July 26, 2017

Pro-life politicians need more encouragement and less negativity

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell discusses the healthcare bill.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
There is a tremendous amount of momentum and new resolve in the pro-life movement, building on the 2016 election victories and the continued victories in the special elections held in recent months.

But in some pro-life circles, a certain political cynicism raises its ugly head, and it is dangerous to our mission. When things don’t happen quickly enough, our pro-life congressmen and senators are accused of being cowardly, traitorous or lazy politicians. We often say, in regard to passing pro-life legislation, that we need to put pressure on those we elected and “hold their feet to the fire.” While it is true that our legislators are accountable to us, the people they represent, we need to avoid an attitude of distrust, doubt, and expectant failure. We are the ones who put these people in office, and before we talk about their feet, we should talk about their arms. As Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ arms during a battle in which the Israelites were engaged, so must we "hold up the arms" of our elected lawmakers. As long as Aaron and Hur continued to support Moses, the Israelites were winning. But as soon as they dropped their support, they started losing. The victory was dependent on their active support. And support is not passive or automatic.

We, too, need to support our elected officials. When we elect them, we willingly share in the burden of their responsibility. We do not vote them in and then take a back seat and watch what they can do for us. Our government is by the people and for the people. That means we need to be directly involved and be ready to stand with them actively in any pro-life battle rather than take a judgmental attitude toward them. We affirm pro-life members of Congress by actively backing them up. This is not a dynamic of "them" against "us." We are in this together. When they succeed, we succeed. In engaging a positive spirit to affirm them, we affirm ourselves, and the fact that our votes make a difference. And they do.

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