Stop Slogan-Voting. Stop Hate-Voting. Stop Being Manipulated. Part 3. Puppet People = Legislators Who Can’t Take the Heat

Public Catholic exists because of two events.

1. President Obama declared war on my church. I first learned about the (then) proposed HHS Mandate forcing religious institutions to purchase insurance that paid for contraceptives, abortifacients and sterilization in the fall of 2011. I knew immediately that this was an unprecedented attack on religious freedom. I also saw it as a deliberate attempt to destroy the Church’s moral voice by forcing it to compromise its teachings in the face of government power. I had known for a long time that Christianity in general, and the Catholic Church in particular, was under growing secularist attack. But this mandate went beyond what I thought any President would do.

2. The Republican-led Oklahoma House of Representatives killed over half the pro-life bills backed by Oklahomans for Life in 2012. They used exactly the same tactics the Democrats had used to kill pro-life bills for decades. When Oklahomans for life attempted to hold them accountable in the same manner they had held Democrats accountable in the past, House leadership became verbally abusive with pro-life activists.

They carried this so far that a prominent pro-life activist who had spent decades in the trenches fighting for life and who had basically gotten these people elected to office wrote a cowering letter of apology to the House Republicans. Pro life leaders apologized to so-called “100% pro-life” Republicans for expecting them to vote pro-life. Think about it.

The first event — the HHS Mandate — got me out of my chair. The second — the arrogant, heartless, hypocritical killing of pro-life bills by “pro-life” legislators — set me in motion.

I knew before they killed these bills that the official Republican Party hierarchy was lying about being pro-life. I knew the money backers who really run the party thought that all this religious stuff their candidates spouted was an embarrassment. I knew they regarded it as a necessity that they had to allow in order to gain power for themselves. I also knew that some of the legislators in both parties were phony Christians and phony pro-life supporters who just said and did what they had to in order to win elections. I knew this, had known it for years.

But I would have staked my reputation on the sincerity of some of the others. I would have defended them anywhere, to anyone. When I saw these people I believed in turn their backs on the babies, it took the air out of my lungs.

I fought all this. I mean, I fought it. I spoke at press conferences, debated and tried to kill ruse votes on the floor. Then, I went to my colleagues one at a time, trying to get enough support to force a vote on the  personhood bill. It takes hours to do this by yourself, but at the end of the day, you know, and I mean you know how people stand on the issue.

I didn’t release this tally to the press. That’s not the way I operate. But I did share it with my colleagues who were working with me to try to get a vote on this pro-life bill. Somehow or other, it ended up getting printed. About 10% of the members of both parties were willing to go against the leadership and demand a vote on the bill. The rest of them caved to the manipulations and the pressure.

Exactly what kind of pressure made all these “100% pro-life” legislators turn their backs on what they said they believed?

They were faced with:

1. Threats of having an inside group of consultants who were hired by the leadership run candidates against them in their next campaign. They were threatened with well-funded puppet people opponents. It went without saying that they would lose the machine that had elected them. Since they were puppet people themselves, this was scary stuff.

2. “Lobbying” from the State Chamber of Commerce which told them that “social issues” such as pro-life legislation created a bad business environment. They were told that being pro-life and supporting other moral values made Oklahomans look like a bunch of hayseeds. In other words, they were convinced (and it wasn’t too hard to convince them) to be ashamed of the morals and values they had touted when they wanted to get elected.

3. Shunning by their pals. By this I mean the we-won’t-speak-to-you/eat-lunch-with-you/tell-you-jokes/sit-with-you grade school discipline of being on the outs with your caucus, your party, your team. I’ve experienced this. My own party nearly censured me for passing a pro-life bill. Our local liberal newspaper, The Oklahoma Observer, publishes demands for me to be kicked out of the party on a fairly regular basis. I haven’t been to a party function in years because I don’t like being called names and looked at like I’m a lower form of life.

Being genuinely pro-life will get you in trouble with the real “haters” of American politics, and that’s a fact.

I put up with all this and by the grace of God, I kept going. But the puppet people couldn’t take the hurt and ran away in fear of a competitive election campaign. They betrayed what they said they believed, turned their backs on innocent unborn children, because they wanted an easy re-election to office and to be invited out to lunch with the guys.

