Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Reflections: Christmas 2008

Christmas 2008

Sitting here at my desk on Christmas Eve getting ready to join fellow pro-lifers in front of a local Planned Parenthood abortion clinic to pray the Rosary, I thought I would reflect on what we all need to consider at this time of year and remind ourselves that our hope must always remain in the One who birth we celebrate tonight.

Throughout history those who have held to the Truth have been attacked and maligned. Even in times when the prevailing culture recognized the truth of the Judeo-Christian perspective, there were outside forces seeking to destroy it. Our struggle to respect life and dignity is not just with in our souls but a part of the fabric of human society.

So today’s attack on life is only another effort by evil to turn man from the good. In times past we have sometimes met the challenge and other times failed. History has taught us the consequences of failure in the body counts of various holocausts.

So then how do we approach our present age? Is it with cynicism or hope? Do we listen to those who predict the end or do we redouble our efforts?

Those of you who know me already know the answer to these questions.

We never quit.

We never give up.

We continue to fight for the lives of these little ones and to prevent the exploitation of their mothers. We promote the dignity of every human life and remind fathers that they are to be role models to their sons and daughters. We stand against the powers of evil with the truth. For only the truth can set us free.

This Christmas we celebrate the birth of a child who brought life in to the world, who was the hope of His people Israel and a light to the Gentiles. In Him we see the precious reality that all human life is sacred and blessed, that each on of us has a purpose and reason for being and that all of us are called to respect and protect all innocent human life.

This Christmas – pray for our nation that it will humble itself, turn from its wicked ways and choose life. Pray for those involved in the pro-life movement that they will not be disheartened but encouraged to fight even more readily to protect life. Pray for religious leaders that they will have the courage to stand up for life. And pray that you will be convicted to make a real difference in this most important struggle of our time.

May Our Lord bless you and those you love during this Holy Season of Christmas.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Congratulations to Joseph Cao

Congratulations to Anh Joseph Cao, the first Vietnamese American to be elected to Congress. Cao defeated the current congressman, William Jefferson a Democrat, who has been indicted for taking bribes. The New Orleans Republican beat Jefferson in a district that is overwhelmingly black and Democrat. Cao is pro-life and represents something fresh and new among this next generation of politicians. He is a survivor of the fall of Saigon and served his fellow man by volunteering in the missions. He is no stranger to difficult roads and along with Governor Bobby Jindal offers to the people of New Orleans something different - honest political figures. We wish him well.

Dauthat gets it; Avlon does not understand. Musings on various blog posts

Ross Dauthat has an op-ed piece at the New York Times where he defends the pro-life reaction to the continued assault by certain losers complaining that the GOP has to change (read be less pro-life) if it is to win elections. He stands with the concept that in order to win, you have to stay in the game ana not concede the field.

There have been numerous attacks on defending the pro-life position coming from former Giuliani types such as John Avlon, whose own article appears in National Review Online.

What is so interesting is that Ross reminds everyone how the other side always trots out these worn out arguments that make no sense and how the mainstream media always writes about it. I guess it is a plus that Ross got his article printed.

As for Avlon, he ignores the standard political science rules about incumbency, changes in party after eight years, the polemics of the last four years and the actual campaigns run by both candidates. He also forgets that in most elections, being pro-life is a net gain.

Obama ran a campaign based upon "hope and change" - two things that in this advertisement drenched society, the American people will always consider. Combine this "hope and change" mantra with a constant does of how bad George W. Bush and the Republicans have been over the last eight years and the ground was properly cultivated for a new approach. Add to the mix a complicit and adoring press that failed to act as a proper inquisitor except when questioning the Republican and the situation becomes more one sided. Finally add to the equation a relic of the old school, who had neither the finesse of his opponent or the youth, was not an orator nor a glad-hander, who did not raise the social issues but was saddled with what was admittedly his weak suit, and the results now seem all too predictable.

Now it seemed to me that many of the base who should have come out in favor of McCain failed to do so and may have even stayed home. Some polls seem to support that the hits McCain took form some conservative pundits and leaders lasted through the election. There are those also who say that McCain did it to himself by not mentioning the 'hot button issues of marriage and abortion, of not making it clearer that Obama was a radical on these issues and giving the liberal religious types sufficient ammunition to paint enough of a gray picture on the social issues in an effort to neutralize the message and allow people to focus on economic considerations. Perhaps they succeeded. Perhaps the churches and its leadership did not say enough. Perhaps it was a combination of all of these factors. In the end the tragic reality is that the babies continue to die.

But Here is the pro-life movement's problem in a nutshell.

We are too nice. We are afraid to remind people of the urgency of the problem for the babies who will be killed tomorrow.

We always have been and we always will be. That is except to our own. Then we unleash our pent-up wrath against the horror caused by the abortion industry and misdirect that anger toward our own.

Yet when it comes to what we in the movement have done to help people, those involved in the pro-life movement need not take a back seat to anyone.

Across the nation we have established pregnancy resource centers, pro-life groups and organizations that have done and continue to do so much. These groups are sometimes supported by sympathetic clergy, but most for the most part and most of the time are out there alone and on their own. A number of organizations think it will all happen in Washington, D.C. and they have spent their millions in the effort to gain influence. However, as the recent elections prove, it is never wise to put one's trust in princes.

An earlier post got it right. The American people do not want to think about abortion. Unless they are reminded that it is killing a child and wrong, they will not do anything about it. But keep it in the foreground in a smart and compelling way, remind them of the adverse consequences of abortion on the society as a whole, show them a better way and the American people will do the right thing - if for no other reason than they want to move on and not deal with the issue.

This means that while the end goal has and must be the change in the law, we must use the current situation to educate the public through the mass media and the Internet. We must have a serious P.R campaign to

1. remind people of the humanity of the unborn child;
2. show that abortion is not good for and does not respect the dignity of women;
3. show that abortion does not solve any problems for those involved but creates new ones;
4. show that there is a better way - a win-win - through adoption.

Abortion attacks the natural bond between mother and child. It tells the world that this special unique relationship is no big deal. Yet every woman deep down knows it is a big deal (unless their conscience has been totally seared). As a society, we have a deep seeded appreciation for the Madonna and Child. We need to reawaken that reverence for life and apply it to the current situation.
We must focus on the local level to re-energize the troops and continue our efforts to educate and change lives one baby at a time. At the same time, national groups need to give us air support by creating, funding and airing powerful advertisements that emphasize the dignity of every human person. No one has to create this wheel. VirtueMedia has some powerful spots, both for television and radio.

Then there is the whole arena of ultrasound technology. 4D ultrasound represents a great tool for teaching the country who is in the womb. And when men see who is in the womb, they are less likely to support abortion. The Internet and YouTube provide ready resources to continue to get the word out to the young people. But you and I have to be pro-active in taking the message to the streets.

During the Christmas season the image of a mother and child evokes a very deep response. We must use this emotional connection to teach the science and the truth in a way that will never leave them.

And by the way, please continue to support Arizona Right to Life for all it does to help advance the cause.

So lets see what we can do to put some urgency back in the movement. And save some lives.