Bishop David Ricken of the Catholic Diocese in Green Bay, WI went for the hard sell in a letter to his Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Here's an excerpt:
I would like to review some of the principles to keep in mind as you approach the voting booth to complete your ballot. The first is the set of non-negotiables. These are areas that are “intrinsically evil” and cannot be supported by anyone who is a believer in God or the common good or the dignity of the human person.
3. embryonic stem cell research
4. human cloning
5. homosexual “marriage”
These are intrinsically evil. “A well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program that contradicts fundamental contents of faith and morals.” Intrinsically evil actions are those which have an evil object. In other words, an act is evil by its very nature and to choose an action of this type puts one in grave moral danger.
But what does this have to do with the election? Some candidates and one party have even chosen some of these as their party’s or their personal political platform. To vote for someone in favor of these positions means that you could be morally “complicit” with these choices which are intrinsically evil. This could put your own soul in jeopardy.
Is Bishop Ricken going to start paying taxes? From the ACLJ's "Political Speech & Non Profit Tax Issues":
In exchange for the receipt of tax-exempt status, I.R.C. § 501(c)(3) absolutely prohibits churches and other tax-exempt organizations from campaigning for or against a candidate for public office. If a church participates or interferes, directly or indirectly, in any political campaign for or against any candidate for public office by publishing and distributing certain written material or making oral statements regarding the candidate, then a church can lose its tax-exempt status for violating the campaigning ban. I.R.C. § 1.501(c)(3)-1(c)(3)(iii). Quite simply courts have interpreted 501(c)(3) to ban any degree of participation or intervention in a campaign for public office. Ass’n of the Bar of N.Y. v. Comm'r of Internal Revenue, 858 F.2d 876, 879 (2d Cir. 1988).
But maybe warning someone that they will put their soul in jeopardy if they vote for Obama isn't considered participating in a political campaign?(Thanks, Mark!)
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.