19 years ago today, Mr LarryD said “I do” to Mrs LarryD, marrying a woman much more than he deserves.
Mrs LarryD agrees.
19 years ago today, Mr LarryD said “I do” to Mrs LarryD, marrying a woman much more than he deserves.
Mrs LarryD agrees.
A real tear-jerker….
Originally posted 10/6/08
I returned home late Sunday afternoon – no-trouble travel to and from Rochester, about a 5-1/2 hour drive through Ontario (the new US Passport Card arrived earlier in the week – thank you St Christopher!) – a day after celebrating the 60th wedding anniversary of my parents. The drive gave me the opportunity to reflect on the sacrament of Marriage and the meaning of permanence.
On June 11, 1949, Karl V. and Dorothea B. celebrated their wedding day, with simplicity and sacredness, forming the nucleus of the D family. They had no foreknowledge what would transpire throughout their marriage, only that they were completely committed to one another. Their marriage was not between two people, but it was comprised of three – husband, wife and Christ. How else can it be explained that here they were, with their children and their spouses, grand-children and close family friends, celebrating their 60th anniversary? By drawing daily upon the grace afforded them through the sacrament. By understanding that their relationship focused on the “we”, not the “me”. By realizing that God came first. By being open to life and doing the best they could for the family. By loving each other and each of us, and not being stingy about it. By accepting the crosses and sacrifices asked of them, and not rejecting them, or running from them.
It is hard to imagine doing something for 60 consecutive years – working for the same employer; living in the same home; serving a prison sentence (that is NOT a marriage metaphor, honest!); remaining in a vocation. Being married to the same person. Perhaps the push and pull of society creates the impression that staying with the same person is a rare and unique occurrence. But for most of recorded time, that was the norm, the common expectation. I am not surprised that my parents have remained married all these years…while some might say, “oh, they just got used to each other after a while”; or “well, with that many kids, they couldn’t afford a divorce even if they wanted to!” (they firmly believed in the mantra ‘murder before divorce’, jokingly); or “well, she was trapped because she was a stay-at-home mom and wouldn’t be able to support herself”. My reply to such assertions – “No.Never.Not.” If you were to meet my parents, you would instantly recognize why they have remained married for 60 years – because they reflect Christ to each other, and subsequently reflect Him to everyone else they come in contact with.
Their legacy bears this out. Of their ten children (eight surviving), nine got married. My oldest sister has been married for 37 years, while my younger brother has been married for more than 10. Mrs LarryD and I will celebrate 19 years this August. What I’m saying is, we witnessed the template of a successful marriage. We grew up amidst a great example, without even realizing it, until we all got married. It was at that point, I believe, that we came to appreciate our parents’ marriage. And while not all of us have done things in the exact same way, because of our unique personalities, combined with the histories and personalities of our spouses, I believe that because we share the same model, we have a much greater chance of remaining married until natural death. But beneath the mere statistical probability lies the foundation, a foundation which is Christ. He shall not disappoint, and He shall not abandon His children when they call upon Him for help. When one spouse or the other fails in their responsibility or duty, it is Christ who bridges the divide, through his grace and mercy and forgiveness. He has never abandoned us in our need – so who are we to abandon our spouse in theirs? That is something my parents never did, no matter what the sacrifice. And now, as they’ve aged and grown more frail, their commitment to each other and to Christ has deepened.
Sure, they have their quirks and idiosyncrasies, and they’ve gotten on each others nerves – I mean, gee whiz, they are human after all! But they never let the sun set on their anger, and they prayed daily. They knew who was in charge, and following His will was the standard against which they measured their actions. That is what got them to this point – not luck, not familiarity, not living life in quiet desperation. They’ve lived through the Cold War, the Civil Rights, the Sexual Revolution, the fallout from Vatican II – every social crisis in the past 60 years. They’ve buried parents, siblings and children (including two grandchildren), cared for an ailing child during the so-called “golden retirement” years, suffered by-pass surgeries and hip replacements. Just like countless other people throughout time. But unlike countless other people, they didn’t complain, or cry “Unfair!!”, or quit. Instead, they considered each day as the first day, and put all their trust in God.
They have run the race. While others in the world have swallowed the “do whatever makes you happy” lie, my parents have continued on believing and living “do what makes the other happy”.
