The Non-Negotiable Issues

As November 8th approaches, John Morales welcomed Brian Burch of onto Morning Air to talk about what he believes are the non-negotiable issues he considers top priorities during this election season.

Burch began by clarifying that the Church’s stance when it comes to voter issues is that “there’s no issue that does not matter.” But at the same time, the Church has also given us the tools and the guidance to be able to evaluate the issues facing us, prioritize certain ones above others, and understand the nature of the problems facing us.

“It’s very clear that there are certain perennial issues that the Church has called foundational,” said Burch. “The trick here is that sometimes we think as Catholics we just need to go look in the Catechism and find the checkboxes. And as long as we check the checkboxes, everything will be simple and easy. Unfortunately, it’s not always that clear.”

The way the Church determines what the preeminent issues are is based on the importance of the moral questions that they regard. Some things are intrinsically evil. Some things are intrinsically good. We are duty-bound to vote against intrinsically immoral policies.

  1. At the very top of this list, the most preeminent issue for Catholics is the sanctity of life. Abortion is an intrinsic evil that is always wrong. This is not the sole issue upon which Catholics vote. It does not invalidate the other policies that we face, but this issue addresses the very core of what it means to be a moral civilization. It absolutely must be prioritized.

“It impacts mothers and their relationships with children. It impacts men and their relationships with women. It impacts the justice of the life of the unborn innocent child.”

Abortion is often advertised as the one outlying religious issue, but it goes so much further beyond that. If we simply take a moment to realize what its implications are, we would realize that the way we deal with life and death has far-reaching effects on the way the rest of society operates. Are we building a culture of life or a culture of death?

  1. Tied very closely to the issue of abortion is the issue of euthanasia, something that is widely considered illegal, but has stayed alive through alternative processes like PAS (physician-assisted suicide). While some argue that this should be legal because it involves the conscious decision of an adult (or a representative), the core of these two life issues remains the same: we do not have the right to end innocent lives. Only God determines when somebody is ready to die.

While the platform of euthanasia and a patient’s right to kill themselves hasn’t necessarily been at the forefront of political issues recently, it is without a doubt, an objectively immoral act that Catholics are obligated to vote against should it arise.

  1. The third issue that Burch believes is a non-negotiable for Catholics is the fight for religious freedom. For years now, Catholic institutions like hospitals, churches, and schools have been targeted by anti-religious legislation and politicians seeking to infringe upon their right to reject immoral policies.

Specifically, much of what has been pushed upon our institutions has revolved around coerced abortion procedures and transgender surgeries, the attempt to force churches to bless gay marriage ceremonies, and the introduction of sexual and gender-ideological content into schools. All of these things are certifiable assaults on religious freedom as they are the forced promotion and advancement of serious and grave sins. They fundamentally pervert and distort the sanctity of life, marriage, and sexuality.

  1. As with the first two issues that Burch discussed, the fourth is closely tied to the third as it is the protection of family and parental rights. The Church teaches that the family is the first and most vital cell of society and that parents should be the primary educators of their children. We have seen time and time again in history, that when the family breaks down, so does the culture. A lack of parental oversight, a failure to address familial issues, and an absence of love is what has brought our society to the brink. We need to return to the cornerstone that consists of a husband and wife raising their children together.

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John Hanretty serves as a Digital Media Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Besides being passionate about writing, his hobbies include drawing and digital design. You can read more of his daily articles at and on the Relevant Radio® app.