Wednesday, March 20, 2013

March for Marriage

From the Virginia Catholic Conference:

"Next Tuesday, March 26, 2013, several organizations from across the country will join together to stage a National March for Marriage in Washington, D.C. The March presents a significant opportunity to promote and defend marriage and the good of our nation, to pray for our Supreme Court justices, and to stand in solidarity with people of good will. It also complements a Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage and Religious Liberty announced last November by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Joining the USCCB’s Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, the Virginia Catholic Conference encourages Catholics to attend and support the March for Marriage.

"The March marks the two days --- March 26 and 27--- when the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases related to so-called same-sex “marriage.” Petitioners are asking the Court to rule on the constitutionality of limiting marriage to a union of a man and a woman. Currently nine jurisdictions, including Maryland and the District of Columbia, have redefined marriage to include same-sex relationships.

"Our own Virginia bishops, in their 2006 pastoral letter on marriage, noted that marriage “is inscribed in our human nature.” Further, the U.S. bishops in 2009 pointed to the Second Vatican Council, which reminded us that “marriage is not a purely human institution’’ but one “established by the creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws.” The unique, fundamental meaning and purpose of this universal institution is to unite a man and a woman with each other and with the children born from their union. In fact, government has long recognized marriage because it is the institution best designed to protect children and their families. Those who want to redefine marriage claim marriage exists to satisfy an emotional need or to support voluntary relationships. However, the institution of marriage is not simply one of many alternative kinds of relationships. Rather, it is the very building block of the family and of society. Because of the unique contributions this institution makes to the common good, it must be clearly distinguished from other relationships.

"In 2006, Virginia voters passed a constitutional amendment to protect marriage and prevent legislators and judges from redefining it. The Supreme Court’s upcoming decision could have a profound impact on marriage laws across the nation and could even put individual and organizational conscience rights in jeopardy.

"To learn more about what the Church teaches about marriage, see the USCCB site as well as Marriage: Unique for a Reason.

"The Virginia Catholic Conference encourages all those who are able to attend the March for Marriage on March 26 and provide public witness as well as prayer on this critical issue."

Great idea. Life, marriage, and religious liberty are under attack in our nation today as never before. We Catholics need to stand up for what we believe and join with other people of goodwill to defend the traditional values on which our nation is built. We have the annual March for Life in Washington, and now there will be a March for Marriage.

Thankfully, our Catholic bishops have been doing a fine job of leading this effort to protect the sanctity of human life, traditional marriage, and our religious freedom and moral conscience rights. I think the bishops should go one step further and organize a massive march on Washington for life, marriage, and religious liberty. If it was well organized and well presented, millions of people--Catholic and non-Catholic alike--would attend. This could make an impact similar to that of the civil rights march of 1964: the federal government might actually listen to the people and take meaningful, decisive political action to protect their God-given human rights in response to massive public pressure. Let's hope and pray that this happens in the near future.

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