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.
P.S. (added at a reader’s request on Dec. 1): Please do explore the rest of this site, especially the Hot Topics links at the bottom of the home page. We are 100% pro-life and pro-marriage, and we spent the months before the election educating readers about Obama’s pro-abortion positions. My only point in this post, nearly a month ago, was that many pro-life voters voted for Obama and are excited by him. Those are our voters, and we should win them back. We can’t win them back if we are polarized by rage. Our job now is to watch the Obama administration and relentlessly oppose what we must, and in the meanwhile shore up the pro-life and pro-family majorities in America.
Here is the editorial proof of our pro-life position on the election, for the unconvinced (click on the “abortion” or “obama” tags in red below to see post-election Daily Blog coverage):
“Obama’s Abortion Extremism” by Princeton’s Robert George.
Thank you to the readers who know us and see what we’re doing.
Whether the election turned out the way we wanted or not, one thing is clear: Barack Obama will be the president of the United States of America. Our president.
We at the Register were very focused on the life issue, and will remain so. But we always knew John McCain was no pro-life hero (he supports using taxpayer money to fund fatal experiments on embryos) and though we disagree on much, I, for one, always liked Obama.
He is a civil, decent man. His historic election is exciting in that it hails, we hope, the end of an era when race was factored into decisions it had nothing to do with.
There used to be ground rules for the way a president is treated. We wish to review them here and renew them.
1. Be not afraid. In America, there’s no reason to fear the president. We still live, by the grace of God, in a democracy. We still can convince people of the truth and provide opportunities for them to vote the truth into law. Under Bush, many Americans turned their opposition to the president into exaggerated fears and premature anger. We needn’t do that. Oppose what he proposes that must be opposed, but don’t believe the voices that say “America has changed forever.” Mr. President: We will be here applauding all that you do that is good, and reminding people just how heinous it is to kill America’s future in the womb, if you dare attack the voiceless, defenseless unborn.
2. Respect. In America, we respect and teach our children to respect the president. Many children were taught to dislike President Bush and belittle him. They got that from their parents’ poor example. That undermines civic responsibility and social cohesion. Barack Obama is an impressive man who will be celebrated by many people who in their hearts are pro-life but who haven’t translated their pro-life principles into their voting decisions. We needn’t ostracize ourselves; we can respect the man and honor his exciting achievement, and keep lines of communication open with our neighbors about the right to life.
3. Reach out. In America, people aren’t swayed by intellectual argument but by stories. Painful stories of difficult circumstances make people pro-abortion; hopeful stories of children who were spared make people pro-life. Sad stories of homosexual couples make people favor same-sex marriage; stories of the despair homosexuals feel disproportionately and the abuse faced by so many children in their circles reminds people that this is a disorder in the human soul. Tell your stories. Subscribe to the Register to hear more stories you can pass on.
Find out more in the next issue, but we intend to begin a campaign of compassionate truth in the paper to build on the majorities that even now are on the side of life and morality.
Today isn’t the end of an era. It’s a bump on a road. And it’s more than that. It’s a day to say to Obama and his supporters: Congratulations. You have done something great. Let’s work together in support of the founding principles of America — all of them.
— Tom Hoopes