Eschewing, Not Choosing, the Evil |
If, as a committed Catholic, you can realize the lesser of two evils is always evil, and what we have to vote for is six of one, half a dozen of the other, then you must vote for someone who will not perpetuate evil. True, that doesn't leave a lot of choices. It's a real challenge.
Father Lawrence Smith
"I am the Lord thy God, Who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; thou shalt have no strange gods in My sight." Deuteronomy 5:6
"Before us is the question of whether or not to vote for a man to the office of President of the United States who fits the above description. Reflection on the life histories, official positions, and personal characters of the two major-party candidates leads even the most sober and objective observer to conclude that the choice is between Tweedledum and Tweedledumber. The dumbest of all is the American voter incapable of seeing that there is no fundamental difference in practical matters between President George W. Bush and Senator John F. Kerry."
Before us is the question of whether or not to vote for a man to the office of President of the United States whose pedigree includes participation in an Ivy League chapter of the Masonic Skull and Bones Society. His family has roots in the aristocracy of New England. He is accustomed to the trappings and perquisites of wealth. Faith for him is a personal matter, arbitrated not by a hierarchy or an ordained clergy, but rather by a direct experience of the mortal self with the divine. This man never had to "work his way to the top", has suffered no major electoral defeats, and in victory in this race can lay claim to transcending the polarization that has separated the ideologues of the "Reagan Revolution" from those of the "Clinton Boom".
Many who are uncomfortable with this candidate have difficulty with his often self-contradictory positions on abortion. He has no problem enforcing Roe vs. Wade as the law of the land. He has personal misgivings about how abortion runs counter to the moral law. His advisors number several people whose views on abortion are diametrically opposed to his own stated personal belief that abortion is wrong. He is willing to appoint judges who are neutral on the subject or who do not feel that Constitutional jurisprudence forbids support for abortion. Candidates from his own party can count on his active participation in their campaigns for office, even if their staunch endorsement of easy abortion conflicts with his qualms of conscience. If he is elected, the nation's First Lady will hold a position on abortion that is unapologetically and unambiguously in favor of child murder - the position of First Ladies for the last sixteen years, now, through Republican and Democrat administrations alike.
Sodomy, divorce, and materialist economics are within this candidate's comfort zone for political compromise and policy. Civil unions for those who commit unnatural acts, "no-fault" dissolution of the conjugal bond for those tired of or unsatisfied with marriage, and wealth based on fiat currency and usury are matter-of-fact, taken-for-granted realities in his campaign and in the platform of his party. He is certain of receiving financial and organizational assistance from groups insistent on advancing moral and economic depravity that undermine the nature of the family and, thus, the foundation of society.
Honorable service in the military is part of his official resume, the United States government formally approving of the acceptability of his service, regardless of the criticism he has received from detractors in the other major party. His running mate has made a personal fortune in a profession with very little esteem among the American populace, but no serious critic suggests that he has ever engaged in illegality. He is on record as supporting with financial and personnel resources the ongoing military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Few believe that his administration will bring a diminishment in the overall size of government. In the several years in which he has held previous public office, he has chosen to continue every program put in place by his predecessors of whatever party, frequently working to expand the budgets and the scope of responsibilities of those programs.
Before us is the question of whether or not to vote for a man to the office of President of the United States who fits the above description. Reflection on the life histories, official positions, and personal characters of the two major-party candidates leads even the most sober and objective observer to conclude that the choice is between Tweedledum and Tweedledumber. The dumbest of all is the American voter incapable of seeing that there is no fundamental difference in practical matters between President George W. Bush and Senator John F. Kerry.
The candidates' positions
Senator Kerry never met an abortion he didn't like.
