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What Alabama’s Politics Could Teach the Rest of the Country

When we first announced to friends and family our decision to move from Las Vegas to rural Alabama, you would have thought we said we were all growing bushy beards to live as hermits in a cave, way over in Mars, with Forrest Gump as our cult leader.  But time has proven that:  in the intensifying legal battle over the issues of life, marriage and religious freedom, the state of Alabama is on the right track.

First, in 2006, there came the approved amendment to the State Constitution, the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Act, that made it unconstitutional to recognize or perform same-sex marriage. No Sodom and Gomorra here.

Then, in 2012, there was the re-election of Judge Roy Moore as the Supreme Court Chief Justice. Moore being the famous judge who refused to remove the Ten Commandments from the courthouse more than a decade ago. He campaigned with the statement: “The true issue is whether we can acknowledge the sovereignty of almighty God over the affairs of our state and our law. That I will not back down from. I will always acknowledge the sovereignty of God and I think we must.” Justice Moore’s re-election signified a people’s desire to entrust their rights in the hands of a religious Christian.  No separation of Judeo-Christian morality from the state here, either.

During the same elections, the state of Alabama approved another amendment to its State Constitution that no employer shall be mandated to participate in the Federal Health Program (which of course included funding for abortion, contraception and sterilization.) The message was: no federal overreaching interference welcome here.

This January saw the jubilant news that the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that the definition of ‘child’ includes the unborn.  The Supreme Court stated that: “The decision of this Court today is in keeping with the widespread legal recognition that unborn children are persons with rights that should be protected by law.” Furthermore, it affirmed that: “the decision in the present cases is consistent with the Declaration of Rights in the Alabama Constitution, which states that ‘all men are equally free and independent; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

As for euthanasia, the common law provisions still stand:  it is considered a Class A felony murder for a person to cause the death of another person with intent to cause the death of such a person.  Furthermore, physician assisted suicide is not condoned or authorized.  In short, we don’t want to kill y’all over here.

Way to go, Alabama!  If only you were a political trendsetter for the rest of the country.

I’m well aware that it is the same state the threatens immigration practice, cracked-down on the rights and status of my fellow immigrants and authorized it’s police to ask for my papers if they catch me violating driving laws just because I have brown skin and black hair.   As I am very much cognizant of the Catholic Church’s stand on immigration to oppose enforcement-only policies and support comprehensive immigration reform, citing under the Catechism 2241 that the more prosperous nations to the extent they are able, are obliged to welcome the foreigner in search of security and livelihood which is not available in his country of origin.

Before the ethnic minority population denounces me a persona non grata, put down those pitchforks and let me explain why I cheer on this conservatively religious southern state.  It is not just the numbers game that Alabama’s voters got 4 out of 5 out of the Church’s teachings correct.  Nor does it have anything to do with the fact that the University of Alabama’s Catholic football coach Nick Saban trumped Notre Dame at college football.  It is simply that, in the hierarchy of rights, Alabama’s voters and leaders have chosen the primary, non-negotiable issue of life over privacy, over health, over women’s rights, over livelihood, over the culture of death.

Alabama is trying to build the kind of world I want my children to be part of:  where life is the first inalienable, God-given right from conception to natural death; marriage is a sacrament and the basic foundation of a family and society; religious freedom is practiced by the Church; God’s laws are supreme and justice is grounded on truth and morality.

Alabama isn’t perfect (nowhere in the world is), but this is a place I can envision my children’s faith flourishing so that they can be prepared for their final home in eternity. To that end, even my own temporal self-interest, convenience, and strong opinion on immigration must be sacrificed for the good of their souls.

I continue to work with my parish for justice for individual immigrants and pray for just immigration laws, but in the long run, I choose life. More specifically, I choose the lives, faith and future of my children, both born and yet to be born.


Anabelle Hazard, Esq. is a practicing Catholic, non-practicing attorney, happy homeschooler, penniless novelist and long winded blogger at Written By the Finger of God 
  • Tarheel

    Welcome to Alabama! Not sure what part of our wonderful state you are moving to but I want to extend you a Southern style welcome. It’s called a hug. My family and I live in the Mobile area and this as any priest or fellow Catholic will tell you, this is the Catholic part of Alabama.

    While here you need to learn one phrase that will help you adjust and “fit in”.

