Here is a blog I wrote for fladems4life.org- this is the website for Florida Democrats for Life organization- If you are a Democrat and pro-life you should seriously consider joining the National and State chapters for Democrats for Life. There is a lot of freedom for you to bring your ideals and ideas into these growing organizations. I believe it is mostly a waste of time trying to turn Democrats into Republicans or vice versa- there is a philosophy of governance that pulls deeper than individual issues- even big issues like abortion.
Republicans call their view- “limited government” whereas I see it more as “limited responsibility” to a point that is contrary to the natural role of governance when it comes to ensuring the common good. For philosophical reasons I think people find a connection to a political party, and that is harder to change. To change from pro-choice to pro-life, it is actually an easier conversion to make. I believe that more Democrats will convert to pro-life, if the discussion takes place with fellow Democrats, not with Republicans who are prone to complete demonizations of the Democratic party.
I readily acknowledge big disconnects with the modern Democratic party on some major issue fronts- but I don’t see the Republican Party as being more closely aligned with my ideals when it comes to the philosophical underpinnings of how to regard the role of State in pursuing the universal common good. Both parties are major basket-cases, in my humble opinion. But I am going to continue the work of reforming the Democratic Party, the Pro-Life Movement, and American Politics- I can’t do it alone, but all I can do is develop and follow my conscience, so that I can continue looking forward to meeting Jesus Christ Man-to-man someday, not dread the encounter. Now here is the blog entry- feel free to comment there or here- feel free to join Democrats for Life and help out if you are so inclined. If you are a hard-core Republican I don’t expect you to join, but consider my points and move on to sites where you feel more inspired. : From fladems4life.org blog
“I believe the time is ripe for the National and Floridian Dems for Life movement to grow exponentially. There are many Democrats who vote for Democrats- especially at the national level- because of the Democratic Party’s longer tradition of caring about the struggles of the poor and middle-class, the minority races, the immigrant, children, and those at-risk for all kinds of reasons. Democrats have a philosophy of governance that is generally much more positive than that offered by the normative Republican Party. There is a reason that the FDR Democratic Party held a firm base among immigrant and social justice-oriented Catholics, and Social Gospel Protestants. There is a commonsensical awareness that while corporations are in service primarily or exclusively to their investors, government is supposed to be the domain of “We the People”. In my own Catholic social doctrine studies, I have found that the role of the political authorities at every level is fixed on one primary goal- the common good. The “buck” has to stop somewhere.
The “buck” actually stops with each one of us- but we can only do so much with the limited powers we have as individuals- particularly if we are individuals with very limited resources, time, or intellectual giftedness. So, we developed representative governance and gave huge responsibilities over to our elected political leaders. Scripture advises us to pray for our leaders for good reason- they have primary charge of ensuring the common good- and they will be judged very closely by God Himself- if we take Revelation seriously.
The Democratic Party has lost a big part of her “soul” in recent decades. To embrace abortion rights and sexual liberalism has been catastrophic for children and traditional families- the very backbone of society. The Democratic Party- as such- does not deserve our continued support, but the Party is not just “theirs”, it is also “ours”. I am a lifelong Democrat, dating back to 1976 when I was just 13 years old and independently decided to volunteer for the first Jimmy Carter campaign for President. I am not willing to let go of the Democratic Party without a big-time fight. I ran for public office as a pro-life Democrat, and experienced the cold-shoulders of both the pro-life movement leaders, and the local Democratic Party activists. What I learned is that there must be a solid grassroots movement among religious African-Americans, Hispanics, and old-school white social justice fighters. We cannot continue to take the abuse from the Democratic Party establishment, which is dominated by Planned Parenthood et al.
The strategy I propose is that each of us in our own communities, attempt to gain speaking engagements in local churches- particularly those with sizeable African-American and Hispanic congregations. We shouldn’t be spending a lot of time trying to convert Republicans over to becoming pro-life Democrats. We should focus on those who are voting Democratic but do so only with severe reservations given the stand of most Democratic leaders on abortion and other social issues.
I suggest we use this blog to report on our progress, to offer encouragement to one another, as well practical suggestions and contacts in the media or churches if we have them. You do not need to be a polished speaker, just try to get in front of traditional religious people and start a dialogue and ask for them to join up with us. Let me know what you think- I am recovering from some health issues, but I plan on getting on the phone this week and setting up some talks. Let’s pray for one another- if it is God’s will, then we will find some open doors in his churches! God Bless, Tim Shipe Vice President. See me on Facebook- contact me for “friend” status.”