So, while driving home across southern Ontario, I realized how much I’ve learned from my folks, even though they were not consciously teaching. I’ve come to realize that if I were twice the husband that I am now, I’d still be half the husband my father was and is. I’ve come to realize that sacrifices I make today, done out of total and complete love, will prepare me to gracefully make the harder sacrifices that are still to come. I’ve come to realize that being right is never ever as important as doing right.
And I’ve come to realize that whether the anniversary number is 10, 19, 37 or 60, they’re all reached one day at a time. And every day is the first day, repeated.
If there’s one thing you can say about Doug Kmiec, it’s that he’s consistent.
Consistently twisting, spinning, contorting – whether it’s giving cover for Obama on the life issues, such as embryonic stem cell research support and “reducing the need for abortion”; or explaining how Catholics can vote for pro-abortion politicians; or defending Notre Dame’s decision to award President Obama with an honorary degree.
And now his latest – Proposing an end to legally recognized marriage, as reported by the Catholic News Agency.
Doug Kmiec, a prominent Catholic who backed Barack Obama’s presidential bid, has endorsed replacing marriage with a neutral “civil license,” a proposal law professor Robert P. George called a “terrible idea” that would make the government neglect a vital social institution.
Speaking to CNSNews.com, Pepperdine University law professor Doug Kmiec said that although his solution to disputes over the definition of marriage might be “awkward,” it would “untie the state from this problem” by creating a new terminology that would apply to everyone, homosexual or not. “Call it a ‘civil license’,” he said.
“The net effect of that, would be to turn over–quite appropriately, it seems to me, the concept of marriage to churches and a church understanding,” he said.
Kmiec said that a motive for California’s Proposition 8, which restored the definition of marriage to being between a man and a woman, was religious believers’ “genuine concern” that the California ruling imposing homosexual “marriage” was not addressing religious freedom issues.
Saying he was among those believers who had such concern, Kmiec noted the possibility that churches which don’t acknowledge same-sex “marriage” could be subject to penalty, lose public benefits, or be subject to lawsuits “based on some theory of discrimination.”
Kmiec argued “civil licenses” would address the question. He proposed the state withdraw from “the marriage business” and do licensing “under a different name” to satisfy government interests for purposes of taxation and property.
Under his proposal, “the question of who can and cannot be married would be entirely determined in your voluntarily chosen faith community,” he added, saying that the proposal would reaffirm the significance of marriage “as a religious concept,” which has a much fuller understanding than is found in civil marriage.
Responding to Kmiec’s proposal, Princeton University professor Robert George said it was a “terrible” idea and a “very, very bad one.”
George told CNSNews.com that marriage is not like baptisms and bar mitzvahs but has “profound” social and public significance.
“It’s a pre-political institution,” he said. “It exists even apart from religion, even apart from polities. It’s the coming together of a husband and wife, creating the institution of family in which children are nurtured.”
“The family is the original and best Department of Health, Education and Welfare,” he continued, saying that governments, economies and legal systems all rely on the family to produce “basically honest, decent law abiding people of goodwill – citizens – who can take their rightful place in society.”
“Family is built on marriage, and government–the state–has a profound interest in the integrity and well-being of marriage, and to write it off as if it were a purely a religiously significant action and not an institution and action that has a profound public significance, would be a terrible mistake,” George told CNSNews.com.
“I don’t know where Professor Kmiec is getting his idea, but it’s a very, very bad one.”
Kmiec’s proposal is a distinction without a difference. And it opens wide the floodgate to uncontrolled chaos. What if someone’s “religious faith” says it’s okay for a brother to marry his sister, or for a NAMBLA member to “marry” a 12 year old kid? On what basis could the state limit marriage between two unrelated adults, straight or homosexual? Wouldn’t that be setting limits, thus creating a condition of “inequality” under the law? I don’t think he’s thought out his position all that well.
Rather than turning its back on traditional marriage, Kmiec ought to be presenting solutions where the state incentivizes the preservation of the institution – promoting stronger marriages, encouraging responsible parenthood, perhaps repealing no-fault divorce. His idea does the exact opposite – creating an “anything goes” environment where society’s foundation is weakened rather than strengthened. It’s in the state’s interest to have order rather than chaos, and that’s what Kmiec’s proposal would generate.
