Congratulations. You have inspired many of us with your candor and energy. Your drive to the Presidency has been well-earned. You ran a great campaign and I pray today that peace will soon come to our country as the result of your efforts.
Mr President elect, I am a card-carrying member of your party and agree with you on most issues. I firmly believe that the poor and middle class deserve support from the government. I believe in social justice and in programs that help bring that about that are also government-sponsored and are supported by private entities as well. I think the death penalty is barbaric and that war is an atrocity. I believe President Bush stupidly got America into an unjust war and hate the face that he used pre-emptive means in doing so. I believe that we have to regain the respect of the United Nations, our allies and countries throughout the world. I believe that the environment is needing much of our support as well and that it should be a national priority. Our economy also needs to become one of our top priorities naturally with the current economic crisis placing not only Wall Street but many global markets in a precarious place.
However, Mr President-Elect, I do not agree with you on the issue of abortion. As a Catholic I have been compelled by not merely my faith but also by scientific fact that abortion is the murder of innocent human life. It is indeed a social justice issue as well. Poor women face abortion a lot more often than anyone else and abortion being available as an option pushes them into killing their baby because we feed into that fear that tells them that they aren't any good, that they should be ashamed and that they can't possibly be a good mother. Not only does the fact that abortion on demand give them that option but many of our citizens makes it an option for them by their indifference.
For the first time I have heard a democrat talk about making abortion rare. I believe that you are sincere and that perhaps you think in your heart that abortion really is as tragic as Catholic teaching professes it to be. With that in mind, I ask for your support in doing just that--making abortion as rare as it can be--or even making the option of abortion a decision that never has to be made because we have all figured out how to support those who find themselves with an unexpected pregnancy.
How can we all work together to do this? I'm asking Catholics to pledge to simply support one pregnant woman this year. Whether it's doing something small like buying diapers or a crib for a pregnancy crisis center or giving a pregnant woman a room in your home rent free (or at least low), I ask that perhaps the office of faith-based initiatives makes this a priority in your administration.
Know that I think you are a great man and that while time and God himself will judge us all on how we have treated the unborn, I hope that this transcends mere legalities and that we all directly work to avoid a barbaric choice.
Perhaps helping young women make that kind of choice indeed is the start on the road to peace in our world and to bring us all into concern for the least of our brothers and sisters.
I'd like to suggest that your answer to helping young women in this regard can be met with your own inspirational and simple refrain: "Yes, we can."
Your humble blogger is Mike Hayes, a well-known expert in the world of young adult ministry (20s and 30s) in the Catholic Church. Mike is the author of Googling God (Paulist, 2007) where he explores both the chaotic world that young people live in and their religious reactions to that world. He also explores the age of instant gratification and how churches can respond to the needs of the young adult age by using technology alongside more traditional ministry methods.
Mike founded the award winning BustedHalo.com® in 2001 and continues to contribute to it as the editor of their catechetical section appropriately named Googling God.
Recently, he left BustedHalo® to focus on more direct ministry with young people at St Joseph University Parish as a Campus Minister for the South Campus at the University at Buffalo.
He has only two loves: his adorable wife, Marion and a nine pound chihuahua named Haze, who still find him amusing enough to let them live in their home.