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Hudson and Fournier:Catholic Countdown to Election 2012 - Day 35. Chris Smith and Catholic Courage

By Deal W. Hudson and Rev. Mr. Keith Fournier
October 2nd, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) recently wrote to say that he had just returned to DC from delivering the keynote address at the Red Mass luncheon in Boston.We look forward to the day when the majority of Catholic members of Congress, not the minority, have such a clear vision of the right to life, the foundation of all other human rights.

WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) has faithfully served in the US House of Representatives for over three decades. He is a Catholic politician who has remained faithful to the truth and can rightly be called morally coherent. he should be a model for all others. 

Smith refuses to compromise on the fundamental human rights cause of our age, the Right to Life of our first neighbors in the first home of the whole human race - their mother's womb. He is a voice for all who suffer as a result of a deprivation of religious liberty. He is a defender of true marriage and the family and society founded upon it. He is a champion of authentic human freedom and unafraid to fight for it.

One simply cannot be a morally coherent Catholic and hold what is euphemistically called a "pro-choice" position on abortion or fail to defend true marriage and the family and society founded upon it. Given their numbers, U.S. Catholics can determine the outcome of this election. That is if we act in a manner which is, to use words of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, "morally coherent".  That phrase was used in an instruction released in 2002 entitled a "Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life". It will simply take Catholic Courage.  

On Congressman Smith's Congressional web site  we read this straightforward declaration of his consistency: "As a Member of the United States House of Representatives from New Jersey, Chris Smith has championed the rights and interests of many - from children forced to toil in sweatshops to women kidnapped and sold into lives of prostitution to unborn children whose opportunity for life is threatened.  Smith has dedicated his life to protecting human rights and helping the world's most vulnerable."

Congressman Smith has consistently stood up to tyrant regimes, including the one ruling mainland China, when they fail to protect human rights. The "one child policy" in China is overlooked by some other other members of Congress who are Pro-Life. But not by Chris Smith. Congressman Smith, a faithful and morally coherent Catholic, knows that the Pro-Life position is not simply a "religious" position - though the Congressman is a faithful Catholic Christian - it is a human rights position. He is a human rights hero.

The Right to Life is the foundation of every human rights issue. It is precisely because we recognize the dignity of every human person that we care about the poor and speak for those with no voice. It is also why we must stop human trafficking. Chris Smith has been at the forefront on both of these struggles as a human rights champion. He hears the cry of all of the poor, including our first neighbors in the womb. He has an indefatigable energy which he has used to defend the things that really matter for over thirty years in the "People's House".

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) recently wrote to say that he had just returned to DC from delivering yesterday's keynote address at the Red Mass luncheon in Boston. He reports, "Cardinal OMalley's Red Mass homily was among the finest I have ever heard!" We will be looking for a copy, but meanwhile we note that Rep. Smith is no slouch himself when it comes to preaching the Gospel of Life.  Here is a section of his remarks to the Red Mass luncheon in Boston.

"The Catholic Church has been clear and consistent in its teaching that all human life is profoundly sacred.  In both word and deed-heeding the commandment of Jesus Himself to care for the least of our brethren found in Matthew 25-the Church is the leader in defending the unborn, helping the poor, disabled, orphans, frail elderly, feeding the hungry, assisting the refugee, caring for the AIDS patient, embracing the guilty prisoner, rescuing the victim of human trafficking, and presenting God's awesome gift of reconciliation to all of us who have lost our way."

"Throughout it all the Church has withstood the world's hatred, endured an endless barrage of withering criticism and mocking in its valiant defense of human life and Judeo-Christian values.  With generosity and charity towards even its most obnoxious and violent critics, our Church has modeled Christ, who from the cross forgave His tormentors."

We look forward to the day when the majority of Catholic members of Congress, not the minority, have such a clear vision of the right to life, the foundation of all other human rights.

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has just published its official voters' guide. All the information, a description of how Obama and Romney agree and differ on ten issues, is accurate and clearly presented.  However, the issues are purposely listed "alphabetically."  There is no distinction drawn, either by explanation or layout between settled issues, the non-negotiables, and prudential issues.  As one friend in Pittsburgh wrote to me, "Thank God, abortion begins with an 'a'!"

Joy Allen, the Catholic from Pennsylvania who received the "push call" from an Obama Catholic supporter, received another call, this time for her son rather than her daughter. The caller used the same script read by the first caller, including the following: "Well, I am a practicing Catholic, and I have no problem supporting Obama. How can you support a Mormon who does not believe in Jesus Christ?"

This anti-Mormonism added to the lies told about President Obama's support for abortion make these calls problematic for a President who has said he admires Romney for "taking his faith very seriously." ABC News reported at the end of August that the "Obama campaign has said it would not make an issue of Romney's Mormonism during the lead up to the November election - a pledge which it so far has appeared to keep."

"We've said that's not fair game," senior Obama strategist David Axelrod said of both candidates' personal religious views in an interview with CNN earlier this year.

Given these anti-Mormon push calls and a story that was posted on the Drudge Report last evening, President Obama will face some tough questions about whether or not he has actually kept his promise to keep Romney's faith out of electioneering.

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