Elections 2012: Be Free, Be Smart, Be Responsible!

The Election 2012 season is well underway.

Among the Church documents most important to pay attention to in this and every election cycle is Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics, issued by the entire body of United States bishops in 1998. In that document we read:

“We get the public officials we deserve. Their virtue — or lack thereof — is a judgment not only on them, but on us. Because of this, we urge our fellow citizens to see beyond party politics, to analyze campaign rhetoric critically, and to choose their political leaders according to principle, not party affiliation or mere self-interest” (n. 34).

Put another way, the bishops are calling us to be free, be smart, and take responsibility. We are to be free from the seductive power of empty rhetoric, seductive slogans, and campaigns based more on hype than substance. We are to be free, moreover, from a blind loyalty to a party just because our grandparents always voted for it, while we are unaware of how the things that party now stands for have changed.

We are to be smart, attentive, informed. We need to get to know the candidates as far in advance as possible, and not only hear what they say, but see how they have governed in the past, how they have shown loyalty to their principles, with whom they have associated and from whom they seek and receive their endorsements.

We are to take responsibility. The quality of those elected reflects the quality of those who elect them. We have to get engaged in the process – starting now – stay engaged, and get as many others engaged as we can. And we who go into the pulpits have to open our mouths and stop being afraid of talking about what the Church teaches regarding politics and elections.

We can begin to put all this into practice by paying attention to what is happening in the coming weeks and months.

Other events to take note of as the election calendar progresses can be found at PoliticalResponsibility.com. Let’s be informed and involved!

Priests for Life mourns the passing of Rev. Howard Creecy

ATLANTA — Dr. Alveda C. King, Director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life, today mourned the passing of the Rev. Howard Creecy Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
“Howard will be sorely missed. He was a man of integrity and deep compassion,” said Dr. King
Rev. Creecy, 57, died Thursday, July 28, at his Atlanta home. The cause of death has not yet been determined.
He was elected to lead the SCLC in January, when Bernice King, the daughter of SCLC co-founder Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., declined the position. A third-generation preacher, he also was the senior pastor of Olivet Church in Fayette, Ga.
When he assumed the SCLC post, Rev. Creecy acknowledged that internal divisions had troubled the 54-year-old organization in recent years. His goal was to get past those divisions and move the organization forward with a clearly defined mission.
SCLC spokesman Maynard Eaton told Reuters that Rev. Creecy “saved this organization. It was on the brink of disaster. He became this organization’s lifeline with his charisma and his preacher passion.”
Dr. King was looking forward to working with Rev. Creecy to raise awareness of the devastating impact of abortion on the African-American community.
“Howard and I spoke just a few weeks ago at a women’s conference honoring both our mothers. He stopped me in the hallway and said, ‘Alveda, we should meet soon. I am with you in the fight for life.’ He went on to say that he had attended a pro-life prayer meeting with Dr. Billy Graham, and had also participated in Operation Rescue pro-life rallies.”
Isaac Newton Farris Jr., a nephew of Martin Luther King Jr., has been named interim president, the organization said.
Rev. Creecy is survived by his wife, Yolanda Grier Creecy, and two children. The funeral will be Saturday at Jackson Memorial Baptist Church in Atlanta.

Announcing the Vote Pro-Life Coalition

Priests for Life has once again launched the Vote Pro-Life Coalition, by which dozens of national pro-life organizations will work together to have an impact on the elections of 2012. The record number of pro-life laws which have been passed on the state level in the past year shows the impact that elections can have. Moreover, the makeup of the Supreme Court, and the fact that in the next few years it can shift either toward or away from pro-life positions, highlights the importance of federal elections.

All together, we must work to advance the Culture of Life in the voting booth. Let’s pray, be informed, register voters, distribute information about the candidates, show others the importance of pro-life voting, and get many others to the polls.

