The latest deception from opponents of the upcoming statewide constitutional marriage amendment is the use of the expression "Amendment One." Like much of the rhetoric from the other side, this latest term is likely to confuse rather than inform the voting public.
The term "Amendment One" started appearing on signs and bumper stickers in late March. Apparently the long-winded and inaccurate previous reference, "the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage," wouldn't fit on a yard sign.
The problem with the term "Amendment One" is that it doesn't exist. The ballot for the primary, produced by the N.C. Board of Elections, does not associate a number with the only amendment under consideration, which is the last item voters will see on the May 8 ballot.
So, it doesn't have a number and it's last, not first. So why would opponents of the marriage amendment use the term?
They don't share strategy with me. But my guess is that they are afraid of the word "marriage" and want to avoid using it. There is so much goodwill associated with that single word, so many hopes and dreams, so much happiness and, with children, a promising future. The word simply cannot be demonized or mocked.
Marriage pre-dates the state of North Carolina and even our 2,000-year-old Catholic faith. In His wisdom God created man and woman differently, and from that beautiful and loving difference comes the whole human race. Without it the Bible would end about halfway through the Book of Genesis. God knew what He was doing when he created Adam and Eve and the complementary natures of men and women.
I've yet to speak with an opponent of the marriage amendment who has an underlying philosophy or theology for their arguments that is as deep or as broad as natural law, Scripture, Church teaching and thousands of years of human experience in support of traditional marriage.
Without a logical argument for their opposition to marriage, the opponents have chosen to play word games. They substitute "Amendment One" for "Marriage Amendment" and – presto – people who support traditional marriage can now be miscast as bigots.
Sadly, even President Barack Obama has chosen to jump in to what essentially is a local event by declaring his opposition to the amendment. His re-election campaign office released a statement on March 20 saying, "While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples."
Putting aside the fact that North Carolina's marriage amendment will not deny rights and benefits to anyone, the weakness of the president's argument is made clear when you realize that he couldn't bring himself to utter the word marriage.
David Hains is the Diocese of Charlotte's director of communication.
W.S. "Bill" Melton Jr.: Listen carefully to the popeWell, the pope came to America recently to lay a few words on us. And that's a pretty big deal for people, especially a right-wing, evangelical, snake-handling Roman Catholic like me. After seeing a whole lot of things in the media and an awful...
Lennie Cox :Consecration to Jesus through MaryWhat is it and why should I consider it? On Oct. 7 the Catholic Church celebrated the Feast of the Holy Rosary, which for many centuries had been known as "Our Lady of Victory." It was established to honor Mary for her role in the 16th Century...
Deacon James H. Toner: Falling skies?What we think is the right road We need to "chill out." Just relax! The Supreme Court decision legalizing homosexual marriage hasn't made the sky fall, has it? The moral doomsayers were wrong, weren't they? The republic still stands, and no...
Sister Constance Veit: Live well and times will be goodIt has been a rough few months for the Church. We are told that disagreeing with the dominant culture by affirming age-old truths is discriminatory and bigoted. Are this summer's legal decisions harbingers of dark days ahead for those committed...
Sister Mary Raphael: The beauty of familyOver many Easter holidays, I have had the great joy of being reunited with my family out of town. With five kids grown and out of the house and five still at home, it's amazing how beautiful and precious little things like Legos scattered around...
Deacon James Toner: What we know that ain't so: AdviceWhat we think is the right road Dynamic leaders do not need advisors. Imaginative, decisive and resolute people forge ahead, uninterested in the timid consultation of worried counselors. To solve problems requires action, not conferences; to...
Fred Gallagher: The family 'back-to-school list'Back in the day (in this case, several years ago when they were still in middle school and high school) I sent my children back to school with a list known simply as their "back-to-school-list." And yes, each year they rolled their sweet little...
LETTERS FROM OUR READERS
Good homilies should resonateI enjoyed reading George Brunner's response to Deacon James Toner's recent commentary "Happy Homilies" in the Sept. 11 issue of the Catholic News Herald. I believe motivational and inspirational...
Good homilies are not hard to findI winced when I read in George Brunner's Sept. 11 letter to the editor, "Good homilies should inspire us to act": "Most preachers, even if they preach a joke or preach the hard stuff, miss the...
Show you care for creation with smart purchasing choicesIn his recent encyclical "Laudato Si'," Pope Francis has called on Catholics to care for God's creation. We care, or do not care, for creation in the decisions we make every day. For example,...
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Roger Arnsparger at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Jason Christian at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. Matthew Kauth at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Christopher Riehl's archive from St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe. Listen to homily podcasts.
- Fr. Joshua Voitus at St. Mary, Mother of God Parish in Sylva, including homilies in Spanish
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Gospel reflection videos from St. Matthew Church
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen and watch homilies from St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy