I've been guilty over the years of throwing my hands up about politics, especially when it comes to life. I see the stagnation and cowardice of many Republicans and the intransigence and deceit from many Democrats. So I've thrown my hands up and chosen to ignore politics completely.
But isn't that just conceding defeat?
Iowa state senator Rick Bertrand believe it is. In an impassioned plea in his local newspaper he writes powerfully about why Catholics, especially pro-life ones, need to stop supporting pro-death politicians.
During my time in the Legislature many people, many Catholics, have asked: Why can’t we have a true debate on “the life issue” in the Iowa Legislature?The party of death wants Catholic pro-lifers to think that nothing will ever change politically. But didn't the left just prove to us that there can be massive societal shifts through political means with the gay marriage issue. Pro-life politicians need to win. Pro-life judges need to be appointed. Pro-life PACs need money. These are things we haven't been very good at.
My answer is simple, but very uncomfortable to many people, including many Catholics.
Over the past five years I have seen dozens of strategic pro-life bills fail in the Democratic-controlled Iowa Senate, and it has been nearly two decades since a meaningful vote on life has been cast in Iowa. The historical reality is that the Democratic Party has controlled at least one branch of state government since 1999 and has demonstrated the ability to block any and all pro-life legislation.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, about now many of you may be saying to yourselves, “Well, enough of this article, this guy is just playing politics.” Actually, I’m not, and I am writing specifically to you, my Democratic friends, and I am asking you as a fellow Catholic to please finish this article, then judge. Please.
The uncomfortable truth is that neither well-intended prayer, nor Saturday morning marches nor financial donations will end the practice of abortion. This mission is no longer about awareness or science; it is about will, our Catholic will, as this fight for the unborn rests irrefutably at the ballot box.
My fellow Christians, when it comes to proactively legislating to end the practice of abortion, there is a clear and undeniable difference between the Republican and Democratic Party in America today. Clear and undeniable.
Now don’t get mad, and let’s quickly defuse the political emotion of Republicans vs. Democrats by simply looking at these two political parties as two organizations - one organization that fights for the abolishment of abortion, let's call it organization “A," while the second, organization “B," works to protect the practice of abortion.
Question: As Catholics, which organization should we be supporting?
Answer: Based upon our core Catholic principles, we Catholics undeniably should be supporting “Organization A." Yes?!?!
In Iowa, there are approximately 3.1 million people. Statistics from the Iowa Catholic Conference show that approximately 16 percent, or just under 500,000 Iowans, are declared Catholics, and approximately 53 percent of Caucasian Catholics and 67 percent of Latino Catholics identify and vote with the Democratic Party.
If we as Catholics are truly sincere about ending abortion, then we as Catholics have to recognize the clear and collective power we statistically possess at the ballot box. I’m not preaching politics, I’m simply pointing out the math.
Until we as a Catholic family begin to hold ourselves privately and publicly accountable to life at the ballot box, our communal plea for the protection of life remains shallow and disingenuous.
Ouch, but that is truth.
As Catholics, how can we collectively sit in the pew and pray for life, then stand at the ballot box and individually vote against it? If this is making some uncomfortable, good. If this reads judgmental, it should. I believe we Catholics must recognize the solution, and work the problem. Any priest or member of our clergy who is voting with the Democratic Party is not leading by example, and simply living and preaching a lie. “Not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.” 1 Peter 5:3
Abortion in this country will only be abolished through the legislative process, and that begins by Catholics electing representatives, an organization, that will aggressively pursue a pro-life agenda. Only then will a domino of judicial rulings pave the way back to the U.S. Supreme Court where this horrific tragedy started.
This is the reality. Can we Catholics handle the truth?
Perhaps its time we changed that.