By Alisa Craddock
Barack Obama has said that he will be a President for all Americans, those that voted for him, as well as those who did not. His manner is conciliatory. He words reach out to assure and to ask for support and confidence. My inclination, because I respect the office, and because there does not seem to be any doubt that, for better or worse, Mr. Obama has handily won this election, is to give him the respect his office is due. It is a curious irony that conservatives, who have much more to complain about than Democrats ever did with Bush, tend to be more reverent of the office and respectful of the man who sits in the Oval Office than that yipping, back nipping bunch of hyenas on the Left have been, which says a great deal of the Democrats' true feelings about America and its founding principles. But President Elect Obama seems determined to assure the public (though he is touted as the first "global President"), that the United States of America will long endure, and that he wants the chance to show us he will be America's President.
In a few short weeks, he will take that solemn oath. "I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." (The "so help me God" is optional.) What will he do, this "messianic" new leader? I am reminded of that teen evangelical fad of the 90's, the WWJD (What would Jesus Do) that reminded young people that Jesus was the example to be followed in daily life, and bade them act in a manner of which Jesus would approve. I have seen so many statements that begin "Barack Obama will… (fill in the blank), so it is fitting to ask: What will Barack Do? What is the example he will set? He has promised to be a uniter. A people's president. Yet hanging over the "promise" of this new day, there is another sort of promise—a promise of death. Barack Obama has promised that the first thing he will do as President is sign the "Freedom of Choice Act". Let's not sweep that under the rug and pretend that it is of negligible importance in the grand scheme of things, nor drown it out in the radiant light of this bright new day, this dawning of the age of Hope and Change.
The message of Hope is incompatible with the promise of death. John Paul II once reminded us that "A nation that kills its own children is a nation without hope." And yet this man whose mantra of Hope has inspired the multitudes, has said he will do this thing, this ultimate act of despair. But what are the legal implications of the Freedom of Choice Act?
First of all, it will nullify all state and local laws that imposed some modest restraints and regulations on the practice, such as prohibiting partial birth abortion or ensuring parental notification if the one seeking the abortion is a minor. Without parental notification laws, young girls would be even more subject to sexual exploitation by adult men than they are now.
FOCA would outlaw any "interference" which would certainly make those who protest the practice subject to prosecution, while forcing their complicity in it by the use of their tax dollars to fund and advance it. Informed consent laws would also be nullified, and also, most devastatingly, laws protecting the lives of babies born alive after a botched abortion.
But it wouldn't stop there. Doctors would be forced to perform abortions against their conscience, and other health care providers would have to cooperate in it as well. They may very well have to choose between performing abortions while continuing to practice medicine, or not practicing medicine. Catholic hospitals would have to close their doors because they will not cooperate with the culture of death. Just as Catholic Charities discontinued its adoption services in Massachusetts because state law required them to give children to gay couples, which violated Catholic doctrine and morals, so too would Catholic hospitals be forced to accommodate the evil, or close. Since the state of Massachusetts would not grant a religious conscience clause, Catholic Charities had no choice but to shut down its adoption services. Imagine, now, a country without any Catholic hospitals. Imagine if all the hospitals were secular. Imagine in addition that the government has charge of your health care (remember that universal government-run health care is a top priority for Obama and the Democrats in Congress). Do you really want people who regard life so cheaply to have a say over when to pull the plug on you? I like the idea that if I am incapacitated, I will have nuns looking after me, or doctors and nurses with a Catholic moral ethic. I don't want to be euthanized because Dr. Mengele is short of beds, or the government decides I'm not worth the cost of my care.
It is ironic that an organization called "Illinois Right to Life" (Obama is from Illinois) should have a website illustrating the similarity in the arguments used to prolong and protect slavery to those used to protect the practice of abortion. The arguments are almost identical. There were onerous laws passed in those days, too—evil laws to force compliance and punish those who protested against the brutalization and dehumanization through forced labor and frequent maltreatment of one race by another. And here we are again. And if you scroll a little further down the Illinois Right to Life page, there is a comparison of the rationalizations used to justify abortion with those used to justify euthanasia. The Culture of Death is a big tent.
WWBD. What will Barack do?
The repercussions of signing the "Freedom of Choice Act" are gargantuan. It will split the country in two—More precisely, it will send a clear signal that the great unifier desires that all be brought in under the big tent—except for Christians. It will tacitly declare war on Christ. I can think of no act which would more completely isolate and alienate Christians from their government than to excise them from the political process in this way, and set them up to be attacked and defamed as obstacles to peace and unity. Already radical homosexual activists, frustrated at their losses and emboldened by Obama's election, have begun a campaign of terror against Churches, storming one church in black with pink masks over their faces on the outside, while others disguised as conservative Christian worshipers disrupted the service inside with shouts and rainbow flag waving, pulling the fire alarms, and carrying an upside down pink cross. "Jesus is a homo!" they shouted. In another incident, envelopes containing a white powder arrived at Mormon headquarters in Utah, and in another Mormon Church in California, apparently intended to terrorize them with an anthrax hoax. The church believes gay opponents of the California gay marriage ban are responsible, because the Mormon church was heavily involved in efforts to pass the gay marriage ban there.
The signing of the Freedom of Choice Act would add to that terror by targeting Christians who protest the killing of the unborn and encouraging militant anti-life radicals to wage a campaign of violence against them. It would empower anarchists and silence dissent. It will destroy the moral order (such as it is). In attempting to silence the moral conscience of a nation, it would bring not peace, but a sword.
Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life reports he is receiving death threats. Last week, he reported receiving this email:
Fr. Pavone reports also that other pro-life leaders have received a similar message, and it has been reported to law enforcement. What these people call "pro-life terrorism" is the most peaceful movement for social reform in our nation's history. There are occasionally those who are not connected with the organized movements who, acting on their own, perform violent acts to protest against abortion, but those incidents are rare, and are far outweighed by the number of incidents of violence perpetrated against pro-lifers rather than by them. In point of fact, the pro-life movement would have little power to persuade anyone to forego abortion if it used "terrorism" to promote its agenda. It is the gentle, loving approach that softens hearts hardened by a ruthless, selfish world. But these anarchists pretend it is in response to "terrorism" that they will respond, in order to give their hateful cause some "moral" justification.
What will Barack Obama do? Will he set the nation against those who refuse to succumb to the ways of the world, who stand on a sacred principle and believe in a transcendent God and the Word Made Flesh, who offer their whole being to serve him? Will he choose the dictator's path to peace? Will he conclude as dictators do that the way to peace is by the use of force and fear? Will he throw down the gauntlet before God and command the saints, His servants, to be silent in the face of outrages and sacrilege against the moral order given us by God? Will he compel the faithful to be complicit in the slaughter of innocents? It won't happen. They will not comply. They cannot. What will Barack do?
Alisa Craddock is a columnist and activist in the culture war, a convert to Catholicism, and describes herself as a Christian Libertarian. She may be contacted at alisa.craddock at hushmail.com.