In reading this article, I kept asking myself – why is it so hard for a “prominent Catholic” to support Catholic teaching? Why is he trying so hard to be well-liked by so many? Or is he laying the groundwork for the Obama Administration on the so-called same sex marriage issue? Could this be a “common ground” compromise?
One only wonders which issue Kmiec will abjectly twist and spin about next. Conscience clauses for health care workers? Free speech issues? Given his consistent track record, it wouldn’t be difficult to predict his response.
*UPDATE* – The Other McCain weighs in, and has some thought-provoking comments, especially in the 2nd Update section.
The danger here is accepting the premise that there isn’t anything dangerous about so-call gay marriage, or that it isn’t all that different from traditional marriage, and Kmiec has accepted that premise. He doesn’t come right out and say it, but that’s what his argument comes down to. But the egalitarian argument being employed here – trying to equate two very distinct different things that cannot ever be equal – while it sounds nice and pretty, has very a dark insidious underbelly. We cannot be fooled into thinking that ‘civil licenses’ or ‘civil unions’ represent the end game for the Egalitarianists – it’s only a stepping stone.
I recently found a new website, and I kind of regret having done so. In pursuit of finding even more examples of far afield dissenters and so-far-left-they’ve-even-left-the-wide-road apostates, I’ve come across www.religiondispatches.org. They have a dumb tag line: “Exhilarating the breakfast table since 2008″. Besides being dumb, it’s also inaccurate, because they’ve been around since December 2007. I know – I checked their archives. Perhaps they were only ‘Piquing the interest of breakfast tables’ then, but now the tables are downright excited.
As I thought about it, maybe furniture deserves to experience exhilaration, a fact I never considered. So I asked my breakfast table how I can make it feel more exhilarated, and it said “Well, actually sitting at me to eat breakfast might help, instead of standing over the kitchen sink, like you were some single guy or something.” Ouch. Mrs LarryD doesn’t have time during the week to eat breakfast before heading to work, and the Sons of LarryD eat at the counter before school. Weekend breakfasts are eaten at the table, a fact I pointed out, to which the table responded: “You only do that because you feel guilty, so it doesn’t count.”
Well, enough about my furniture issues.
Here’s the “About” description for Religion Dispatches: “Religion Dispatches is a daily online magazine dedicated to the analysis and understanding of religious forces in the world today, highlighting a diversity of progressive voices and aimed at broadening and advancing the public conversation.” In other words: “We hate orthodoxy and are not afraid to shove our pipsqueak opinions down your throat.” Ears getting tickled yet?
Case in point: a column from last week titled Catholic Bishops Want a Place at the Table of Hate. (Do these people have a table fetish?) The author, Kate Childs Graham, is bemoaning the fact that, while it’s the Mormon Church who ponied up big bucks to promote Prop 8 in California (donated nearly $15 million to the cause, allegedly – her figure is not cited), the Catholic Church in Utah contributed nearly $1.4 million to the cause. She’s quick to quote Bishop John Wester of the Salt Lake diocese:
“Like our friends in the Mormon faith, the Catholic Church has long championed and promoted the sacredness of traditional marriage and the importance of the family in our society. While acknowledging that this position is not universally held in our society today, our churches are committed to proclaiming the truth and we cherish our ability to participate in the democratic process.”
Man, that statement just drips with hate, doesn’t it? Bad, bad bishop!
She seems to think so: “Seriously? It is like children clamoring to be known as the bully in first grade.” Ummm, perhaps you missed this video? And the vandalism and intimidation that’s been occurring in other places throughout California? And the demonstrations in New York City? Maybe you describe that as “tough love”, but a better term might be “hate the straight”.
She’s grateful, though, that not all Catholics are in on the nefarious “plot to destroy same sex marriage.” She goes on to quote the National Catholic Reporter, Nicole Sotelo (who) wrote, “As a Catholic, I believe it is time we forgo another constitutional amendment, or “new law,” that continues to uphold special privileges for some. It is time we begin creating a society based on “the law which we had from the first,” a law of love.”
