For the past several weeks, some have been asking me to say that it is a mortal sin to vote for a pro-abortion candidate. The reason that I will not do this is because a vote is an act, and it takes more than an act for something to be a mortal sin. See “What is a Mortal Sin?” at StAquinas.com. Also, there is more to sin than politics. If you just look around you, you’ll see things being talked about and acted upon all around you that are under the classification of acts that could be mortal sins. Sin is everywhere. Let’s take a look on Twitter and compare to the article on mortal sin.This should cause us pain to see, as it does our Sorrowful Mother, but I do not know if these people are actually in a state of mortal sin because I cannot read their hearts. Only God can do that. Ultimately, it is between them and God. If you look at this, maybe you’ll see that just telling someone that something is a mortal sin may not be quite enough. Deliberate intent is required for something to a mortal sin. We don’t know their intent. Only God does.
A thorough listing and description of grave sins (with tweets added by me):
The First Commandment, “You shall Worship the Lord Your God and him only Shall You Serve”
* Idolatry—Idolatry is the worship, veneration or belief in false gods. Because it is a direct rejection of God, it is a grave sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Idolatry includes worship of images (This does not mean that we cannot venerate religious images. Veneration of images such as a crucifix is veneration of the person depicted, and not the actual image in and of itself.)
Keep your religions & beliefs to yourself.. I don’t care who you worship or what you believe in.. Just stop judging others.. U not perfect
— Miya Bailey™ (@MiyaBailey) November 5, 2012
* Divination, magic and sorcery—This is a grave sin which includes attempting to command the powers of the occult, control or speak to demons or spirits (especially Satan), attempting to divine the future, and the use of magic charms (CCC 2116). Deuteronomy 18:10-11 speaks against this grave sin.
I honor the spirits this Sacred nightThirst & hunger may be quenchedSo they’ll put misfortune to flight& bring to us some needed wealth !
— Rebel With A Cause (@RebelwACause55) October 31, 2012
* Sacrilege—The sin of sacrilege is a grave sin that consists of profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments and liturgical actions of the Church as well as things consecrated to God (CCC 2120).
I just “stole” some communion waffers….
— Amanda King (@kujop) November 1, 2012
* Atheism—Because atheistic humanism falsely seeks man and human glory and rejects God, atheism is a grave sin (CCC 2125). It is a sin against the virtue of religion. St. Paul tells us, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unholiness and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice” (Romans 1:18).
I don’t believe in your shitty God, mother.
— Peter Parker (@Fabian_TWS) October 29, 2012
The Second Commandment, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain”
* Blasphemy—This grave sin is the uttering of hatred, reproach, defiance or speaking ill of God. Blasphemy against the Church, the saints and sacred things is also a grave sin (CCC 2148). It fails to give love and respect to our Creator. St. James speaks against sinners who “blaspheme the good name that is invoked upon you” (James 2:7).
— jaime.t(@spinster_90) November 5, 2012
To be honest, I get sad reading these articles for gender studies. Catholics piss me off. — Ricardo Bouyett (@ricbouyy) November 5, 2012
lesbians god damn — cody christmas (@codychristman) November 5, 2012
Oh my god… I forgot to have coffee today — gerardway (@gerardway) November 4, 2012
Perjury and False Oaths—Those who take an oath in the name of the Lord and fail to keep it, or break the oath at a later date, show a grave lack of respect for the Lord of all speech (CCC 2152). Pledging oneself to commit an evil deed is also sinful. During his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus speaks against sinners who give false oaths (Matthew 5:33-34).
I swear I’m going to curb stomp this bitch oneday & I don’t care who there. — _his_only_lady-* (@JayJayMaxine) November 5, 2012
I am really chill about most things but I swear to God if you leave the cap off a 2 liter bottle of soda I will kill you. — candice(@__candypants) November 1, 2012
The Third Commandment, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” * Deliberate failure of the Sunday obligation—The Christian Sunday (the Lord’s Day) celebrates the new life of the world born in Christ’s Resurrection. All humans have a duty, to praise God and give him thanks. Thus all Christians are bound to participate in the Mass, and must partake of the Eucharist at least on holy days of obligation. Deliberate failure to do this constitutes a grave sin (CCC 2181).
Missed Mass. Naughty Boy — Ryan Cullen (@RyanCullen90) November 5, 2012
The Fifth Commandment, “You shall not kill” * Murder (intentional homicide)—Direct and intentional killing is gravely sinful (CCC 2268). It is a sin that cries to heaven for vengeance, much like the murder of Abel at the hands of Cain. Indirect homicide can also be of grave nature (such as refusing to help a person in danger). However, the Church teaches that self-defense is permissible for the preservation of a one’s life. If the attacker is mortally wounded or killed, then the death of the attacker is not a sin. Those who use unnecessary aggression in self-defense can sin mortally, if the attacker is killed or gravely injured.
Thinking about commiting a murder.. Idk yet still gotta think it over — Max Godfrey. (@ej2raw) November 5, 2012
* Abortion—Human life begins at conception in the mother’s womb. For God tells us, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew thee, and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jeremiah 1:5). Abortion is therefore murder. The oldest Christian book (besides parts of the Bible) is the Didache, a book composed by the twelve apostles or their disciples. The Didache proclaims the ancient teaching of the Catholic Church, “You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish” (Didache 2,2). All Catholics who procure a completed abortion or participate in execution of an abortion are automatically excommunicated from the Catholic Church (CCC 2272 and CIC Canon 1314).
