Thursday, January 29, 2004

Can you commit a sin in the voting booth?

Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life writes:

The reason is simple: there can be no democracy without virtue, and there can be no human activity divorced from the moral law. And in matters of the moral law, the Church does not have the right to be silent.

To put it another way, morality has to do with human activity and human choices. Any time we make any kind of decision about what we do, say, or even think, we are either affirming or denying the moral law, and therefore are either coming closer to God or going farther away from him. Every step we take on the journey of life either strengthens us in virtue or enslaves us in vice.

Let's look at one example of a voting booth sin. A voter believes in "abortion rights," and for that reason knowingly and deliberately votes for a candidate who has promised to protect those "rights." That is a sin. The voter has intentionally helped someone who is attempting to advance a violent and destructive activity. The vote in that case is similar to the sinful act of taking part in a pro-abortion rally, writing an editorial letter that expresses support for abortion, or otherwise encouraging or enabling those who perform abortions.

Given voter turnout, I wonder if the lines are longer at the voting booth or the confessional?

As an undergraduate I studied political science. The survey research was very clear about the correlation between church attendance and political opinions. For example, those who attended church more frequently were more likely to be pro-life. The research I did not see was about the frequent church attenders political participation. Are they more likely to vote or not to vote? Perhaps this is the sin that needs to be confessed by those who, although pro-life, have decided it is not worth it to bother voting.

Posted by David at 6:14 PM  |  Comments (0)  | 


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