Nice spin, Kate. Use the Birdcage Bottom Gazette to support your cause. The “special” privileges you complain about are applied to the wrong segment of the population. So-called same sex marriage activists as yourself are the ones demanding “special” privileges, not the other way around. You’re the ones spewing hate. You’re the ones who can’t deal with the will of the people.
Ah, what’s the use? I’d read this garbage to my breakfast table, but it might turn suicidal and fling itself through the glass doorwall. Then where’d my family eat on the weekends?
…here are two stories, one from LifeSiteNews.com, and the second from Catholic News Agency, that show otherwise.
Gary McFarlane, a psychosexual therapist for the relationships counseling service Relate in the U.K., says he was fired for refusing to offer to give sex advice to homosexual couples.
According to the Daily Mail, the father of two claims that Relate failed to accommodate his personal faith. He is now taking his case to the employment tribunal, alleging he has been discriminated against because of his religious beliefs.
“In counselling, you are drawing the couple out, going on a journey with them, enabling them to think in more than black and white. You are not telling anyone what to do or endorsing what they do,” he said.
“But in sex therapy you are diagnosing their problems and setting them a treatment plan, not unlike a doctor.”
He notified his supervisor of his reservations and expected Relate to work with him in finding a way around the situation, just as he says the organization had done for many counselors who felt uncomfortable working with certain patients.
This was not the case for McFarlane, however, who was suspended for three weeks in December after some employees complained that he was a “homophobe.” Upon returning to work, he was forced to agree to Relate’s equal opportunities policy, with the condition that he could still raise concerns in the future.
After further complaints by staff, however, he was told Relate did not believe he intended to uphold the equal opportunities policy and was dismissed.
“Sad and disappointed” with the “bigotry” he experienced, McFarlane says Christians in general are more noticeably becoming subjected to this type of discrimination.
Click on the link for the entire article.
And from CNA: Same-sex Marriage Will Affect All Families And Children, Video Shows.
To demonstrate the impact that allowing same-sex marriage has on society, iVoteValues has produced a short video showing how the gay agenda in schools impacts children and families.
iVoteValues, a collaborative effort from the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family recently released a video titled, “Gay Agenda in Schools.” In it, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, explains how same-sex marriage impacts everyone.
“You may be asking yourself, how will same-sex marriage affect my family? Well, based on the evidence, everything changes when same-sex marriage becomes legal. If it is legalized, it must be taught as normal, acceptable and moral behavior in every public school.”
“Don’t believe me? It has already happened in Massachusetts,” Perkins states in the video.
There was also the story last week where a grade school in California had a “Gay Day” for the kindergarten class. So for you Catholics who think so-called gay marriage is just an issue of fairness, you’re completely wrong. This is an issue of redefining marriage, of reshaping the culture, of attempting to erode Judeo-Christian values. This is an issue of forcing people to accept a lifestyle choice and behavior as normal, while at the same time trying to make heterosexual couples appear homophobic and bigoted because we aren’t “open-minded” or “inclusive”. Well, tough jelly beans. Show me one culture that has accepted the gay lifestyle as normal or natural surviving down through the ages. No one can because there aren’t any. And for good sociological reasons, too. It’d be kinda like a snake devouring itself.
The indoctrination is underway, and the re-education in America is in full swing. As Joe at Verbum Veritatis wrote, the pro-gay lobby is attempting to prove something false to be something true, such as M+W = M+M (and W+W). It’s that simple.
A real tear-jerker….
… an Episcopalian Bishop has found a way.
So of the two sacraments the Protestant Reformation held on to, Baptism and Matrimony, the Episcopalians find one of them too much trouble to bother with anymore. Pretty soon they’ll end up with 7 Commandments, 6 Beatitudes and 1-1/2 days in the tomb. Provided they even believe that much, anymore.
Way at the bottom of the story is this line: “One of the most popular venues for weddings (which will not be hosting same-sex marriage ceremonies any time soon) is the Catholic Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento.” Is that to imply that the converse is true? That the cathedral will be hosting same-sex marriage ceremonies sometime in the future? Why else include the qualifier “any time soon”, unless to shift the viewpoint in a particular direction? Can you say “a-gen-da”?
I’m looking forward to hearing what Paul has to say over at Thoughts of a Regular Guy when he returns from vacation. He’s had some great posts on this whole so-called same-sex marriage situation out in California.