By Bishop Sean P. O’Malley, OFM Cap.
From The Anchor, the weekly newspaper of the Fall River Diocese
“Let the law be observed! Rise, then, for this is your duty! We will stand by you, so have courage and take action!” (Ez. 10:3-4).
Recently, someone asked me: “Who are you voting for?” Of course, my initial reaction was “It’s none of your business!” However, it is a question that bears asking. When we go into the voting booth, it is in some ways like going into the confessional box. The curtain closes behind us and we stand there before God and cast a ballot supposedly for the one whom we believe in conscience to be the best person. The difference is, I fear, that whereas we leave the confessional unburdened and peaceful with the joyful excitement of tasting God’s mercy, we can leave the voting booth with a heavy heart because perhaps we have said “Yes” to evil forces at work in this land.
Recently, a book has appeared whose thesis is that the German population, in general, was a willing participant in the holocausts. Many articles and reviews have pointed out the regime was ruthless in crushing opposition and dissent. What will history say about us? Future generations will say that we were paralyzed by political correctness, or more probably that everyone voted according to their pocketbook for the politician who promised the most tax cuts, or the most benefits, or best pork barrel. I am Irish enough to understand that the tribal allegiances that bound us to the Democratic Party are very strong and in our not-too-distant past, quite understandable. One Catholic president in 200 years speaks volumes about our history. What saddens me even more is that the next Catholic president probably will not be Catholic in any recognizable way beyond an Irish or Italian surname — with an “o” at one end or the other. The faith of our ancestors, tested by dungeon, fire and sword has succumbed to the Brooks Brothers suit and secular humanism, the new state religion.
The legalization of the partial-birth abortion procedure should be a wake-up call for Americans. Life, so revered in our Constitution, is no longer sacred in our country. It was once touted that abortions had to be legalized to allow for safe abortions for women in dire circumstances. The argument was a charade. The argument was the camel’s nose under the tent that has led to an avalanche of millions of abortions for convenience as the 1987 survey of the Allan Guttmacher Institute (a very pro-abortion group) has shown. People seem to forget that abortion is never safe for the baby.The systematic killing of millions of unborn children is part of a growing disregard for human life in America. Abortion has coarsened us, and we are now poised to start eliminating people who, because of a chronic or life-threatening condition, are inconvenient. Human beings tend to be inconvenient and expensive at both ends of their lives. We can learn much by looking at Holland’s experience, where public acceptance of assisted suicide has led to the legalization of medical killing without the patient’s consent. Close to 10 percent of all deaths in the Netherlands are due to euthanasia ... half of them without patient consent.
In our country, it is safe to predict that managed care medicine, and the high cost of nursing home care would cause an even higher rate of euthanasia than in a country like Holland.We are definitely at a crossroad. What kind of society do we want for future generations? Are we going to care about each other and pull together to protect and nurture human life, or are we going to opt for a society that wants to solve social problems by eliminating people in cold blood?
Think about that when you go into the voting booth and the curtain closes behind you. “Government for the people, by the people.” There is no Catholic party and many Catholic politicians aren’t. Remember that, “Thou shalt not kill” is written on your heart by the finger of God. We must look beyond sectarian politics, beyond personalities, beyond the hype and examine the issues and the issue is life. To say that, “it is a matter of life and death” is no longer a cliché.If you are a politician and you feel that you cannot be in favor of life and enjoy the support of your party or constituency, it is time for you to seek other employment before it is too late. Yet, I still hope that a politician of whatever party, with the courage of his or her convictions, could be elected by a conscientious electorate where so many profess to be believers. We must encourage our political parties to make room for men and women who are defenders of life.I have not said for whom I shall vote, but I will tell you for whom I will not vote. I will not vote for any politician who will promote abortion or the culture of death, no matter how appealing the rest of his or her program might be. They are wolves in sheep’s garments, the K.K.K. without the sheets, and sadly enough, they don’t even know it.
If I were ever tempted to vote for simply selfish reasons, tribal allegiances, or economic advantages rather than on the moral direction of the country, I should beat a hasty retreat from the curtain of the polling booth to the curtain of the confessional.
Well said, Cardinal O'Malley!
Here is a story which lends credence to Cardinal O'Malley's words.
Hymn to Hitler
by Lori Kalner
In Germany, when Hitler came to power, it was a time of terrible financial depression. Money was worth nothing. In Germany people lost homes and jobs, just like in the American Depression in the 1930s, which we have readabout in Thoene’s Shiloh books. In those days, in my homeland, Adolph Hitler was elected to power by promising“Change.” He blamed the “Zionists” around the world for all our problems. He told everyone it was greedy Zionist Bankers who had caused every problem we had. He promised when he was leader, the greedy Zionist bankers would be punished. The Zionists, he promised, would be wiped off the face of the earth.
