by Jim Anderson
August 25, 2004
LifeNews.com Note: Jim Anderson is the producer of LifeNews Radio, a 5-minute weekday news program, sponsored by LifeNews.com, that is heard on dozens of Christian stations, both Protestant and Catholic, nationwide.
This past week, a prominent name in pro-life politics was accused
of an error in judgment, a sin, a one-time fault. I suppose some
people are waiting for the pro-life community to scatter,
accusing this party or the other of this or that.
Just like at home, we are dealing with another mess. Of course
this is not a household mess, but a public one. But the two
kinds of messes have some great parallels. As parents, which is
worse, our kids making a mess, or our child and their siblings
fighting over who made the mess, who cleaned it up, who is
resentful of whom and who is never going to trust whom — ever
again? Of course we expect our kids to make messes and these can
be cleaned up.
The child who makes a mess and cleans it up before others need
to, is the mature member of our household, the one more fully
formed into what we expect our children to grow to be. The
contentious child, informing anyone who will listen of the faults
of the other, is the child who really needs the most attention.
So when it comes to the pro-life community scattering over an old
mess, don’t hold your breath. I believe that we have developed
as a movement and are more than bickering siblings. We have
matured. We’re not going to fall for an immature sibling making
much ado about nothing.
So, this friend of ours once made a mistake. No surprise, we humans are prone to this sort of thing. This time the name is
Deal Hudson, editor of Crisis Magazine and now former advisor to
President Bush in his moral and political outreach to Catholic
voters. He is also the one who cleaned up the mess from his
mistake some years ago.
But we have these siblings. They’re like the Samaritans who
harassed the Israelites after their return from exile in Babylon.
They are the quintessential sore losers who discount every good
thing and make much of every bad thing that happens to those who
have grown up and have learned to deal with their own human
frailties — and win.
They subscribe to a world system that tries to define its alleged
subjects by their failures. The problem is, when they do that,
they mock each of us. Every time a friend of ours gets nailed to
the cross for their sins, we are the ones being persuaded to
believe that we deserve the same treatment.
Here’s a synopsis of this past week’s targeting of Deal Hudson.
Deal became attached to then Governor George Bush because Deal
successfully hit on the idea of getting pro-life people in the
Catholic Church to vote. I understand that Deal helped Mr. Bush
sort out many of the moral dilemmas of our time. In short, Mr.
Hudson, this Catholic convert, failed to honor some traditional
Catholic associations with Democrats and was consorting with a
Then more recently, Deal blew the whistle on some inappropriate
activity on the part of a Kerry supporter doing campaigning while
working for an organization directly connected with the Catholic
Church. So one could contend that it looks as though a planned
expose was in retaliation for what Deal Hudson had become. One
or more journalists at the National Catholic Reporter, or perhaps
other rags, began probing around for juicy dirt on Deal Hudson.
Guess what? They found some dirt — though I must say that it is
far from juicy.’ It happened and was cleaned up long ago. Deal
has lived quite in the open with his abilities as both a sinner
and a statesman. Each time I have met Deal over the past two
years, we’ve had personal and deeply philosophical conversations
about life and humanity and our amazing ability to both succeed
and fail. Deal is the kind of man of whom I am compelled to say,
What you see is what you get. In keeping with that sincerity,
Deal Hudson quietly and discretely moved away from his connection
with the president. No fanfare, no fuss or mess.
His character as a servant is well known. I’ve run into very
common people who have — and use — Deal’s personal cell phone
number. He has been rightly called the ultimate ‘networker.’
He’d make a great friend for any of us. His increased distance
from the president now only makes it a little tougher for
ordinary people like you or I to get our concerns heard by the
Aall these things are, and should be, small potatoes. But the
crux of the matter comes when we examine the guilt of every human being and the nature of the old Roman practice (and, I should note, modern journalistic practice) of human crucifixion. I know a few squeaky clean friends. I mean, they look good, they act
good. To me, they look like they have never known a sinful
thought. But I am no longer surprised that each time I talk with
them about being nailed to some cross, they feel the same as I
do. I visit inmates in prison. The way they talk about themselves matches the way my honest, squeaky-clean friends talk about themselves.
Face it! We all deserve being nailed to a cross. And the bullies of this world snub all of us each time these self-proclaimed elites try to crucify another of us. But more than that, they snub God and what Christian teaching says about the cross and Who hung there.
A mature child is not someone with no messes, but someone who
knows to clean up the messes of life before the clean-up looks
like a mere show. Let’s not put up with the insults. Let’s not
buy the weaker siblings myths. Let’s make sure we embrace people
like Deal Hudson and encourage them to go on doing good.
For the record, our friend Deal Hudson is just the kind of man,
and brother, I want to be — one who cleans up his mistakes,
turns around and makes of himself a great example of forgiven.