with bad ideas to important positions like the Supreme Court.
Nine states have Senate races rated as a Toss Up, as this RealClearPolitics map shows:
Wherever you live, especially if you live in one of these nine states, you have work to do between now and Tuesday! Plan on voting next Tuesday, and encourage your friends and family to vote! Now there’s even an app for that. Don’t forget to remind your out-of-state friends and family to vote as well!
Clergy have every right and responsibility to inform their flock about the church’s social teaching, and the weekend before the election is the perfect time for a refresher course.
With every election, we have the opportunity to become The Catholic Vote.
Don’t miss out on this one.
See you at the voting booth!