Your Reward is Great in Heaven

Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.
So many pro-life leaders I know, including myself, have been falsely accused in public of advocating or even doing violence. Pregnancy centers, which compassionately serve parents and their babies every day, have been falsely accused of deceiving the public. Activists who try to change the laws have been falsely accused of opposing democracy.
The litany goes on and on, and proves that pro-life people are living this beatitude. They should rejoice, for their reward in heaven indeed is great. The children, who cannot know how much pro-life people love them, cannot repay them. They will be repaid in the resurrection of the just.

The Tide is Turning

A June 2011 survey from the Public Religion Research Institute finds that more than half of Americans say abortions are morally wrong, and that young Americans do not show any more support for abortion than those who are older.

As PPRI pollster Robert Jones said, “It’s not the kind of issue that one celebrates.”

In May of 2011 a Gallup poll found similar results, showing that Americans believe abortion is morally wrong and that all or most abortions should be illegal. That poll showed that by a 24% margin, 61%-37%, Americans take the pro-life view that abortions should either be legal under no circumstances or legal only under a few circumstances.

To find out how you can help mobilize these majorities to bring an end to abortion, visit priestsforlife.org.

Join Us for an Independence Day Novena

The celebration of our nation’s independence is an important moment to reflect on the blessings of God, the meaning of freedom, and the task to expand the blessings of freedom to our unborn brothers and sisters who are still enslaved by our nation’s abortion policies. That’s why Priests for Life begins this Sunday a special novena of prayer for our nation, in preparation for Independence Day. You can download the prayer at priestsforlife.org. The prayer reminds us that our Founding Fathers took inspiration from the Gospel in founding this nation, and that our task is to secure liberty and justice not just for some, but for all, including the unborn. Please visit priestsforlife.org, download the Independence Day Novena, and invite your family, pro-life groups, schools and parishes to take part in it.

Join Us in Jacksonville!

From June 23-25, the National Right to Life convention will be held in Jacksonville, FL. Hundreds of pro-life activists will gather from around the country to sharpen their skills in talking about abortion, lobbying for pro-life laws, electing pro-life candidates, and healing those wounded by abortion.

Just as important, these pro-life people will strengthen one another with their sharing of information, experience, and encouragement.

The National Right to Life Committee is one of the most respected and effective lobbying groups in the United States, as acknowledged by supporters of abortion as well as opponents. National Right to Life has also played an irreplaceable role in getting pro-life candidates elected to public office, and then keeping them pro-life once they get there. For information on how to register for this conference, visit the NRLC web site.

We’re Making Progress

With huge victories for pro-life candidates in state legislatures all over the country, more pro-life laws are being passed in various states. These laws regulate the abortion mills more stringently, cut off money from the abortion industry, ban some late-term abortions, and bring more information to women who think they need abortions. The pro-abortion side is being more careful regarding which of these laws they challenge, fearing they may lose if a challenge reaches the Supreme Court. One of the things pro-abortion forces are attacking is the work of the pregnancy centers, claiming that they lie about the effects of abortion. This is a key time to support these centers and to inform ourselves and others about the medical studies that show the harm of abortion. Find out more at priestsforlife.org.

Priests for Life announces Vote Pro-life Coalition

Father Pavone made the following announcement today regarding the 2012 Elections:

“As you well know, the 2012 Election cycle is already underway, and rightly so,” Father Pavone said. “It is never too early to prepare and mobilize to elect pro-life candidates. Therefore, Priests for Life is once again announcing the ‘Vote Pro-life Coalition,’ which will unite organizations, Churches, and activists across the country to make a difference at the voting booth for the cause of life.

“You can sign up at www.PoliticalResponsibility.com, and you will hear about various resources, activities, webcasts, and ways you can help in the months to come.”

Fr. Pavone on Passage of No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act

Fr. Pavone today hailed the House’s 251-175 vote to approve H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.

“The American public has for decades opposed the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions,” said Fr. Pavone. “The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act simply codifies the longstanding will of the people. Today’s vote once again shows why the House of Representatives is, indeed, the People’s House.”

“At a time when every government expenditure is being questioned, subsidizing the already profitable abortion industry cannot be justified morally or fiscally,” added Fr. Pavone. “It’s now up to the Senate to show whether it represents the American people or a business that destroys over a million lives a year.”