Chemical abortions can be inflicted through the use of "the pill" or RU-486. Senator Kerry is adamantly against banning their use in the United States or around the world. Any other drug whose "side effects" included the destruction of a baby would be immediately removed from the market - with its manufacturers subjected to devastating litigation - or loudly derided and required to sport labels and warnings alerting users of its malign effects - with its manufacturers subjected to devastating litigation. DDT, thalidomide, lead paint, and tobacco have felt the wrath of those seeking to protect expectant mothers and babies in peril of birth defects. "The pill" and RU-486, designed to eradicate babies in the womb and/or before conception, are the exceptions to this rule. Citizens may not eliminate pests, decorate their homes, or imbibe stimulants in whatever way they decide, but mothers may "choose" to render themselves temporarily (and sometimes permanently) sterile and/or kill children in and outside of their wombs. Any other chemicals with such attributes are deemed not "medicines", but poisons. Senator Kerry demands this to be accepted as a reasonable state of affairs.
It matters not to Senator Kerry how old might be the mother seeking an abortion or the unborn child who will be its victim. A teen just reaching puberty or a grandmother just entering menopause have equal "rights" to destroy human life in the world according to the junior senator from Massachusetts - and the senior senator, a fellow dissenting Catholic and faithful Democrat, concurs. Bodies and souls newly created or within minutes after birth are subject to the ill will of legislation supported by Senator Kerry. From conception until a dying baby is abandoned after a botched abortion, there will be no limits on access to the barbaric procedure if Senator Kerry has his way.
President Bush never met an abortion he couldn't rationalize.
For a week or so in August of 2002, President Bush publicly agonized over whether or not federal tax dollars should go to fund stem cell research. The loud sighs of relief from obtuse persons in the "pro-life" movement drowned out the voices of reason striving in vain to remind everyone that no money from any source should ever go to pay for the murder of babies for any reason at all. Rather than fight to save the lives of babies, President Bush managed to save a few dollars. In doing so he further reinforced the mindset that abortion is acceptable state policy and morally licit - as long as the budget is unaffected. This was considered a victory for abortion opponents!
An unwavering advocacy for the unborn by President Bush finds wiggle room when it comes to conceptions in the context of rape, incest, or supposed dangers to the life of the mother. When the crime of rape is committed, the death penalty may be inflicted, not on the rapist, but on his daughter. If a man molests his daughter, his (grand)son shall bear the harshest of consequences for the (grand)father's depravity - at the behest of the mother/sister. And in that medically nebulous region where pregnancy itself is considered a death sentence, the judgement can be commuted for the mother, whose life is saved by the "heroic" act of sacrificing her child at the hands of the "doctor" who judged her the innocent and her baby the guilty party. Such in the mind of the current Chief Executive constitutes a set of just exceptions to the "absolute" sanctity of human life.
Of course, having his finger on the pulse of the heartbeat of America, President Bush is aware that contraception is one of the sacred cows of modernity. With that the case, he has no problem with the widespread availability of contraceptive drugs and devices, even for children. This lack of a problem poses no further problem for the President even when it is pointed out that a large but unknown number of abortions occur through the use of "the pill". President Bush happily helps to keep the dirty little secret of the abortion industry that "the pill" is a low-cost, readily obtained abortifacient.
Neither the President nor Senator Kerry has mentioned any plans to mount an effort to repeal Roe vs. Wade in reflection of an adherence to divine law, Church teaching, the opinion of a plurality of American citizens, their own personal beliefs, and common decency. Both of the would-be next-presidents acknowledge the Supreme Court's 1973 travesty as the law of the land and are willing to set aside God's law in deference to it. Oddly able to reconcile their consciences with ignoring the will of the Almighty, they do not see any way to alter the Constitution so that the work of mere men might conform to what their Creator commands them to do. Political expediency trumps fear of the Last Judgement. In the minds of our elected leaders - and their accomplices who repeatedly elect them - the Demoblican-Replutocrat-Party agenda is a more authoritative gospel than the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
How the candidates are able to assume their positions
When a baptized Catholic becomes a Mason, is elected to the Senate, marries a widow whose former husband was in the Senator's rival party, rejects the authority of his Church on matters of doctrine and morals, and determines to become President of the United States, expect almost anything to happen, especially the sublimely ridiculous. Senator Kerry's personal make-up gives a whole new meaning to St. Paul's expression, "all things to all men". The candidate for President nominated by the Democrat Party has at one time or other in his life been everything imaginable: war hero, war protester, Catholic altar boy, communicant at protestant church services, advocate of President Bush's use of force in Iraq, adversary of President Bush's use of force in Iraq, in favor of sodomite rights, against sodomite marriage, personally opposed to abortion, personally committed to guaranteeing every woman's "right" to abortion. To paraphrase the U.S. Army's advertising slogan, the junior senator from Massachusetts is a coalition of one.
