To Northern Kentuckians: Both National and Kentucky Right to Life Endorse Sen. McConnell

Tuesday’s primary election is the first step for the Republican Party in attempting to take control of the Senate this coming November. With the current disregard for the dignity of human life, Natural Law and the U.S. Constitution permeating the White House and its followers in Congress, the importance of this election cannot be overstated.

For U.S. Senator from Kentucky, Matt Bevin is challenging fellow Republican and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. It should be clear that the mere fact of being the incumbent should not be a guarantee of another term. However, Sen. McConnell’s position of influence must not be dismissed in the voters’ minds. His defeat would not transfer his power to Mr. Bevin even if the challenger were able to pull a surprise by winning a difficult campaign against a Democrat who has already received public support from the Clintons visiting the commonwealth.

From the national perspective, a key issue in the minds of many Republican voters is the respect of human life. Anyone who can rationalize any form of murder cannot be trusted with more mundane things like the federal deficit, foreign policy, environmental issues, etc. Thus, many turn to the national Right to Life or to the state and local chapters to learn where the candidates stand on this, the most fundamental of all rights.

Northern KY Right to Life’s Endorsement…

Given Sen. McConnell’s well-known efforts and reputation to protect the most vulnerable of humans, it was surprising to see that Northern Kentucky Right to Life was endorsing his challenger instead. Apparently, it stemmed from the senator’s failure to respond to their usual pre-primary questionnaire. On their site, the organization states that “NKRTL advises the candidates that a non-response can only be interpreted as unfavorable in that they either oppose the Pro-life positions, or are disinterested in these vital issues.” This is certainly their prerogative.

They went on to say that “None of the four Democrats made any response, which is fairly common in our experience, and on the Republican side only two responded. Only Matt Bevin’s responses were totally Pro-Life. He is running against the incumbent US senator, Mitch McConnell (R), who made no answer to our question. When McConnell first ran for this office in 1984, he made mostly Pro-Life answers to our questionnaire, but since they were not totally Pro-Life, and NKRTL-PAC’s policy prohibits it from making any endorsement to any candidate who does not answer the questionnaire or does not give totally Pro-Life answers, we did not endorse him. In all of his subsequent races now for the past 30 years, he has ignored our questionnaire, which is not very inspirational to Pro-Life voters. Accordingly, NKRTL-PAC endorses Matt Bevin (R) based upon his 100% Pro-Life answers to our questionnaire, and also notes that he is the father of nine children (several adopted) and has attended NKRTL’s most recent
Celebration of Life in 2013.”

… Is at Odds With National and Kentucky Right to Life

Absent of any other information about the senator, it would be reasonable to support the challenger Mr. Bevin on this issue. HOWEVER,

Why did National Right to Life post this on September 18, 2013?: “National Right to Life today joined with its state affiliate, Kentucky Right to Life, in issuing a ringing endorsement of Senator Mitch McConnell’s re-election to the United States Senate, calling the lawmaker ‘irreplaceable’ for the pro-life cause.”

“’For many years, Senator McConnell has been among the most effective legislative champions of the pro-life cause – and the most skillful obstacle to the forces pushing radical anti-life agendas,’ said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, at a press conference in Louisville. National Right to Life, the nation’s oldest and largest pro-life organization, is the federation of state right-to-life groups.”

“In a letter to Sen. McConnell announcing the endorsement, National Right to Life leaders said, ‘You have fought tirelessly in defense of the most vulnerable members of the human family, and for that we are deeply grateful. Those who care first about innocent human life recognize that your continued leadership in the U.S. Senate is irreplaceable.’”

“A Mind of Its Own” Complex?

Yes, it would have been nice for the senator to have responded to NKRTL’s request. It’s understandable that they feel neglected. But why is NKRTL going against the appraisals of its two parent organizations who have a greater view of the Pro-Life landscape? NKRTL doesn’t present any information which would prove those endorsements to be faulty.

This is not the first instance of their taking a maverick course of action on this major issue. In 2004, there was a disagreement between them and the estimable Bishop Roger Foys of Covington which caused him, as shepherd of the local Church, to restrict his priests from a particular association with NKRTL. The author leaves the research to the reader.

CONCLUSION

The May 20th primary in Kentucky is a key stepping stone toward the road to a possible Republican takeover of the Senate in November. Losing this seat could neutralize gains made in other states where Democrats are in trouble.

This urgency, however, does not grant him or any other Republican incumbents the right to an automatic re-election to his seat in the Senate. The country needs competent Republicans, not just anyone who isn’t following the Democrats’ platform. Recognizing this, it must be remembered that Senator McConnell became the Minority Leader on more than just showing up for work. The influence he has earned is also important to the nation, not just the citizens of Kentucky.

Northern Kentuckians should disregard the near-sighted position of NKRTL, and they can be certain that their Pro-Life confidence in Senator McConnell is justified.

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Reevaluating and Changing Offensive Team/Organization Names

Sensitivity for ethnic issues continues to evolve, as it should. When I attended college in the mid 1970s, our school’s way of representing the Miami University Redskins was given approval from a tribe in the Midwest plains. In fact, a member of our Paper Technology class was given a feather from the chieftain and instructed on at least one ritual dance. The young man also had a different tribe in his ancestry, which added a personal connection.

But what is considered to be proper changes and in the 1990s, we were requested to adopt a different team nickname. We complied in 1997 and the NFL’s Washington franchise should seriously consider doing the same now. However, the school decided to go to the extreme and leave out all reference to our American Indian1 heritage when it created a fictional name, “RedHawk.” We were assured that the tradition of the school and the memory of the area’s earliest people would not be abandoned. It didn’t work out that way. At least the university’s age-old color of red was kept.