So Hitler was elected to power by only 1/3 the popular vote. A coalition of other political parties in parliament made him supreme leader. Then,when he was leader, he disgraced and expelled everyone in parliament who did not go along with him.Yes. Change came to my homeland as the new leader promised it would.
The teachers in German schools began to teach the children to sing songs in praise of Hitler. This was the beginning of the Hitler Youth movement. It began with praise of the Fuhrer’s programs on the lips of innocent children. Hymns in praise of Hitler and his programs were being sung in the schoolrooms and in the play yard. Little girls and boys joined hands and sang these songs as they walked home from school.
My brother came home and told Papa what was happening at school. The political hymns of children proclaimed Change was coming to our homeland and the Fuhrer was a leader we could trust. I will never forget my father’s face. Grief and fear. He knew that the best propaganda of the Nazis was song on the lips of little children.That evening before he said grace at the dinner table, he placed his hands upon the heads of my brothers and me and prayed the Living Word upon us from Jeremiah 1:4-5…‘Now the Word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in thewomb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to The nations.”
Soon the children’s songs praising the Fuhrer were heard everywhere on the streets and over the radio. “With our Fuhrer to lead us, we can do it! We can change the world!” Soon after that Papa, a pastor, was turned away from visiting elderly parishioners in hospitals. The people he had come to bring comfort of God’s Word, were “no longer there.” Where had they vanished to while under nationalized health care? It became an open secret. The elderly and sick began to disappear from hospitals feet first as “mercy killing” became the policy. Children with disabilities and those who had Down syndrome were euthanized. People whispered, “Maybe it is better for them now. Put them out of misery. They are no longer suffering…And, of course, their death is better for the treasury of our nation. Our taxes no longer must be spent to care for such a burden.” And so murder was called mercy.The government took over private business. Industry and health care were “nationalized.” NA-ZI means National Socialist Party)
The businesses of all Jews were seized. (Perhaps you remember our story in Berlin on Krystalnachtin the book Munich Signature ?)
The world and God’s word were turned upside down. Hitler promised the people economic Change? Not change. It was, rather, Lucifer’s very ancient Delusion leading to Destruction. What began with the propaganda of children singing a catchy tune ended in the deaths of millions of children. The reality of what came upon us is so horrible that you in this present generation cannot imagine it. Our suffering is too great to ever tell in a book or show in a black and white newsreel. When I spoke to Bodie about some of these things, she wept and said she could not bear to write them. Perhaps one day she will, but I asked her, “who could bear to read our suffering?”
Yet with my last breaths I warn every Christian and Jew now in the name of the Lord,Unless your course of the church in America is spiritually changed now, returning to the Lord,there are new horrors yet to come.
I trembled last night when I heard the voices of American children raised in song, praising the name of Obama, the charismatic fellow who claims he is the American Messiah. Yet I have heard what this man Obama says about abortion and the “mercy killing” of tiny babies who are not wanted. There are so few of us left to warn you. I have heard that there are 69 million Catholics in America and 70 million Evangelical Christians. Where are your voices? Where is your outrage? Where is passion and your vote? Do you vote based on an abortionist’s empty promises and economics? Or do you vote according to the Bible? Thus says the Lord about every livingchild still in the womb…“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,and before you were born I consecrated you…”I have experienced the signs of the politics of Death in my youth. I see them again now.
Christians! Unless you stand up now,you will lose your freedom of religion. In America priests and preachers have already lost their freedom to speak openly from their pulpits of moral danger in political candidates. They cannot legally instruct you of which candidate holds fast to the precepts of scripture! American law forbids this freedom of speech to conservative pastors or they will lose their “tax exempt” status. And yet I have heard the words of Obama’s pastor Damning America! I have heard the words of Obama damning and mocking all of you in small towns because you “Cling to your religion…”
But I am a woman whose name is unknown. My life is recorded as a work of fiction. I have no fear of reprisal when I speak truth to you from the pages of a book. I am an old woman and will soon go to be with my Lord. I have no fear for myself, but for all of you and for your children, I tremble. I tremble at the hymns to a political leader which your children will sing at school. (Though even now a hymn or a prayer to God and our Lord Jesus is against the law in public school!)Your vote must put a stop to what will come upon America if Barrack Obama is elected. I pray you will personally heed this warning for the sake of your children and your grandchildren. Do not be deceived. The Lord in Jeremiah 1:7-8 commands every believer to speak up! “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth,’ for to all whom Isend you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Do not be afraid of them for I am with you, declares the Lord!”