Sunday, October 26, 2008

Judie, Judie, Judie

With the presidential election quickly approaching, the EWTN Q&A section has been deluged with questions about voting pro-life. Most abortion related questions on the website are answered by Judie Brown, president and co-founder of American Life League. While I very much respect her strong pro-life stand, she seems to favor supporting third party or independent candidates who are 100% pro-life over the two major party candidates, one of whom is going to be elected. In reading some of her more recent responses, she may have softened her approach somewhat, but as recently as last Tuesday, she said, “neither man deserves the vote of a committed pro-life Catholic . . .

A few days earlier, a questioner voiced support for Alan Keyes who is 100% pro-life. Judie Brown replied that Keyes is still in the running and she suggested another website where people can go for information about write-in candidates.

It would be wonderful if every Catholic could vote for a 100% pro-life candidate such as Alan Keyes, but doing so in this case would only serve to exacerbate the problem. John McCain may not be 100% pro-life, but either he or Barack Obama is going to be elected president next week. As did President Bush, the next president is likely to appoint one or possibly two Supreme Court justices. Obama is a liberal who openly favors abortion rights. If he is president and his party has a majority in Congress, one or two liberal justices will likely be seated on the Court for the next twenty or thirty years.

John McCain says he will appoint constructionists to the bench implying a conservative legal philosophy more favorable to the overturn of Roe v. Wade. Judie Brown may find choosing the lesser of two evils unpalatable, but to do otherwise could be tragic. If the majority of pro-life Catholics voted for an independent pro-life candidate, Barack Obama would almost certainly win the election. By stubbornly sticking to an unelectable pro-life candidate, we could actually be perpetuating abortion rights in our country.

Our best chance to stop abortion will rest in the hands a conservative Supreme Court, and despite his shortcomings, John McCain is more likely to appoint such justices. While our attention is focused on the presidential election, even more important is a conservative congress in order to minimize obstacles to the confirmation process, or to block confirmation of liberal nominees should Obama be elected. Don’t think of it as choosing the lesser of two evils. Rather, think of it as choosing the candidate most likely to do good.

In a closely contested race, every vote is important. Wasting it on an unelectable candidate as a matter of principle will not move us closer to the goal. With nearly fifty million active Catholics in the United States, we have the power and the responsibility to stem the intrinsic evils that are becoming entrenched in mainstream America. We can sway public opinion by living our Catholic Faith to the fullest and helping to elect public officials who respect the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.