Even though this happened in Oklahoma, it could happen anywhere. It has happened just about everywhere. The bewildering lack of courage shown by puppet people who hold elective office isn’t just an Oklahoma problem. It may not even be just an America problem. It exemplifies why electing puppet people is such a disaster for this nation, and ultimately, for our world. It also shows why, no matter who we elect, nothing changes.

The reasons I’ve concentrated on the Republicans in this is because (1) they were the ones with the power, and  (2) they are the party that claims to be pro-life. I am outraged by the way Democratic party activists treat the pro-life people in their midst, by their hostility and attacks on Democrats who support traditional values and their mindless championing of anything that attacks the sanctity of human life.

But what I’m talking about in this post is the flat-out betrayal of pro-life people by legislators who claimed to be pro-life, campaigned as pro-life and were elected for being pro-life. Those pro-life bills weren’t killed by Democrats. They were killed by Republican legislators that thousands of trusting pro-life people had worked and sacrificed to elect.

The “pro-life” Republicans didn’t start out this way. They fought for pro-life legislation, rather than killing it, when they were on their march to power. It was only after they had taken over the state government, picked up all the marbles, that they turned against the issues and people who had supported them in election after election. I’ll go into how and why I think this happened in Part 4.

In the meantime, listen to me carefully. Barring a Supreme Court decision, we will not revoke the HHS Mandate, we will never overturn Roe v Wade, we will not save traditional marriage, we will not stop the tide of killing that is euthanasia, organ buying, baby selling, human trafficking, not so long as we continue to elect puppet people to office.

Why? Because they represent the powerful interests that financed their enormously expensive campaigns, rather than the people who elected them. Because they can’t think their way out of a paper bag. Because they don’t have any guts. Because, not to put too fine a point on it, they get hysterical and run and hide at the least bit of opposition.

Do they feel bad about any of this? Not that I can see. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is impossible to overestimate the political amnesia of a political puppet. Less than two weeks after he worked to kill the Personhood bill, I had one of them look me in the eye and tell me, “I would stand for pro-life even if  it meant the lives of my own children.” I think he thought he was telling me the truth.

I didn’t argue with him. There comes a point where there is no point.

“There are none so blind as those who will not see.” John Heywood said that a long time ago. I was blind once. I helped kill unborn babies and honestly did not comprehend what I was doing. But, back when I was doing pro-choice things, I at least knew that I was pro-choice. I wasn’t living under the delusion that I was pro-life.

This post is deeply personal to me. Too personal, really. I’m not over this enough to talk about it in public. I decided to go ahead because the American people deserve to know this. Nothing, but nothing, is more on point than a letter from the front lines.

It’s really a simple equation.

Puppet People = Legislators Who Can’t Take the Heat

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31 comments

  1. Wow.

    That has to be hard to go through what you describe. It is so good that you did not cave in because of it!

    1. I took some of these things pretty hard. But they are nothing compared to what other Christians are suffering right now, at this moment. There was no question of “caving in.” That would mean turning my back on Jesus.

      1. Thank goodness you stayed strong! God bless you. We need people like you out there!

        1. Thank you. Blessings.

  2. The Cross you bear in that of the Lord, and may He continue to guard and guide you. You are an inspiration. So many voters feel that politicians are all the same and therefore not worth voting for. You offer hope to those of us who feel like that. Democracy needs people like you.

    1. Jessica, God led me to a change of heart and then nurtured and loved me. I am not an inspiration. What He can do with a human heart — any human heart — is the inspiration.

      1. So true Rebecca – and if we have the humility, and the courage, you have shown in Him, then all will be well.

  3. Peter Wiebe · ·

    You paint a sad political picture. I fear that Canadian politics is not that different. Our Ontario government recently passed anti-bullying legislation that recognizes 7 different genders! I thought there were only 2. You can see the hands of special interest groups all over it.

    May God strengthen you mightily in your work so that your courage will not fail you.

    1. Thank you Peter. I’m beginning to think that these problems are rife in both our countries.

  4. Noel Williams (prhayz) www.prhayz.com · ·

    The HHS mandate that you referenced in your post does not exist. A compromise was reached, and the burden of providing contraceptives is on the insurance company. The Catholic Church does not operate health insurance companies.

