My readers are aware of my wide eyed assessment of the current political climate. They are also aware of my deep-seated conviction that politics is only a small subsection of our broader call into the culture.
Politics and political activism will not heal what is sickening this Nation we love. Only authentic conversion of human hearts can accomplish that task.
However, politics is an area of culture where we must stand together- if for no other reason than to held back the accelerating collapse of the culture. We need time – and a free access into the public square – if we ever hope to rebuild the moral core of this Nation that we love.
In addition, from the first centuries, Christians have always understood our civic obligation to be faithful citizens. As a United States citizen, I am convinced that the Nation we love is in a severe political decline which must be reversed.
I believe that having truly good men and women engaged in every aspect of the cultural mission can help move this Nation on a path toward a moral recovery. That is why I want to recognize such women and men in every community which is a vital part of our National family – and call attention to their good work.
In January of 2013 I wrote an opinion piece for Catholic Online concerning the question “Should Catholics Even Bother with Politics?” I answered my own question in that article with a strong ” Yes” – NOT rooted in naiveté, but in a steely conviction, born from years in the trenches at the intersection of faith and culture, that we must not abandon political activism.
I promised at the end of that article I was going “to do everything I can to encourage morally coherent people run for public office and help to get them elected.” I reaffirm that commitment as we approach the Congressional elections in the United States.
I will also call attention to those women, men and organizations which are standing at the intersection of faith and culture, in many vital areas, and doing good work. That is what this column will be about.
I often re-read a speech given by one of the great prophetic voices of the last part of the twentieth century, Alexander Solzhenitsyn. The speech was delivered to members of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives on July 15, 1975. In it, that great Russian Christian made this observation:
Very soon only too soon, your country will stand in need of not just exceptional men but of great men. Find them in your souls. Find them in your hearts; find them in depths of your country.
We are such a time. We are in need of “great men” – and women. Just a few weeks ago, I stood in front of the D.C. Federal Court of Appeals while my friend, an American hero named Fr Frank Pavone, was inside listening to oral arguments.
Fr Frank was at the hearing, represented by faithful lawyers defending Priests for Life against the tyranny of a Federal administration which seeks to compel that organization, along with many, many others, to violate deeply held moral, religious and conscience convictions.
I stood with others from the broad Christian community who are all seeking to integrate their faith and their political participation. We wanted to show our support for Priests for Life. I stood next to another one of my heroes, Congressman Chris Smith.
Congressman Chris Smith is an example of a morally coherent Catholic public servant who has been consistently faithful, humble and courageous.
I am on the lookout for men and women who stand faithfully and courageously at the intersection of faith and culture. This is no time to retreat from culture. One of the ways we can effect true and lasting change is by supporting the men and women who can influence culture and are committed to the task.
Culture includes politics, even if politics is only a part of it. We need men and women of courage who are morally coherent and do not separate their faith from their political participation, or any other aspect of cultural participation.
Today, I want to call your attention to a friend of many years, with whom I have worked on some of the major human rights concerns of our age, E.W. Jackson. I know what he believes. I know how he lives. I know his gifts.
I have witnessed his courage in the face of efforts to impugn him, caricature him, and marginalize him. I know the mettle of the man. He is one of the finest orators I have ever heard; a skill greatly needed in an hour when those with the wrong positions espouse them with oratorical finesse.
E.W. Jackson defends the fundamental Human Right to Life without compromise. He knows that science confirms what our conscience knows, those little girls and boys in the womb are our neighbors. It is always wrong to intentionally kill our innocent neighbors. To say and do otherwise is wrong.
We are pro-life because it is right. E.W. Jackson is pro-life because it is right.
We must restore the right to life of our youngest neighbors in the womb. Just as in the days of Lincoln we could not be half slave and half free, America will be truly free only when she welcomes every child into her national embrace and recognizes that the inalienable right to life is the foundation of freedom itself.
Those who defend marriage and family as inscribed by the Divine Architect into the order of the universe are routinely pilloried and accused of being intolerant. It takes deep conviction and a thick skin to withstand the onslaught coming from those who are anti-marriage.
The proponents of a growing activist homosexual equivalency movement pretend to be “expanding” marriage as they undermine it. They want to compel the society in which we live to give a moral and legal equivalence to other partnerships which can never be a marriage. Civil institutions do not create marriage nor can they create a right to marry for those who are incapable of the ends of marriage.
We defend marriage against the promoters of such a counterfeit because we know real marriage is a revealed in the Natural Moral Law and serves the common good. E.W. Jackson defends marriage because it is right and true.
Intact marriages and families are the glue of a healthy and happy social order. To live in a faithful marriage is to serve the common good.
Civil government has long regulated marriage for the common good. The ban on polygamy and age ensure that there is a mature decision at the basis of the Marriage contract. Heterosexual marriage, procreation, and the nurturing of children form the foundation for the family, and the family forms the foundation of civil society.
