SAN ANTONIO, Texas, OCT. 29, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Life and family are not “religious issues,” but actually involve “fundament concerns of human civilization.” And thus, voters need to be informed about them, says the archbishop of San Antonio.
Archbishop José Gomez affirmed this in a column published today in the San Antonio Express News, noting that a voter’s guide published by that daily had neglected to list the candidates’ positions regarding the preservation of life and the definition of marriage.
“The ‘culture of life’ issues, and I include in that the preservation of the very foundational definition of the human family, often are dismissed as purely religious issues,” he wrote. “This characterization is inaccurate. These issues deal with the most fundamental concerns of human civilization. The strong moral teaching at the foundation of these issues does not disqualify them from deserving serious public discussion, nor deny the impact they have on the common good.”
Archbishop Gomez said he finds it “unfortunate” that “when an individual raises abortion as a critical issue, there is a fear that they will be quickly labeled a ‘one-issue’ voter.”
“While this characterization might protect one from confronting the moral gravity of taking an innocent, defenseless, human life, it also avoids the reality that abortion is an issue that affects all segments of our society,” he wrote. “It represents the primary right guaranteed in our Declaration of Independence — the right to life. Unless we protect this fundamental right of each human person, at all stages of life, no other issue or liberty matters.”
The Church does not pretend to tell people for whom to vote, the archbishop clarified. “We have a responsibility to be a voice for the innocent, the helpless, for life itself at this time of political clutter.
“We cannot ignore these issues, many of which we believe are ‘non-negotiable.’ If our nation loses respect for life and true ‘family values’ it will have lost its moral authority to lead the world.”