And the Battle Begins


The battle lines are already forming as the pro-life and pro-family community brace themselves for the Obama administration.

Last week the US Conference of Catholic Bishops released a letter to Obama with concerns for his proposed agenda. Looking to build on all of his campaign rhetoric of unity and coming together, they articulated some very reasonable points and offered some common ground:

“During the campaign, you promised as President to represent all the people and respect everyone’s moral and religious viewpoints. You also made several statements about abortion. On one occasion, when asked at what point a baby has human rights, you answered in effect that you do not have a definite answer. And you spoke often about a need to reduce abortions.

The Catholic Church teaches that each human being, at every moment of biological development from conception to natural death, has an inherent and fundamental right to life. We are committed not only to reducing abortion, but to making it unthinkable as an answer to unintended pregnancy. At the same time, I think your remarks provide a basis for common ground. Uncertainty as to when human rights begin provides no basis for compelling others to violate their conviction that these rights exist from the beginning. After all, those people may be right. And if the goal is to reduce abortions, that will not be achieved by involving the government in expanding and promoting abortions.”

[For further thoughts on how one should approach abortion if you’re not sure as to when human life begins – see my post here.]

The Bishops’ letter goes on to give great perspective on three important policies that Obama has quietly threatened to overturn very quickly in his presidency: Bush’s regulation to protect conscience rights in health care, the Mexico City Policy (which ensured US federal funds are not diverted to organizations promoting and performing abortions), and the restrictions on federally funded stem cell research.  It’s worth your time to read the full letter here for more specifics.

That was last week.  This week Obama actually became president.  And on Tuesday, when he was sworn in, we got one more feel-good speech about how as Americans we can do anything if we come together and work hard.

But one trip to the new White House website will give you the sobering reminder that – “oh yeah, we just elected as President the most liberal, pro-abortion senator in the country.”  And there are now sources saying that he will be signing executive orders to promote abortion as soon as possible.  So much for coming together.

There are real issues at stake here.  Being a great president is not only about being a great leader.  It’s about leading us in the right direction, too.  Obama is all set to take us very quickly in the wrong direction and the whole world is just cheering him on.

The American Family Association has put together a good summary of the human life and family issues from his agenda here (they match the white house info).  Obama plans on doing just as we’ve feared all along – but unfortunately we seemed to overlook it in all the excitement.

He plans on using your tax money to fund abortions, embryonic stem cell research, and emergency contraception.  He promises to remove as many restrictions on having abortions as possible.  He wants to get rid of parental notification laws.  Opposes the overturning of Roe v. Wade in any way.  Wants to make contraception more available to youth.  Opposes a ban on same-sex marriage.  Wants to force hospitals and other medical professionals to perform and/or provide abortions against their conscience.  He wants to force adoption agencies to place kids with homosexual couples. He wants to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell.”  And the list goes on.

Reality is setting in.  Hundreds of thousands of Obama supporters are in DC this week for the inauguration festivities.  Tomorrow they will face an opposition of hundreds of thousands of other people there to march in the March for Life.  They will quickly see that this was not a victory celebration for Obama – the battle is just beginning.

I wish I was going to be there!  I’ve had the wonderful opportunity of attending the March for Life and the accompanying activities twice before.  Those experiences contain some of the most profound moments of my life.  The March for Life is a very moving experience for anyone.  It’s a part of fully facing reality.

God bless all of you who are able to go.  If you are unable to attend, please pray for those who are marching.

7 comments Add comment

Suzanne January 21, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Yes, the battle is just beginning. It is up to pro-lifers now more than ever to put our money where our mouths are. We need to support our priests and bishops who do speak out agains the culture of death, and demand better of those who don’t. We need to support programs like the Gabriel Project and Project Rachel, and we need to pray, pray, pray, to win this culture war.

Mark January 21, 2009 at 7:03 pm

It’s not a battle.

It’s a Crusade. Start boiling oil, the enemy will be at the gates before we know it.

S. January 21, 2009 at 7:05 pm

I agree that we should not be encouraging or aiding abortions. However, wouldn’t time be better spent focusing on educating the young adults about when life begins – and on other alternatives to abortion?

Andrew Hedstrom January 21, 2009 at 7:07 pm

I was able to attend the March for Life in DC last year, absolutely amazing!

Since I live in CA, going on a regular basis isn’t an option, so I’m hoping to go up to San Francisco for their Walk for Life West Coast this weekend.

Great post!

Doug January 21, 2009 at 11:25 pm

To the best I can tell President Obama is no more or any less morally ambiguous than the President that preceded him or any other US citizen. As long as there are differing opinions as to when life begins this issue will bounce back and forth, I really don’t see other side conceding.

JD January 22, 2009 at 7:51 am

Thanks for the sobering but true points here. Unfortunately, the honeymoon period for Obama is going to be long and intense, which will make his political power hard to overcome by any well-meaning opposition. The nation has absolutely fallen in love with him and the whole notion of him – he can do no wrong right now.

Matthew Warner January 22, 2009 at 9:48 am

S. – That’s what things like the March for Life, standing outside of abortion clinics, and NOT electing pro-abortion politicians actually DO. But we also can’t lose site of the seriousness of the fact that we REALLY ARE killing millions of innocent babies every year in our country. We must react proportionately with absolute outrage and action to lawfully change people’s minds and save lives of the innocent.

Doug – Calling Bush morally ambiguous is like calling Obama inarticulate. ANd you should check out the March For Life today – you’ll see hundreds of thousands of US citizens that don’t see anything morally ambiguous about a babies right to live.

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