Every evening my path home takes me down 14th Street in Washington, DC where inevitably my bus is stopped in traffic as my fellow suburbanites and I wait to inch our way across the bridge to Virginia. It is more of a treat than a stress, however, as I relax comfortably in the reclining seat of my commuter bus and absorb the view of the National Mall while the driver deals with the traffic chaos.
The most striking thing of late, however, has not been the beauty of Spring in DC where tourists are blooming nearly as fast as our famous cherry blossoms. Rather, I cannot take my eyes off the Capitol Dome and the Mall in front of the Smithsonian museums. They are a mess! The dome is covered in scaffolding and the usually verdant acres of the Mall are fenced off mounds of dug-up dirt. There are signs explaining that this temporary disruption will shortly yield much needed improvements, but I can’t help seeing in the scaffolding and fences a metaphor for our system of government.
Just as the dome, which has been in place since the middle of the 19th century, would have crumbled without the attention and expertise of the Architect of the Capitol, so too, I believe, our democracy would crumble without the attention and engagement of “We the people.” If those charged with its maintenance had simply ignored the Capitol building, looked the other way, and let someone else worry about it, the dome would have eventually fallen into ruin. So too, we must look to the workings of the law making that happens beneath that famous roof. Our engagement in the legislative process is key to the success of our American experiment. As different as the members of Congress may be we know they have one important thing in common: they value and consider seriously the opinions of their constituents. We have a duty to be responsible citizens and to bring the light of the Truth we profess to the halls of Congress. Remember that wise saying often attributed to Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.”
Dear good men and women, it has never been easier to proclaim the Gospel of Life to the legislative process. Human Life Action keeps track of the life issues before Congress and sends you email action alerts that you can personalize and send to your elected federal representatives. All you have to do is click and send. The first step is simply to sign up for alerts. Why not do it now? Join this important work in progress.