Thursday, December 6, 2007

Voting your conscience

By Austin M. D. Quick
Staff Columnist

My columns have received a great deal of feedback, and I want to state that as a seminarian and a member of this University, I am deeply sorry for any hurt I may have caused. It is my sincere wish to express myself in a loving way that is in keeping with the Gospel.

A student responded to my previous column stated: “I believe that as a Lasallian institution we cannot stay true to what we have been taught in our year(s) here and vote Republican.” The political parties in our country are not perfect, but what is concerning to many is that the Democratic party has shown its support for those without a voice, such as the environment, the poor, illegal immigrants, convicted criminals, etc. However, they do nothing to speak out for the most innocent and voiceless among us: the unborn. They show no concern that in our country alone there are an estimated 3,700 abortions a day. The Democratic Party is against many individual choices, such as gun control, school choice, etc., but they are completely supportive on the issue of a “Woman’s Right to Choose.” Ending another human being’s life is not an option, and it should be a priority of any party.

We must all be sympathetic for the young woman who made a poor life choice and is now pregnant and faced with social ridicule, financial difficulties and a list of other hurdles due to unplanned and unprepared pregnancy. However, this young woman should know that there are many options available to her and none of them deal with ending the baby’s life. It is easy to pass judgment on the many unwed mothers today, and it is our behavior that leads many to make bad choices. As Christians, we are called to help them in any way we can to ensure life is respected at all levels.

As we enter the Advent Season, we are reminded of a young woman named Mary who found that she was to conceive a child without ever having been with a man. Faced with the social implications, even her own death, she chose to have this baby who would be the Prince of Princes and the Lord of Lords. In addition, her husband found that not only was his wife pregnant with a child that wasn’t his own, but that he was to stay with her and never have his own children.

Life is to be respected at all levels, born and unborn, which seems as Lasallian as anything can be. No matter where your political views lie, protecting unborn life should influence your vote in 2008.

Holy Mary and Saint Joseph, pray for us.


Blog Editor said...

After reading this article, I was left with one question: then who do I vote for?

It is very true that all of the democratic candidates running for president are indeed pro-choice. But it is also important to note that Rudy Giuliani (the Republican front-runner) is pro-choice as well. Ron Paul believes it should be up to the states to decide the legality of abortion. Mitt Romney only recently switched positions on abortion to being pro-life though his platform for running in Massachusetts was officially pro-choice.

But I don't even think any of this matters. The decision to elect presidents that are pro-life has not accomplished the goal. George W. Bush, an ardent conservative who is staunchly pro-life, appointed two of the nine Supreme Court Justices as did his father George H. W. Bush. And Ronald Reagan appointed two as well! All of these presidents were/are decidedly pro-life. Seven of the nine Justices have been appointed by Republicans. Even with an overwhelming majority of Republican appointees, the Supreme Court has not, and probably never will, overturn the decision of Roe. v. Wade. It is simply a dead issue, no pun intended.

“I believe that as a Lasallian institution we cannot stay true to what we have been taught in our year(s) here and vote Republican.” It doesn’t make sense why this quote was used in your article as a premise. The student that expressed that view indicated that that statement was one-sided, as he argued that your article’s title was one-sided as well. I could defend that statement very thoroughly, but that wasn’t the point he was trying to make with that statement.

And as for many people have responded to your articles so passionately, it’s because you make statements like “Mr. Obama will be lucky if he is asked to be Hillary’s running mate” (See: A Vote for Hillary is a Vote Against America). These statements are speculative at best and many people would disagree with you on that. Also, your focus on abortion and voting pro-life is an argument that has been beaten to death. Everyone has made up their minds about that issue and it appears that nothing will change. But most importantly, the titles of your articles are what makes people upset. They often are not indicative of the content of the article and are one-sided. It appears that you model your journalistic practices after Fox News. This newspaper isn’t propaganda. It should be objective yet any reader is capable of seeing your bias towards the right wing. Lay out the facts, lay out positions, and let the readers decide.

-Eric Hills [Junior. Social Science Education Major w/ a Concentration in Political Science and History.

Blog Editor said...

I wholeheartedly disagree with you Mr. Quick. To vote on a single issue (such as abortion) in an election is a dangerous idea. Just because a politician believes abortion is wrong doesn’t mean he is right about all other issues. There are two things I think must be brought to your attention. 1. Politics is about compromise. No politician is perfect, but a responsible citizen must weigh the issues and vote for the candidate that best represents his or her view points. 2. I disagree very strongly with how you use abortion as a polarizing issue in each of your editorials. I respect that you have a different opinion than myself and some others on campus. However you use abortion to distinguish between party lines and that is wrong. Politics is not a black and white issue; someone can be pro-choice and be a republican. Being a republican does not mean supporting the religious right, which is how I believe you present it. The political scale is not limited to the left and right. It is a continuum, and people fall into different places on this continuum. As I said before, I respect that you have your opinion, but I urge you to stop looking at issues as though they are black and white. Instead we should all view issues as problems that citizens can solve together through discussion and compromise.

Eric Saindon '07