There is a line I always remember from the film An American President:
"You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours."
This past week, Cardinal Dolan gave the closing invocation at the Democratic National Convention. (I wonder now if the invitation he extended to the president to the Smith dinner wasn't an exchange of sorts, not that we will ever know.)
I must give Cardinal Dolan credit where credit is due. That could not have been an easy place to speak, much less breathe in.
If you read newspapers or watch news (I don't, but my husband keeps me informed) you probably heard that Democrats had to vote three times to reinsert God's name in the convention after it had been reported that it was completely removed just days before.
So days after God's name was removed from the speeches, Cardinal Dolan came to the convention to pray. Could he feel the hate in that room, the hatred for him, hatred for the presence of God there, and in our country, and for His believers?
There were likely a lot of folks shooting daggers with their eyes, as proven after his invocation, in which he predictably asked God for the protection of human life:
"Thus do we praise you for the gift of life. Grant us the courage to defend it, life, without which no other rights are secure. We ask your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected. Strengthen our sick and our elders waiting to see your holy face at life’s end, that they may be accompanied by true compassion and cherished with the dignity due those who are infirm and fragile," Dolan prayed.(full text found here)
Maybe you already heard -- but, moments after the invocation, Democrats began tweeting their intense hate for Dolan, God and religion (language warning if you click over). Could Cardinal Dolan have possibly anticipated the degree to which some Democrats reacted to his presence, much less prayer? I don't know, but I give him credit for putting himself in the line of fire. America is a tough place to be a man of God these days.
"Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven." Matthew 5:11