Choosing Evil or Limiting Evil?

By Fr. Frank Pavon- I’m often asked what a voter can morally do if two opposing candidates both support abortion. I recommend asking a simple question: Which of the two candidates will do less harm to unborn children if elected?

For example, is either of the candidates willing at least to ban partial-birth abortion? Is either of them willing to put up some roadblocks to free and easy abortion? Will either support parental notification, or parental consent, or waiting periods? Has either of them expressed a desire to ban late-term abortion, or to support pregnancy assistance centers?

How about stricter regulation of abortion facilities?  Has either candidate expressed support for that idea? Nobody is saying that’s the final goal. But ask these questions just to see whether you can see any benefit of one of the candidates above the other.

One of the two of them will be elected; there is no question about that. So you are not free right now, in this race, to really choose the candidate you want. Forces beyond your control have already limited your choices. Whichever way the election goes, the one elected will not have the position we want elected officials to have on abortion.

In this case, it is morally acceptable to vote for the candidate who will do less harm. This is not “choosing the lesser of two evils.” We may never choose evil. But in the case described above, you would not be choosing evil.  Why?

Because in choosing to limit an evil, you are choosing a good.

You can have a clear conscience in this instance, because you know that no law can legitimize even a single abortion, ever. If the candidate  thinks some abortion is justified, you don’t agree. Moreover, you are doing the most you can to advance the protection of life.

By your vote, you can keep the worse person out. And trying to do that is not only legitimate, but good. Some may think it’s not the best strategy. But it is morally permissible.

Cardinal John O’Connor, in a special booklet on abortion, once wrote about this problem, “Suppose all candidates support ‘abortion rights’? … One could try to determine whether the position of one candidate is less supportive of abortion than that of another. Other things being equal, one might then morally vote for a less supportive position.’

What if there’s a third candidate who does not have a strong base of support but does have the right position? Of course, we should work like crazy to build up that person’s base of support to make him/her electable. That is not done on Election Day. It takes years of work, which should start now.

Remember that your vote is not a vote for canonization. It is a transfer of power. We can vote for a less than perfect candidate because we aren’t using our vote to make a statement, but to help bring about the most acceptable results under the circumstances. [Fr. Frank Pavon, Priests For Life]

“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” — John Jay, 1816

 

One thought on “Choosing Evil or Limiting Evil?

  1. One candidate is obviously amoral and claims to be a Christian. The other is a leader in a large organization that promotes a false Christ and doctrines of demons. Where is the call of Christians for an independent Christian candidate to challange these two “choices.”

    EDITOR: In all my God-given years here on earth I have never seen a presidential race in which the choices are so clear. Back in 2008 there was much deception and cover-up of true intentions. Not so in this election. We now have a four year track record of dangerous and failed policies.

    If a person is on the left, they have their man who is radically anti-American,
    A man who is anti-Constitution,
    A man who is anti-Bill of Rights
    A man who is anti-Christian
    A man who is anti-military (ours)
    A man who is anti-freedom of religion
    A man who is anti-American business
    A man who is radically pro-abortion (and is forcing taxpayers to pay for them)
    A man who is pro-enemy in this sense: refusing to protect our embassy personnel and soil, is tying the hands of our military thereby giving the enemy the upper hand,
    A man who, in true Marxist style, is waging class warfare here in America
    A man who is buying votes with free cell phones and countless other programs paid for by tax dollars
    A man who is stirring up racial divisiveness, using every vile trick to do so
    This is just a partial list.

    If a person is pro-American we have this choice:
    A man who has a proven personal and political record of loving this country
    A man who does not believe in higher taxation and will not tax the middle class out of existence
    A man who has successfully run businesses from the red into the black and pledges to do the same for our nation
    A man who, as governor, completely turned around a state who was failing financially
    A man who will not promote class warfare but will work for unity.
    A man who is not anti-life
    A man who is pro-family
    A man who will support our military personnel
    A man who will not apologize to the enemy for burning down and brutally murdering the people within
    A man who wants to put Americans back to work instead of on welfare
    This is just a partial list.

    The voters this time have two clear cut choices; the path to failure and tyranny or the path to raising America back to her former glory.

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