Some would call this plethora of stances "flip-flopping" or "waffling". Perhaps instead it is an astute appeal to a very broad base of support. If even a minority of the people who hold any of the every positions Senator Kerry professes votes for him, it might well comprise a majority of the minority of eligible citizens who bother to cast ballots. You heard it here first: the strategy of the challenger in this year's presidential race does not seek to win a majority of the votes of people who share all of his political ideas, but a minority of the votes of the people who hold any of his 31 flavors of political ideas. One might not be able to please everyone, but Senator Kerry seems to be trying to please just a little bit more than no one of every and any philosophical persuasion or none.
Another way of describing the Senator's approach to steadfast flexibility is to remember the love affair Americans have with "moderate", "centrist", "open-minded" politicians and politics. A sure way of getting (re)elected is to promise not to really mean anything of substance referent to one's stated positions and plans made during the campaign. Hence, the war on poverty begun almost forty years ago has created quite a few government jobs without getting material dearth to seek terms of surrender - the poor are still always with us. Thirty years of legal abortion have yielded candidates whose "pro-life" stances, personal or public, have resulted in no legislation to ban abortions capable of enduring judicial veto, have produced a willingness to allow abortion advocates to hijack the nomination process of judges who might refuse to give legal sanction to infanticide, and have lulled the populace into accepting more and more "exceptions" to abortion as part of an acceptable definition of being "pro-life".
So thus the discussion segues from the harsh ideologue of the left-right-center, to the kinder, gentler champion of "compassionate conservatism". This "conservative" has presided over a huge budget deficit where his "liberal" predecessor had a series of surpluses. Setting aside the costs of the ongoing "war on terrorism", these deficits are fueled in large part by a government that continues to grow in size, a phenomenon that did not abate during the much and undeservedly ballyhooed "Reagan Revolution". Government spending increases consistently outstrip the rate of inflation, and the rate of government spending increases is accelerating under this "conservative" administration.
Many people of a political bent on the supposedly right side of the political spectrum have turned a blind eye to President Bush's endorsement of an incumbent pro-abortion Republican Senator over his pro-life challenger in last spring's primary election. Most of the same people see a distinction where there is no moral difference in the President's stance against sodomite "marriages" but accepting of "civil unions" between sodomites. Judges keep overturning the legislation that President Bush and his ilk promise will put an end to various ills in the nation. President Bush and his ilk keep working to (re)elect their fellows in the GOP who see those ills as secular graces. When the President and his ilk are successful in getting their dissenting friends (re)elected to the Senate, lo and behold! those less-than-conservative Senators do not assist the President in obtaining cloture in order to end filibusters of his judicial appointments, thus necessitating new nominees to the federal bench who share with dissenting GOP senators a sense that what the President and his ilk call ill are really matters of grace. The newly confirmed judges promptly set out to overturn the legislation that President Bush and his ilk promise will put an end to various ills in the nation.
Things in Washington never change. That is because the office holders never change - incumbents are reelected at an alarmingly high rate. That is because the people keep voting for their incumbents. That is because they think all of the bums in Washington are bums - except the ones I - whoever I happens to be - voted for. That is because my - whoever my is - bums keep the pork coming home. That is because bringing home the bacon makes the people want to vote for the incumbents. That is because the incumbents are very happy to give the people what they want. And what the people and the incumbents want is for things in Washington to never change. If this were not the case, things would have changed long before now.
But wait! Things have changed. Abortion, sodomy, and contraception used to be illegal in this country. Cohabitation and fornication used to be the sort of thing in which only loose women and cads engaged. Popular entertainment used to mean the wholesome fare that whole families could enjoy. Education used to mean parents or their designees handing down to children the political principles, moral values, and religious truths held by the parents. "One nation under God" used to mean that people of a common language, acknowledging a shared heritage, respecting the good of individuals and the community, could at least utter the G-word out loud and in public without an expletive attached at the end as if it were His surname.
