Catholics have a moral obligation to exercise our right to vote and participate in the political community as service to the common good.  (CCC 2240, CCC 2239). Non-Catholic Christians also believe strongly in their co-responsibility to the common good of our society that necessitates exercising our voting privileges.

In preparation for voting, it is important to discern how our vote will correspond to our Christian beliefs.  Catholics receive direction from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, "A well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law that contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals." While average citizens are not often directly voting for programs or individual laws, we are responsible for electing candidates that will respect and follow our Doctrine of Faith.

To help you discern how to cast your vote consistent with Catholic moral teaching, Catholic Answers offers the "Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics." This short pamphlet, offered online as well as paper form, walks the reader through the five non-negotiable values present in current politics – abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, human cloning, and homosexual "marriage" – and explains why certain other important moral issues are not included in the list of non-negotiable issues.  It also offers direction for how to vote, how not to vote, and what to do when there is no morally acceptable candidate.

The most important thing to do before casting your vote this election season is to think through the major issues, search your heart and decide what you believe and support.  Pray for God's guidance in discerning your vote in adherence with your faith. Then, please head to the polls and cast your ballot.

With two weeks until Election Day 2010, polls are open for early voting in more than 30 states.  Join me in planning to early vote this week so you don’t have to worry about anything on November 2nd keeping you away from the polls.

Copyright 2010 Lisa Jones