Archive for the ‘Vote’ Category

Respect Life Month Brings Rich, Inter-related Themes This Year

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Happy October! And what a month it will be! There are various powerful observances and events this month whose themes reinforce one another and the overall mission of the Church on behalf of human life.

It is, first of all, Respect Life Month. It’s a time to let the pulpits roar with the Church’s Biblical witness to the sacredness of life.

And the appropriateness of that roaring is accented this month by the worldwide Synod of Bishops that begins on October 7, and the Church’s Year of Faith that begins on October 11th, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

The Synod of Bishops will discuss the “New Evangelization,” the proclamation of the faith with new vigor and new methods. It is for the purpose of embracing anew our faith in Christ that the Year of Faith is being observed. And all of this is, of course, why Churches exist, why religious freedom is important, and why preachers preach.

Moreover, the pro-life message is not something we “add on” to our faith as a hobby or extra-curricular activity. It is at the very heart and foundation of our faith. As I put it in the memo I submitted to the Vatican on behalf of Priests for Life in preparation for this year’s Synod of Bishops,

“The Gospel of Christ is the Gospel of Life. The good news of the redemption of the human person in Christ is news about how he unites our human nature with His Divine Nature. The Gospel is precisely about the exaltation of human dignity in Christ. In proclaiming the hope that Christ offers humanity, namely, that he will sit us with him on his throne (cf. Rev. 3:21), the Church cannot then ignore the phenomenon by which that same humanity is thrown in the garbage. Were she to do that, her very proclamation of the Gospel would be compromised and rendered unpersuasive.

“When a society forgets the Creator, the creature becomes unintelligible. The culture of death is precisely a sign that new evangelization is needed. New Evangelization includes, at its core, the proclamation of the sanctity of life.”

We proclaim that message, furthermore, in these weeks that lead up to the most important election of our lifetime, an election that will decide the fate of countless unborn children, and the status of religious liberty in America.

Because the stakes are so high, hundreds of pastors this year will take part in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” in which they will preach sermons that apply Biblical standards to political candidates, and will send those sermons to the IRS to challenge them to clarify the restrictions on Churches against political speech. This has occurred for several years now. In fact, we can do much more than we think we can, but it’s not a bad idea to challenge those restrictions in court.

So, welcome, October! As we enter Autumn, bring a Springtime to our Faith, to our pro-life zeal, and to our informed, responsible citizenship

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Fr. Pavone Launches National Voter Guide Distribution Project

Monday, October 1st, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 1, 2012

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, announced today the formal start of the national Voter Guide Distribution Project, with the release of a training video publicly available at www.PoliticalResponsibility.com.

“Hundreds of people around the country will take to the streets this month to distribute our voter guides on public property,” Fr. Pavone explained. “In this most important election of our lifetime, when the right to life and religious liberty are so much at stake, it is crucial that people not only know what the issues mean, but where the candidates stand on those issues.”

The project makes use of two voter guides that Priests for Life has prepared. One compares the positions of President Obama and Governor Romney on a wide range of issues of concern to the electorate.

The other compares the positions contained in the party platforms of the Republican and Democratic national parties.

Both of these guides are accompanied by letters issued by legal experts attesting that the guides are c-3 qualified, that is, that they may be distributed by Churches and other tax-exempt organizations because the guides are neutral rather than partisan.

The project involves having teams of people distribute the guides on the public sidewalks near churches, to the people coming out of the Masses and worship services.

“This year, more than ever, the faithful are ready to take up a task that, unfortunately, many of our institutions fail to do: to inform their fellow citizens about the positions of the candidates and the parties. We often wait in vain for Churches to distribute voter guides. Many are under the impression that they can never mention a candidate’s name, or that their tax exempt status is threatened by a c-3 qualified guide. From the vantage point of law, such a position is mistaken, and from the vantage point of morals, such a position is cowardly,” Fr. Pavone stated. “Then, we complain that the people we elect are threatening our religious freedom. Before we blame them, however, we should blame ourselves. As our United States Catholic Bishops have stated, ‘We get the public officials we deserve. Their virtue — or lack thereof — is a judgment not only on them, but on us’ (1998, Living the Gospel of Life, n.34).”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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40 Days to Save America Under Way

Monday, October 1st, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 1, 2012

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, is urging all clergy to join him in taking part in 40 Days to Save America, a prayer and fasting campaign that began officially on Friday, Sept. 28.

Father Pavone serves on the Board of Governors of 40 Days at the invitation of Pastor Rick Scarborough, founder of Vision America and chairman of the campaign. Hundreds of organizations, ministries and houses of worship already have signed up to take part.

