Written by Mimi Kennedy, Actress, Activist, Advisory Board – Progressive Democrats of America
Please, please, all Catholic women out there who are planning to vote for the GOP presidential ticket because you think Hillary kills babies: harken to the latest revelations today about Trump feeling “celebrities” have power to do “anything” they want — in this last particular instance, to women, be they strangers, friends or colleagues. Please, when thinking of the sanctity of life, remember war. Perhaps, Google what I did, this morning, to remind myself: “Wounded Iraq Vets images.” Ghoulish, it seemed, but I had to remember what I must never forget: the brave, brave men and women who went to war because a GOP president felt he had the political capital to do anything including send them, on his say-so, without Congressional assent as called for in the Constitution. Because a president is an ultimate “celebrity” too – if you look at it that way. Presidents can do what they want, including go around legislators, or the Constitution that is our country’s only sure foundation.
Remember, please, my Catholic sisters, that the Sanctity of Life is for all life, not just that developing in the womb of a woman who is going to be a mother, ready or not. (And I, as a Catholic have long pleaded with my church to regard contraception as the sacred moral choice for women and the loving choice for new life.) Donald Trump’s respect for life, if stated, is belied by the way he lives, in his behavior and his business dealings. Mike Pence, smooth to look at and listen to, tries to be Trump’s “beard.” Pence respects life, he says, but I start to wonder how much openness to life he shows , or showed, on a daily basis – if it interferes with his smooth look and dulcet tones, his radio celebrity and his political fundraising and power-dealing. What must be said, loud and clear, by those who know from experience, is that Openness to Life is not just all the reproduction a womb can bear. It is allowing oneself to be changed, and directed, by the daily, hourly tasks of nurturing life that has arrived and needs care: babies, children, other adults, the sick, the wounded, the loved ones that are our own to attend to. How much tending has Mike Pence done – say, of a vet who’s wounded to the point of immobility – as many families of the war wounded have to do? How much tending of a loved one with chronic, debilitating illness has Mike done, living with someone robbed, perhaps, of speech, or sound mind? Tending on this level is daily Respect For Life – a labor the GOP does not show or trumpet, a labor which, in fact, the GOP often tries to undermine by cutting funds to help the caregivers.
Does Hillary show this kind of Respect For Life? Read her book, “It Takes A Village.” It is full of her ideas, her feelings, her intent, however imperfectly effected, to nurture others, especially the next generation who will tend the earth and our society. She knows when you’re a “celebrity” it doesn’t mean you “can do anything.” (Didn’t she learn that lesson painfully in her marriage?) She knows the limits of political power reside in the Constitution’s balance of power and of power over others, in our human respect for one another as political equals who can either help or harm one another. To help – that is real respect for life. Please reconsider, my Catholic friends around this country. Hypocrisy, and sticking your fingers in your ears so you can’t hear the horribly unpleasant and venal things Donald Trump says and does, and has said and done throughout his adult life, is not worthy of the faith you practice (I’m sure with more doctrinal faithfulness than I do, but the spirit of the law is my guide, and this pope has proven that letter of the law can change.) These times require greater faith than mere obedience and childlike piety. It is really important. Look on those vets, and ask yourself how important it can be.