Tom Hoopes is Vice President of College Relations and writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He has written for the Register for more than 20 years and was its executive editor for 10. His writing has appeared in First Things’ First Thoughts, National Review Online, Crisis, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside Catholic and Columbia. He has served as press secretary for the Chairman of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee. He and his wife, April, were editorial co-directors of Faith & Family magazine for 5 years. They have nine children.
Rebecca Teti at FaithandFamilyLIVE.com (which is our sister site, by the way) shares her high emotion after Nov. 4 as a white woman who grew up in a black neighborhood in D.C. Her heart is elated and pierced by the Obama win, both at once.
“Is it a great thing, a cathartic thing, a potentially healing thing for the country and for all of our people that we just elected our first African-American President?” she writes. “It is.”
“People in downtown D.C. last night were singing the Star Spangled Banner spontaneously, in an overflow of affection for this nation and its many blessings, and for the promise fulfilled. I heard a black Iraq war vet interviewed saying, ‘Today, I really believe all men are created equal.’ That’s beautiful, and I can’t find it in my heart to gainsay my neighbors’ excitement and happiness.
“It’s bittersweet in the extreme, however, that the man who embodies the triumph of our founding principle ‘all men are created equal’ with respect to black persons should be so unwilling to extend to the unborn the same right to be included in the family of men. It shows he doesn’t know the meaning of his own triumph, and it’s a blot on his achievement much as the institution of slavery was a blot on the American founding.
“For one class of persons, last night was a resounding triumph. For another, it must be acknowledged, it was a dismal defeat. Voters in Michigan amended their Constitution to permit creating embryos for the sake of experimenting on them. An effort to ban abortion in all but the hardest cases fell in South Dakota.
“There will be no pro-life woman in the new Senate.
“And the first black President will, if he keeps his promises, be also the most hostile to the inalienable rights of the unborn of anyone ever elected to the highest office in our land. He who epitomizes the rights of the descendants of slaves will work to further disenfranchise this nation’s unborn. He of all people should know better. He breaks my heart.”
She ends the piece with a note of hope:
“I pray for President-Elect Obama. I wish him well because the weight of the world is on his shoulders and because I wish my country well.
“You know, it is the year of St. Paul. Is it too much to hope for another dramatic conversion? Change can happen.”
— Tom Hoopes