To limit marriage to heterosexual couples is not discriminatory now, nor has it ever been. Homosexual couples cannot bring into existence what marriage intends by its very definition. To give an equivalency in the law to homosexual paramours with stable married couples is bad public policy.
To state these facts about marriage is not to be “anti-gay”. It is to defend marriage. It will take courage to defend marriage against those who seek to redefine it out of existence. E.W. Jackson has such courage.
Marriage is the first society into which children are to be born, learn to be fully human, grow in virtue, flourish and take their role in families and communities. Children have a right to a mother and a father. Of course we must care about the single parent family and the many broken homes. However, their existence does not change the norm necessary for a stable and healthy society.
These positions are not only religious positions. They are rooted in the Natural Moral Law which can be known by all men and women through the exercise of reason. That Natural Moral Law gives us the moral norms we need to build societies and govern ourselves. It should inform our positive law.
Truth does not change, people and cultures do; sometimes for good and sometimes for evil. Such a claim is the ground upon which every great civilization has been built. This Natural Law is the source for every great and authentic human and civil rights movement. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail is a masterful example of using the Natural Moral Law to defend human rights. The American founders spoke of self evident truths and inalienable rights.
E.W. Jackson stands on their shoulders.
E.W. Jackson also stands for the vital importance of restoring to parents the freedom to educate their own children at the school of their own choice, He is unafraid to say that the care of children, including their education outside of the first schoolhouse of the home, must be returned to those who are the first and best teachers, parents.
He also knows that parental choice in education is a civil rights issue.
No parent should be forced to send their child to an unsafe or unqualified school. He will help set parents free to make the choice as to where formal education can best occur for their children, no matter their economic situation. That choice should include the full array of all options for all parents—public, private, parochial, charter, or home schools.
As a former small businessman, he knows that a vital aspect of cultural renewal is economic freedom. He shares my conviction that the market is most free when more and more free people are allowed to participate in it. Freedom is not some ethereal concept floating around in the atmosphere. It is a good of human persons.
His positions on economic concerns reflect this commitment to economic freedom. We must do all we can to open up participation in the free economy to as many of our citizens as possible. he market economy can be, to use the words of Abraham Lincoln, become a new frontier of freedom.
This morning I received a mailing from E.W.He works on many fronts at the intersection of faith and culture. One of the organization which he founded which has the acronym STAND. Below I offer an excerpt. You can read the full release and follow E.W. Jackson in this work by going here.
Black Ministers Respond to Appeal to Faith & Unity
I have a vision of Americans of every background standing together against the moral degradation and degeneration of our culture. It is the vision articulated in our pledge of allegiance – “one nation under God.”
Last week I saw a glimpse of that vision coming to pass. I hosted a meeting with nearly 50 key Black Ministers in the Richmond, VA area. I found these men and women to be leaders of faith and purpose, not committed to a political party, but to the principles set forth in the Word of God.
They realize as do many of us, that the problems we face in America today are not a fight between left and right, Republican and Democrat, but a spiritual battle between GOOD and EVIL.
They agree that it is time for ministers of the gospel – black, white Hispanic and every other ethnicity – to STAND together for life, family and the freedom of every individual to reach his or her God given potential. They refuse to buy into a victim mindset, and want to see the black community and all Americans experience the opportunity and prosperity this nation has to offer.
Sadly our culture is increasingly dominated by those who are hostile toward God and Christianity, who want to mock Christian holidays, tear down every cross, prohibit the very mention of Jesus name and stamp out every public mention of God.
These true black leaders refuse to stand idly by as forces of evil try to put the church in a closet, while heralding out every vile behavior for public display and approval. They refuse to remain silent while government, education, entertainment, and every other cultural influence is sanitized of Christianity and the God of the Bible.
They refuse to sit on the sidelines while good Christian people are persecuted for believing that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.
They are fighting for the family, which has been decimated among Americans of African decent, as well as in the population at large. They are fighting for educational choice and opportunity for children trapped in failing inner city schools.
They know that same sex marriage and abortion are not answers to social injustice, but perpetuators of it. They want to eliminate poverty in the black community not exploit it. They want true racial justice, but not to use race to justify things that they know are detrimental and create controversies where there are none.
Dr. King – a black minister – led us out of the Jim Crow era, and black ministers have an essential role in leading us into the era of racial reconciliation and liberty, justice and prosperity for all. America needs another Great Awakening!
Our prayer is to create a coalition of black, white, and Hispanic ministers together who will work to awaken and ignite Christians in our country to take a STAND, for freedom, life, marriage and to empower parents to make educational choices for their children.
Liberals have been very effective at creating barriers of racial distrust, even among Christians who believe essentially the same things. It is time to tear those walls down. The left has created the myth that only they care, and they are the rescuers and champions of poor and minority people. At the same time, they are attacking every Christian value that both black and Hispanic communities hold dear. Through a consistently demonstrated interest and action to address the real issues affecting minority communities, we will dispel the myths and build walls of trust.
For God and Country,
President & Founder of STAND
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.