I hope you were able to celebrate the Fourth of July! It is always a great day to gather with family and friends for a cookout or watch the fireworks. I was with my family at my sister’s home in Saratoga, New York for the holiday. We had a great day celebrating our national independence!
Of course, the Fourth of July is truly a day for us to reflect upon our freedoms. We enjoy many freedoms here in our land that others across the globe do not. Freedom and liberty can easily be taken for granted, so let us remember to give thanks to God for our freedom and never take for granted the liberty we enjoy.
Last week I read an article from NBC News that examined the state of politics in Rhode Island. Its premise was that the Ocean State is the last bastion for elected Democrats who are pro-life. It also examined the effort by the so-called “progressives” to oust pro-life state representatives and senators from office. The central issue for these “progressives” is abortion. Progress for them is expanding abortion on demand and funding it with taxpayer dollars. The article states: “Rhode Island received an ‘F’ grade from NARAL Pro-Choice America in 2016 and has a General Assembly run almost entirely by Right to Life-backed Democrats.”
It’s perhaps the only time an “F” is a good grade! Yet we must remain vigilant in the face of renewed efforts to expand abortion and oust pro-life politicians. These efforts are well organized and well funded by national groups. The article also suggests that the Catholic Church has too much influence in curtailing abortion legislation.
Yet a recent Gallup National Poll determined that Americans (48%) still believe abortion (the direct killing of an unborn baby) is morally wrong, while 43 percent believe it is morally acceptable. Perhaps it is the case that many people including elected officials s believe that abortion is morally wrong. If the Church has had some influence it may be in helping people including politicians understand that all human life is sacred and should be protected and respected in law.
The reason abortion seems to dominate the headlines is because the pro-abortion lobby’s relentless pursuit of its agenda.. Under the guise of “women’s issues”, Planned Parenthood and the National Organization of Women are tireless in trying to expand abortion in RI. They and their elected allies in the General Assembly continue to seek the public financing of abortion and advance the passage of radical abortion legislation.
We know that Catholic teaching on the respect for human dignity and sanctity of human life is not limited to abortion. In fact, it proclaims that all human life is sacred and that the dignity of every human person is the foundation of a moral vision for our society. This fundamental belief guides our advocacy on behalf of human life and human dignity. Our social teaching calls us to vigilantly advocate for the rights of not only the unborn but also for family life, for immigrants and refugees, for the dying and terminally ill, for the elderly and the poor and on behalf of justice and peace.
In Ireland they recently changed the Irish Constitution and legalized abortion. Now the Prime Minister has announced that Catholic hospitals must be required to perform abortions. And no exemption from this grave moral evil is possible. This situation in Ireland is precisely why we remain vigilant in advocating for the sanctity of human life and the dignity of the human person. Secular governments and radical activists are not simply vigilant in advancing their agenda but they are in fact relentless!
So as we remember the freedoms we enjoy in the USA, let us also remember we are called to be faithful citizens. Each one of us has a duty and obligation to be civically engaged but also to proclaim our Catholic faith in the public square and advocate for life and dignity. The abortion lobby gave RI an “F” but we must remain relentless in our public advocacy as Catholics. As the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said: “A religion that doesn’t interfere with the secular order will soon discover that the secular order will not refrain from interfering with it.”
Do good. Be well. God Bless America! Go Sox!