Time to Build a Tower: Obama Reelection Requires a Movement for Life, Family, Freedom and Solidarity


Deacon Keith Fournier

  Catholic Online

What the results of this Presidential election require is a new movement dedicated to authentic social justice, rightly understood - and not some counterfeit. We need a true human rights movement which is authentically ecumenical and unapologetically dedicated to life, family, freedom and solidarity.

CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - I stayed up as late as I could - as late as I had to - to confirm what I had suspected for some time - President Barack Obama was reelected to another four year term of office.

I slept surprisingly well. Not because I am not worried about the future of Nation and the freedom of the Church under the coming second Obama term. I am deeply worried. But because I knew I had done everything that I could to ensure a different result and that the future is in the hands of a loving God.

I awakened this morning to see the results. I found these words from the Gospel of Wednesday's Liturgy to be quite apropos:

"Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say, 'This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish" (Lk. 14).

We have a tower to build. We have work to do. We must calculate the cost and begin.

Those who read my regular commentaries know that I began the 2012 Presidential campaign season doing what I could to assist my friend and a great American Catholic hero, former Senator Rick Santorum. He sacrificed greatly in his campaign for the Presidency.

He did so because of his deep love for this Nation and his sincere Catholic faith. Rick Santorum is a modern day Thomas More. His insistence on the recognition of the Right to Life and Defense of Marriage and family never receded in his public positioning.

His untiring defense of authentic human freedom, and most especially the first freedom, Religious Freedom, were the hallmarks of his campaign. Yes, he addressed the other important policy matters, political, economic and international issues, but never by downplaying those foundational concerns.

When the Senator withdrew from the Presidential campaign I stepped up in support of the nominee of the Republican Party, Mitt Romney. I was buoyed in a particular way by the choice of his running mate, Paul Ryan, another dynamic and unapologetic Catholic candidate whose future, like the Senators, still stretches ahead in American politics.

I did so, not because they were Republicans, but because I determined, through the exercise of my informed conscience, that they would best ensure that life, marriage, family, and religious freedom were protected.

The Romney/Ryan ticket lost the election. I am disappointed but not dejected. There is too much work to be done to waste any time. Governor Romney was gracious in defeat. He is a good man and will continue to serve our Nation with distinction.

I began to get a sense for where this was going a few days ago. Yesterday morning, as I considered the possibility of this result, I was struck with a football analogy. I remember thinking to myself, "whichever ticket wins, it only determines your position on the field". This morning, the analogy rings truly hollow.

There are serious consequences which will follow this election result. It requires a serious response.

The Obama administration is hostile to our first neighbor, the child in the womb. They fail to hear the cry of those whom Blessed Teresa rightly called the "poorest of the poor" - while purporting to be a friend of the poor.

The fundamental Human Right to Life revealed by the Natural Law, confirmed by medical science, and affirmed in the Birth Certificate of the Nation, the Declaration of Independence, is now at an even greater risk of being replaced by an evil counterfeit "right" to take their life, based on little but convenience. That is the effect of legal abortion on demand.

This administration refuses to defend true marriage - and the family and society founded upon it. It seems "hell bent" on doing the bidding of the social and cultural engineers who want to write into the positive law of the Nation a legal equivalency between homosexual partnerships and marriages. That would also place the police power of the State behind enforcing a dangerous social experiment. The entire social order is placed in jeopardy if that occurs.

This administration has revealed its disrespect for the robust vision of religious liberty enshrined in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. This is made most clear in the HHS Mandate. The Free Exercise of Religion, so integral to the American experiment in ordered liberty, is placed in jeopardy in the Presidents second term.

In its place the administration seeks to substitute a notion of a freedom to worship which relegates our mission as a Christian Church to the four corners of our Church buildings. The "religious exception" offered will not allow us to implement the mandate of the 25th chapter of Matthews Gospel and reach out into the culture with the love of Jesus - as he reveals himself in the poor and the needy.

The HHS mandate, through which the Affordable Care Act will be enforced, places us in the position of having to disobey Caesar or violate our deeply held religious beliefs. We will not comply. We will not fund sterilizations and abortion inducing contraceptives. We will engage, if necessary, in civil disobedience.

Like the fate of the social outreaches of the Church which place children without mothers and fathers in homes for adoption, her hospitals, soup kitchens, and other vital outreaches to the poor are now at risk of being shut down.

We will not stop our missionary efforts because solidarity demands that we continue. We are called to love the world as God so loved the world. As the Body of Christ, we continue the redemptive mission of Jesus our Head. This administration which purports to be an advocate of the "least of these", may soon be revealed as more akin to a hostile Caesar.

What the results of this Presidential election require is a new movement dedicated to authentic social justice, rightly understood - and not some counterfeit. We need a true human rights movement which is authentically ecumenical and unapologetically dedicated to life, family, freedom and solidarity.

We must use every legal means at our disposal to oppose the administration when it violates fundamental human rights such as the Rights to Life and Religious Freedom or fails to protect marriage and the family.

We must find the means to assist the Church as she pursues her mission of caring for the poor and the needy in all of their manifestations without government aid - if receiving such aid requires that she compromise what cannot be compromised.

We must be willing to commit acts of civil disobedience when defending authentic social justice and human rights requires it. Our task will require heroic men and women willing to face those consequences - and a lots of good lawyers ready to defend them.

We must lay out the parts. We must build a tower. We must raise up a movement.

We need a tower from which we can shout out the liberating truth to an age which has succumbed to many lies. A tower from which we can see the field of struggle which lies before us and chart the course truly forward to a future of authentic human freedom and flourishing.

I close by sharing the words proclaimed by Blessed John Paul II as he began his service to the Church and the world into which she is sent, "Be Not Afraid."

Take time today to pray for our Nation. Pray for the President, that he may undergo a genuine conversion on the matters which we know are vital to our future as a truly free people. It can happen!

Then, let us pray for one another, that we may all remain strong and become courageous in the struggle which lies ahead.