You may have read reports of dead people having voted in recent elections. You may also have heard warnings about questioning the legitimacy of the outcome of the upcoming presidential election. Indeed, one U.S. bishop even stated, “The claims by some of our fellow citizens that they will not accept the final outcome of the election borders on the seditious, portending a future that would be neither civil, nor true to our common roots as Americans. We cannot do this.”
Well, I think dead people who vote should be charged with sedition. After all, they are contributing to the perception that the outcome of the presidential election will be invalid. That can only serve to divide our nation and contribute to the idea of the illegitimacy of our government.
What’s more, dead voters should be told by the U.S. bishops that they are committing what some observers have characterized as a grave sin. Of course dead people who vote may not subjectively be culpable of choosing a grave evil. Subjectively, they may be struggling to choose between what seems to them to be two evil choices. Sort of like other voters.
Anyway, who are we living people to judge dead voters?
But, as with the objective evils of anthropogenic climate change and judgmental rock-throwing, subjective culpability is irrelevant here. The thing is just plain wrong and needs to be called a sin, whatever potential alienating effect that may have on the dead people involved or however it might push certain people to the peripheries, perhaps even into limbo. No one may be permitted to question the reliability of our democratic process and call into question the legitimacy of the presidential election. Not even dead voters, even though they suffer from being excluded from everything else in life.
In the long run, it’s even good for the dead people themselves that they be called to account. They will eventually thank us. Mark my words, one day they’ll be grateful.
Meanwhile, we should keep in mind that while dead people ought not to be allowed to undermine the integrity of our process of electing a President, they are dead largely as a result of circumstances beyond their control. They have been forcibly exiled and made to become refugees to Sheol. We should avoid any derogatory talk about their voting that might suggest a judgment on their moral status or the quality of their persons, despite the illegality of their participation in the electoral process.
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