“This initiative combines the awareness that our nation is in an unprecedented crisis with the conviction of faith that prayer, fasting, and action can make a difference,” Father Pavone said. “And the fact that it leads up to Election day reminds believers that along with being in Church, they need to be in the voting booth.”

The 40 Days to Save America effort allows wide flexibility for Churches to use diverse resources and plan their activities. Among the resources Priests for Life provides are for prayer and preaching on the Culture of Life. See www.PrayerCampaign.org for the daily Election Prayer, and www.ProLifePreaching.com for preaching resources.

To sign up for the campaign, visit www.40DaystoSaveAmerica.com.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Dr. Alveda King Releases New Platform Comparison

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

POLITICAL PLATFORM COMPARISONS
Prepared by Dr. Alveda King,
Director of African American Outreach, Priests for Life

Many would agree that voting is a civil right. Some would go a step further and make the case that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is a lot easier to attain if we have the resources to follow our desires.

What seems odd is that for many — if not most — Americans the economy tops the short list of concerns, yet most people do not seem to be connecting the dots between prosperity and moral values.

Voting with your morals could pay off in the long run. It’s also a good way to compare the political platforms of the parties.

Let’s compare the New Independent Christian Party, the Republican and the Democratic platforms:

New Independent Christian Party Platform:

 

The New Independent Christian Party seeks to align all platform issues with the standard of the Word of God. This includes:

The Work Ethic – if a person does not work, he or she will not be able to avoid hunger and poverty

Fair Taxation – all people are entitled to share the responsibility of governance through fair taxation

Equal Pay for Equal Work

Fairness in Voting

Fair and Equal Health Care Reform

Fair Education Reform

Natural Marriage and Family/Right to Be Born

Freedom to Worship

 

Democratic Platform

Robs Social Security of future contributors by supporting abortion.

Includes welfare handouts without providing America’s needy with a work ethic or the dignity of contributing to the society that serves them.

Promotes casual sex with harmful chemical and surgical solutions to consequences.

Penalizes companies that support Bible-based values.

Promotes an unequal distribution of wealth.

Punishes people for considering moral consequences, while rewarding harmful behaviors.

 

Republican Platform

Supports life with dignity from conception through natural death.

Recognizes traditional marriage as being between a man and woman.

Promotes healthy families by allowing human beings to be conceived, born with dignity and live healthy lives as contributors to a growing society which in turn serves them.

Advocates sexual responsibility with financial, emotional, physical, and spiritual consequences.

Seeks to empower Americans with fair taxation, a strong work ethic, and religious freedom that allows employees to express their values openly and freely.

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NOW THIS IS A PRESIDENT!

Monday, September 24th, 2012

This is the kind of man America needs as President. We need to turn back to God in order to receive His blessings.

Make sure you vote in 2012. Go to www.politicalresponsibility.com for up to date information on this year’s political process. For a 501(c)(3) friendly voter’s guide and comparison of your choices visit www.priestsforlife.org/candidates.

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The Long Road Home…

Friday, September 21st, 2012

“God moved on my spirit and he said, ‘The hearts of the people must be changed. We have to take the long road home. He didn’t say ‘no’. It’s (overturn of Roe) gonna happen.” Alveda King, 2006

It seems like yesterday when I spoke these words to a student group. The road is long, with many a winding turn (that’s from a song: HE AIN’T HEAVY, HE’S MY BROTHER.) The babies are our brothers and sisters. We have to vote for life this fall.

Friends, don’t shun the voting booths this fall. People died so we can vote. Not just Blacks; women and others have had to fight in order to vote. Don’t give naysayers the opportunity to say that we never deserved the right to vote in the first place. We can vote our convictions. We can write in or vote for those on the ballot. We also must vote down the ballot for other candidates.

Be wise, don’t cast away your vote or your confidence in God.

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No vote? Not optional! People died so we can vote, says Dr. Alveda King

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

“I have come to see more and more that one of the most decisive steps that the Negro can take is that little walk to the voting booth. That is an important step. We’ve got to gain the ballot, and through that gain, political power.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. January 1, 1957

Amendment XV (the Fifteenth Amendment) of the United States Constitution provides that governments in the United States may not prevent a citizen from voting based on that citizen’s race, color, or previous condition of servitude (i.e. slavery). It was ratified on February 3, 1870. This decision allowed Black men to vote; but Jim Crow laws and other prohibiting factors stymied the Black vote until 1965.

Today, the right to vote is a fundamental civil right in the Unites States; granted to African Americans after the Voting Rights Act in 1965; which outlawed many of the practices that were previously used to keep black people from exercising their right to vote. The Voting Rights Act came up for ratification in 2009. The Supreme Court extended the act though it is suggested that the ratification clause may eventually be struck down as unnecessary as it appears the Court now believes that there should be no distinction made between the voting rights of black and white United States citizens.

