WOW! Father Frank Pavone totally rocks! But you probably already knew that. Last night I listened to a conference call arranged by Father Pavone of Priests for Life with over 3000 pro-lifers from around the country. It was just what I needed to hear and it is just what you need too!
Last week a Catholic friend, a blogger who has often contributed articles to CE, said to me ruefully, “I think we are going to have to get used to saying, “President Obama.” It is clear that that thought, either expressed or not, is in the minds of many pro-lifers. And why would it not be? The mainstream media is awash with polls that make Obama’s victory look like a forgone conclusion. But as a couple of speakers at the pro-life conference call emphasized, these polls are, first of all, inaccurate even when conducted with the utmost scientific rigor and second, often greatly skewed, either intentionally or not. What is the real point of the polls this election if it is not to accurately portray the state of mind of the electorate? THE MAIN POINT OF THE POLLS IS TO STOP YOU FROM VOTING!
Folks, this is not the time to give up.
For one thing all the polls, even the ones that give Obama the highest lead over McCain, show a significant number of “undecided” — a percentage large enough to change the outcome. And you still have time to change the mind of someone who is undecided — or someone who is decided, but ill-informed. Go here for some powerful ammunition: http://www.onebabyonevote.com/.
For another thing, polls are not elections. A person who has participated in ten polls and stated categorically his intention to vote and for whom he is voting, has still not voted unless he votes at the polling place on Election Day or by absentee ballot or early voting. If he does not vote, it does not matter how many polls he was counted in.
A lot of the projections about this election are based on the assumption that the pro-life and religious voter turn-out will be depressed, because it was depressed during the last mid-term elections. One thing I learned from this conference call was that the falling off of the turn-out of religious voters during the 2006 elections caused pro-life losses in the US Senate and House races and in a number of state and local races. So what is the strategic key to a pro-life victory? IT IS GETTING OUT THE VOTE and this is where you come in.
There has been a lot of talk in the media about the great organization of the Democratic candidate for president. He has been praised for his great “ground game” — well for the pro-life side in this election, YOU ARE THE GROUND GAME! And remember this is not just about the vote for president; a lot of pro-abortion candidates at other levels of goverment are counting on riding Obama’s coattails into office and THE MORE LOCAL THE ELECTION, THE TINIER THE MARGIN OF VICTORY. Even if 100 votes in your county does not keep your state from going to Obama, those votes can easily turn a local election and WE NEED TO BE SUPPORTING PRO-LIFE CANDIDATES AT EVERY LEVEL.
Your energetic action is needed right now! Do not take for granted that your friends and acquaintances know the positions of the candidates on the issues. TALK TO THEM! GIVE THEM LITERATURE! SHARE VIDEOS!
Do not take for granted that everyone you know who is eligible to vote will vote. Getting out the vote includes reminding people to vote and helping people get to the polls. Find out who needs help to get to the polls.
There may well be entire states on next Tuesday whose results will be so close that A SINGLE PARISH COULD HAVE CHANGED THE ELECTION. Make sure that everyone at your parish knows the truth about Catholic teaching on abortion and our civic responsibility to vote pro-life.
I urge all of you to go here http://www.priestsforlife.org/elections/index.htm.
You can download voter’s guides for distribution at parishes, in Church bulletins, parking lots, or on the street where cars are leaving if you are not welcome in the parking lot. You can also find a list of things (reproduced below) to do to help organize to get out the pro-life vote among Catholics and others. SHARE THIS WITH EVERYONE YOU KNOW!
What you can do to help get out the vote
1. Help to register more voters — Find out the many possible ways how, either through your Church or as a private citizen! Now is the time to register new voters! [CE editors note: I learned that nine states have same-day register and vote laws. Learn what the law is in your state.]
2. Obtain from us the presentations that were given at the 2003 legal symposium we co-sponsored at the Ave Maria Law School on the topic The Church and Politics: Are We as Restricted as We Think? Click here for written presentations and for the ability to listen to the seminar. Share these resources with your pastor or organization leader. You can order the booklet at [Priests for Life] online store.
3. Letters to the Editor — Be sure to get hard-hitting letters into your local daily papers about candidates and issues! You can influence many people! See instructions and sample letters at http://www.priestsforlife.org/letters/index.htm
4. Encourage your pastor to use the resources available below for preaching, bulletin inserts, and educational booklets for the Church bookrack or library.
5. Organize small groups to study the US Bishops’ document Living the Gospel of Life. Our study guide on this document can be used individually online, or by groups in your Church, organization, or home.
6. Use the Internet to spread the word about issues, candidates, and political responsibility! Use our banner ads on your website. Go into chat rooms, discussion forums, bulletin boards, etc. to raise awareness about the elections. Make links from your website to ours and to other political sites. Make your own website to help people take part in the elections or to spread information about the candidate of your choice.
7. Use your email list to broadcast helpful election information, such as the material on this site.
8. You may be needed in your community to help distribute voter guides on the weekend prior to the election. An election can be decided based on how many voter guides are given out! If you can help in this effort, fill in the form above and indicate the kind of help you can provide or check with your local or state respect life organizations to see what is planned. And please note that you DO have the right to distribute these fliers in Church parking lots. See this legal letter for information. Moreover, if you are thrown out of the parking lot, you can always move onto the public sidewalk or other public property adjoining the Church, and you should strongly insist on your right to remain there.
9. Make use of early voting, which in many states, can be done without needing a special reason — you can vote before Election Day, thus decreasing the chances that something unexpected will prevent you from getting to the polls. Promote this idea to others. Also make sure that those who will be out of town on Election Day, or who are homebound, request and send in an absentee ballot.
10. When Election Day approaches, you can increase the number of votes for the right candidates by calling your friends and urging them to go to the polls. On Election Day, take the day off from work and help people get to the polls if they need a ride or someone to watch their children, or some other form of assistance.
11. Contact your local Board of Elections and ask about poll-watching, which is an activity you can take part in whereby citizens are present at the polling places on Election Day to make sure that the elections are conducted fairly and efficiently, and to be on the alert for abuses.
12. Support the candidate of your choice by making a financial contribution and/or working on his or her campaign. (The amount of money you can contribute to a specific candidate is limited by law. Once you have reached the legal limit, contribute to organizations like ours which work to advance particular positions which the candidates of your choice support.) Also, show support for your candidate by means of yard signs, bumper stickers, pins, and envelope stickers!