Discerning Your Vote

A Resource for Faithful Voting in 2016

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The right to vote carries with it a responsibility to form one’s conscience and to study and know the issues and candidates. As faithful citizens, we ask how each candidate will address issues that protect or threaten the dignity of every human life.

There are moral and ethical dimensions to every public policy. But different issues carry different moral weight and urgency. Some involve intrinsically evil acts that can never be approved, such as the intentional destruction of innocent human life. Others involve an obligation to promote human flourishing. The following questions are offered to assist in discerning where the candidates stand on important issues in light of our foundational beliefs.

How will each candidate:

  • Ensure full respect for the right of persons and associations to fully participate in society in accord with their basic moral and religious convictions?
  • Address the preeminent requirement to protect the weakest in our midst—innocent unborn children—by restricting and bringing to an end the destruction of human life through abortion?
  • Reject violent social policies—such as assisted suicide, the destruction of human embryos, and the death penalty—and instead promote alternatives rooted in a consistent ethic of life?
  • Help families and children overcome poverty by creating more choice in education; by promoting access to economic opportunity and work at just wages; and by ensuring an adequate safety net for the vulnerable?
  • Achieve comprehensive immigration reform that offers a path to citizenship, treats immigrant workers fairly, prevents the separation of families, maintains the integrity of our borders, and addresses the factors that compel people to leave their own countries?
  • Ensure access to health care while respecting human life, human dignity, and religious freedom in our health care system?
  • Promote the natural family, based on the life-long, complementary, and fruitful union of one man and one woman, as the foundational unit of society, and reject policies rooted in a false gender ideology?
  • Ensure governmental compliance with moral limits on the use of military force—examining for what purposes it may be used, under what authority, and at what human cost?
  • Exercise stewardship over our natural resources in a way that respects God’s creation, protects the world’s poor and vulnerable, and ensures a sustainable future for our children?
  • Protect the basic political and civil liberties of citizens in a manner consistent with public safety and the common good?

This text is adapted from Forming Conscience for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States. Visit MNCatholic.org/election for more election resources!