I don’t think it’s a simple matter to reconcile one’s Catholic faith with the issues in the presidential election. The issues are at least as complex as the Church’s teachings, and it leaves a lot for a person to think (and pray) about.
I picked up this article in the New York Times on Wednesday, and it talks about these very struggles for Catholics in Pennsylvania. The writer basically divides the faithful into one of two camps– those that will vote exclusively on the issue of abortion, and those that apply a more comprehensive-Church-doctrine lens when examining the candidates. It’s an interesting read.
I would put myself in the second camp, but I am also inclined to resist yet another divisive label (and within the same church, for that matter). I really do feel like voting exclusively on the issue of abortion (or exclusive on ANY one issue) is a cop-out. If you want to say “I will only vote for the pro-life candidate,” that’s OK, but remember that this year’s “pro-life” candidate is the same one that is willing to prolong the Iraq War as far as necessary and has a hair-trigger on finding an excuse to invade Iran (and who knows where else).
Outlawing abortion isn’t going to make it go away. I think that choosing abortion is a sad choice, but I also DON’T think that working to protect life should stop at the moment of birth.