Sunday, August 29, 2004

Catholic Voting Guide in USA TODAY next Tuesday

Next Tuesday, August 31, Catholic Answers will place a full-page ad in key USA TODAY markets containing the entire text of the Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics. This is the first step in a major push to widely distribute the guide be the November election. Catholic Answers is planning more national placements of the guide in other major publications. To support this crucial effort, go to www.catholic.com and click on Catholic Voter's Guide.


Controversial Catholic Voter's Guide Tells
Catholics How to Vote on "Forbidden" Issues;
Full-Page Ad to Run in USA Today During GOP Convention

On Tuesday August 31, over a million voters in and around New York City, Hartford, Buffalo, St. Louis, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Richmond, and hundreds of surrounding cities will be reading a full-page ad in USA Today that advises them how to vote according to Catholic moral teachings on five key issues when they go to the polls.

The issues Catholics are forbidden to vote in favor of are abortion, homosexual marriage, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and euthanasia.

The full-page ad in USA Today is paid for by Catholic Answers, the nation's largest lay-run Catholic apologetics organization dedicated to defending Catholic teaching and dispelling myths about Catholicism.

According to Karl Keating, founder and president of Catholic Answers, Catholics who deliberately vote against the Church's moral teachings and still call themselves "good Catholics" have another thought coming.

"It's a serious sin to vote for moral evils, especially those that are so clearly opposed to the Church's teachings."

Keating, a former attorney from San Diego, California, recently took his non-profit apostolate into the legally permitted realm of the political debate by distributing millions of copies of a controversial "Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics," which is what the ad in USA Today will contain.

The guide does not mention any candidates or political parties but explains that Catholics cannot in good conscience vote for candidates who support, endorse, or condone the five key moral issues.

The voter's guide, which is being distributed nationwide and will also run in USA Today nationwide, is raising hackles among many pro-choice Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

Keating denies the accusation that the guide is partisan or favors a particular candidate, stating, "These are the primary moral issues of our day. Four of them concern deliberate homicide, which is always and everywhere wrong. There's no room for 'debate' about murder or ending an innocent human life at its most vulnerable stages. These are non-negotiable issues, regardless of party politics or specific candidates."

Keating also stresses that there was no effort to fashion a list that would allow a particular politician to "pass" or get off easy. "The five issues were picked because they are major topics in American politics that the Church has forcefully stated that no Catholic can support. The "Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics" doesn't tell the reader which candidates to vote for but which to vote against-simply on principle. Candidates who are wrong on any of the five non-negotiables should be eliminated from consideration."

He continues, "On these five non-negotiables, there is only one possible position for a conscientious Catholic to take: complete opposition. A Catholic is free to support or to oppose any politician or ballot measure on issues such as jobs, trade, taxes, or the war in Iraq. But with issues such as abortion, euthanasia, homosexual marriage, human cloning, and embryonic
stem cell research, all Catholics are forbidden to endorse them or vote for them."

When several U.S. bishops as well as the Vatican declared last April that Catholic legislators are forbidden to endorse or support abortion-and that those who do so are not welcome to receive Holy Communion at Mass-dozens of pro-choice politicians complained loudly that the bishops had no right to tell them how to vote. They argue that since abortion is "the law of the land," they have no choice but to uphold it, and that they're required to keep their public actions separate from their private beliefs.

Keating responds, "That's nonsense. By their reasoning, lawmakers would have to support the status quo, no matter how deplorable it may be. They wouldn't be able to change any laws. If slavery were still 'the law of the land,' would they support it? I hope not. These same politicians work to change existing laws, write new laws, and change social policy every day. And most
of them are vocal advocates of abortion. Hiding behind the 'status quo' on the issue of abortion and saying 'we're just doing our jobs' is not only ridiculous, it's cowardly."

Keating firmly states that the voter's guide is not tied specifically to this year's presidential election. "Our voter's guide makes it clear that the principles it conveys should be applied to all political races, not just those at the national level. Catholic voters should demand the same
accountability from candidates who are running for state and local offices as they do from those running for national office. After all, those running for lesser offices, if successful, will be running for greater offices in the future."

The Catholic vote will weigh in heavily during this year's elections. Catholics make up 25% of the U.S. population, with some 64 million citizens. Furthermore, Catholics typically vote at a rate four percent higher than Protestants, and the Catholic population is heavily concentrated in key
states with high Electoral College votes.

"In the past, most Catholics have not voted according to the Church's moral teachings. They checked their faith at the door when they stepped into the polling place. That needs to change."

Catholic Answers already has distributed over a million copies of its "Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics," with millions more planned in the next two months. Millions more voters will be reached through the USA Today ad campaign. In addition, many pastors around the country have purchased copies for every member of their parish. Others are being distributed
through a nationwide direct mail campaign as well as through the Catholic Answers web site, www.catholic.com .

Catholic Answers hopes that its voter's guide will help millions of Catholics to "vote as Catholics should vote," says Keating.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I apologize in advance if this question is inappropriate, however, we're looking for advice. My husand is a christian going through RCIA to become a catholic (I'm a cradle catholic-- but non-practicing for many years) and has encountered an uncomfortable situation. In his RCIA classes, one of the "instructors" is injecting pro-kerry/ democrat rhetoric. For example, the instructor stated that the POPE has stated that there is a moral equivalence between the death penalty and abortion. That's insane. Then she continued on the "pope's stance that the iraq war was 'unjust'". Were those exact words used? I've read the "unjust war doctrine", but it's pretty vague. My husband's sponsor (just assigned) is a former mennonite, so we're not thrilled with the prospect and considering leaving this church, because we shall not attend another pro-kerry rally (frankly, we're ready to cause a bit of a scandal at the upcoming "peace & justice committee" meeting a the church). Shall we give the church/ the pastoral assistants a heads up/ ask for assistance, or is this indicative of a church-wide problem? Any advice would be appreciated.

10:40 PM  

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