Saturday, October 27, 2012

You're either with us or against us.

I have friends across the entire range of the political spectrum. This often means I'm privy to a lot of conflicting perspectives. In the last day or two, I've seen a lot of the following kind of mentality:
A Catholic whose conscience has been properly formed by scripture and Church teaching cannot justify a vote for a candidate or referendum question that opposes the teachings of the Church. The definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, open to the birth of children, is a matter of established Catholic doctrine. Any Catholic who supports a redefinition of marriage—or so called “same-sex marriage”—is unfaithful to Catholic doctrine. - Bishop Malone
I wish my moderate Republican friends would simply be honest. They all say they’re voting for Romney because of his economic policies (tenuous and ill-formed as they are), and that they disagree with him on gay rights. Fine. Then look me in the eye, speak with a level clear voice, and say, “My taxes and take-home pay mean more than your fundamental civil rights, the sanctity of your marriage, your right to visit an ailing spouse in the hospital, your dignity as a citizen of this country, your healthcare, your right to inherit, the mental welfare and emotional well-being of your youth, and your very personhood.”
It’s like voting for George Wallace during the Civil Rights movements, and apologizing for his racism. You’re still complicit. You’re still perpetuating anti-gay legislation and cultural homophobia. You don’t get to walk away clean, because you say you “disagree” with your candidate on these issues. - Doug Wright
It irritates me any time I see statements of the form "If you don't vote for my preferred candidate, then you [rotating answer] aren't a true Catholic/atheist/conservative/liberal/or are a bigot/racist/sinner/or are lazy/stupid/selfish or don't care about the poor/our future/our safety..." and on and on.

The truth is there are a lot of factors to consider when picking a candidate, and people weight these many factors differently. I do believe people of good conscience can diverge a lot on both their stances and the weight they give those stances. This means people can have good motivations and vote for a candidate I think sucks.

It's one thing to say "If so-and-so gets elected, I believe these bad things will happen with regard to this issue, an issue I consider very important." That's pretty different then saying "If you vote for so-and-so, then a) you know and agree with me that it will have these bad effects and b) you just don't care about these bad effects because you think/feel/believe these bad things."

Don't assign motivation just because people come to different conclusions than you.

1 comment:

  1. Even just the "you don't care" part is overreaching and insulting--and annoying. Also, the over-use of the "phobia" attachment and the use of the word "hate". It's all getting quite old, and is certainly divisive.