The Year in Review - Pro-Life in 2018 - Culture, Law, and Politics
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As we close what has been a rather
year, I find myself reflecting on the Life that God has given us and the humility with which the Divine Life entered the world. The truth that God was born of a mortal woman so that He might die and rise for us puts into stark perspective all the ups and downs of the human experience. It seems fitting, then, on the last day of the year and the seventh day of Christmas, to look back on Life in 2018.
I am sure that many of you have received letters this time of year from organizations asking for money or celebrating their own successes. I do not begrudge them this. After all, each of the organizations I receive these letters from is a worthy cause, and such worthy causes have every right to ask for support and to make joyous commemoration of what they've accomplished.
However, I do not wish to spend much time on this. True, the Respect Life Office could
use donations, and we
had many successes in the last few months. But, realistically, you've all
here for the successes and will certainly be hearing about them in other newsletters; and, as far as money goes, I must confess that I've always felt awkward asking for it, even for causes. I suppose I'll have to work on that, but, hey, cut me some slack. I am new, after all.
So, yes, the Respect Life Office needs funding and, yes, we've accomplished a great deal together in a very short time. And it is exactly for that reason that, rather than spending the bulk of this letter asking for more or speaking on what we've done, I'd like to talk about the key factor in all of this:
I can create a parish guidebook, print Pro-Life yard signs, write newsletters, advertise for the
Walk for Life
, remind people to get their tickets to
before Jan. 14th (we still don't have enough, so please do), speak at luncheons, post resources to the
, and any number of other things until I am blue in the face... but none of that means a thing without people like you.
who meet the unwed mother on the street by Planned Parenthood,
who vote and encourage others to vote,
who organize the events that I advertise,
who promote Life in the parishes,
who fight for it in the courts,
who march at the Walks,
who donate for the signs,
who spend your time running bake sales for diapers,
who spend time in Adoration for Rachel's Vineyard...
I could go on for pages, but I think you catch my meaning.
There is no Pro-Life movement without the people. Without
So I want to say thank you. Thank you for your work. Thank you for your donations. Thank you for your support. And, above all, thank you for your prayers - they do more than any of us can know. It is my honor and my privilege to serve you good people.
This is not an easy fight for any of us. An insidious and toxic worldview, hostile to God and the sanctity of Life has permeated every level of our culture, even our churches. So deeply is it entrenched that we largely take it for granted without realizing. I certainly include myself in that estimation. After all, I've studied history and culture in great depth since I could read and I
find myself horrified by the stranglehold that modernism and postmodernism have on us - these worldviews which reject the view of the human as an integrated being of body and soul with inherent and inalienable dignity. Should we be shocked, then, at the countless abuses of humanity and liberty throughout the world? As you shall see in the news links following my signature, our difficult fight in Eastern Washington is hardly fought in isolation.
Yet, in the midst of all the conflict, I see hope. Not just because of the victories we've achieved (though they are present too), but because of God's own words to us. Recall that, in Scripture, Jesus tells us that we are
when we are persecuted for the sake of righteousness; that we are
when they attack us for the sake of the Kingdom. He reminds us time and time again that we shall face attacks and hatred for preaching Truth, Freedom, and Love. "But fear not," He assures us, "for I have overcome the world!" (John 16:33).
From God we receive our inalienable rights and dignity, our very Right to Life. Throughout the world, those rights are being challenged. But Christ has overcome the world! Christianity is strongest in the face of persecution, and this is hardly the first time in history that the world has been arrayed against God's Life. In Christ, we shall overcome, for the Enemy cannot stand before God.
Therefore I see tremendous hope in this era of persecution; hope in the God in Whom our victory rests. Christ, Who entered the world in a humble manger, Who took on flesh and walked among us, leads us to victory.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May the Light of Christ shine ever in your hearts and in the hearts of those around you!
Respect Life Office Coordinator
'Reproductive Rights' do not Protect Human Rights
Terminology matters. Words have the power to protect or deny basic human rights. Thankfully, the current State Department moved towards fixing the language in 2017 by talking about "coercion in population control" in its annual human rights report. Now, the Pro-Choice advocates are pushing back with the "Reproductive Rights are Human Rights Act of 2018." Click
for more on this legislation.
Prison Reform - Bipartisan Progress
Long thought to be a matter too mired in partisan conflict to be resolved, the "First Step Act" is an unexpected but welcome reform of the prison system, intended help re-integrate non-violent ex-convicts into society in a healthy way and to reduce the rate of repeat offenders. This bipartisan Act was accomplished with the cooperation of conservatives, liberals, and the president. Read more
Heartbeat Bill Dies
The Ohio "Heartbeat Bill," which would have protected children from abortion once a heartbeat was detected, was vetoed by outgoing Gov. John Kasich. Incoming Gov. Mike DeWine has said he will sign the bill if it makes it through the next round of legislature. See this
In another example of bipartisan support for human rights and safety, the president signed into law the Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act. Sponsored by both Republican and Democrat politicians and heartily endorsed by the Knights of Columbus, this Act will expedite relief efforts for persecuted Christians and Yazidis in Iraq and Syria and aid in bringing justice to the perpetrators of the atrocities committed against them. Click
to learn more.
2018 - A Look Back on Religious Persecution with
Far more comprehensive than my own list,
takes a look at some of the most significant examples of religious persecution (and victories in the face of it) over the last year. These include violent persecutions as well as political and social persecutions. To list a few examples, in Scotland the official police stance has labelled speaking against the homosexual lifestyle as a "hate crime," systematic genocide is taking place in Nigeria, and, in the United States, a Iranian pastor was jailed for answering questions about his conversion in a Minnesotan Mall. Victories include the release of Pastor Brunson in Turkey and the Little Sisters of the Poor gaining their final exemption from the Affordable Care Act's birth control requirements. Read more
In Christ there is Victory
In the ancient world, women, children, the poor, the slaves, the immigrants, the disabled, and (in most cases) the elderly had no rights. Universal human dignity was a belief articulated by exactly no one, sexual slavery was rampant, and infanticide and abortion were societal standards. Christianity changed all that by revealing the truth that humans are the Children of God, made in His Image and Likeness, integrated beings of body and soul with inalienable and universal rights and dignity.
Now we live in a time which is increasingly resembling the ancient world. But fear not! For God has already defeated these evils. In the words of St. Padre Pio, "Pray, hope, and don't worry." Blessings of God upon you all.
on Monday, December 31, 2018 at 1:16PM