instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

On voting, 2014 edition

In a post for CatholicVote,org,.Bishop James Conley of the Diocese of Lincoln writes:
It seems to me that not voting, unless there are very grave reasons to abstain, is a sin—and when we fail to vote for reasons no better than apathy or forgetfulness, we ought to confess that.
It seems to me that a bishop should not publicly write, "It seems to me that [X] is a sin." A bishop is a teacher of the Christian faith. If, according to the Christian faith, [X] is a sin, the bishop should write, "[X] is a sin." Giving his personal opinion, while writing as a bishop, about whether [X] is a sin, conflates personal opinion with the Faith received from the Apostles.

Since I am not a bishop, I'll add that it seems to me that not voting in today's general election in the United States isn't a sin unless you do not vote for some vicious reason. The good that I can effect through my act of voting today is so slight and indirect that a similarly slight and indirect reason would justify not voting.

All that said, I do plan on voting today. It's the least important act on behalf of the common good, but it is an act on behalf of the common good (if I don't mess up).