As a Catholic voter, I avidly read the articles about the Catholic vote (“Who Owns the ‘Catholic Vote’?” by Maurice Timothy Reidy, and “A Thorn in Both Their Sides,” June 2006). The waters have been muddied lately by some of our bishops, who, in my opinion, misused our most sacred sacrament to punish certain politicians, treating abortion as if it were the only evil. What I would like to see all of us Catholics do is heed the scriptural discernment method: By their fruits you shall know them. If politicians say they are pro-life but everything they do seems to cause more death, then their words mean nothing.
Before the 2004 election, I heard priests make it sound like it would be a sin to vote for anyone who didn’t say they were pro-life (meaning anti-abortion). I thought it would be a sin to vote for anyone who started an unjust war, since a vote for them would be endorsing a true evil. Although I am certainly against abortion, I wish those who stress it so much would try to see it in context. Changing the laws and making all abortions crimes will not stop abortions. This is a moral issue more than a legal one. We should have learned long ago that we cannot stop problems by legislating them away.