Nowhere in the Bible or in Church teaching are we ever directed to suppress our Christian beliefs. St. John tells us that the victory that overcomes the world is our faith (1 John 5:4). Yet we still hear some people state that even though they are personally opposed to certain actions, they cannot in good conscience deny the right of others to engage in them. This is said under the guise of not wanting to force their personal (also read religious) beliefs on others. Many times it’s a politician, but it could just as likely be a friend or relative who makes that claim. Apparently the logical inconsistency of simultaneously professing two opposing beliefs doesn’t trouble them.
If someone is personally opposed to an issue, it’s because hopefully they’ve given it some thought and have solid reasons behind their decision, concluding that it is not the right thing to do. Unless they are devoid of ethical and moral standards, it is therefore illogical for them to favor or support laws that directly oppose that personal belief. Distinguishing between a personal preference: do I want chocolate or vanilla? and a personal moral decision: is abortion the taking of a human life or not? is an important realization.
What if someone were to say, “I am personally opposed to slavery, but if others want to dabble in human trafficking, I have no right to prevent them” or, “I personally wouldn’t want to lead a life of crime, but if that’s your thing why should I deny you?” Obviously our society is protected by secular laws which not surprisingly also happen to follow the moral law. As Christians, following the moral law is a priority that should direct our everyday actions. Legislating morality is not foreign to a just society. The catechism (para. 2238) says that citizens have a “right, and at times the duty, to voice their just criticisms of that which seems harmful to the dignity of persons and to the good of the community.” Our vote is this voice.
Everyone has faith in something, whether it’s religious faith or faith in a secular system. Those who champion abortion, homosexual unions, embryonic stem cell usage, and other activities that our Catholic faith tells us are intrinsically wrong, are most assuredly voting their beliefs. If we sincerely believe the truth of God’s word as taught through the Catholic Church, then we have a responsibility to vote our faith as well.