Who are you planning to vote for and why?

There is nothing like practical application to move principles from the theoretical to the real and relevant.  The virtual conversation this question invites is an attempt to do just that, asking you to frame the rationale for your voting choice in terms of Catholic teaching (resources below) and the facts/policies/platforms/proposals of the candidates surrounding real issues.  Thinking through and articulating a response to this question is just one valuable part of the process.
By making it a conversation where people can respond to one another, additional things take place.  First, we are challenged to practice honest and respectful dialogue with people having different views on potentially emotionally charged topics.  In common discourse we typically avoid these conversations especially when we cherish a particular relationship and don’t want it “soured by politics.”  In this conversation we will assume we are in a cherished relationship with folks to whom we are bound in Christian love; one that isn’t so fragile that it will crumble from disagreement.
By presuming the other’s good will, not assuming motivations that aren’t expressed, by exercising restraint in language, and focusing on the content and not the person, we should be challenged to look at additional perspectives, to evaluate their merits, setting aside (based on reasoned consideration) those which don’t lay a claim on us, and incorporating them (at some level) when they do.

Helpful guidelines – while anonymity is fine (and necessary for anyone in a Church leadership or staff position) please use a means of identifying yourself that assists in having dialogue.  If you want to receive an email whenever a new comment is posted you will need to give your email, but it will not be made public, or used in anyway except to generate the comment feed.  Also be sure to check the box to receive emails for comments.

There will be regular monitoring of the conversation and any inappropriate comments removed.  If circumstances are such that an extended period of time will leave the blog unmonitored then comments may be held before being published.  If you have questions for further clarity you may email ftf125@diobelle.org.

Thank you for taking the time to participate.
May we keep one another in prayer!


Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States provides a framework for Catholics in the United States

Bulletin Insert: Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (FCFC)

Illinois Catholic Conference Election 2012 Bulletin Insert Series

Bullet point outline of themes to consider from FCFC

This Fanning the Flame page has additional online resources, including a Bible, Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the US Catholic Catechism for Adults.

About Fanning The Flame

FTF is a 125th Anniversary Journey of Faith of the Diocese of Belleville through the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults.
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7 Responses to Who are you planning to vote for and why?

  1. dave richey says:

    I will be voting for Gov. Mitt Romney in the presidential race.

    The current president is so far afield of every value I hold I can simply find no common ground with his policies or direction he is heading. And sadly he presumes to shut down all dialogue when challenged to consider contrary points of view. When any person in power refuses to listen to their constituents despite the fact they agree or disagree they risk losing the respect of (at least) part of the electorate.

    We all (I believe) continue to see enormous suffering across the nation and I have no confidence this will change … not because we (as Americans) lack the ability to improve our condition … rather I think the current administration lacks the ability to ‘fix it’; it is just an ability deficit from which this administration suffers and I simply don’t believe they are able to overcome it. I respect any person who holds the highest office in the land not because of the person but because of the great responsibility they choose to take on. But I hold that person to a very high standard … the president has failed by any metric I’m able to apply.

  2. Don S. says:

    Who will I vote for and why? I asked myself that question just this morning when I stepped into the voting booth. I knew I could not vote for Obama. Four years ago all I was greatly concerned about his inexperience and because all I heard from him was Change, change, change, but never what that change meant. After four years I guess the change meant more national debt and a smashing of the first amendment. Although he did change and “evolve” from being against gay marriage to being for it. I still think he’s inexperienced. The unilateral stand against what the Catholic Church holds as moral convictions was the final straw.

    But could I vote for the ‘other guy’? To be sure, our ballots also had the Libertarian and the Green parties represented but votes for them would be the same as throwing the ballot in the trash. Of course, due to the electoral college, a vote for a Republican candidate In Illinois would have a similar effect. But could I darken in the chad for Romney? He seems to stand with his party that the only thing that matters is the economy – scratch the environment, endangered species, clean air and water, the poor, etc. Just as long as business gets taken care of, we’ll all be happy. (Cough cough).

    For me, the problem goes beyond a specific person – it extends to the political party they belong to. Both parties have departed from what they represented years ago. Both have gone to their extreme constituents, whether they be tea partyers or socialists – for their advice. Where are the centrists in this election? Where are the people who represent me?

