Building the culture of life

Column: Are you Catholic in the voting booth?

Ron Kelsey is the archdiocesan consultant for the pro-life office. You can email him at: or call him at (913) 647-0350.

Ron Kelsey is the archdiocesan consultant for the pro-life office. You can email him at: or call him at (913) 647-0350.

by Ron Kelsey

Another presidential election cycle happens this year. This means many more people will vote compared to non-presidential election cycles.

Hence, it is an especially good time to reflect on how pro-life issues, especially abortion, will impact this year’s elections. More importantly, as Catholics, how should abortion impact our vote?

Is abortion controversial? Certainly. It should be. It is the most basic human rights issue of our time and we Catholics are not called to be ostriches on this critical issue. We are called and morally obligated to be shining lights in a culture of death and darkness.

We are obliged to be countercultural, i.e., Christians. After all, an entire class of human beings is being denied the right to take even one single breath of air, thus denying them any other rights that intrinsically accrue to human beings. And the size of this innocent, defenseless, voiceless class of human beings being persecuted and eliminated is enormous.

This egregious assault may not be dismissed or ignored — not if we are following God’s will. So, we see we must act.

Archbishop Naumann and our U.S. bishops have taught us that procured abortion holds a special claim on our conscience since it is an intrinsic evil, meaning that it is always wrong, regardless of circumstances.

This special claim on our consciences follows us into the voting booth. Voting is a moral act. We must vote realizing that Christ is with us and watching us in the voting booth. And his will is clear on this issue.

Partisan politics are subservient to the moral act of voting. We are Christians first, not members of a political party.

Neither are we single- issue voters. While there are many issues that demand our attention, we should have priorities when voting. Opposition to abortion is clearly a priority issue.

Objectively, politicians who support legal abortion are exercising flawed moral judgment and ignoring one of government’s primary responsibilities of protecting all innocent human beings within its borders.

Legitimately then, one could easily question the overall character and judgment of politicians who support abortion.

Legal abortion would quickly end if no candidate for office could get elected if they supported legal abortion, i.e., if no one voted for such a candidate. Is this possible?

Sure, if we follow God’s will rather than our own will. Protection of unborn children must rise to the same level on the conscience of the nation as that of our protection of born children, where society demonstrates an overwhelming and enthusiastic defense.

After all, there is no difference between born and unborn children in the eyes of God — all are his children and loved unconditionally. Our votes should embrace this same love.

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Ron Kelsey

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