In today’s LA Times, this Op-Ed by Douglas Kmiec.Â And for Catholics, reassurance that a vote for Senator Obama is not a sin.
From the column:
Some Republicans are telling Catholics that supporting Obama is a sin. Catholics are instructed not to cast a ballot for an advocate of abortion, but these partisans overstate the church’s teaching to make an even broader claim: Namely, that a pro-choice candidate is off-limits too. Were this true, Obama’s substantial lead in the polls might be subject to religious preemption among the 25% to 30% of voters who are Catholic in such battleground states as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Florida.
So can Catholics vote for a pro-choice candidate? The answer is yes, but as I found when I publicly endorsed Obama, you’ve then got “some ‘splain’n’ to do.” It’s a matter of conscience, but had Obama proclaimed himself to be pro-choice and said nothing more, it would have been problematic. But there are those additional words about appropriate education as well as adoption and assistance for mothers who choose to keep their baby.
Sometimes the law must simply leave space for the exercise of individual judgment, because our religious or scientific differences of opinion are for the moment too profound to be bridged collectively. When these differences are great and persistent, as they unfortunately have been on abortion, the common political ideal may consist only of that space. This does not, of course, leave the right to life undecided or unprotected. Nor for that matter does the reservation of space for individual determination usurp for Caesar the things that are God’s, or vice versa. Rather, it allows this sensitive moral decision to depend on religious freedom and the voice of God as articulated in each individual’s voluntary embrace of one of many faiths.