Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Five Non-Negotiable Issues for Catholic Voters

I was listening to our local Catholic radio station on the way home from work yesterday and heard a discussion regarding the upcoming mid-term election and the moral responsibilities of Catholics to cast their votes while keeping in mind the "five non-negotiable issues".  Basically what was said is that for the Catholic voter there are five major issues that concern actions that are intrinsically evil and therefore must never be promoted or supported by law.  Catholics are thus instructed to vote against any law or candidate that would support these five issues accordingly. 

These issues are abortion, euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, human cloning, and homosexual marriage.

The Catholic voter's guide on this states that, "These five issues are called non-negotiable because they concern actions that are always morally wrong and must never be promoted by the law. It is a serious sin to endorse or promote any of these actions, and no candidate who really wants to advance the common good will support any of the five non-negotiables."


1. Abortion

The Church teaches that, regarding a law permitting abortions, it is "never licit to obey it, or to take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or to vote for it" (EV 73). Abortion is the intentional and direct killing of an innocent human being, and therefore it is a form of homicide.

The child is always an innocent party, and no law may permit the taking of his life. Even when a child is conceived through rape or incest, the fault is not the child's, who should not suffer death for others' sins.

2. Euthanasia

Often disguised by the name "mercy killing," euthanasia also is a form of homicide. No one has a right to take his own life (suicide), and no one has the right to take the life of any innocent person.

In euthanasia, the ill or elderly are killed out of a misplaced sense of compassion, but true compassion cannot include doing something intrinsically evil to another person (cf. EV 73).

3. Fetal Stem Cell Research

Human embryos are human beings. "Respect for the dignity of the human being excludes all experimental manipulation or exploitation of the human embryo" (CRF 4b).

Recent scientific advances show that any medical cure that might arise from experimentation on fetal stem cells can be developed by using adult stem cells instead. Adult stem cells can be obtained without doing harm to the adults from whom they come. Thus there no longer is a medical argument in favor of using fetal stem cells.

4. Human Cloning

"Attempts . . . for obtaining a human being without any connection with sexuality through 'twin fission,' cloning, or parthenogenesis are to be considered contrary to the moral law, since they are in opposition to the dignity both of human procreation and of the conjugal union" (RHL I:6).

Human cloning also ends up being a form of homicide because the "rejected" or "unsuccessful" clones are destroyed, yet each clone is a human being.

5. Homosexual "Marriage"

True marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Legal recognition of any other form of "marriage" undermines true marriage, and legal recognition of homosexual unions actually does homosexual persons a disfavor by encouraging them to persist in what is an objectively immoral arrangement.

"When legislation in favor of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic lawmaker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral" (UHP 10).

For me, these five non-negotiable issues are something with which I am in complete agreement with my church and will not have a problem supporting and voting according to church doctrine.  It is my fervent prayer that all Catholics, and indeed all Christians and good people of all or no faiths also see the moral good in opposing these five non-negotiable issues.  Supporting the dignity of life is always the right choice!

1 comment:

Erin B. said...

Thank you for the wonderful "roll up" on this subject. It's exactly what I was looking for (and it was only the 3rd google result!) Look forward to reading more of your blog. -Erin ( or