Monday, October 25, 2004

Lagniappe: Kerry, Bush, and the "Life" Issue -- A Note to Catholic Voters - Where should the pro-life vote go this election? Andrew Sullivan gives perhaps the most rational explanation for voting for Kerry on this issue. He writes:

The Church hierarchy, of course, distinguishes between abortion and the death penalty. Abortion is always wrong. The death penalty is almost always wrong. The "almost" is very small - Rome has come extremely close to saying it is wrong in all cases, and certainly believes it should be restricted to a tiny number of cases where the alternative could be disastrous. Now compare that to Bush's own record. He has signed more death warrants than almost any man in the country. As Texas governor, he showed absolutely no qualms about giving the nod to hundreds of deaths; in fact, he bragged about it. In one case, he even joked about it. He is far closer to the evil of the death penalty than Kerry is to the evil of abortion. And he has shown in his statements on the issue far more glibness than Kerry has ever revealed in the case of abortion. I should say: I think Kerry's support for partial birth abortion and his extreme backing of everything the pro-choice movement wants is troubling. But Bush doesn't get a free pass here. And I'd have more respect for pro-life, pro-Bush Catholics if they averred at least some discomfort with Bush's ease with this particular culture of death.
I've added the emphasis in the above citation because I think it provides a comparative context in defense of the morality of voting for Kerry. If we have two candidates who cannot distance themselves from the evils of abortion and/or capital punishment, then "human prudential judgment" requires Catholics to either abstain from voting altogether in this election or voting for the lesser of two evils, which in the big "pro-life" picture requires a vote for John Kerry.

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