A Post-Election Reflection from Joe Scheidler
Posted by Matt Yonke (November 15, 2012 at 11:01 am)
Note: In the wake of last week’s election we offer this reflection from Joe Scheidler, national director of the Pro-Life Action League, one of the co-sponsors of the nationwide Stand Up Rally effort. This piece was originally posted on the Pro-Life Action League website.
Last week on Election Night my daughter Cathy and her family came over to watch election results with Ann and me. They stayed overnight because we expected it to be a long night of returns coming in. And, of course, we were hoping for a victory for life and liberty.
The next morning, I walked into the bedroom where my little granddaughters had slept. I said to them, “I had a terrible nightmare.”
“Oh, grandpa, what was it about?”
“I dreamt that Barack Obama was reelected.”
It Wasn’t Just a Nightmare
But it wasn’t just a bad dream. It is reality. We face four more years of an administration that is in lock step with Planned Parenthood. In fact, the CEO of Planned Parenthood took a couple of weeks off her $400,000 a year job to work full time to keep Obama in the White House.
Reflecting on our political situation, I have to confess that every four years I find I have fallen into the trap of expecting our political leaders to make my job easier. It is a terrible deception. In my heart I want to live by my (and St. Benedict’s) motto: “Ora et Labora—Pray and Work.” But along comes an election campaign and I am lulled into thinking that if a pro-life candidate gets elected, I can breathe a little easier.
I say it is a deception, because our work as pro-life activists does not depend on who is in the White House, or the Congress or the State House, or even on the Supreme Court. We are commissioned by God to spread the Gospel, to restore respect for human life, to change the culture and build a Culture of Life.
If we do our job right, we won’t have nightmares about radically pro-abortion politicians running our country, because the electorate will choose people who cherish life and liberty.
Much Work Left to Do
Clearly we are not there yet. Too many of our fellow citizens are woefully ignorant of what it means to be truly human: to reflect the image and likeness of God. They too want a candidate who will make life easier for them. They want someone who will give them free health care, tax somebody else, provide free contraceptives, pay for their abortions and make it easy for them to avoid any responsibility.
It is discouraging and disheartening to face the condition of American culture in 2012. The majority of Americans seem relentlessly determined to stay on the course of secularism and irresponsibility.
Perhaps we can be forgiven for taking a day or so to feel sorry for ourselves and for America.
God Knows What He’s Doing
But then we have to shake off the nightmare and get back on our mission. God knows what He is doing. He is the One who invented free will, whether those who refuse to acknowledge Him know it or not. He lets people make bad choices. But He will also bring good out of those bad choices, whether they like it or not.
We have our marching orders. As you may know if you have heard me give a talk, I am fond of reminding pro-lifers that we are the Church Militant. The war is far from over, but the victory is sure. And the harder we work at reforming the culture, the sooner we will witness that victory.
I have never really believed in the quick fix or the easy answer. It just doesn’t happen like that. This is a tough battle all the way.
So once again the deception of the election season got a grip on many of us. But we’ll snap out of it. The Pro-Life Action League’s mission continues: Confront society with the ugliness of abortion, save babies and women from the tragedy of abortion, and build the Culture of Life.