Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

I have always wondered how so many Catholics stand firm in support of Democrats, the party of abortion. Recent polls cited Catholic support of Hillary Clinton as key to her wins in several primaries. Catholics have traditionally been Democrats, but the Democratic party of today is not the same as the party of years ago. What may have once been the party of hard-working blue collar Christian families has now succumbed to the wayward interests of the self-centered secular masses.

Today I read another article in our local Catholic paper critical of our involvement in the Iraq war. Nobody likes war. We don’t want to be there, but the argument can be made that we were justified in going in, and even if we were not, to abandon the Iraqi people now would be great disservice to them and those who gave their lives for their freedom.

The timing of our invasion followed the September 11th attack on our nation. The perpetrators of that event had to be confronted, and we are engaging them on their soil rather than ours. While Saddam Hussein may not have been directly responsible for 9/11, he was certainly responsible for the loss of many innocent lives during his rule. If we were to suddenly abandon the Iraqi people, civil war could lead to many more lost lives.

The point of all this is not to say we were right or wrong in going into Iraq. Certainly that is a matter for debate. We do need to acknowledge a responsibility, as the catechism says, to protect those who cannot protect themselves. When I read some of these anti-war statements by Catholic clergy and laymen, I sometimes find it difficult to determine if they are simply anti-policy or are they anti-Republican or even anti-American? Some give the impression they believe our motives for being in Iraq are evil which I do not believe. I wonder if some of them do so in order to justify their support for Democrats.

I was moved this Memorial Day Weekend by a local woman, Holly Bochnicka, who took the time to write in her own hand, the names of every member of our military who died in Iraq and Afghanistan since the war began. She spent the winter meticulously printing nearly 4600 names on long red white and blue banners which are now displayed near the Veteran’s Memorial in our town park. One cannot help but shudder at the loss of so many lives in a land so far away that posed no threat to us. Yet, American men and women unselfishly went there to free people from oppression of an evil dictator.

While those 4600 lives were being lost in the war, the number of pregnancies aborted in the United States numbered in the millions. Many of those who are quick to condemn our involvement protecting the freedom of the Iraqi people, are the same ones to stand up for protecting the legal right for American women to kill their unborn children.

Come November, we will have to choose between two candidates for the presidency of our country. One of them wants to pull our troops out of Iraq while protecting abortion rights. The other wants to stay the course in Iraq as long as necessary while being Pro-life, though not to the extent we would like. Neither choice is ideal.

I would be really curious to know how these Catholics who are so critical of our policies under George Bush will vote this November. Will they place the several thousand lives lost in war in Iraq over the millions of lives lost here in the United States through abortion? If so, I can no longer take any of their arguments seriously. To vote for a pro-abortion Democrat over a pro-life Republican strictly based on trying to save lives is hypocrisy.

Every human life is precious beyond measure, whether it be a soldier in Iraq or a baby in its mother’s womb. On this Memorial Day, we pray for the souls of those who have died in the war and those in the womb. We pray for the families who bear the pain of loss. May their suffering be united to the suffering of Our Lord for the remission of sins and may God have mercy on us all.

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