It may have come to your attention that Vice President-Elect Mike Pence went to see Hamilton on Broadway last night.
It may have also come to your attention that after the curtain call, Mike Pence was booed by some of the audience, but the cast stopped the booing and addressed Mr. Pence in an extremely mildly-worded and courteous plea that the coming administration would “uphold American values.” Here is the plea in its entirety:
Very staid, in my opinion.
Now, Mike Pence himself has stated in no uncertain terms that he was not offended to be addressed, and that he enjoyed the show. His boss, President-Elect Donald Trump, didn’t see it that way; he was offended and called for an apology and a safe space. But the silliest reaction by far came from none other than the infamous Father Frank Pavone.
That’s right. Frank Pavone, who is currently under investigation by his bishop for desecrating a Catholic altar with alleged 30-year-old human remains in a 45-minute political ad for Donald Trump, has taken on the cast of Hamilton for their polite little speech. On Priests for Life USA’s Facebook page and on Pavone’s own public page, one can find statuses and a video calling for a “boycott” of the play. The whole country is supposed to boycott a show which is playing in New York, which costs hundreds of dollars per ticket and which is sold out through 2018. Pavone has posted a video of Priest for Life USA’s Janet Morana calling it a “disgrace” to use a theater stage to advance a political agenda– never mind that theater stages have been used to call out and mock politicians since they were invented thousands of years ago in Ancient Greece, and never mind that Catholic altars are specifically never to be used to advance political agendas and her organization made us watch them do that weeks ago. And we’re supposed to keep up this strenuous boycott until the entire cast of Hamilton apologizes to Mike Pence who wasn’t offended in the first place, at which point I guess we can go back to buying tickets to Hamilton at the same rate we previously had. This is called an “action item,” and we’re supposed to sign up for other “actions” to help the pro-life cause at Priests for Life’s website.
If this is the current “action item,” I cannot imagine what other “action items” Priests for Life USA is organizing. Dressing like flamingos and going for a dip in public fountains, perhaps, or wearing necklaces made of Lucky Charms cereal. Either of those things have about as much to do with abortion as the Hamilton cast’s plea to Pence, Pence’s reaction, Trump’s histrionics, or this ludicrous boycott. Priests For Life is not even pretending that their focus is on abortion anymore. Their focus is on fawning on Republican politicians even more than the politicians fawn on their own selves.
I would like to humbly put forth my own pro-life action items, which I invite my readers to perform with me in Advent or during the Saint Philip’s Fast.
- Make a donation of money or needed supplies to a pregnancy center, a homeless shelter for women or anywhere else that provides help for mothers with children. Just make sure it’s a reputable one first.
- Ask a pregnant woman you know what help she needs, and then help her. She might need someone to drive her to her doctor’s appointments, or to watch her other children while she naps, or to go buy ice cream at two in the morning. She may just need a friend to sit and talk with. You’d be surprised how often pregnant women are given a flood of unneeded “help” and advice, but don’t get the very things they need most.
- Check your own parish to see if they have a Giving Tree or other opportunities to make Christmas easier for needy families. The easier we make it for people to have families, the easier it becomes for them to choose life.
- Plan a weekly Holy Hour, daily Mass or a certain new time set aside for prayer every day, and offer prayers for conversion of hearts.
None of these is as fun or useless as dressing like a flamingo or boycotting Hamilton. However, the advantage to my ideas, is that they might stand a chance of actually helping some mothers and unborn children, which the boycott will not help anyone. It doesn’t even help Mike Pence.
Then again, helping people doesn’t seem to have been Priests for Life USA’s concern for quite some time.