And you thought your work was done deciding who to vote for — think again.
Whether you are lamenting or doing a happy dance over the election results, we still have our work cut out for us. As we endured eons of debates, endless sound bites of stump speeches, negative advertisements and massive amounts of mail in our respective mailboxes, we made our collective decision.
I remember hearing from various news commentators (after this I do not think I’ll ever call anyone a news reporter again), that this was the nastiest election ever. If you ever get to Springfield, Illinois, and visit the Abraham Lincoln Museum (a trip well worth it), you will realize that there were actually more negative campaigns, but this one came close.
With our nation’s decision, the real work comes to bear — holding our representatives’ feet to the fire to live up to all the promises they made to get our vote. Or expressing to those we may not have chosen, what direction we feel it is important to go. Now is the time to work at putting the pieces together for the common good and rebuilding a culture of life and love, honoring the dignity of each human person, born and unborn.
Honoring their promises
Among the promises made over the course of the last few months were:
- Appoint respected Supreme Court Justices who will uphold our Constitution, reclaiming dignity for the most vulnerable as a top priority.
- Defund Planned Parenthood, which spent $12 million to reelect President Obama four years ago and heavily funded (to the tune of $38 million) the campaign for Secretary Clinton this time around. Planned Parenthood also receives over $500 million to procure over 300,000 abortions annually.
- Make permanent the bipartisan Hyde Amendment, which protects taxpayers from funding abortions through Medicaid and bans the use of federal funds to pay for the abortions of women serving in the military outside the United States.
- Sign into law a ban on abortions beyond 20 weeks gestation through the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which will save tens of thousands of lives each year.
- Repeal and replace the pro-abortion Obamacare. With its demise will go hundreds of burdensome regulations, including those that brought the Little Sisters of the Poor and other plaintiffs to the federal courts to seek relief from its abortion mandates.
- Uphold a pledge to respect the religious liberties of all who do not want to be forced to promote or be involved in abortion and abortion drugs.
- Permanently defund the U.N. Population Fund, which has promoted China’s program of forced abortions and sterilizations.
Time for action
What can we do? First, devote prayer time each day to thank God for his abundant blessings and his magnificent gift of life for all. In your prayers, ask God to shower our elected officials with his wisdom and care for the most vulnerable, particularly our unborn, disabled and elderly. Pray a rosary, offer a Mass intention, spend time before the Blessed Sacrament, say a quick Hail Mary for life, whatever you can do.
Second, keep abreast of the legislative issues as they come up. Read The Visitor, listen to Catholic radio (KYES is a blessing to our diocese at 1180 AM), watch Catholic TV and sign up for the Catholic Advocacy Network through the Minnesota Catholic Conference to receive email alerts on state and federal issues. To sign up, go to https://mncatholic.org.
Third, act. Make your voice heard against potential laws that would harm life and the common good, or as encouragement to vote for laws that uphold the sanctity of life.
Let us be mindful of the gift of life and how we have a hand in safeguarding it for the generations to come.
As Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, outgoing president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said after the election, “Let us pray for leaders in public life, that they may rise to the responsibilities entrusted to them with grace and courage. And may all of us as Catholics help each other be faithful and joyful witnesses to the healing love of Jesus.”
Chris Codden is director of the Office of Marriage and Family of the Diocese of St. Cloud. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.