It’s election time… which also means it’s “crazy” time.
Crazy time in the Church – where, while most leaders do their work quietly and faithfully and others sound the trumpet more loudly like courageous prophets, we have a few loudmouths who cannot seem to tell the difference between public servants and baby-killers.
Crazy time in Church parking lots – where some people, trying to put into practice what the Church teaches about active civic involvement, are told they can’t inform their fellow citizens of the candidates’ positions, and are asked to leave. (Sorry, but to those who chase them out of the parking lot, I say you are wrong on this. Leave these people alone, before some of them start to launch lawsuits regarding interference with the rights of citizens to foster informed electoral activity.)
Crazy time in the media – where somehow, elections get decided before elections happen. (Amazing, isn’t it??? I’m sure many housewives would like to know how they can get dinner served before it’s cooked, or clothes cleaned before they’re thrown in the wash!!)
Fact is, the election isn’t decided until all the polls close on Election night – and then, the only thing that’s counted is votes – not opinion polls or the amount of cash in the campaign or the number of soundbites or TV ads. It’s votes, and votes only.
That’s why the effort we need to make right now is a pragmatic and practical one – get out the vote! Remind people to vote, and to vote pro-life! Call them, email them, drive them to the polls! Take the day off on Election Day! Hand out literature in Church parking lots, on public streets, everywhere you can! Lift up your voice like a trumpet blast!
Let’s go! Victory is within our reach!
Oh yes, and one more thing – To those who think I’m being too “partisan,” the fact is that I have a right to be a lot more partisan than I am being, but I choose to demonstrate in practice the things that priests and tax-exempt organizations can do in a non-partisan way within the bounds of the Internal Revenue Code to speak out at election time. There’s a lot more that we can do than we are actually doing.
Some people come to the conclusion that when I proclaim the demands of the moral law, I’m speaking like a Republican cheerleader. I don’t take that as a criticism of me, but as praise for the Republicans. But the reason my words are not partisan is that if the candidates and parties were to swap all their positions tomorrow, my message (and that of the Church) would be exactly the same as it is today.
Does the message have political implications? Of course it does! Does it lead people to conclusions about whom to elect? Of course it does! That’s because candidates take positions and many people connect the dots. That’s not inappropriate – on the contrary, that’s very appropriate, unless you take the position that the only way for the Church to be the Church is to become irrelevant to what’s going on around us.
Forward, then! Let’s elect public servants who can tell the difference between serving the public and killing the public!
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life