I know that today is usually a day for quiet optimism, for taking a look at the new year that stretches before us and making resolutions, for fresh starts and new goals.
But in just nineteen days, Obama will be sworn in as our new president. There will be lots of crowds and much celebration; the word "historic" will be used so often that it will probably have to be retired, and Chris Matthews' leg will likely tingle so hard that it will fall off and proceed by its own motion until it stops somewhere in Canada.
But pro-life Americans will not be rejoicing.
Because once Obama is inaugurated, some bills are going to start coming due--and one of them is a little thing called the Freedom of Choice Act.
Congress will have to pass it first, of course. So there is some hope there--not so much because of all the principled pro-lifers in Congress (can't even type that with a straight face anymore) but because even the weakly pro-choice "moderate" ones may balk at passing a measure that is wildly unpopular among some big constituent groups, including peace 'n justice Catholics, hospital administrators (because hospitals that don't now offer abortion would have to figure out how to do that and still make money), doctors and nurses, and many others who don't want to be constrained to participate in abortions (even if they generally consider themselves "pro-choice.").
But if the cowardly lions of Congress are manipulated into passing FOCA, Obama has promised that he will sign it. And our nation will go from being a nation in which abortions are legal and tolerated (wrongly) to a nation in which abortions are promoted, supported, and encouraged, and funded by taxpayer dollars (even more wrongly). Worse, opposition to abortion will be slowly stifled by a growing mass of laws that, using FOCA as precedent, will try to claim that many forms of pro-life speech have the effect of hampering women as they go about excercising their so-called "fundamental" right to murder their babies in utero; watch for legal barriers to be put in the way of peaceful protest, sidewalk counseling, and any other form of effective persuasion of the sort that saves hundreds of babies from being murdered by the hired killers their mothers would otherwise pay to end their unborn children's lives each year.
Catholics and other pro-life Americans are praying hard that FOCA will remain the nightmare illusion it has so far been instead of becoming an even more monstrous nightmare reality. But we have to be ready to act, as well as pray. We're going to need to keep a close eye on FOCA as Congress reconvenes, and especially once Obama has been inaugurated. We'll need to work with those pro-life groups already working to identify those members of Congress who can be persuaded to vote against it, and be prepared to write letters, make phone calls, and otherwise voice our disapproval and desire that this law never be passed in America. We need to stand firm against abortion, and continue to identify it as the horrific murder of an innnocent human person that it is.
It's going to be hard to see people, especially some of our own fellow Catholics, celebrating the inauguration of American's Abortionist-in-Chief. But I believe he can be stopped, especially in regards to his truly terrible, conscienceless, morally abhorrent abortion agenda. It will take vigilance, and a willingness to act as soon as the time for action comes.
If we lose this battle, the pro-life cause will be set back decades. Killing one's own unborn child will be considered an American value, a national virtue, as far as our legal system will be concerned. We must make sure that never happens.