The idea that Christians shouldn't support morally questionable candidates is stupid
(12-07-2017, 11:12 PM)Imperator Caesar Trump Wrote: It's typically an Alinskyite tactic used by the Left anyway, but how can anyone who knows even one page of Christian history hold this position?  Constantine was arguably the most influential person on Christianity as it exists today outside of the Apostolic age.  He could have easily made Al Franken blush, wasn't baptized until his death bed, and yet Christendom owes him a massive debt for what he did to elevate it.  It seems to me that the only criterion for secular leaders should be whether they are a net benefit or detriment to the Church and moral policy.  I'm struggling to see another tenable position on this matter.

I agree. As I just said recently in another thread, Christians and conservatives have to stop treating the perfect as the enemy of the Good.  And some have to get over the idea that, aside from the examples of Our Lady and Lord and a few others, "moral purity" is rare. And even more rare among politicians.

We're taught that among our duties is to vote:

Quote:2240 Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one's country: 

Pay to all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.45

[Christians] reside in their own nations, but as resident aliens. They participate in all things as citizens and endure all things as foreigners. . . . They obey the established laws and their way of life surpasses the laws. . . . So noble is the position to which God has assigned them that they are not allowed to desert it.46

The Apostle exhorts us to offer prayers and thanksgiving for kings and all who exercise authority, "that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way."47

45 Rom 13:7.

46 Ad Diognetum 5,5 and 10; 6,10:PG 2,1173 and 1176.
47 1 Tim 2:2.

Given that we have a duty to vote in democratic societies, it seems to me that the principle of double effect comes into play. From FE's Moral Thinking: A Basic Primer on Catholic Moral Theology

Quote:The Principle of Double Effect

Actions rarely have only one effect, and sometimes one effect of an action is good, and another effect is evil. If we cannot do evil, that good may come of it, what happens when there are both a good an evil effect from a single act?

For example, during a just war, a pilot is sent on a mission to bomb the last bridge over a river to prevent the revolutionary army from crossing and eventually taking over his homeland, subjecting his country's women to abuse, destroying his people's way of life, etc. By bombing the bridge, he'll help to save his country, people, and culture, an obviously good effect. Yet, nightmarishly, as he approaches, he sees that there are three young children playing on the bridge. But enemy tanks are rolling up quickly, giving him no time at all to wait; he must act or not act now. By not acting, he'll fail to protect his homeland; by acting, the children will certainly die -- a great evil he in no way wants to happen. What must he do?

Another common example is an ectopic, or tubal pregnancy. In such a case, a baby has implanted itself in the Fallopian tube of his mother. As the baby grows, both mother and baby would be killed. Can a doctor operate? Is this not abortion and prohibited? Must the mother accept death and also allow her child to die as well?

The answers to such questions are shaped by the "principle of double effect" which states that we can perform an action that might have an unintended but foreseen evil effect if and only if: the action itself is morally good or neutral; a good effect follows the act; the good effect that follows the action isn't caused by the evil effect; the evil effect isn't intended; we only intend the good effect; and the reason for committing the act is sufficiently serious.

So the pilot would not only be justified but, given his duty, would be obliged to drop the bomb, since the destruction of the bridge is good, is the immediate effect of the bomb, isn't caused by the deaths of the children, is his only intention, and while the death of those innocent children is a great evil, his duty and the evils of invasion are sufficiently serious matters that compel that he act.

Similarly, the mother must have the operation because it serves the good goal of saving the mother's life, the immediate effect of the operation is the removal of the damaged Fallopian tube, the death of the baby isn't the cause of the saving of the mother's life, the only goal is to prevent the mother's death, the horribly sad death of the baby isn't the intention of the surgeon or the mother, and saving the mother's life is sufficiently serious and important. 

The bit about "moral purity" is something that's bothered me for -- well, ever since I made the FE site and forum. Some people are so quick to write off people, works of art, books, essays, articles, websites, etc., because of sin or error on the part of those who made them. This is a mistake. And it's kind of cruel, if you ask me. It isn't a human or humane way of seeing the world, IMO. There's a definite "gang-banging" mentality that shows itself when "they" are seen as all bad, while "I" or "we" are seen as "morally good." This sort of thing is becoming more and more evident in political talk (and I'm guilty of it, too). Arguing against evil ideologies and just plain bad ideas is one thing, but to entirely write off an individual and see the entirety of his person, thoughts, and works as bad because he holds some wrong ideas is scary.
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RE: The idea that Christians shouldn't support morally questionable candidates is stupid - by VoxClamantis - 12-07-2017, 11:41 PM

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