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Color me just the slightest bit confused on the new USCCB Forming Consciences For Faithful Citizenship guidelines:

36. When all candidates hold a position that promotes an intrinsically evil act, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods.

Of course, the first choice certainly holds more merit — that being recusancy, something with a long tradition in the history of Catholicism (primarily in Tudor England, but seen elsewhere in Ireland, Sweden, and Germany).  In short, sometimes the only moral option is not to choose… basic lifeboat ethics, as it were.

Then again, there is a fourth choice.  Vote third party, specifically the “libertarian option” which would certainly satisfy very few who prefer that government do something — anything — about our moral and social ills.  Libertarianism being defined as the grand conspiracy to take over the government and then leave you alone?  Would certainly be the form of governance that would give the greatest possible liberty to the Church…

This naturally raises the question as to whether an amoral government is preferable to an immoral government.  I’m sure St. Thomas Aquinas has all sorts of great stuff to say about this in the Summa Theologicae (HINT: he does), but suffice to say, given a choice between two evils?  The advancement of either evil seems a tad bit out of place… and the explanation on the latter seems to take a great deal away from the much simpler and far more moral choice of the former.

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