Voting with the most vulnerable in mind

Vote for LifeWith only a few days to go until New Zealand’s General Election most people have likely made their minds up about who to vote for.

Our children attend a Catholic primary school and it has been interesting to hear the comments they have been making over the last few weeks as the election process has been studied.  Yesterday, two came home with the results of a class election.  Given the children are highly influenced by what is being discussed at home, I suspect the class election results are a close indication of how the parents will be voting this coming Saturday!  Unsurprisingly, for this electorate, Labour won with flying colours.

I wonder if these families understand the implications for preborn New Zealanders if they vote Labour this year?  Do they know that a Labour member (Maryan Street) intends to reintroduce a private member’s bill that will legalise the killing of adults who are terminally ill or find their suffering (whatever that may be) “unbearable”?

And it is not just Labour that we should be wary of.  The Green’s wish to remove abortion from the Crimes Act, making abortion easily accessed while removing the rights of pro-life doctors and nurses to follow their own conscience and not subject their second patient (the preborn child) to death.  Crisis Pregnancy Centres are also a target of the Green’s policy.  Labour and the Greens are joined by Internet Mana and other parties and candidates that do not uphold the dignity of the human person from conception to natural death.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life is handy document to refer to.   It can be perused not only by Catholics, but by all people of good will who wish to ensure the common good of all people is upheld.

In it, we are reminded that:

“In the face of fundamental and inalienable ethical demands, Christians must recognize that what is at stake is the essence of the moral law, which concerns the integral good of the human person.  This is the case with laws concerning abortion and euthanasia (not to be confused with the decision to forgo extraordinary treatments, which is morally legitimate).  Such laws must defend the basic right to life from conception to natural death.  In the same way, it is necessary to recall the duty to respect and protect the rights of the human embryo.  Analogously, the family needs to be safeguarded and promoted, based on monogamous marriage between a man and a woman, and protected in its unity and stability in the face of modern laws on divorce:  in no way can other forms of cohabitation be placed on the same level as marriage, nor can they receive legal recognition as such.” (#4)

The people whom we elect on Saturday have the power to further strip the most vulnerable in our society – the preborn and those near the end of life – of their intrinsic dignity.  If we vote well, there will be people in parliament to speak up for the most defenseless.

Not so long ago New Zealand’s Catholic Bishop’s released a statement to all the Catholic faithful.  In it they noted that “protecting the most vulnerable members of society is the responsibility of every one of us.”

Our shepherds also noted that “we are challenged as voters to place first in heart and conscience those whose lives are potentially affected by decisions we make as voters.”

Among the people they listed as needing our attention, the Bishop’s mentioned the preborn children and those nearing the end of life.

As we walk into the polling booths on Saturday, everyone must be aware of the grave situation that lies ahead of us if particular political parties obtain the balance of power.

The lives of even more preborn children are at stake; families are at risk of being further breakdown; and those who suffer from terminal illness (or any condition that one finds burdensome) will be at risk of euthanasia.

So when it comes to the political parties and candidates do you know their policies and what they stand for?  Do you know for sure that they will keep their word and not change tack after being swayed by organisations that promote abortion, contraception, euthanasia and the breakdown of the traditional family?

We need strong people in parliament who will speak up for all people who reside in this beautiful country – God’s own.  We must ensure that the parties we vote for have sound policies that uphold the dignity of all people at every stage of life – from the very moment of conception right through to natural death.

Acknowledging the sacredness and right to life of individuals is the foundation for which we can build a strong society.  We ignore the most vulnerable among us at our own peril.

 

Check out Family First’s website Value Your Vote for more information on the parties and candidates.

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