I forgot to mention last week that our parish "Respect Life" group had a drive for new and gently used baby goods for unborn babies at risk for abortion and their mothers. What was interesting about it is that the group is headed by a pretty vocal Democratic activist. When I approached the table to drop off our family’s contribution, I noticed a huge display on the election. There were transcripts of Kerry’s comments on abortion, including partial birth abortion, as well as President Bush’s comments. The implication was clear. There was no support for Kerry among even the Democratic Catholics involved. They were actively campaigning for Bush because they are actively campaigning for life. Republicans need to tend these young seedlings over the next few years--not just reap the benefits for this election.
This means explaining, in a much more convincing and clear way, the connection between a respect for life and other aspects of Republican social policy and fiscal policy. That means we have to explain the relationship between respecting life and respecting liberty as equally important and connected gifts from God. Bush calls it compassionate conservatism. Not bad, but not clear enough. We can do better.