    In recent year I’ve formed my own political party. So far I’m the only certified member but I’m sure there are others out there. I call it the Cynicratic Party. Anyone want to join?

    Oh, yes, I did fill in the chad for Romney.

  3. First time voter says:

    This is my first national election to get to vote in. While I don’t exactly agree with either of the candidates I have to go for Romney. Not so much because I like him but because I really think that President Obama is going in a direction that will seriously damage our country. First is the concern of blatant attacks on human rights for example right to life and religious freedom. Also, his Keynesian economic theory that promotes government spending leaving a mountain of debt for me, my children, and my children’s children. Also it has programs that encourage government dependency – rather than personal responsibility and taxing so much that less $ is left for families, neighbors, and churches to help those in need more at a local level (subsidiarity).

    I will admit that I was hesitant about Romney, but his selection of Ryan, who is a strong supporter of life and responsible government spending galvanized me. I don’t have much money but am making a donation after posting this comment. I know being a good citizen has to be more than opinions.

  4. Passing Through says:

    Don, I am with you on feeling like in Illinois a Republican vote on the top of the ticket is a vote that won’t make a difference. But I will vote Republican, and thinking beyond the election, party does matter straight down the ticket because of the hoops in getting legislation into and out of committees to votes. With a military background and moving around the country I have found this to be the most imbalanced state I have lived in and the first time I have just voted party all the way down.

    I don’t quite agree with Dave about not sharing any values with Obama, at least about some things the administration has set goals for, such as protecting the environment and education improvement (though Obama doesn’t give enough respect to giving poor families real choices). The problem is that there are too many things that eliminate him as a option for me before I even get to consider those things, for example: 1. His extreme support for abortion (and the top of the ticket really does influence that topic – not just the courts and legislators). 2. His support of same sex marriage – and not defending DOMA, which is his responsibility. 3. Support of policies that limit religious freedom: HHS mandate (defining who is “religious”) and his administration arguing against religious employers having protected rights to hire consistent with their faith. 4. The promotion of birth control in the HHS mandate as a public good and support of Planned Parenthood whose sexual morality (recreation) is opposite that taught by the Church.

    Romney isn’t perfect on some of these issues, but the downward social and cultural trend may be slower and give time for people to come to their senses about what kind of culture we will have and the space there will be for faith based values and meaningful freedoms.

    The debt is also a moral concern – we are passing on huge bills to the next generations (Sorry “First time voter” – and btw, great example putting your money where your vote is) – how can that be moral? But we worry that Romney/Ryan will cut programs to those in need, and as a Church we want to serve the poor, have a preferential option for the poor in fact. Still, maybe that is just what will require us as individuals, families, parishes, to take back what we yielded when we gave the responsibility to actually carry out caring for the poor to huge government programs. It would be more like sharing the love of Christ if the care came from a local and personal level. Just think: fewer taxes but more sacrifice, directly motivated by our solidarity with those who are suffering. Then the focus could be for government to be a last safety net, not a first responder.

  5. Jean S says:

    For president I am voting for Romney. In all the races, national and state I plan to vote for Religious Freedom and Respect for Life. There is a religious freedom scorecard on Romney vs. Obama at http://www.thecatholicassociation.org some might want to check out.

  6. dave richey says:

    To Passing Through: Your post was most interesting … Your comment, “…problem is that there are too many things that eliminate him as a option for me before I even get to consider those things …” … WOW! this is right on target!

    And then jumping down to your last paragraph: “…Still, maybe that is just what will require us as individuals, families, parishes, to take back what we yielded when we gave the responsibility to actually carry out caring for the poor to huge government programs. It would be more like sharing the love of Christ if the care came from a local and personal level. …” …I was speaking to someone this AM about this generally. I agree 100% the lion’s share of responsibility for operating in the social marketplace MUST be borne by ALL of us within our various faith groups. Telling government thanks but no thanks is certainly a great 1st step but then I would suggest we’re all going to have to sacrifice a bit more, get involved with our time and talent and get done what needs to get done. And thank God we have our great Catholic faith + a huge army from which to draw the strength to take on the task!

  7. dave richey says:

    It’s easy to have a positive attitude; however it does not replace positive performance. Nuff said?

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