I am totally astonished how any Catholic, professing to be faithful, could vote for Hillary Clinton. No amount of mental gymnastics has allowed me to understand how Hillary Clinton, and apparently those that support her, have no shame before God in promoting the horrendous evils of abortion, attacks on the family, and outright collusion against the Catholic Church. In this article, I will attempt to outline which Catholics vote for Hillary and what that vote represents in terms of participation in evil acts.
It’s clear there are several groups of Catholics who justify voting for Hillary Clinton for different reasons, so let’s not make the mistake of lumping everyone together into one big bucket. Obviously, not all pro-Hillary Catholics fall into the groups provided below; however, this is a good general analysis.
Group 1 – Seamless Garment Catholics: These Catholics in effect apply the provision described above whereby they see a proportionate reason to vote for Hillary, in spite of her evil positions. Much of the logic comes from seeing abortion as a part of a “seamless garment,” or spectrum of life issues that are all equivalent. For instance, many cite a concern for feeding the poor, or finding justice for the immigrant, racial issues, and concern for treatment of workers as “pro-life” reasons to vote for Hillary, and against other candidates. They simply overlook the other things.
Group 2 – Dissident Catholics: These Catholics vote by the demand of their consciences, but their consciences are not formed by Church teaching. That is, they have decided that certain Catholic teachings do not apply in their life, for one reason or another, or they just simply reject the authority of the Church. This is what is known in the Catechism as “false autonomy of conscience” and is referenced in CCC 1792. In other words, the Holy Spirit will never prompt anyone privately to disagree with a public teaching of the Church. Thus, regardless of what the Catholic Church has taught perennially, they will go their own way in an act of incredulity, heresy, or schism. See CCC 2089.
Group 3 – Ignorant Catholics: These Catholics have never been taught the tenets of the faith, or the importance of obedience to the Church. In some cases, this ignorance is through no fault of their own. However, the Church teaches that isn’t always an excuse. See CCC 1791-1794. More on forming moral consciences can be found in the USSCB Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship Booklet found here, and in the EWTN Voter’s Guide found here.
Voting for Laws and Candidates
At this point, it may be useful to distinguish between (a) voting for an intrinsically immoral law, and (b) voting for a candidate that supports intrinsically immoral public policy. (An intrinsic moral evil is something that’s always evil – for every person, in every time and in every place.) The magisterium of the Catholic Church has only denounced the first as always being sinful. Around the time of the 2004 presidential campaign, Cardinal Ratzinger said that it is also sinful to vote for a candidate who supports intrinsic moral evils if you vote for them because of their support for these evils. He also said that it could be excusable remote material cooperation in sin if one voted for that candidate if one sees some other proportionate reason for voting for that candidate in spite of their support of an intrinsic evil. It should be noted that in the same 2004 paper, Cardinal Ratzinger as the head of the CDF also said that not all moral issues have the same weight as abortion and euthanasia. Thus not all pieces of the seamless garment are proportional.
The Democrat Platform: Rotten to the Core
Let’s be crystal clear about this: Hillary Clinton and the Democrat Party platform represent the advancement of what St. Pope John Paul II called the “Culture of Death.” It is the opposite of the Culture of Life. It seeks to advance policies which not only kill the innocent, the unborn and aged, but through systemic lies about what it means to be human erodes marriage, family, and the authority of the Church. Hillary’s administration will not only continue the many dastardly policies of the Obama administration, but will turn up the volume on this persecution. She has promised it. What do I mean? Let me be specific. I am speaking of support for abortion, continued persecution of Christians who do not wish to participate in so-called “gay marriages” under the guise of discrimination, persecution of ministries of the Catholic Church by forcing them with a thinly veiled accommodation to purchase abortifacient birth control drugs, a continued push for public policy which not only allows but promotes sexual license and perversion, enslavement of the poor in a perpetual state of dependency, and support for embryonic stem cell research. What is promised is a continuation of all these things and a continued erosion of the first and second amendments. If you don’t believe me, examine what happened at the Democratic National Convention this year.
At the DNC, the Democrats completely removed any doubt about their full bore support for abortion. Cecile Richards, CEO of Planned Parenthood, was seated next to former President Bill Clinton in the stands and later gave a key speech to the cheers of the delegates. The full truth was revealed as we witnessed the delegates vote into the party platform several key changes. The word “rare” was removed from the slogan of abortions that are “safe, legal, and rare.” Additionally, a promise was made to repeal the Hyde and Hunt amendments, those laws that prevent federal funding of abortions domestically and overseas. Abortion was declared to be a fundamental element of healthcare for every man, woman, and child. The Democrat platform has gone from one mention of abortion at Barack Obama’s first convention, to now a total of 19 separate declarations.
