By Father Don Braukmann/Parochial Vicar - St. Philip’s, Bemidji and St. Charles, Pennington
We just celebrated our 241st Independence Day. I admit, the pessimist in me sometimes wonders how many more we still have coming.
We truly are a blessed nation. What a gift to live where we can gather where we wish, as we wish, to worship how we wish.
As a child I used to fret I would wake up from a dream and discover I am living in a war-torn, poverty-stricken nation surviving from one meal to the next. I have not woken up to such a reality so far! I think I am safely awake, overweight and aware of the blessings granted this nation and my life.
And yet, I see storm clouds brewing not that far in the distance, not that far at all.
America, our moral compass has been turned upside down. Too many of our political leaders act like spoiled children who take their ball and go home if they don’t get their way. Civil (and I do mean civil) discourse has been replaced with name calling, pouting, slanted news and revenge seeking.
There seems to be no statesmen or stateswomen left who have a clue when it comes to the definition of “compromise” for the common good. Other nations who once looked at us for leadership (both moral and political) now shake their heads, or worse, snicker behind our back.
And, it must be said, in the mix of it all is our President treating the high office of the Presidency as it if were play land at “McDonald’s.”
Mr. President, it is time to be a real president. Yes, you won the election but are tragically and dramatically losing the governing.
As pro-lifers we seem willing to contort our own moral sensibilities to accommodate a man who occasionally says he is pro-life, yet speaks and tweets like anyone but a true pro-lifer.
I think we all hoped the president would grow up once he stepped into the Oval Office when it came to his treatment of women and those who disagree with him. That hasn’t happened and clearly never will. How can someone claiming to be pro-life publicly denigrate the physical characteristics of women on a regular basis? Actually, the word “denigrate” is putting it mildly!
Mr. President, it is through those bodies where life itself comes into being!
We may gain a “pro-life” Supreme Court on the issue of abortion during this president’s time in office, but reversing Roe v. Wade places abortion laws back in the hands of the states. What good is that when the reputation of the pro-life movement is being desecrated by a President who refuses to understand what it means to live and breathe the pro-life cause?
We will look like fools when we try to convince the nation, state by state, that we are pro-life when our model and spokesperson for the pro-life cause has uttered the most horrific, disgraceful, sexist statements. He has done this before he was a candidate, while he was a candidate and now as President of the United States of America. For the first time ever in my life, parents need to take their children out of the room when the president speaks.
Yes, Mr. President, you have not gotten a fair deal from some in the media but a primary culprit is looking straight at you in the mirror each morning.
Our health care system is in shambles. Why on earth would we replace a “Democrat Health Care System” with a “Republican Health Care System” when in two, four or six years the party in the majority will “replace and repeal” their opponents plan? Basic health care is a right each person in this wealthy nation has; it is not merely a privilege ... check Catholic teaching. Why would we want one party to run the health care system when both Democrats and Republicans get sick? Stability in the system is critical, not a system that puts its political finger in the wind every two years!
Education is the key to self-sufficiency. Why are both parties going to their respective corners and barking at each other instead of finding a middle ground to help the most people? This is true of issue after issue that involves the dignity of human life.
Of course this is not all on the president’s lap, but it is the president who sets the tone, just as Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy and Reagan did before him. Men with human weakness, but men who did not lash out with childish rants about a person’s body parts or character.
We are pro-life. Being “pro-life” means more than being simply “pro-birth.” When Roe v. Wade falls our work REALLY begins and where will our reputation be? Mr. President, you continue to embarrass us as pro-lifers and as Americans. It must stop. Take the higher moral ground, let those filled with hate humiliate themselves.
Lead and inspire us with a new hope and commitment to justice for every human being no matter their age, their health, their wealth or their convenience.