Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Can I Just Stay Home on Election Day?

Disclaimer: Not an endorsement of the website noted
Back in August, I entered several posts about the need to prayerfully weigh the choices we have in electing public officials and the need to enter the voting booth with a properly formed conscience. I also entered several posts indicating that we have some particularly poor choices this year for those of us who believe that it is important for our elected officials to promote Christian morals and principles.

While I stand firmly behind all that I have written, as we draw closer to the presidential election, I feel compelled to make a few things clear, and I'll tell you why.

When I entered those posts, I had three very close friends contact me offline, or rather, in the "real world". Each of them had different concerns, but I was actually very happy to think that my friends were challenged by what I wrote.

Well, can't I just avoid evil by not voting?

Two of the questions hinged on the actual choice of candidates, and I will lightly touch on that a bit later in this post. But the other question was about whether we should just stay home, not vote, and avoid voting for any less-than-desirable choices. Those of you who know me well, know that I try to avoid giving absolute advice unless I am absolute in my understanding and conviction.
Quick disclaimer: Opinion and absolute voice are far from the same.
So here, you go, and I say this with love: No, you cannot avoid evil by staying home.
"Responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation." -- Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (USCCB)

Ugggg!!! So what now?

Well, you will still need to do your own homework. Whether you are Catholic or not, I believe that the resources provided by the Catholic bishops are quite good and should aid in responsible discerning.

Here is a link to the full version of the bishops' Forming Consciences For Faithful Citizenship.

Here is a link to their flyer The Challenge of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.

So what's a donkey to do?

Even though I did not intend to ever publicly state how I am going to vote, I will do so if for no other reason than to avoid confusion. We had enough of that in 2008. However, as I said earlier, I will only lightly touch on this. I've done my homework and discernment, you should too.

I am going to cast my vote for Romney. Although I do not believe that he is a Christian in the sense of what I believe to be a Christian, I do believe that he espouses to the values and morality that are much more in line with Christianity than does President Obama. Romney is the only viable choice of candidates with a legitimate chance of defeating Obama.
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