Little by little, the public has been persuaded to purchase the bill of goods that a lot of good could be had at the price of a little bad. What is all too painfully obvious to all except the willfully blind is that the bad keeps getting worse, and the good is fading from view. Incrementalists who think that change can happen one step at a time are correct - the road to depravity follows that route. The go-slow method of working for the good only results in the good slowing to a stop and the evil taking off like a thoroughbred on the first Sunday in May. To be good means to strive to be all good. The bad needs only to seduce the good in one thing to make the good no good at all.
The position we ought to have
Jesus Christ is King of the Universe. The Universe includes the United States of America. The United States of America includes its President, Congress, Courts, citizenry, and Constitution. The President, Congress, Courts, citizenry, and Constitution of the United States of America are free only insofar as they conform to the truth that Jesus Christ is their King. Anything short of that truth is a lie, and liars can not enjoy any freedom for long, for they will be trapped by the woes brought on by their dishonesty. A nation denying that Jesus Christ is their King will find itself trapped in a universe from which there is no escape. The universe where Jesus Christ is not acknowledged King is the world, the flesh, and the devil - in a word, hell.
Before us is the question of whether to vote for a man to the office of President of the United States who would declare that the laws of hell - sodomy, abortion, usury, and blasphemy - are the law of the land, or to vote differently. The only difference would be to vote for a man who sought to establish the laws of the Kingdom of Heaven as the law of this nation. The Kingdom of Heaven is the Body of Christ, the Church Triumphant in Heaven, the Church Suffering in Purgatory, and the Church Militant here on earth. On earth, the Church Militant has as its visible head under Jesus Christ, His Vicar, the Pope, the Successor of St. Peter. Any man who would be President of a United States of America destined for anything other than hell must acknowledge, believe, and strive to defend the prerogatives of Jesus Christ, the freedom and exaltation of His Body the Catholic Church, and the honor and glory due to God alone.
Look not to "good" protestants to fill this need - protestantism in its various guises endorses sodomy, easy divorce, abortion, and usury. Seek not among "good" Jews or Mohammedans for help - they deny the divinity of the Son of God, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, and His Incarnation from the flesh of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the faithful. Turn not to the schismatics of the East - they reject Jesus Christ in the person of His Vicar the Pope, and they countenance divorce, contraception, and errors in doctrine. Ask not aid from "good" pagans - they worship a multitude of false gods, practice abominations in culture, and in some instances serve the devil by name. Think not to find men of "good" will among men who deny God altogether - in refusing the First Commandment, they offer none of the Commandments obedience or recognition unless in service to the whims of man, and man in denial of the sovereignty of God is nothing but evil.
Before us is not a choice between President Bush and Senator Kerry. Power politics ensure that whoever is elected between the two of them, nothing will substantially change in the policies, mores, or sanctity of the American people. To the extent that any change will be noticed, it will be a matter of more of the same. More of the same will be that much worse. The status quo is one of child murder, sodomy, destruction of the family, distrust among citizens, and apostasy from the Faith.
Before us is the choice between assisting evil by electing Bush or Kerry; and resisting evil by refraining from voting, writing in a vote, or voting for a third-party candidate if an acceptable one appears on the ballot of the state in which one resides. When considering the notion of choosing between "the lesser of two evils", remember two things: the lesser of two evils is always evil; and in the choice between imperfect goods, one may determine what is best by seeking the good which has the lesser evils as unintended consequences.
One never chooses that which is evil.
This coming election day it appears that an evil man favoring abortion, contraception, easy divorce, sodomy, usury, religious indifference, and rejection of Christ as sovereign over this nation will be elected. The only question is whether or not you will make a statement with your vote that you accept his evil. If you do not accept these candidates' evil, you must vote for someone else. If you vote for one of these candidates, he, his party, and your fellow citizens will have no choice but to conclude that your vote means that you accept the candidate, his policies, and his evil.
Father Lawrence Smith
6 October 2004: St. Bruno
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