Cleopas and his companion had given up. Their leader Jesus was dead, and they were returning to their home town from Jerusalem to resume their lives. Jesus met them along the way. He explained the scriptures to them beginning with Moses and the prophets. As the hour was late they invited Jesus into their home. At the evening meal Jesus blessed the bread and broke it. At the breaking of the bread they recognized the resurrected Jesus. They said, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us" (Lk 24: 13-32).
by Dcn. Andy Gerakas, Chairman, Aloha Family Alliance
The challenge to us is that despite what seems to be a complete defeat, do we retreat from the battle as Cleopas and his companion apparently did, or do we continue the fight for what is best for our children? On the face of it, the passage of a civil union bill, which includes the same legal standing and the same benefits to same-sex couples, as marriage between a man and a woman, appears to be inevitable at the next session of the legislature. Win or lose, do we not stand up for what is best for our community, or do we give up and retreat?
In the last local elections we were beaten badly on the moral issues. The Christian community is being called a "paper tiger." The opposition was more dedicated, had more fervor, and was more skillful than we were. They truly believed they were in the right and have increasingly convinced the general population in Hawaii that same-sex partners have a legitimate claim to equal rights with traditionally married couples.
Further, those of us in opposition to this equalization are increasingly defined as unAmerican and unfair. The proponents of equality of same-sex relationships have managed to paint those who are in opposition as far right Christians who should not impose their beliefs on the majority. The fact is that the union between one man and one woman predates any political system or government.
Another tactic is intimidation. Ever since the passage of Proposition 8 in California, where intimidation was rampant, there has been an obvious fear in Hawaii to strongly and publicly oppose legislation such as HB444. This is sharply contrasted with the all out effort in the 90's which lead to the constitutional amendment giving the legislature the power to define marriage in Hawaii as only between one man and one woman. The proponents of same-sex marriage have no similar fears or inhibitions.
As Chairman of Aloha Family Alliance, I have been called homophobic, hateful, misguided, perverter of Catholic Christian doctrine, a persecutor of God's children. Some of these people are Catholic Christians which indicates that they have not been informed, or adequately convinced of the Church's position and choose to interpret it according to their individual moral preferences.
There was an effort to get people to vote, but was there adequate teaching on the moral issues? Christians may have voted, but it appears, that many did not vote according to the Church's teachings. We also have to do a better job of convincing our fellow citizens that we love the homosexually inclined and desire their salvation as we do all our brothers and sisters. We have worked closely with able and creative homosexually inclined persons. I have ministered to homosexuals in hospitals, nursing homes, and those dying of aids in hospice. Our opponents would rather paint us as haters, not lovers, because it suits their argument of being a harassed and unfairly treated minority that deserves marriage equality.
We have individuals who sacrificed much in order to try to keep our Islands beautiful from within as well as without. Councilman Gary Okino has been a leader in this effort. He has put the good of his community above political party lines and his own career. He was instrumental in getting individuals to run for office who have strong moral values. Almost all of these individuals were political novices but they made the sacrifice and many worked hard. As political newcomers they invariably lost. Our advice is that they not give up. They have gained some name recognition and have learned a lot. There will be another election in two years and they should keep trying.
It is sad to see Gary Okino leave the Democratic Party. I happen to be a life long Democrat, but I don't put the party ahead of what is morally necessary for our community to thrive. To be truly Democratic, as its name implies, the party should welcome divergent views.
On the national scene the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy now in effect in the armed services, may not be repealed at the lame duck session. General James F. Amos the Marine Commandant suggested that repealing this policy could affect combat effectiveness. He was rebuked by Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who supports the repeal. Senator John McCain, Arizona, the leading Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee is opposed to the repeal and has discussed separating the repeal provision from the Defense Appropriations bill with Senator Carl Levin, the Chairman of the Committee. I do not understand the position of Admiral Mullen or Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who both favor repealing the law. As a nineteen year old I had the responsibility of being the Charge of Quarters, after hours, on an every other day, permanent basis, for a company of troops, in the field, on a two year tour. I had to contend with the worst of sexual perversion. Allowing homosexuals to openly exhibit their sexual preference, in an all male setting, is like allowing a male to be housed in a sorority house. Admiral Mullen and Secretary Gates surely must understand that field operations are considerably different than a military office set-up.
Some of the mid-term re-election results include:
- Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA), who was a strong advocate in the House repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, lost his re-election bid.
- All three Iowa Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of legalizing marriage equality were voted out of office.
- The next Governor of Maine, Paul LePage is against marriage of homosexual couples and including them in legislation prohibiting discrimination. You will recall that the Maine legislature passed a homosexual marriage act which was signed by the previous governor into law. The people called for a referendum and the act was repealed.
- Sen. Russell Feingold, a staunch homosexual rights supporter, lost his bid for re-election.
- Data from the National Election Pool reported by CNN found that 54 percent of Catholics voted for GOP candidates, while 44 percent voted for Democrats. In past elections, Catholics favored Democrats by double-digit margins. Republican candidates were favored by 69 percent of white Protestants and 78 percent of Evangelicals.
Abortion, same-sex marriage, are symptomatic of the decreasing value that that our culture places on chastity. The Pew Research Center has found that 44% of all adults and more than 50% of those of those ages 30 to 49 have cohabited. Some 52% of all adults in the U.S. were married in 2008 compared to 72% in 1960. Almost 40% say that marriage is obsolete. It is ironic that opposite-sex couples are abandoning marriage while same-sex couples are fighting for marriage rights. The beauties and wonders of traditional marriage, the joy of bringing forth children, and the commitment and sacrifice for one another by family members should be taught and touted. Studies show that children from traditional families are most likely to succeed and be contributing citizens. We have to pray and work to show the value of the traditional family, for its members, and for society. At the same time we should never give up the fight to prevent the passage of laws that weaken and inhibit the traditional family.
Our prayers are heard and will be answered in the Lord's own way: "Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you that he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily" (Lk 18:7,8).
We must cling to our faith but faith also needs works: "Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves. So also faith of itself, if it does not have woks, is dead" (Js 1:22; 2:17).
Fortitude and perseverance?
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