Long before this election, I felt that our religious leaders had focused too much of their attention on helping political parties gain power and too little on preaching and teaching their followers to follow Christ. One of the commenters on this blog made the point that it seems as if we have “two different ‘types’ of Christians.”
I believe that is a direct result of religious leaders in the different denominations cutting the Gospels down to fit the party platforms of either the Democrats or the Republicans. They have taught this false Gospel to their trusting followers for decades. The result is a Body of Christ that doesn’t follow Christ. It follows political parties and calls that following Christ.
The following article from CNA Daily News quotes various pro life leaders as they try to deal with the new political realities. Part of those realities is that the decades-long strategy of packing the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade is now officially a failure. Another reality is that the new administration is openly hostile to religious freedom and has already taken a huge step toward truncating it with the HHS Mandate. Yet another reality is that Christians’ over-concentration on party politics has not converted the culture. While our religious leaders have led us into the heresy of ballot box righteousness, the larger culture has been literally going to hell.
I’m going to spend a lot of time these next few weeks, encouraging Public Catholic readers to work together to examine these problems and gather our strength and resolve to move forward from here. But first, I think we should follow the advice that Billy Graham and the Catholic bishops have given us. We are called to repentance and prayer. That includes me and you and every single one of us. Before a Christian tries to do God’s work in this world, they get right with God.
It’s fortuitous that Advent is coming in a few weeks. I think that is the perfect time to examine our consciences in a deep and honest way and cleanse ourselves of the many ways in which we have not followed Christ. Until then, I would like to spend a couple of weeks, just re-hashing and healing. Thanksgiving is coming and nothing should dampen our joy at this uniquely American family holiday.
As for today, it is Sunday. The Lord’s Day. Do not waste it. Use this day to relax, pray and enjoy your life, your family and the sweet peace of knowing that you follow a risen Lord.
The CNA Daily News article says in part:
CNA Daily News 11/9/12 5:11 AM US
Washington D.C., Nov 9, 2012 / 04:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Despite pro-life setbacks in the Nov. 6 election, there is still hope and ample opportunity for progress in promoting a culture of life in the coming years, pro-life advocates are saying.
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, explained that the election “confirmed for every pro-lifer that we cannot rely on politicians to abolish abortion.”
“We first must change the culture and then the culture will shape our politicians and laws,” she told CNA.
On Nov. 6, President Barack Obama was elected to a second term by the American people after committing himself to furthering tax-payer funded abortion without restrictions.
Deep political divisions between the U.S. House and Senate also make it unlikely that major federal pro-life legislation will pass in the coming years.
At the state level, a Florida measure that would have prevented taxpayer funds for paying for abortions failed, while a parental notification law for girls under 16 seeking an abortion in Montana was passed. An attempt to repeal the death penalty in California also failed to win voter approval.
But Hawkins believes there is still important work to be done in changing minds and hearts across America.
The election “showed that we can’t be afraid to talk about these ‘hard issues,’” she said, pointing to the Democratic Party’s strong emphasis on abortion at its national convention and throughout the campaign.
The Republican Party failed to respond with an equally strong emphasis, she said, and exit polls indicate that “there were a lot of pro-lifers missing” on Election Day.
“We need to march forward, courageously, doing what we have been doing for the past four years,” Hawkins asserted. She listed her priorities as reaching out to women in need, spreading the pro-life message and working through local efforts to expose and de-fund Planned Parenthood and remove its presence from schools.
“We need to work to develop better alternative and resource centers in our communities, so no women is ever forced to sacrifice her kids to and to put her life in the hands of Planned Parenthood,” she added.
Hawkins also stressed the importance of reaching out to young people. While support for Obama was down from 2008 among young voters, the president still captured a significant majority of the youth voting bloc.
“There is much more work to be done educating young people about abortion,” she said.
While Gallup polls indicate that this generation of young people is pro-life, it can be difficult for them – having been taught all their lives that truth is relative – to move from the understanding that abortion is wrong to the conviction that abortion should be illegal, she explained.
“We must continue forward, speaking to our young people about their worldview, why life is intrinsically valuable, and how making a horrific act such as abortion illegal is the morally right thing to do,” she said.(Read more here.)