Somewhere along the line, it became more important to MCFL to 'win' than to work to elect prolifers and this has created numerous problems on many levels. Most importantly, it has fractured our troops and castrated our political power at the level of the GOP when they recruit candidates to put their money and power behind. Prolifers are not part of the discussions because the GOP knows we'll use our political machine to elect prochoice candidates.
There have been many leaders of Mass Citizens for Life in the last decade who have carried this prochoice torch but the tenure of its current president, Anne Fox, has certainly been the most tenuous. The donnybrooks over the strategies involving deception have laid our political machine to waste. The pace of the gradual mutiny quickened as the pro-life credentials of their candidates deteriorated and the deceptive practices with their candidate questionnaires became commonplace, starting with Mitt Romney.
The heart and soul of the pro-life political machine here in Massachusetts is Catholic. Many of us have other shticks. At every crisis of leadership over the last few years, we've pulled together to brainstorm about what to do with Captain Queeg after reason and right judgment failed to persuade. Most are now at the point where they believe we should start our own Catholic pro-life political machine here in Massachusetts - Massachusetts Catholics for Life. Several years ago, a coup de tat of the Board of Directors (who elects officers and votes on policies) was attempted by several well-known, well-respected Massachusetts Catholic prolifers. All of them have other apostolates, many of them also have full time jobs and the coup fell short.
This latest controversy involving MCFL's invitation to Howie Carr to speak at the Assembly for Life (refresher on the controversy HERE and HERE) has really turned up the heat. CJ Doyle and Dan Flatley at the Catholic Action League kicked off a campaign that brought a deluge of requests to MCFL to rescind the invitation to Carr because a) Carr supports proabort politicians b) he has no record of being a pro-lifer and c) he has said numerous vulgar anti-Catholic things about Catholic Sacraments, our Saints and our priests.
More importantly, Carr has repeatedly said that poor women should not be allowed to have children because they can't afford them. This is not the face pro-lifers want as their poster boy. It should be a no brainer that this doesn't send the right message to pregnant poor women from a pro-life group.
In what I would say is more than a coincidence, the Chairman of MCFL's Board resigned over the past few weeks and many made clear they would be be boycotting and demonstrating outside of the event.
Yet, in yesterday's Pilot was an article with several astounding quotes from Anne Fox. The article is called "Carr to remain keynote speaker at MCFL Rally".
On Dec. 17, officials of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts wrote an open letter to MCFL president Anne Fox asking her to rescind Carr’s invitation to address the MCFL’s annual Assembly for Life, which will be held Jan. 16 at 2 p.m. at Faneuil Hall.
The letter was signed by Catholic Action League executive director C. J. Doyle and former chairman Daniel Flatley.
In the letter, Doyle and Flatley cited incidents over the last 12 years in which they contend Carr has demeaned Catholic priests, the Church’s sacramental practices and leadership, children born to unwed mothers, and immigrant groups.
They called the invitation “an affront to the Christian religion and everything the Pro-Life movement professes to uphold,” it also said.
However, in an announcement that will appear in the MCFL January newsletter that Fox provided to The Pilot, she affirmed that Carr’s invitation will not be rescinded. [<---Hold that thought for a minute...but don't believe everything you read.]
She noted that Carr is being asked to speak as a “respected political observer and commentator.” He is expected to speak on the power and influence of the pro-life vote in light of Sen. Scott Brown’s election in 2009 and the gains made by pro-life state legislators in 2010.
“It is obvious that people do not recognize the power of the pro-life vote, not pro-lifers ourselves and certainly not the press or the politicians,” she wrote. “It is important that we continue to run and elect pro-life officials. It is much easier for a pro-life person to run for office with the assurance that the pro-life vote is there.”
A couple of problems. One, Scott Brown is prochoice. Two, all of the pro-life candidates were defeated in Massachusetts because, and here comes the irony, MCFL does not put 'the power of the pro-life vote' behind actual pro-life candidates. Their modus operandi is figuring out who can win so they can be on a winning team. If Anne believed in the power of the pro-life vote, she would be putting that power behind pro-lifers.
Anne is mixing up the words 'pro-life' and 'conservative'.
MCFL has sent out a press release in the last few hours with Howie Carr's name mysteriously replaced with Ray Flynn as the featured speaker.
Most everyone agrees that Howie Carr serves a purpose in the conservative movement and is sorry to see he got sucked into Anne Fox's, God love her, poor judgment. He is joining a long list.
Pro-lifers are not going to continue operating with a political machine that elects prochoice politicians. It is a dereliction of duty to the unborn.
We want one in place for the 2012 elections which means the Board of Directors has to persuade Anne Fox, God love her, to be moseying on down the road - or it means Catholic pro-lifers are going to put something together that will publish authentic and honest questionnaires revealing support of Roe v. Wade of candidates MCFL continues to call 'pro-life'.
The Board of Directors is responsible and needs to take responsibility of the poor judgment and strategy, and do what needs to be done. There are many, many good people in MCFL but the officers who carry out the day to day decisions have been a disaster. We're going to spend the next few months lobbying board members and if they can't make a commitment to fixing the problem - we will have a new Catholic pro-life machine here in Boston before the end of 2011. This is certainly not something we have wanted to do but we need a pro-life political machine to take advantage of the stampede away from Obamaculture. We need to be savvy and cast the net... and the timing is now.
Here's CJ Doyle's excellent Press Release:
SATURDAY, JANUARY 8, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: C. J. DOYLE
HOWIE CARR WITHDRAWS AS SPEAKER AT ASSEMBLY FOR LIFE
FOLLOWING CAMPAIGN BY CATHOLIC ACTION LEAGUE
Less than three weeks after the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts began a campaign to disinvite him, WRKO talk show host Howie Carr has withdrawn as the keynote speaker at the Annual Assembly for Life. Massachusetts Citizens for Life, which sponsors the event — to be held January 16th at Faneuil Hall — told callers to their office yesterday that Carr had withdrawn “for personal reasons.” Former U. S. Ambassador to the Holy See Ray Flynn has been scheduled to replace Carr.