    1. Hi Noel and welcome back! Haven’t heard from you in a while. I disagree with your contention that the so-called compromise the President put out several months ago effectively altered the attack on religious freedom created by the HHS Mandate. I believe the mandate is just as egregious as it was before the compromise. This is a small summary http://bdfund.org/wordpress/?p=443 There are many others which go into more detail that I can reference if you’d like.

  5. God Bless you for your courage. “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first” (Jn 15:18)

    1. Thank you!

      This is something Christians in America have come to ignore. But times are changing and I think we will all need to remember it and realize that it applies to us.

      ““If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first” (Jn 15:18)”

  6. May God help us, Rebecca, and may He richly bless you for your courage, conviction, and fidelity.

    1. Thank you Beverly, but I am nothing special. We are all of us called to stand for Jesus, wherever we are, whatever we do.

  7. “In the meantime, listen to me carefully. Barring a Supreme Court decision, we will not revoke the HHS Mandate, we will never overturn Roe v Wade, we will not save traditional marriage, we will not stop the tide of killing that is euthanasia, organ buying, baby selling, human trafficking, not so long as we continue to elect puppet people to office.

    Why? Because they represent the powerful interests that financed their enormously expensive campaigns, rather than the people who elected them. Because they can’t think their way out of a paper bag. Because they don’t have any guts. Because, not to put too fine a point on it, they get hysterical and run and hide at the least bit of opposition.”

    I couldn’t agree more.

    God Bless you, Rebecca, and keep you. You are an inspiriation.

    1. Back at you, dear friend.

  8. Reblogged this on The Peanut Gallery and commented:
    Thank you for your honesty and openness. I asked “Forest Gump” (see my earlier post) what his core principles were – he gave me a blank stare. The best political reasoning that I’ve ever heard starting from the position of “Life” came from Rick Santorum… and he has paid a price as well. God Bless you.

  9. Steve Evans · ·

    Rebecca,
    St John of the Cross said,
    “The serene peace and spiritual sweetness that the Lord gives is not the type of inner peace for which we normally hunger.
    We want a peace that merely comforts and coddles, because we do not like to be challenged or changed. And so we make the mistake of thinking we have peace, when really we are receiving comfort – temporal and temporary as it is – from our strong hold on the security and assurance that comes only from without.
    The peace that flows into us from the Lord satisfies the soul with full assurance that He is still for us, even as we are being taken through fire – in which we can be changed into His likeness.”
    Fortress of Light

    Continue to be brave and bold and unpopular in human eyes for the sake of righteous truth. Thank you for your voice and for your courage to speak Christ’s truth in the face of Satanic deception and sinful compromise.

    Blessings, in Christ,

    1. Thank you Steve. Your comment is almost poetic, and so powerful. I have never seen that quote before. It is wonderful, and very true.

  10. “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” Patrick Hhenry

  11. Hopefully, it won’t come to that. But the only way to stop it is for all of us to step out of our comfort zones and stand for what we believe.

  12. A gazillion people have probably nominated you for these weird blog awards that I don’t fully understand. But since I’m here, I’ll let you know that I nominated you for two of them.
    http://catholicdiatribes.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/two-blog-awards/

    1. Thank you much! Nice to see you back.

  13. We shall always make mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith in our Lord Christ Jesus. We will give thanks for boldness in speaking the truth and pray that remain strong and steadfast In the Lord as He has establish a guard against the evil one. AMEN!

    1. Thank you for your prayers.

  14. I guess it was what we all know and wish we didn’t: that both parties are corrupt and that the elites of both parties don’t take moral stands, they take political stands. Pro-life is just another issue to debate and garner support for their next election. Very few will put their next run for office in jeopardy by being TOO darn extreme in their views. So they play politics and the people that elected them get pro-life light.

    1. Noel Williams (prhayz) www.prhayz.com · ·

      You have said a mouthful my friend. Politics is a dirty game.

  15. pastorjeffcma · ·

    I am not sure how to give a standing ovation in a comment section. This post is deserving of one!! Not only your courage in posting, but your obvious courage and conviction in living it out. Thank you so much! Any of us that follow politics have seen this play out so often–good candidates get elected and then “cave.” And we have known the pressure is intense, but have not been truly aware of what that looked like. Thanks for your service and courage.aware

    1. Thank you, Pastor Jeff!

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