The last three weeks have seen four significant victories for the American people and their God-given inalienable rights against the fierce onslaught of their twin enemies, Big Government and Big Business.
Here in Virginia, earlier this month, for the first time in our state's history, our governor, Terry McAuliffe, had denied a permit to hold a prayer service on May 1, the National Day of Prayer, at noon in front of the state capitol, using the excuse that this is the hour when people eat their lunch on the capitol grounds. Since 1775, this prayer service has always been held at noon on this day, which allows people who work to participate in it during their lunch break. In a break from this longstanding tradition, the governor allowed the prayer service to be held at 1 PM instead, which would have prevented many people from participating. The Family Foundation raised a storm of protest, rightly pointing out that this was a blatant case of discrimination against religious believers that could not be tolerated. Republicans, Democrats, and the ACLU joined us in denouncing the governor's move. As a result, on April 11 Governor McAuliffe relented and announced that the prayer service could be held on the capitol grounds on May 1 at noon as usual. This was a victory for religious liberty and a defeat for radical secularism.
In Colorado, a terrible abortion bill that would have repealed all state restrictions on the barbaric practice was defeated on April 17, just two days after Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver personally led an extemporaneous afternoon prayer service in front of the state capitol. Kudos to Archbishop Aquila for being a true leader and demonstrating the courage of his convictions by challenging the culture of death head on. This was a victory for the right to life of the innocent unborn in Colorado and a defeat for the abortion cartel, led by Planned Parenthood, which is desperate to stay in business as long as possible while public demand for abortion continues to decline steadily.
On April 16, Vermont became the first state in the Union to pass a law requiring all food products sold in the state that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be labeled as containing GMOs. GMOs artificially alter the genetic structure of food crops, messing with the Creator's perfect design to produce bigger yields or make them resistant to chemical fertilizers. Although the purveyors of GMO crops claim that they are safe and healthy, a mass of troubling evidence is accumulating that tells a very different story: GMOs are harmful and destructive to human and animal health and the environment. Deep down, most Americans are rightly wary of GMO food products; surveys confirm that more than 80 percent of them want GMO food products labeled so that they can avoid purchasing them. We certainly have the right to know what's in our food and how it was grown. But Monsanto, America's leading producer of GMO food crops, has been fighting tooth and nail to protect its massive profits, spending millions of dollars on advertising campaigns to defeat GMO-labeling legislation in California and other states and corrupting the FDA to ensure that GMOs remain legally hidden in thousands upon thousands of U.S. food products every year. The passage of this GMO-labeling law in Vermont was a victory for American food safety, public health, and the right to know what's in our food--and a defeat for Monsanto, whose unscrupulous abuse of technology for profit and utter disregard for public health and the environment are finally getting the attention they deserve.
These four victories for the unborn, for religious liberty, and for food safety underscore the importance of active involvement in the political arena by concerned citizens. Powerful corporate interests may increasingly dominate state and federal policies today and many bad things are happening as a result of ever more widespread government corruption, but that is no excuse to throw in the towel and say, "There's nothing I can do to change things." That's a lie from the Father of Lies, the Devil, and one of his choice strategies to further his wicked agenda is to convince good people to do nothing to stop it. There are two crucial things we can do to make a difference: 1) pray and 2) take action. Prayer is powerful and can change the course of history; it has done so many times. And timely and concerted political action can halt the march of destructive policies that would infringe on our God-given rights; it has done so many times. Praying and getting involved in the political process do make a difference. These are our duties as good Catholics and good citizens, which we should perform out of love for God, our neighbor, and our country both in good times and in bad. The fact that our nation today is a shell of its former self makes it more imperative, not less imperative, that we its citizens daily unite in offering our prayers, sacrifices, words and actions in service to our country to help restore its former greatness. As long as we continue to do that, there is hope for our nation's future.
Someone once wrote that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Today our liberties are under attack as never before by an unholy alliance between Big Government and Big Business, driven and justified by the anti-God and inhuman ideologies of radical secularism and insatiable materialism. We must remain vigilant in defending our inalienable God-given rights and liberties--including the right to life of innocent unborn children, our right to pray and worship God publicly, and our right to safe and healthy food--against the attacks of these twin enemies of the American people, and we must not rest until those rights and liberties threatened and denied us are fully restored and protected.