Historically the right to vote has also impacted women, immigrants and ex-offenders. The national right for the women’s vote came in 1920 with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Also, immigrants who have become naturalized citizens have the right to vote in all elections. In most states, prisoners are not allowed to vote while they are in jail or prison. Once they are released they may lose the right to vote either temporarily or permanently. Ex-offenders can appeal to have their voting rights restored if they are pardoned by the governor or legislative state authority.

As the daughter of Rev. A. D. King and his wife Naomi, I can well remember the struggles over the vote in the mid-20th century. Men like my father, my grandfather Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. and my famous uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as brave women fought hard to further establish the Black Vote. Many people have fought and died to maintain the privilege and right for Black citizens of the U. S. to vote. So not voting is not an option.

There are more than two candidates on the upcoming ballots. We can vote for the candidate who most clearly reflects our values. We can vote for one of the two popular candidates, or we can write in the candidate of our choice. Some consider the write in option as a wasted effort, not a vote. What is a waste is to not respect the efforts of those who fought and sometimes died for our right to vote.

Beyond the obvious presidential candidates, we must also vote down ballot. Whatever we decide to do, we must surely honor those who have gone before us. We must cast our ballots and not cast away our confidence in God.

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A Challenge to Candidates and Voters on Abortion

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, released a statement today challenging candidates and voters of both parties to face the reality of abortion. “Those who support it, and speak in favor of its legality, should be willing to admit what it is. Yet in vain will you struggle to hear them say a single word describing the procedure,” Fr. Frank declared.

The Democratic National Convention was marked by speeches by prominent abortion supporters this week.

Fr. Frank announced a special project to help citizens challenge candidates to describe what they mean by the word “abortion.” The project can be found at www.priestsforlife.org/IsThisWhatYouMean.

Fr. Frank’s full statement can be found here: www.priestsforlife.org/articles/4303-challenge-to-candidates-voters

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Sept. 9 is Voter Registration Sunday: Priests for Life Director calls Churches to get involved

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: August 15, 2012

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Sunday, Sept. 9 is the last of three “Voter Registration Sundays” organized and promoted by Priests for Life and the national Vote Pro-life Coalition.

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, has challenged Churches and church organizations to abandon their fears and take every means permitted to them to register as many Americans as possible to vote in the fast-approaching elections.

“We are our own obstacle,” Fr. Frank declared. “The fears of pastors in this area are in overdrive, creating a caricature of our legal system as well as a mockery of our faith. We imagine the IRS knocking at our door Monday morning for what we say on Sunday. That’s not going to happen. And we have more fear of what people will say if we take action than we have of what God will say if we don’t.”

“Assisting people to register to vote is one of the best ways to exercise our citizenship,” said Fr. Frank. “Non-partisan voter registration is both legal and appropriate for Churches to do, because it is a way to assist members of the congregation to exercise their faith in day- to-day life.”

Visitors to www.priestsforlife.org/vote will find all the information and materials they will need to conduct a successful registration drive. Priests for Life has spearheaded this effort by forming the “Vote Pro-life Coalition,” in which dozens of national organizations pursue the same goals related to non-partisan political involvement.

“Conducting voter registration is one of the ways we exercise our religious freedom,” Fr. Frank added. “In the midst of our current efforts to defend that freedom, wouldn’t it be a sad irony if the Church were to fail to exercise it?”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Sept. 9 is the final Voter Registration Sunday

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: August 22, 2012

Contact: Andre Kim
347-286-7277

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Sunday, Sept. 9 is the last of three “Voter Registration Sundays” organized and promoted by Priests for Life.

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, hopes all people of faith will take part by helping to register as many Americans as possible to vote in the fast-approaching elections.

“Assisting people to register to vote is one of the best ways to exercise our citizenship,” said Fr. Pavone.

“Non-partisan voter registration is both legal and appropriate for Churches to do, because it is a way to assist members of the congregation to exercise their faith in day-to-day life, and to take advantage of the freedom God gives us in this country.”

Visitors to www.priestsforlife.org/vote will find all the information and materials they will need to conduct a successful registration drive. Priests for Life has spearheaded this effort by forming the “Vote Pro-life Coalition,” in which dozens of national organizations pursue the same goals related to non-partisan political involvement.

“Voter registration drives fall within the activities that are permitted to tax-exempt organizations and churches,” said Father Pavone. “The IRS is not standing in our way, so there is no reason that Churches and non-profits shouldn’t be working hard to ensure a high voter turnout in November.”

“Let’s also keep in mind that voting actually starts in September, given the early voting that many states provide. So there’s no time to waste.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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