A friend of mine recently called the police to lodge a complaint about a Halloween display in her neighborhood: a life-size figure of the horror-movie slasher, Freddy Krueger holding the bloody, butchered body of a baby in his clawed hands. The police responded that the display was not illegal in any way. My friend, intrepid woman that she is, asked the officer, if the display had featured the murder of a black person, would it be considered publicly offensive then? The answer was, yes, since imagery of that kind would transgress against racial-sensitivity laws. But to feature the murder of an infant is, apparently, not an issue.
In fairness, lawn décor celebrating infanticide has been cluttering our neighborhood for months in the form of Biden/Harris yard signs—and they’re even more frightening than some horror film villain. The red stripes that form the “E” in Biden’s name on the signs are blood-red harbingers of flat-lines for millions of unborn (and even newly born) babies. There is nothing so frightening this Halloween as these signs and the slaughter they advocate under the guise of healthcare, which would leave defenseless babies almost literally in the talons of a demon to be dismembered.
As Joe Biden said recently, speaking of the Hyde Amendment and the Church’s position on the sanctity of life, “Just as I’ve never attempted to impose my views on anyone else as to when life begins, I have never attempted to impose my view on who should pay for it…. I’m prepared to accept for me, personally, the doctrine of my church but I’m not prepared to impose that on every other person.” But imposing on the unborn is not a concern. “I will always fight for a woman’s right to make a decision over her own body,” said Kamala Harris on the debate stage with Vice President Mike Pence. “It should be her decision, not that of Donald Trump or Mike Pence.”
Speaking of madness, back in 2008, right before the presidential election between John McCain and Barack Obama, there was a political forum at a Catholic church in my diocese. A nun on the panel cited (and misrepresented) the USCCB document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizens: A Call to Political Responsibility, which says that “a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.” She means, of course, that it’s acceptable for Catholics to vote for a pro-choice candidate if they did so for other moral reasons.
It was then that a white-haired man suddenly stood up in the back. It was the Bishop of Scranton, who had slipped into the meeting unannounced. Trick or treat. “This is madness, people,” he said, taking the floor and asserting vociferously that the USCCB did not speak for him. He said in no uncertain terms that his diocesan letter stating that the issue of abortion superseded all other moral considerations in voting was the only teaching on the matter in his diocese. It is always refreshing to see a bishop act like an apostle.
What my old bishop underscores for Catholic voters in 2020 is that this election need not be seen as a choice between the lesser of two evils. There is no “Catholic” argument for Biden, and there is nothing wrong with being a single-issue voter when the single issue at hand is the issue of human life itself—that inalienable right upon which all other rights are predicated. Voting for Trump because of his pro-life record and withholding a vote for Biden because of his pro-abortion record should rest easy in the consciences of Catholics. This is the supreme issue and it is enough to base your vote upon. Trump may not be Catholic, but he has done far more for the unborn than the Catholic candidate on the ballot.
The confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court is the latest hope in the struggle to make America pro-life again. In questioning Judge Barrett during her confirmation hearings, Senator Harris, who jams the matter of abortion into a matter of dealing with one’s body, quoted the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who said during her hearing that “the right to choose is essential to woman’s equality.” Senator Harris went on to say, “So let’s not make any mistake about it. Allowing President Trump to determine who fills the seat of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion for women’s rights and a critical vote in so many decisions that have sustained the right to choose, poses a threat to safe and legal abortion in our country.”
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let’s not make any mistake about it. Let’s read the Biden/Harris signs for what they say about the sanctity of life and vote accordingly. Many Democrats are also “single-issue voters” when it comes abortion, and yet they’re not regarded as shortsighted or narrow-minded when they’re pro-death instead of pro-life. The drive to help the living, whether the sick or the suffering, only seems to exist on this side of the womb. That is yet another form of the frightening madness we are facing and must fight with our vote.
Nor is it wrong to vote for a good Protestant over a bad Catholic, as Gerhard Cardinal Müller explained in a recent EWTN interview. His Eminence said,
All the voters have the right to vote for those candidates they want to vote for them but as a Christian and as a Catholic you need some criteria for the election, and the bishops don’t indicate you must vote for them or for them. But they give us Magisterium, give us some criteria. The doctrine of the Church is the moral doctrine and the social doctrine, and we have to look for candidates who are in favor of life, this is the basis.
Life is the basis. It is the issue. Not whether a candidate promotes the trending or critical social doctrine. As Cardinal Müller pointed out, there is only one social doctrine, and it isn’t about immigration, or racism, or climate change, or “LGBTQ rights”—it is about favoring life, life itself, from conception to natural death. Anything otherwise is madness, people. Let the Bloody Child that rose from the witches’ cauldron in Macbeth be a warning to us all.
This Halloween, the terror of that Bloody Child is on our neighborhood lawns. Vote to support the single, central social doctrine. The presidential election falls the day after All Souls Day. Remembering the dead, vote for life.
[Photo credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News]