Ignore the Polls, Be Encouraged, AND VOTE!

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!

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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!

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  • Catholic Mom of 9

    Thanks, Mary. GREAT article, as usual!
    Don’t forget fast and pray. Everything is possible with God! :)
    Theresa

  • gk

    Vote twice if you can. Just kiddin’. It’s the Chicago in me.

    Polls are polls. Vote regardless.

  • Andrew James

    Good article and great suggestions.

    Still, it is impossible to not be apprehensive and worried about this election and what an Obama presidency will mean. Coupled with a liberal democrat super-majority in Congress, we will certainly be looking at major changes. I don’t think most good Catholic folks understand that. The liberals are energized, mad and aggressive, and they see this as their opportunity to turn America toward the secular-humanist model they so much admire in Europe and Canada. With a distorted and biased media on their side, their agenda will be subtle but sure. As a homeschooler, outdoorsman, gun-owner, orthodox Catholic and generally a person who wants the government out of my life, I am worried. These folks are god-less, and they see the central government as the source of all things. They also see people like me as an enemy that must be neutralized. There are certain things we should expect from them once they take over. First they will appease the death dealers in the abortion industry, who have funneled so much money into their campaigns. They will do this by overturning the Mexico City Policy, and by advancing and the Freedom of Choice Act, which will effectively eliminate any pro-life laws in the land. They will make certain pro-life activities illegal by classifying it as hate speech. The same goes for homosexuality, where in Canada already it is illegal to public condemn sodomy. They will shut down conservative media throught the Fairness Doctrine. Say goodbye to Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and yes Raymond Arroyo. I expect that eventually they will come after homeschoolers for two reasons; to appease the education unions and to eliminate the threat of future conservative generations being formed in the home. They know darn well that it is conservatives having large families, while the liberals are contracepting themselves into oblivion.
    They will go on the defensive in the War on Terror.
    They will appease our enemies and blame America for global unrest.
    They will stall our economy even further with higher taxes.
    They will institute tax penalties to compensate for global warming.
    I could go on and on.
    What is most bothersome to me in this mess, is that each Sunday I attend mass with my family and look around and see people in my church who are voting for this “change”. I see their bumper stickers in the church parking lot. I see them in the communion line. “What are they thinking?” I ask myself. I hope to God they are just ignorant. It is the ones who know what they are doing that really bother me.

  • gk

    I hate politics. And I know that like Jesus said: give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. It is only Caesar. The early Christians lived under Nero and persecution. We are here, regardless of what happens in the world.

    Vote! Yes vote! But also do not worry. Politics and government will not save us or ruin us. The law will not save us. Christ’s love will save us.

  • Andrew James

    I am not worried about being saved. That is secure. I am worried about how I am going to raise my children in this world as it becomes increasingly more hostile toward Christianity. It is my children’s and grand-children’s salvation I am worried about.

  • http://www.RaisingCatholicKids.com Mark

    I agree about voting, but please don’t vote for the lesser of two evils. “Settling” for McCain over Obama is simply giving America more of the same from Republicans. In fact, on a national TV debate McCain said he was for embryonic stem cell research, the same as Obama. And Republicans, like McCain have continued to make exceptions for rape, incest and when the life of the woman is in danger in abortion bills (again not what our Church teaches). Not to mention that both candidates are proposing to steal money to pay corrupt financiers is something both favor and forcing our children and grandchildren to pay for it in the future with money with don’t have now. The list goes on and on.

    And let’s face it, Republicans have been in charge of the White House for most fo the 35 years since Roe V Wade and could have enacted an Executive Order to declare children in the womb with the same rights as the rest of us as Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin promises he will do Janaury 21, 2009. This is what will stop abortions in America, the President has the power to do it, and neither Obama (of course) or McCain (because he won’t) will use it. We have to answer to God for who we vote for. He does not call us to be successful with our votes, He calls us to be faithful to the teachings of our Church. And our Church teaches no exceptions to the issues of life. Vote for the only candidate that promises to uphold that Catholic teaching and quit trying to hope that Republicans are the answer…remember, for goodness sake that Arnold Swartzenegger is a member of their party and he favors abortion rights, contraception on demand, homosexual marriage and just about everything else that a Catholic in good standing would have to be against!

  • Andrew James

    You are right Mark, but I also see the argument that we have to take any victory we can, and the Constitution Party has NO CHANCE of ever winning any election.

    The fact of the matter is this; if you are an orthodox Catholic you will never win any election in this god-less society. There are a few (very few) exceptions such as Rick Santorum, who has since lost his senate seat.

  • elkabrikir

    My 14 year old daughter made the point this morning that the media is “in the tank”for Obama. Therefore, of course they’re emphasizing his pre election victory so that Republicans will be demoralized and not vote.

    The election is Nov 4th. The 4th quarter is Nov 4th. “Fight with me! Fight with me! Fight for America! Fight for what’s right for our country! Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.”

  • on a journey

    Andrew James–
    I concur with your fears for your children and grandchildren. What will it be like for them in our country–how will they live out their faith? I have “joked” for a few years now that God is preparing my kids for something big and that’s why they are so strong willed, stubborn, out-spoken. I wonder if He has been preparing the for martyrdom. I no longer “joke” about this as I believe He is calling ALL of us to that level of sainthood. We will have to continue to speak the truth even when it may cause us separation from family, friends, organizations, schools, clubs, even time in jail I suppose.

    Jesse Romero on his Reasons for Faith radio show said it best for me last week—lest we forget in all of the worry, CHRIST IS STILL VICTORIOUS! No matter who wins the election, God is still in charge, He still loves us and He still will keep His promises to us. Whatever may be, we beg the grace to continue to raise our children in the Church, with faith in Jesus, not earthly entities and they too will be saved! Let’s pray for ourselves that we will have the strength and charity to uphold our fellow Christians who are falling for the “lie” of Obama. We WILL have to support them and bring them BACK to the true Faith in Jesus Christ and His Church. We will need this grace as our human-side will want to say “I told you so”.

