Are racism and torture intrinsic evils like abortion and euthanasia?

On October 28, 2016, Bishop Zubik of the Diocese of Pittsburgh published an article in the Pittsburgh Catholic titled "I'm Telling You How to Vote."  The substance of the article is that there are "intrinsic evils" such as abortion, euthanasia, racism, torture, genocide, and indiscriminate war against innocent civilians.  A Catholic voter must analyze these evils to see which candidate best reflects respect for innocent life by looking at the views of the candidate on these issues.  The voter must balance the candidate's views on each issue to arrive at an informed vote.

I disagree.  If a candidate supports abortion, that should end the analysis.

The basis for the Zubik article and this approach is a statement of the U.S. Conference of Bishops that states:

Forming Consciences for Faithful CitizenshIP

As Catholics we are not single-issue voters. A candidate's position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter's support. Yet a candidate's position on a single issue that involves an intrinsic evil, such as support for legal abortion or the promotion of racism, may legitimately lead a voter to disqualify a candidate from receiving support.

Bishop Zubik wrote:

... As "faithful citizens" and "faith-filled citizens," there are certain non-negotiables. We can never support the taking of innocent human life, either through abortion or euthanasia. These are intrinsically evil (of their very nature). They cannot be supported or defended politically, legally, socially and morally.

Similarly, attacks on human dignity such as genocide, racism, terrorism, torture and indiscriminate warfare waged on innocent civilians can never be condoned. These, too, are intrinsically evil[.]

Thus the intrinsic evils are:

1. Taking of innocent life by abortion or euthanasia.

2. Attacks on human dignity such as genocide, racism, terrorism, torture, and indiscriminate warfare waged on innocent civilians.

This approach is not useful or helpful to Catholic or non-Catholic voters.  First, in the real world of the 2016 election, neither Trump nor Hillary was advocating for genocide, terrorism, or indiscriminate warfare on innocent civilians.  Hillary does support abortion up to the last minute before birth.  Trump does not.

So the vote should go to Trump?  Not so fast.  The bishops say we are not single issue voters, so we have to look at the other intrinsic evils.

There is no problem with defining abortion or euthanasia.  We know what they are.  But there is no universal definition of torture or racism.  Is waterboarding torture?  Is sleep deprivation torture?  Is enhanced interrogation torture?  There are reasonable arguments to justify these measures to obtain information that will save lives.  But because Hillary and Obama say they oppose "torture" without defining it, putting torture in the mix helped Hillary.  Opposing torture can cancel abortion.

Racism is a broad term.  One may not like others of a different race or color, but that does not mean the person does anything to harm the other person, and if you harm, then there is a remedy for the victim.  For example, denying someone housing or a job because of his race or color is discrimination based on racism, but the victim can sue and get relief such as money and the job or housing.  The victim of abortion or euthanasia dies.  There is no remedy for the unborn child, who is killed.

This balancing approach is a fallacious argument that deceives and confuses the voter.

I am a Catholic, but I disagree and criticize the bishops for stating an approach that allows one to vote for a politician, usually a Democrat, who supports even late-term abortion as long as the Democrat says he opposes racism or torture.  I suspect that the clergy of other denominations support the bishops.

Since abortion is a clear-cut intrinsic evil, support for abortion should be the end of the analysis.

In the real world of the 2016 election, Hillary supported late-term abortion.  Trump opposed it.  That should have ended the discussion.  The bishops' statement should have said support for legal abortion shall disqualify a candidate, not may disqualify.

On October 28, 2016, Bishop Zubik of the Diocese of Pittsburgh published an article in the Pittsburgh Catholic titled "I'm Telling You How to Vote."  The substance of the article is that there are "intrinsic evils" such as abortion, euthanasia, racism, torture, genocide, and indiscriminate war against innocent civilians.  A Catholic voter must analyze these evils to see which candidate best reflects respect for innocent life by looking at the views of the candidate on these issues.  The voter must balance the candidate's views on each issue to arrive at an informed vote.

I disagree.  If a candidate supports abortion, that should end the analysis.

The basis for the Zubik article and this approach is a statement of the U.S. Conference of Bishops that states:

Forming Consciences for Faithful CitizenshIP

As Catholics we are not single-issue voters. A candidate's position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter's support. Yet a candidate's position on a single issue that involves an intrinsic evil, such as support for legal abortion or the promotion of racism, may legitimately lead a voter to disqualify a candidate from receiving support.

Bishop Zubik wrote:

... As "faithful citizens" and "faith-filled citizens," there are certain non-negotiables. We can never support the taking of innocent human life, either through abortion or euthanasia. These are intrinsically evil (of their very nature). They cannot be supported or defended politically, legally, socially and morally.

Similarly, attacks on human dignity such as genocide, racism, terrorism, torture and indiscriminate warfare waged on innocent civilians can never be condoned. These, too, are intrinsically evil[.]

Thus the intrinsic evils are:

1. Taking of innocent life by abortion or euthanasia.

2. Attacks on human dignity such as genocide, racism, terrorism, torture, and indiscriminate warfare waged on innocent civilians.

This approach is not useful or helpful to Catholic or non-Catholic voters.  First, in the real world of the 2016 election, neither Trump nor Hillary was advocating for genocide, terrorism, or indiscriminate warfare on innocent civilians.  Hillary does support abortion up to the last minute before birth.  Trump does not.

So the vote should go to Trump?  Not so fast.  The bishops say we are not single issue voters, so we have to look at the other intrinsic evils.

There is no problem with defining abortion or euthanasia.  We know what they are.  But there is no universal definition of torture or racism.  Is waterboarding torture?  Is sleep deprivation torture?  Is enhanced interrogation torture?  There are reasonable arguments to justify these measures to obtain information that will save lives.  But because Hillary and Obama say they oppose "torture" without defining it, putting torture in the mix helped Hillary.  Opposing torture can cancel abortion.

Racism is a broad term.  One may not like others of a different race or color, but that does not mean the person does anything to harm the other person, and if you harm, then there is a remedy for the victim.  For example, denying someone housing or a job because of his race or color is discrimination based on racism, but the victim can sue and get relief such as money and the job or housing.  The victim of abortion or euthanasia dies.  There is no remedy for the unborn child, who is killed.

This balancing approach is a fallacious argument that deceives and confuses the voter.

I am a Catholic, but I disagree and criticize the bishops for stating an approach that allows one to vote for a politician, usually a Democrat, who supports even late-term abortion as long as the Democrat says he opposes racism or torture.  I suspect that the clergy of other denominations support the bishops.

Since abortion is a clear-cut intrinsic evil, support for abortion should be the end of the analysis.

In the real world of the 2016 election, Hillary supported late-term abortion.  Trump opposed it.  That should have ended the discussion.  The bishops' statement should have said support for legal abortion shall disqualify a candidate, not may disqualify.