Moms getting mad because I’m “casually” saying Lori should’ve had an abortion — Connor?Courtney (@ConnorC_96) November 5, 2012
Warning: Women do not see the funny side if you cook them scrambled eggs in an attempt to cheer them up after they’ve had an abortion. — Very Rude Tweets™ (@VeryRudeTweets) November 4, 2012
* Euthanasia—The direct killing of the sick, handicapped, or dying, regardless of motive, is a grave sin. The will and action taken to cause a person’s death is an act of murder (CCC 2277). Those who are suffering and are nearing death must be allowed to die (or recover, which is sometimes a possibility) naturally. Administration of painkillers is permissible, provided the drugs are not willed as an end or a means to precipitate death. “Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of ‘overzealous treatment” (CCC 2278). In this case death is not willed, but is merely accepted as inevitable and cannot be impeded.
* Suicide—Suicide is murder of the self. It is contrary to the love of God, self, family, friends and neighbors (CCC 2281). It is of especially grave nature, if it is intended to set an example for others to follow. Voluntary cooperation in a suicide is also contrary to the moral law. However, the responsibility of and gravity of suicide can be diminished in the cases of grave psychological disturbances, anguish, grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture. But this does not make it morally permissible, and it is the judgement of God that will measure the gravity or responsibility of the sin.
I want to kill myself right now — lucy bell (@__luccee) November 5, 2012
Great, now I just want to kill myself -.-… — Luis Fernando (@bloodysummers) November 5, 2012
I actually want to kill myself — Siobhan.. (@SiobhanNeely) November 5, 2012
* Scandal—Scandal is an attitude or behavior that leads another to do evil. If someone is deliberately lead into a grave offense, that person’s tempter commits a grave sin (CCC 2284 and 2285). Jesus said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believes in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).
“Go home and kill yourself you emo” how do you know that they won’t? How do you know they weren’t already planning that? — Wink at the Moon (@BriAstronaut) November 5, 2012
* Drug abuse—Drug abuse does grave damage to health and life and is a grave offense. Only legitimate therapeutic use is acceptable (CCC 2290).
we sometimes get STONED and enter our own little world. but that’s okay, we’re HELLA popular there. — Stuff Stoners Like (@stoner_stuff) November 5, 2012
* Gluttony—Gluttony is an excessive love for food, and is a disordered passion for wordly appetites. Because it is contrary to the virtue of temperance, it can constitute a grave sin. Gluttony is also a capital sin (CCC 1866, 2290)
Daily routine: wake up, school, evit, practice, pig out, hw, pig out again, sleep. — f. andreaa(@zicnarfromero) November 2, 2012
* Alcohol Abuse—Alcohol abuse can also be excessively dangerous and harmful to the body, and sometimes to neighbors (CCC 2290).. Because it is also contrary to temperance and is a disordered passion, it is a grave sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
So what we get drunk, so what we gonna tweet — Party Kidzz (@PartyKidzz) November 5, 2012
Lets get drunk and tell eachother everything we’re to afraid to say sober. — Jorge Ramirez (@MrRager801) November 5, 2012
go to hell get drunk with satan and spit ignorant freestyle raps — Kim Jong Trill (@Random_Pun) November 5, 2012
* Terrorism—Terrorism that threatens, wounds and kills indiscriminately is of grave matter (CCC 2297). Other forms of bodily violence (kidnapping, hostage taking, non-medical amputations, mutilations and sterilization) are also contrary to the moral law. This tweet is from a friend of the Copts in Egypt who is concerned about terrorism there.
* Extreme Anger—”Anger is a desire for revenge. If anger reaches the point of a deliberate desire to kill or seriously wound a neighbor, it is gravely against charity; it is a mortal sin (CCC 2302). Christ speaks against anger saying, “Everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgement (Matthew 5:22).”
* Hatred—Hatred of a neighbor is to deliberately wish him evil, and is thus a grave sin (CCC 2303 and Galatians 5:19-20).
* Extortion—Extortion is to obtain something from another by coercion or intimidation. It is an act of violence and theft, and is condemned by 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
“If you don’t love me I will kill your family!!” -Tosh.o — Juan Alaniz (@oJuanTwoThree) November 5, 2012
Those are just the first five commandments. The Sixth Commandment is in regard to sins dealing with sex. Twitter is awash with mortal sin in that area, and it would be sinful just to post the tweets here, so we’ll end at the Fifth Commandment.
Maybe you can see now how it may not be the best strategy to tell people that it’s a mortal sin to vote for Obama. On the one hand, it takes more than the act itself for it to be a mortal sin. On the other, America is overflowing with these acts. What we should do, rather, is to let people know that they are in danger of hell. Will they go to hell? We have no idea. We are not equipped to judge their hearts. But danger? Yes. Indeed. They are in danger.
As a Passionist, and as someone with Asperger Syndrome who interprets much of what people say literally, and knowing as I do that every sin committed scourges Jesus and hangs Him on the Cross, it’s quite a trial for me just to exist on this planet. That is why Our Lady of Sorrows is helpful to me. She stood vigil patiently at the foot of the Cross, sorrowing for all those who would do this, and my peace is under her mantle. Others rightly put their hope in God’s mercy, but mercy comes also through the Cross. It is not without great pain of our Lord, and so, we still should sorrow with our Blessed Mother. We should also make reparation to God as often as possible.