Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine presents a conundrum for his Catholic supporters. He is a practicing Catholic, but he also supports abortion.
Every election year, Catholic Americans face difficult choices. The two dominant political parties in the U.S., Republicans and Democrats, have adopted positions contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church.
Democrats tend to fare better than Republicans on social issues such as immigration, healthcare and care for the poor. Republicans are strong supporters of the right to life, particularly for the unborn, religious freedom, and the defense of marriage as a holy institution.
Catholics are often conflicted. It becomes even more serious when the Catholic is running for office.
Tim Kaine is governor of Virginia, and he is a practicing Catholic. He attends Mass. He prays. Yet, he will not defend the unborn. He has overseen 11 executions during his tenure.
Kaine says he is personally opposed to abortion, but that he will not defy the will of the voters. He has explained that his oath of office is what requires him to set aside his faith while leading.
The obvious problem is that faith cannot be set aside. If your faith can be set aside, is it faith?
If you believe the Earth revolves about the Sun, and this belief is sincere, then how can you “set aside” this belief? No belief can be set aside. The idea itself is ridiculous.
No matter what office a person has, we are all ruled by God. God is the king of all, and any defiance of His will is a sin.
If a Catholic runs for office, it needs to be understood that all decisions should be informed by the faith. God should never be set aside. In the Bible, we know that rulers who defy God despite knowing better always come to doom. They bring misery to their people.
We want to elect Catholic leaders. And we want Catholic leadership.
For now, each election is a compromise. We can defend life in the womb, but it means prisoners may be put to death and we will be less welcoming to the refugee. Or we can follow the opposite path. We can welcome the refugee, but at the cost of our unborn. However, we often vote a conservative ticket because life in the womb is a fundamental issue for us. It’s one issue where there is no ambiguity or room for diversity of opinion. But to think this can be set aside by day is ridiculous.
There are no easy decisions for Catholics in any election cycle. But there should be a moment of pause when a Catholic politician acts as if they can set their faith aside while governing.