Being new to Iowa, I didn't have much information about the candidates in the election coming up next Tuesday, so I went online and found their e-mail addresses and sent them all a message. (Well, I sent a message to all the state and federal candidates. I haven't yet found all of my local candidates' addresses.) I have 6 top issues (as every Catholic should) and I vote according to those issues (as every Catholic should). If a candidate stands the wrong way on any of these issues, he automatically stands opposed to the Catholic view of society, so I would not want him in ANY office--even if that office wouldn't end up having anything to do with that issue.
I've received a number of messages back and it has really helped me to know who to vote for. Not only that, but it lets candidates know what issues are important to me and the Church.
Below is a copy of the letter. Feel free to customize it for use with your own candidates. [edit: Looks like I'm not the only one doing this. Check out Aggie Catholics' Open Letter to Politicians.]
Greetings candidates,My name is Casey Truelove and I am a Catholic voter. I'm interested in voting according to a well-formed Catholic conscience and I want to know where you stand on particular moral issues. I cannot in good conscience vote in any candidate (on ANY level) who doesn't act AND vote according to a good, well-formed conscience.I recognize that God Himself has designed man to flourish when he acts well and that man separates himself from God when he acts poorly. This is then reflected in society at large. I also recognize that God has revealed much of what is truly good and what is truly poor for man to do--either through Jesus Himself, or through His Catholic Church and Her reflections on the deposit of faith that Jesus left Her (including what she has recorded in the New Testament of the Holy Scriptures), or through what we inherited from the Jewish people and the (Old Testament) Scriptures that they had written down.Rather than list the many things that man and society can do to flourish, I will simply list a few topics that afflict modern man and prevent him from flourishing, and which I cannot support:• Denying God in the public square- Rejecting God as the designer of community- This often also goes against the First Ammendment, by impeding the "free exercise" of religion.• Abortion (playing God by taking life--killing babies while they're still developing in the womb)• Euthanasia (playing God by taking life again--killing old people instead of letting them die through the means that God intends)• Human Cloning (playing God by artificially manufacturing living things)• Trying to redefine marriage so that it includes homosexual couples- Playing God by thinking that we somehow have an ability to redefine what constitutes a marriage- This includes trying to redefine parenting so that homosexual couples are looked at as being on par with traditional couples for raising children (biological or adopted)• Embryonic Stem Cell Research- Playing God by killing a child in the womb to harvest his cells- Adult Stem Cell Research is fine and has produced many cures (as opposed to the failures of Embryonic SC Research)You might have noticed that all of these are a serious offense against God Himself. Catholics cannot support any of them in any way.Where do you stand on these issues? I can only vote for you if you will represent me and my fellow 67 million American Catholics by voting against ALL of these vices. You can have my vote (and my endorsement to other friends) if you will direct our society toward flourishing--which can only happen by following what is truly best for us, by rejecting these (and any other) social vices. To help us in our confusion, God has given us a number of statements on how to act. We should follow what He has revealed to us as truly good (not just what we think is good). Can I vote for you? Are you going to honestly represent me? Please let me know.God bless you,Casey TrueloveNorwalk, IA