One particularly disturbing example of this at the recent DNC was President of NARAL Ilyse Hogue who proudly declared that she had an abortion, smiled, and raised her two hands in triumph as the crowd cheered. I couldn’t help but think of the crowds cheering the death of Jesus, another innocent who did nothing to deserve being the victim of another famous political execution.
The Democrats also quietly removed support for faith-based programs. This hasn’t been widely reported, except by Bill Donohue, president of the civil rights group the Catholic League. This is compatible with Hillary Clinton’s promise on several occasions that Christians must change their beliefs to accommodate abortion and gay marriage.
Welcome to the House of Moral Dilemma
In thinking through these moral dilemmas, from the perspective of the three groups described above, I have sought to provide a model which could help these Catholics avoid the evils of Hillary and today’s Democrats. While I am not a trained moral theologian, I believe the “house of moral dilemma” analogy provides a good framework with which to apply Catholic moral teaching.
Imagine a house. It’s the house of moral dilemma. It has a front door, a roof, a back door, a basement, and rooms inside. There is a party on the back deck to which you are invited. It’s a party where you celebrate a sound moral decision which is pleasing to God. All invited guests must enter through the front door.
You approach the front porch. On it are many different flower pots, promising the supposed “good things” Hillary Clinton will bring the United States. Peace. Tranquility. Prosperity. Happiness. Freedom. Upon approaching the door, you can see inside the house. In the front room, you can see paintings representing the Democrat platform. Some are nice paintings of happy poor people, but some are portraits of Margaret Sanger and Cecile Richards. Curious, you open the door, and enter. While the house is beautifully decorated, there is a stench. It’s the stink of the abortion for any reason, and the fetid odor of attacks on family and the Church. What isn’t visible is what’s in the basement: the corpses of 60 million unborn children killed since 1973, those who were convinced that a gay lifestyle was healthy for them and died of terrible diseases, those millions of poor enslaved through entitlement programs since the Great Society was instituted, and now, if various emails are to be believed, election manipulation and collusion with enemies of the United States.
Holding your nose, you venture further into the house. Social programs to help the poor are represented by lovely pies and cakes in the kitchen, and pans of savory food for the needy immigrant are there on the table. Jobs for the unemployed are represented by fresh fruit. Unfortunately, as you enter the kitchen the filth from the front rooms are still on your shoes, and it won’t come off. It marks up the floor and the flies that are attracted begin to spoil the good things there.
The door to the back deck is there, and it’s open a crack. The question is: can you go to the party where you celebrate making a sound moral decision with this fetid muck on your shoes?
Speaking In Plain Language
It doesn’t take a genius to see that the literal killing of someone (the unborn or the aged) has a greater weight in the moral calculus of deciding for whom we should vote than other issues. If you’re dead, you have no need for food stamps (which is precisely why the Democrats reason it’s good to kill babies: to spare them from poverty). One cannot simply vote for a candidate because they are “nice to poor people” in spite of what is now a totally pro-abortion platform: on demand, removing the Hunt and Hyde amendments, up until the moment of birth. This decision process is like entering a house, a house of moral doctrine. If you encounter abortion, euthanasia, pro-gay marriage, and attacks on the Church in the foyer or front living room, then there is no cause to proceed to the back deck for the barbecue. The only moral decision is to turn right around and leave the house.
No Catholic in Good Conscience Can Vote for Hillary Clinton
In conclusion, it’s clear to me that one cannot vote for Hillary Clinton and remain unstained by the great evils she and the Democrats aspire to advance in the United States if elected. Hillary Clinton will be elected if the same 60% of self-professed Catholics vote for her as did for President Obama. Those votes have a direct impact on whether or not she is elected. And whether or not she is elected has a direct impact on those evil policies getting advanced. There is no way around it. For Catholics who are ignorant of what the Church teaches, or simply believe they can pay attention to one part of the “seamless garment” and ignore very serious other parts, and for those who dissent, I implore you to reconsider your positions. Do not be a part of advancing what St. Pope John Paul II called “the Culture of Death,” which promotes the moral and physical death of Americans and erosion of their dignity as human beings. Be a part of promoting authentic Gospel-based Catholic teaching, which promotes a consistent ethic of life in the United States and around the world.