    ROLL TIDE!

    • Anabelle Hazard

      Thank you for the welcome hug. “Roll Tide” was one of my daughter’s first Alabamese words.

  • Dauphine

    Welcome Anabelle and your family to Alabama. You are correct Alabama is a great place to live, work and raise your family. Hope things continue to go well for your husbands job and the children’s homeschooling.

    We also live in the Mobile area, no matter what part of the state you live in you should continue to experience traditional Christian values and public morals. One of the Catholic traditions which is growing like wild in the state now is the interest in the Latin Mass. Everyone is talking about it and our two Bishops Bp. Rodi and Bp. Baker are slowly but surly coming on board with it.

    It is interesting you use CCC Par. #2241 “that the more prosperous nations to the extent they are able, are obliged to welcome the foreigner in search of security and livelihood”. Keep in mind the US is broke and in dept over $16 Trillion dollars and rising fast. All these government programs people are using now are simply being put on a credit card, which you and I with our children will have to pay back one day. See links for further explanations.

    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/10/federal-spending-by-the-numbers-2012

    http://usdebtclock.org/

    This link below shows that from every $1 dollar the government takes from the fruits and labors of our families only $0.30 actually gets to the people in the social safety net. The other $0.70cents goes to pay the government workers who essentially have lifetime employment, their gold plated medical coverage, retirement and other benefits. As well for all the office buildings and maintenance.

    http://reason.com/blog/2012/12/17/if-government-aid-programs-were-charitie

    So you can see the US is really a moderate to poor county just living on a credit card and this will come to an end in the next few years. What the Democratic party is trying to do is as quickly as possible bring in as many people as they are able with the promise of a social safety net, but when the credit card dries up and the social safety net is cut back or eliminated the new immigrants will stay in the US and work to help pay the debt off.

    If people have good skills and are not afraid of work, your family should be able to live a descent life. We just have to help the Bishops remember that Christ instructed it is the Church’s responsibility to care for the poor not the Federal Gov.

    • http://www.schefter.org/ PrairieHawk

      Can I put in a word for my home state North Dakota? We have a strong pro-life commitment, strong families with many children, and strong religious faith. Our cathedral in Fargo hosts beautiful liturgies and the Traditional Latin Mass every Sunday. There is only one abortion clinic in the state. We boast good civic values and a strong sense of community – witness the way we fought off three record floods in a row from 2009 – 2011.

      North Dakota is in the midst of an oil boom, having become the second-largest oil producer in the country behind Texas, a much larger state. The oil money means our budgets are balanced, we have enough for social programs, and we even have a large savings account, the Legacy Fund, for future uncertainties. The prairie landscapes are wide open and free, with abundant wildlife and successful family farms … I could go on. Can you tell I love it here?

      Of course, you will have to put up with the winters. Right now it’s minus 16 degrees and windy – cold enough to keep out anyone we didn’t want around anyway. But, heck, it’s only winter for a few months, and the summers are glorious. Come on up to the wild prairies!

  • Cheryl Dickow

    One of my closest friends lives in Alabama and I’ve shared this article with her. (Although my prayer is that she moves to my beautiful state of Michigan which is called “the hot bed of the Holy Spirit.”)

    Nonetheless, I agree that we need to make the right first choices (God and life) and the other things will fall in line (immigration). Certainly we’ve learned from recent history in the trends of our country that the reverse is also true: when we dishonor God and life, we dishonor all other things as well—and we find ourselves as individual and as a country far worse off than ever.

    Bravo Alabama!

    • Anabelle Hazard

      Cheryl, every place has it’s blessings. I always find good things to love about every city/state I’ve ever lived in. I’m glad you got my point God and life first everything else is secondary.

    • http://twitter.com/NineLarker Christy Larker

      Since our move to Alabama eight years ago from Southern California,we have grown more and more in love with this state for the reasons stated in this article–I guess POLITICALLY Alabama is a “hot bed of the Holy Spirit”.

  • goral

    Rest of the Union,you have Alabama to help you along. Something has gone terribly wrong. I’m up here in infamous CT. From this cold place, Bama looks perfect to me.
    The thermometer right now is showing single digits. We are populated up here by the queer types. It is so cold that those who recently came out of the closet are going back into the closet.