  • elkabrikir

    How to talk to people who care less about abortion and more about “social justice”:

    Approach abortion as the civil rights issue of our age (which it rightly is).

    Go to http://www.blackgenocide.org for more information on the slaughter of the poor babies of color.

    Mary, thank you, you good and faithful servant. Political victory is not the salvation Christ promised, although we are to fight for truth and justice in the temporal world. No political candidate is the messiah….not John McCain and definitely not the “anointed one”.

  • Andrew James

    Yes, martyrdom. Catholics have become lazy and stupid with generations of easy living in this country, yet there have always been Catholic martyrs somewhere in the world since the time of the apostles. Many catholics can’t even cope with the closing of their neighborhood church, and simply stop going to mass rather than drive to another town. Can they be expected to really suffer for Christ? Could I do it? These are the things we should be talking about.

  • Andrew James

    I was thinking this morning “what would I do if with the strike of a pen and executive order Obama made homeschooling illegal?” Would I submit to the state and send my kids to public shool? Would I scrape enough money together and find a private school? (that is assuming they are still legal). Would I break the law and be thrown in jail?

    I toyed with the idea of sending the kids to public school (all nine of them, five with disabilities) and being the biggest pain-in-the-arse parent the system has ever seen. I would take advantate of the bleeding heart liberal system and demand every darn service coming my way, which our small rural school probably could not provide (hearing aids, FM systems, speech therapists, audiologists, dedicated bus service becase my hearing-impaired kids aren’t safe waiting for the bus, one-on one aids… I’m sure I could think of a few more).

  • Richard Bell

    Remember people;

    We live in a democratic culture. The future politicians will be elected by the future voters. If prolifers continue to have more children than the nearly sterile culture-of-deathers, and teach them to take their civic duties seriously, prolife voters will outnumber culture-of-death voters.

    Can you imagine the amusing paradox when pro-aborts realise that the prolifers are exacting ‘the revenge of the cradle’, and start calling out for larger families to preserve rights of abortion and abortifacent contraceptives.

  • Claire

    As a voter, it is so frustrating to live in New York state. I feel like my vote is totally wasted. For every rare McCain sign I see, there are 20 Obama signs. I would love to see this country go to a popular vote system rather than the electoral college.

  • mrteachersir

    Mark,

    Executive Orders do not automatically grant rights that the Court has removed. Roe v Wade removed those rights in a bizarre read on the Constitution. Those rights no longer exist (at least legally). The only way to change that is through the Supreme Court nominees or through an ammendment (and good luck getting that accomplished). While the Constitution party may fit the bill, it cannot win, and therefore, the rights of the unborn are still absent legally.

    Plus, in many states, the Constitutional Party isn’t on the ballot. Thus, the third party choice is not a viable option. Does it satisfy your conscience? Sure. But it doesn’t help elect anyone with a chance of helping the unborn.

  • mrteachersir

    Claire,

    That would be disasterous. Many states would be out of the loop. Candidates would go to the cities and leave the needs of the rural citizens out. Parties would choose candidates who appealed to the cities, thus leaving the rural people unrepresented. Plus, candidates wouldn’t go to certain states because they don’t count.

  • http://arkanabar.blogspot.com Arkanabar Ilarsadin

    If you are a registered Republican, and you vote for the Constitution Party candidate, the Republican party will notice. Karl Rove did not court and did not care about independents or Democrats. He cared about getting Republicans to vote Republican. The voters whose opinions he was most interested in were the Republican voters who did not vote Republican. He wanted to know why they would bolt the party, and what the party could do to get them back.

    Alas! that in NC, the Constitution party isn’t on the ballot, and was not able to gather enough signatures to even qualify for write-in votes.

  • dennisofraleigh

    Ah yes, the polls. Can’t trust ‘em (or so the consensus is expressed among conservatives). But wait! Those same unreliable polls somehow are showing John McCain gaining on Barack Obama. Know what I think? This is just a gut feeling, a very disquiting hunch (and I hope and pray I’m wrong about this) that the polls are indeed wrong, that Sen. Obama is so far ahead of Sen. McCain the morning after the election the final numbers are going to shock even Wolf Blitzer and Katie Curick. Like I say, I hope I’m mistaken, but (as they say out in the country) folks ain’t actin’ normal these days. Americans should know better than to vote for a man the caliber of a Barack Obama, but sadly they don’t care.

  • http://willwhite07@mac.com william

    obama is pro abortion ,,please stop this madness.

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  • saintstephen

    Which candidate does not believe in killing innocent people? Obama believes in killing innocent babies and McCain believes in killing innocent men, women and children in Iraq for [100 years if necessary], so why should anyone be encouraged to vote for either of these men who obviously defy Catholic faith morality?

  • Mary Kochan

    When did McCain say he believes in killing innocents?

    We may disagree about the justness of the war or how to manage it, but the Church does not allow us to disagree about abortion. Haven’t you ever heard of “just war doctrine”?

    Abortion is an INTRINSIC EVIL. That is why there is no “just abortion doctrine”? It is always wrong and can never be supported for any reason. The Church teaches that absolutely no one can ever under any circumstance justify it, nor can it be legally supported. It must be always and everywhere opposed AND CATHOLICS ARE OBLIGATED TO SEE TO IT THAT THE UNBORN ARE PROTECTED BY LAW!

    We are also obligated to use our vote to limit the evil of abortion if it is not possible to eliminate it right away.

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