A similar name change was appropriate for St. John’s University and its “Redmen” team name (changed to “Red Storm”), and possibly Marquette University and its “Warriors” nickname, now “Golden Eagles”… which brings to mind Notre Dame’s “Fighting Irish.” Should that be controversial?2

Regardless, whenever we are made aware that something is disrespectful, as inadvertent as it may be; we are morally bound to depart from the past.

Which brings us to the NAACP (National Association of for the Advancement of Colored People) formed in 1909. Just as the previously mentioned school names were adopted in a different time of our society, so was the NAACP’s. Over the course of Baby Boomers lifetimes, the name for those whose ancestors were from Africa has gone from insensitive “Negro” to the more preferred “Afro-American” to “black” to “African-American.” Understandably, this pre-eminent organization could not be expected to alter its official title every decade or so. Still, why has it remained stuck in a more discriminatory past?

Our societal climate suggests it would be awkward for a Caucasian to mention this. Thankfully, the obvious was stated clearly by ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on an episode of “First Take” last Monday. That debate centered on the notorious comments made by Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, who was subsequently fined and banned from the NBA.3

During the discussion, a previous action of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP was brought up. Mr. Smith took the opportunity to question the national organization’s name with, “’Colored people’ is kind of out-of-style. You might want to change it!” Point made.

1 – The attempt to correct a mistake from the past gave us the severely inaccurate term, “Native American.” A better one is needed. I was born in Cincinnati which in any language makes me a native American, too. In truth, we should remember that no peoples are indigenous to this continent. Modern advanced wordsmithing ought to be able to invent a logical term for those who were here when the Europeans arrived.
2 – Why was it also necessary to have Eastern Michigan’s “Hurons” replaced with “Eagles”?
3 – “Sterling Banned for Life; Fined $2.5 Million,” by Devon Taylor, http://www.sportsbreak.com/nba/sterling-banned-for-life-fined-2-5-million/?utm_source=google&utm_campaign=sportsbreak_news&utm_medium=cpc

Men: Be Virtuous Toward Women, Women: Promote Virtue

It is indisputable that our actions affect others. While we are ultimately responsible for our own behavior, we must recognize that what we do can also help or hinder others who strive to live moral lives. Understanding this allows us to recognize that the protestor in the Associated Press photo below, is missing a crucial aspect of what is necessary to create a civilized society.1

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Sexual assault is a terrible crime which must be eradicated. The belief that “women showing too much of their bodies deserve to be attacked”1 sparks useless arguments and sidetracks energies which could be better used to solving the problem. No one deserves to be a victim.

Unfortunately, we live in a world which suffers from our fallen human state. Despite what our federal government says, we cannot be protected from all evil regardless of the amount of privacy we are willing to surrender.

That being said, we need to be vigilant. Whether it’s protecting our families or our possessions, we can take steps to minimize our vulnerability. We don’t leave children unsupervised or display our money and prized objects on the front lawn for passers-by to be tempted to steal. Sure, we shouldn’t have to lock our cars and front doors, but that is a reality which the wise will not ignore.

The same applies to the safety of our bodies. Dressing properly for work or recreation could prevent injury or even death. We also decide what to wear and how we act out of respect for each occasion and for each other. Clothing and behavior for a sporting event would not be appropriate for a wedding or a funeral.

But it is not just special events which creates interactions with our fellow human beings. Unless we are hermits, we have countless impacts on others daily. Many of these we aren’t even aware of. A jogger running down a sidewalk is probably not conscious of those who pass in cars unless a horn is sounded! Yet, thoughts can range from “I need to take time to get in shape” to “What a fool, tearing up his knees” or worse. The jogger is not accountable for this unless he/she somehow incites the travelers.
Incitation can occur in many forms: an impolite gesture, disrespectful message on a shirt… and even very revealing clothing.

How we dress does affect others. If we choose to be provocative in our clothing, makeup etc., we need to ask ourselves what our goal is. Is it to attract a spouse? (not likely in this age of decreased respect for commitments) Is it to get the attention of a movie producer? (don’t think so) Or is it to create envy or strong desire in others? These are negative and destructive emotions.

Those who have a healthy view of themselves are satisfied just by knowing they have physical gifts and use them for genuinely good purposes. They are not compelled to show off.

We should instead focus on creating a positive social environment. If we truly believed in the dignity of human life, we would have lower crime rates, including fewer physical assaults on women.2 If we didn’t trivialize human sexual relations as a casual activity outside of marriage, then we would stop treating others as mere objects for our gratification.

Essentially, we must rediscover modesty. Old fashioned to some, perhaps, but a timeless virtue which has proven its worth repeatedly over the millennia. “Modesty is decency. It inspires one’s choice of clothing…It protests, for example, against the voyeuristic explorations of the human body in certain advertisements…Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies…Teaching modesty to children and adolescents means awakening in them respect for the human person.”3,4

Respect for the human person. With this, then men and women could also understand the effects they have on each other and act accordingly.

1 – “Attitudes On Sex In Brazil Tested,” by Loretta Chao, The Wall Street Journal, 4/5-6/2014
2 – of course, the goal is zero assaults, but given the previously mentioned fallen nature of humans, this is not likely to be attained
3 – excerpts from paragraphs 2522-2524 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Liguori Publications, Liguori, MO, 1994
4 – A good summary of the Ten Commandments, what they command and forbid, can be found in “The Ten Commandments of God (Catholic Version)” by a fellow Wordpess blogger can be found at http://smattorneys.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/the-10-commandments-of-god-catholic-version/comment-page-1/#comment-3. Under the commandment against adultery, it states that it “commands chastity in word and deed and forbids obscene speech; impure actions alone or with others.”