LETTER TO EDITOR : How I apply Catholic teaching to voting

 

I vote, not on what candidates say or personally believe, but on what I think they will actually do in office. Will the candidate do more good or more harm in office? I do not vote for candidates based on their religious assent to Catholic theology or even their political philosophies on issues even such as abortion. Many politicians say they will defend the unborn but accomplish nothing. I agree with the U.S. Catholic bishops who pointed out no one candidate agrees entirely with church teaching and, while the protection of innocent life should be a top priority, we are free to weigh a number of important issues when determining how to vote.

For me an important factor is whether a politician will use my tax dollars for moral purposes. A government that uses my tax dollars to murder, kidnap, terrorize and torture innocent people and overthrow democratically elected governments violates my religious freedom by using my earnings for immoral purposes. So as a citizen, I have the right and duty to oppose government injustices. Obviously, I can’t pass laws, enforce laws, and judge their constitutionality; those are the roles of the three branches of government. But as stewards of God’s truth, we Catholics are responsible for holding government officials accountable for their behavior, and one way to do that is by voting. Sure, there are some gray areas but that fact shouldn’t deter us from the responsibility of applying Catholic faith to public policy.

That’s how I decide to vote. How do you decide?

— Geoff Kennedy, Anchorage


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