Priest to Christians: “You Might Not Have a Church to Go to If You Don’t Vote Right in November”

Opinion   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Sep 28, 2016   |   6:16PM   |   Washington, DC

A Catholic priest’s powerful call to action for American churches has caught the attention of tens of thousands of people online.

The Rev. Michael Orsi, a Florida priest, author and host of the pro-life TV show Action for Life, urged church leaders to speak up about abortion and religious freedom in his message on the National Day of Remembrance for the Unborn on Sept. 10.

A video of Orsi’s call to action has attracted the eyes of almost 25,000 viewers so far on YouTube. Orsi is a former chaplain and research fellow in law and religion at Ave Maria Law School in Naples, Florida. He currently serves as parochial vicar at St. Agnes Catholic Parish in Naples.

“The churches have to begin to speak out fearlessly,” Orsi challenged his listeners. “For too long, pastors and churches have been bullied into believing that they can say nothing political from the pulpit. Let me remind you the Bible’s a political document. The prophets, including John the Baptist and Jesus, lost their lives because they spoke the truth to [those in] power.”

“Too many of the pastors—too many, practically all—in Germany refused to speak against national socialism,” he added. “… the result: millions of Jews, pastors, priests, homosexuals, gypsies all lost their lives because everyone was afraid. What are you afraid of, a couple of bucks? Your tax-exempt status? What’s that going to do to you? Your churches may be closed anyway, because if a certain party gets elected, this certain party said, if the churches do not agree with our interpretation of women’s reproductive rights, they’ll just have to change their doctrine.”

Though Orsi never mentioned any names, he likely was referring to pro-abortion Democrat Hillary Clinton. During her first speech as a presidential candidate in 2015, Clinton advocated for abortion on demand and said: “Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

Orsi challenged pastors and others to speak to their congregants about some of the biggest issues facing Americans today, including abortion.

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“We are in a battle for the soul of America,” Orsi said. “Somehow, [Christians] have come to buy the story that you cannot be political in church. Let me tell you right now, oh yes, you can, and oh, yes, you better be. Because you might not have a church to go to if you don’t vote the right way in November.”

Others have echoed similar concerns. In August, best-selling author and radio host Eric Metaxas boldly called Clinton “the enemy, if ever there was an enemy of religious liberty in America … and every American should be frightened to death on that issue.”

Clinton supports government measures that would force religious organizations and businesses like Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor to pay for abortion-causing drugs and birth control in their employee health plans, against their religious beliefs. She also promised abortion activists that she would work to overturn the Hyde Amendment and force American taxpayers to pay for abortions through Medicaid.

The next president also is likely to have a strong influence on the U.S. Supreme Court. Up to four seats could come open in the next four years, and the president’s nominees could sway the political leanings of the court for decades.