U.S. Heads For A Critical Crossroads As Presidential Race Detonates Around Us
There is mystery attached to Iraq, especially when it comes to presidents with the last name of Bush. It tempts. It seems to suction in. And it threatens re-elections.
Although the first war was overwhelmingly welcomed by the American public and declared a gigantic victory, there seemed to be bad luck attached with it. Soon after, George Bush Senior saw his astronomical approval ratings plummet as other political denominators like the economy collapsed around him. He lost his bid for re-election.
Now there is his son dealing with the same foe and likewise haunted.
Will Iraq end up tipping the scales away from the President at this critical time in U.S. history?
Or will the President's ardent evangelical fervor -- his open prayers to God -- overcome the Iraq curse?
This is an explosive election, detonating all around us. Right now, barring unforeseen events, President Bush will likely win. Right now, it is time to pray.
It is time to pray for the right decision and also for the unity of a country whose unity and Christianity have become frayed. A difficult time, this: On the one hand, there is concern over the war, where thousands have died -- untold numbers of civilians whose tallies are never publicly released. There is the economy. The rich are getting richer. There is all the more division between classes. There is the health crisis. It is now nearly unaffordable to visit a clinic. There is the price of gas: oil companies are all but in control. We have been "lashed" because of all that.
Not since Viet Nam has there been such vitriol -- and divisiveness. The war in Iraq has even caused officials at the Vatican to split between Kerry and Bush -- with dicasteries like the Secretariat of State and the Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue leaning toward Kerry, if a recent news report is to be believed, which claimed that an informal survey showed those who worked at the Vatican a bit more inclined (say, 60-40) toward Senator Kerry.
But now we get to the one over-riding topic of abortion: If Kerry wins, there will be a pro-abortion Supreme Court -- and perhaps even a return to partial-birth abortion.
It is an insurmountable stumbling block, and for this reason, Vatican dicasteries such as the Council for the Family and the Academy for Life (not to mention the powerful Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) are supposedly leaning toward the President.
The higher-ranking officials in Rome, it seems, are more pro-Bush, which can be taken as a sign that the Vatican, for all practical purposes, is actually rooting for the President.
Is Bush perfect? Let us not fall into the current climate of criticality. Instead, there is the mystical view: the war in Iraq threatens his re-election as it led to the phenomenal demise of his father, with one difference: George W. Bush has a fervid devotion to Christ that is displayed in public and in the end may overcome the jinx of the same Iraq that in a mysterious way spelled doom for his father (and opened the door to rampant liberalism).
At the least, no one can deny President Bush's conviction that he is correctly attacking evil.
How pro-life is a war president? These are questions that only the individual voter can answer. But the bottom line is that support for war or the death penalty does not preclude one from receiving Communion in any diocese in America while support of abortion does.
In fact the buzz this week in Catholic circles was whether the Vatican has indicated that due to his strong support of abortion (and it has been strong), Senator Kerry can be excommunicated. It is really not an issue: the Vatican has stated that it has not issued any such advisement, and if it had, it would also have to advise bishops to excommunicate hundreds of other politicians.
No, John Kerry remains a Catholic who can receive Communion if he desires (at least in most dioceses) and yet remains a testimony to how divergent a Catholic can become (or is the word "wayward"?).
There are Sunday Catholics. There are monthly Catholics. There are Christmas Catholics. It is the Christmas Catholics who are most likely to vote for Kerry. No doubt, one can find a lot of good attributes in Kerry -- especially his focus on health care, the environment, and reining in corporations -- but it all comes back to abortion and also human embryonic stem cells.
Both are simply unacceptable. No one in good conscience can condone human cloning, which is involved in certain aspects of proposed stem-cell research. We cannot imitate God. We cannot ascend to his Throne. Creation is His province and His alone.
So this is a crucial election and those who advise Americans to pray are doing more service to their country than those who are involved in polemics.
Once more, the U.S. is at a great crossroads. The election could go down to the wire. Rarely has there been such emotion. More than 70 percent of Americans believe the election will personally impact them.
That's an extremely high percentage.
But perhaps much of the public senses what we do:
That if we start cloning, even for therapeutic reasons -- and if we don't outlaw abortion, very shortly -- never mind what you just saw with the storms in Florida; this country will see real disaster.
[bookstore resources: How the Presidents Prayed]
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