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Joe Biden speaks with sup­porters in Iowa. | Flikr

On Tuesday night, Catholics had the perfect oppor­tunity to see why a Joe Biden pres­i­dency should be the last thing they want.

 At the first 2020 pres­i­dential debate, the Demo­c­ratic nominee and Pres­ident Donald Trump faced each other in one of the most antic­i­pated standoffs of the year.

Mod­erator Chris Wallace of Fox News started the debate by dis­cussing Pres­ident Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who has faced harsh scrutiny since her nom­i­nation last Sat­urday.

 Biden, a self-pro­claimed Roman Catholic, voiced his party’s concern that Barrett would “fun­da­men­tally change” a woman’s right to an abortion. 

“She thinks that the Affordable Care Act is not con­sti­tu­tional,” Biden said. “If it’s struck down, what happens? A woman could pay more money because she has a pre-existing con­dition of preg­nancy.”

In the past, Barrett has crit­i­cized members of the court for sup­porting the Affordable Care Act. Democrats fear that if appointed, she will work to undo the court’s fem­inist “progress,” repeal Oba­macare, and strike down the 17 repro­ductive rights cases passing through the courts right now. 

But voters should be less con­cerned with the Supreme Court nominee’s moral compass and more worried about the former vice president’s — espe­cially if they’re Catholic. 

In 1982, Biden served on the Senate Judi­ciary Com­mittee. During that time, he voted for a res­o­lution that would effec­tively overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that pro­tects a woman’s ability to have an abortion. While the bill didn’t make it to the full Senate that year, it was back the next year. That time, Biden voted against the res­o­lution.

Biden has since called that decision the “single most dif­ficult vote I’ve cast as a U.S. Senator.” His rea­soning? He wasn’t sure if he had “a right to impose” his reli­gious beliefs on others. 

If Jesus taught us any­thing, it’s that a good faith is not a timid one. 

It’s not my job to tell Biden how to live faith­fully — but it’s one thing to say you’re Catholic and another to live it. 

When Christ died on the cross for our sal­vation, he did it so that we could live an abundant life of faith. For Catholics, living a life of faith includes strict respect of all human life — no matter how young. The Catholic Church has affirmed the moral evil of every pro­cured abortion, defending lives from the moment of con­ception.

It can be dif­ficult to sep­arate morals from political ide­ology. Can be — but shouldn’t be. For Catholics, the answer is clear: any can­didate that sup­ports abortion should not get your vote. It is evil to vote for a can­didate that pro­motes one of the most grievous sins pub­licly and proudly.

But don’t take my word for it — the Catholic Church agrees with me. 

Former prefect of the Catholic Church’s highest court, Car­dinal Raymond Burke, said in August that Biden “is not a Catholic in good standing and he should not approach to receive Holy Com­munion.”

“First of all, I would tell him not to approach Holy Com­munion out of charity toward him, because that would be a sac­rilege, and a danger to the sal­vation of his own soul,” Burke said. “But also he should not approach to receive Holy Com­munion because he gives scandal to everyone. Because if someone says ‘well, I’m a devout Catholic’ and at the same time is pro­moting abortion, it gives the impression to others that it’s acceptable for a Catholic to be in favor of abortion and of course it’s absolutely not acceptable. It never has been and it never will be.”

Biden has pre­vi­ously said he would increase federal funding for Planned Par­enthood, the largest provider of abor­tions in the world, and most recently during a forum held by Planned Par­enthood, he said he didn’t support the Hyde Amendment, a bill that bans the use of federal funds to pay for a woman’s abortion except in extre­nious cases. 

You can’t pick and choose which church teachings you follow. This sort of “Cafe­teria Catholicism” must be stopped — you don’t get to choose a little bit of the Sacrament of Mar­riage, or decide to only baptize a few of your kids. You don’t accept the Eucharist one week and deny it the next, just like you can’t oppose the church’s stance on abortion.

It’s simple: direct support of a can­didate whose platform vehe­mently sup­ports pro-abortion leg­is­lation goes against Catholic Church teachings.

Right now, your vote as a Catholic isn’t about party affil­i­ation, federal spending, overseas trade, or healthcare — it’s about the moral duty you owe the Lord. 

For the love of God, the love of state, and for the repose of more than 31 million unborn souls, don’t vote for Joe Biden. You don’t want that on your con­science.

 

Haley Strack is a sophomore studying political economy.