Dirty Hands and Political Despair

Dirty Hands and Political Despair

This kind of “dirty hands” thinking, which posits that general moral norms can and should be violated when an apparently worse evil can be avoided, finds no support in traditional Christian thought. Our first duty is always to avoid sin and to pursue virtue, and that begins with a well-formed conscience. There can be no haggling with the Lord over when conscience really matters. We must never think we are so clever that we can flirt with the evil one and leave it at that. If you would like to argue that voting for a dirty candidate is morally good, so be it. But it is incoherent and dangerous to counsel overriding one’s conscience to cast that vote, or to say that such a vote is bad but necessary due to the worse alternative. A morality that requires immoral actions in extreme situations cannot be called Christian, and indeed it cannot be called morality at all.

Read more at First Things.