Virginia election history was made Saturday evening as E.W. Jackson, whom many in the establishment wing of the Republican Party had dismissed, won the nomination to be the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor of my home State. He bested six other opponents on the fourth round of balloting. E.W. Jackson will stand at the side of Ken Cuccinelli, who accepted the Republican nomination for Governor earlier on Saturday.
RICHMOND, VA (Catholic Online) - I write as a private citizen and with renewed hope that elections can make a difference. Virginia election history was made Saturday evening as E.W. Jackson, whom many in the establishment wing of the Republican Party had dismissed, won the nomination to be the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor of my home State. He bested six other opponents on the fourth round of balloting.
E.W. Jackson will stand at the side of Ken Cuccinelli, who accepted the Republican nomination for Governor earlier on Saturday. Cuccinelli is a sincere and morally coherent Catholic who is right on the issues which I believe matter most. I know that E.W. Jackson will help the Cuccinelli ticket immensely.
He is a friend of over twenty years, a genuine evangelical Protestant Christian, and right on the issues which matter most. He was the David in a modern day David and Goliath political struggle which played itself out over these months in a hotly contested election battle. He electrified the convention with his speech. He will electrify crowds around the Commonwealth when he and the gubernatorial candidate hit the road on Sunday.
My readers know that I believe this is no time to retreat from the culture. Rather, we must work for its conversion by working with the men and women who can influence it. Culture includes politics. What we need right now, are men and women of courage who are morally coherent and do not separate their faith from their political participation.
EW Jackson is such a man. I know this because I know him. I know what he believes. I know how he lives. I know his gifts. I have witnessed his courage in the face of efforts to impugn him, caricature him, and marginalize him. I know the mettle of the man. The atmosphere we face in this nation we love requires candidates with both conviction and courage. E.W. Jackson is just such a candidate.
He has the full array of gifts needed for public service and the tenacity it will take to win this important election. He is also one of the finest orators I have ever heard; a skill greatly needed in an hour when those with the wrong positions espouse them with oratorical finesse. Along with all of this, he has proven, tested character, an indispensable requirement for anyone who enters into the rough and tumble of political contests these days.
Candidates like E.W. Jackson who defend the fundamental Human Right to Life are accused of being against progress and anti-science. However, science confirms what our conscience knows, those little girls and boys in the womb are our neighbors. It is always wrong to intentionally kill our innocent neighbors. To say and do otherwise is wrong. We are Pro-life because it is right. EW Jackson is Pro-Life because it is right. So too is Ken Cuccinelli.
We must restore the Right to life of our youngest neighbors in the womb. Just as in the days of Lincoln we could not be half slave and half free, America will be truly free only when she welcomes every child into her national embrace and recognizes that the inalienable right to life is the foundation of freedom itself.
Those who defend marriage and family as inscribed by the Divine Architect into the order of the universe are accused of being intolerant. However, civil institutions do not create marriage nor can they create a right to marry for those who are incapable of marriage. Government has long regulated marriage for the common good. The ban on polygamy and age ensure that there is a mature decision at the basis of the Marriage contract.
Heterosexual marriage, procreation, and the nurturing of children form the foundation for the family, and the family forms the foundation of civil society. To limit marriage to heterosexual couples is not discriminatory now, nor has it ever been. Homosexual couples cannot bring into existence what marriage intends by its very definition.
To give an equivalency in the law to homosexual paramours with stable married couples is bad public policy. To state this is not to be "anti-gay". It is to defend marriage. It will take courage to defend marriage against those who seek to redefine it out of existence.
Marriage is the first society into which children are to be born, learn to be fully human, grow in virtue, flourish and take their role in families and communities. Children have a right to a mother and a father. Of course we must care about the single parent family and the many broken homes. However, their existence does not change the norm necessary for a stable and healthy society.
In tact marriages and families are the glue of a healthy and happy social order. To live in a faithful marriage is to serve the common good. E.W. Jackson lives in such a faithful marriage and knows what is really at stake in the effort to undermine marriage. E.W. Jackson defends marriage because it is right and true and he will not back down.
His positions on life and marriage are not only religious positions. They are rooted in a Natural Moral Law which can be known by all men and women through the exercise of reason. That Natural Law gives us the moral norms we need to build societies and govern ourselves. It should also inform our positive law.
Truth does not change, people and cultures do; sometimes for good and sometimes for evil. Such a claim is the ground upon which every great civilization has been built. This Natural Law is the source for every great and authentic human and civil rights movement. Martin Luther King Jr's Letter from a Birmingham Jail is a masterful example of using the Natural Law to defend human rights.
The American founders spoke of self evident truths and inalienable rights. E.W. Jackson stands on all of their shoulders. His campaign slogan was Let Liberty Light the Way for Virginia. Virginia is the birthplace of Religious Liberty. He will defend the First Freedom of Religious Freedom.
He was educated at Harvard Law School and knows that the HHS mandate through which Obamacare will be enforced violates the fundamental Right to Religious Freedom and the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution. He will stand up to the Obama Administration and defend the Church, all religious institutions, and all people of conscience.
He believes that the freedom to educate children must be returned to those who are the first and best teachers, parents. Parental choice in education is a civil rights issue. No parent should be forced to send their child to an unsafe or unqualified school.
He will help set parents free to make the choice as to where formal education can best occur for their children, no matter their economic situation. That choice should include the full array of all options for all parents--- public, private, parochial, charter, or home schools. He will promote constitutionally sound parental choice initiatives.
As a small businessman, he knows that the engine of our economy is economic freedom. His positions on the economic concerns facing Virginia reflect his commitment to economic freedom. He will do all he can to open up participation in the free economy to as many of our citizens as possible, letting liberty light the way. The market economy can be, to use the words of Abraham Lincoln, become a new frontier of freedom.
I am convinced that the Nation we love is in a political decline which must be reversed. I remind our readers that Catholic Online is a for profit company. There are no restrictions on political speech except those we embrace because of our fidelity to the teaching office of the Church.
This article reflects my personal opinion. I believe that with the correct men and women in public office we can move this Nation on a path toward recovery. We can build a future of authentic freedom for my children and grandchildren. However, to do so, we need to find those men and women, urge them to run for public office, defend them against the onslaught which will follow, and then get them elected.
As this year began I wrote an article for Catholic Online asking "Should Catholics Even Bother with Politics?" I answered my own question in that article with a strong " Yes" - rooted not in naiveté, but a steely conviction borne from years in the trenches at the intersection of faith and culture. I was pleased that many of you agreed.
I promised at the end of that article I was going "to do everything I can to encourage morally coherent people run for public office and help to get them elected." Well, I have begun those efforts.
I recently reread a speech given by one of the great prophetic voices of the last part of the twentieth century, Alexander Solzhenitsyn. The speech was delivered to members of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives on July 15, 1975. In it that great Russian Christian made this observation:
"Very soon only too soon, your country will stand in need of not just exceptional men but of great men. Find them in your souls. Find them in your hearts; find them in depths of your country." We are in the time that great man spoke of. We are in need of great men - and women.
I believe E.W. Jackson is such a man and I intend to help the people of my home State and Nation find him - and benefit from his gifts - by electing him to public office.
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