Kansas could play a very significant role in the future of our nation.
With predications that the composition of the Senate is up for grabs, Kansas voters could determine the control of the Senate.
This will make a significant difference on a whole host of issues, but
it is especially important with regard to judicial appointments. The Senate is the only group that has the ability to moderate presidential appointments to the federal courts and ultimately to the Supreme Court. With the current Senate leadership having rewritten the long-standing Senate rules so that judicial appointments can now be confirmed by a razor-thin majority, a president does not have to build a bipartisan consensus for nominees for the federal bench.
Similar to the abortion issue, the federal courts in recent months have been usurping the rights of Congress as well as state legislatures to determine public policy regarding marriage. The courts are expected very soon to strike down the Kansas constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. That amendment was passed by an overwhelming majority of Kansans less than 10 years ago.
The courts will also determine the outcome of the battle over the protection of religious liberty and conscience rights. While advocates for religious liberty and conscience rights scored a victory in the Hobby Lobby case this past June, it was decided by the narrowest of margins. Four of the nine current Supreme Court justices revealed their willingness to fine Hobby Lobby out of business, if they continued to refuse to include abortifacient drugs and devices in their health plans.
Of course, the governor’s race is also extremely important. Like the president on the federal level, a governor plays a key role in the appointment of state judges. Governors also have the ability to veto bills, which means that a two-thirds supermajority is needed to pass legislation. In the not too distant past, because of the vetoes of a previous governor, the Kansas Legislature had to muster a supermajority to pass the mildest regulations for abortion clinics as well as statutes attempting to protect the lives of unborn children.
Catholics have a responsibility not only to vote, but to be informed voters. One small, but easy thing you can do to prepare to vote is to view the four short videos that feature each of the diocesan bishops of Kansas addressing one of the key moral issues for the upcoming election. You can view these brief videos by going to the Kansas Catholic Conference website at: www.kscathconf.org.
October 7 was the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. In 1571, a coalition of Christian states won what many believe to have been a miraculous and decisive naval victory over the fleet of the Ottoman Empire. Pope Pius V had asked the entire church to pray the rosary for the protection of Europe from an Ottoman invasion.
With the multiple, serious international threats to the security of our nation, we need to take up a similar rosary crusade today. As ominous as the external threats to our national security are, in my opinion the greatest danger to our country is the moral collapse of American society in general, and family life in particular.
From now until Election Day (Tues., Nov. 4), I am asking individuals and families to pray the rosary daily for wisdom for Kansans and all Americans in the choices that we will make when we cast our votes. What kind of nation will we pass on to the next generation? One that continues to be weakened as it slides into further moral decay or one that will be able to renew itself by fostering a virtuous citizenry? How we choose to vote could make a significant difference. Pray that we will choose wisely those we select to represent us in Topeka and Washington.