As I mentioned in an earlier post [There's One in Every Crowd] my wife and I are part of a small group that comes together on the first Saturday of each month to pray the rosary. After the rosary, we'll (over) eat and eventually, the women will gather in one part of the house - the men in another.
This past Saturday, the group came to our home. The women took over the kitchen with the men in the spare bedroom/family room/computer room. As is often the case, our conversation turned to politics. Because we've been brought together due to our wives having come to this country from Philippines and not from a common outlook on life, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the husbands don't always agree on politics. As luck would have it, this particular Saturday, I found myself out-numbered....the only political Conservative in the group.
It was a lively discussion, with constant interruptions from both sides. With these types of debates, it's practically impossible to get one's point across completely. That's where this blog post comes in. In this post, I hope I can explain how I go about picking the political candidates I do when it comes time to cast my vote.
I take my religious faith seriously. The teachings of the Catholic church are the primary influences in my decision making. I'm not going to try and convince anyone who isn't already Catholic that he or she should convert. That's a conversation for another time. The point is, the closer a candidate, or political party, is to authentic Catholic teaching, then the more likely that person or party will get my support.
As Bishop Charles Chaput points out in his book Render Unto Caesar , neither of the two major American political parties completely aligns with Catholic teachings. Often times, I've had to hold my nose while voting for the lesser of two evils.
My problems with the Republicans, basically, center around the issues of war and security. Although I realize that radical Islam is the greatest problem facing the world today, I have a difficult time supporting the empire building put forth by many Republicans. Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have argued that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not acceptable under Catholic understanding of the Just War Doctrine.
Likewise, far too many Republicans excuse the use of torture ( water-boarding) on enemy combatants and/or terrorists. The same goes for the overwhelming support of capital punishment by Republican "pro-lifers".
Unfortunately, the Democratic Party is far and away worse, vis-à-vis Catholic teachings, than the Republicans.
It should go without saying that the Democratic Party's support of abortion, embryonic stem cell research and the Party's love affair with Planned Parenthood, disqualify the Democratic Party from any consideration what-so-ever. Sadly, when other areas of Catholic teaching are considered, the Democrats sink even lower. The Church has spoken out against Socialism since , at least, the days of Pope Leo XIII and Rerum Novarum . Democrats often accuse Republicans of greed, but they should remember that envy is a sin as well.
If these issues aren't enough to turn one away from supporting the Party, the Democratic Party's passion for centralization and bureaucracy characteristic of the Welfare State seriously conflict with the Church's teaching on the principle of subsidiarity.
I could go even further.... I could discuss the history of the Democratic Party concerning it's treatment of Native Americans, the sins of slavery and racial segregation. I believe I've more than proven my point concerning the evils of the Democratic Party.