After stepping out of my comfort zone to volunteer at the Minnesota for Marriage booth at the State Fair, I started thinking about the morality of speaking out about my beliefs.
Many asked me why I thought it was OK to force my opinion (that marriage is the union of one man and one woman) on others. Who am I to decide what is wrong and right action? We are taught to not point out the speck in someone else’s eye while we have a log stuck in our own.
The Lord answered my question through The Catholic Spirit in Deacon Albert Wugaa’s Sunday Scripture reflection, “Love means taking responsibility to speak out about sin” [Sept. 1].
Since we all have logs in our eyes, we are all called to watch over and be responsible for each other. Deacon Wugaa went on to explain that not only is it right for us stand up for truth and right action, it is our responsibility to do so. In fact, we will “lose our lives if we are bystanders and say it is not our business.”
Many of the opponents to the amendment told those of us volunteering at the booth that we were “haters” and that we would be going to hell for supporting the one man-one woman definition of marriage. The truth is, it is because we love people that we had the courage to help educate the public on the upcoming amendment.
To those that indicated they opposed our cause and weren’t interested in our information pamphlets, I smiled and wished them a good day at the fair (which was sometimes hard to do after being called some unpleasant names).
It absolutely takes courage to point out a sinful act in society, and it must be done with love so we can withstand the forces that will rise up against us. These days we are told that “tolerance” is the correct, loving way to live in society, when in fact it is nothing more than failing to condemn wrong action and affirm the right in caring for ourselves and others.
It is not being “self-righteous” to disagree with something we know in our hearts is wrong. If we let fear prevent us from standing up for truth, then we allow laws to change and wrong action to become the norm.
Our children may then not know right from wrong, if they are taught one thing, but are living in a “tolerating” culture filled with something else.
Latin professor encouraged excellence for men and women
In the Aug. 4 issue, The Catholic Spirit asked readers to write about a memorable Catholic professor at the college or university they attended. The following is a response we received.
It’s been a long time. So long ago, in fact, that I’ve forgotten the kind priest’s name who was my Latin professor freshman year at St. John’s University in Collegeville. I was a “Bennie” taking my first college classes that fall.
I was the only female student in the Latin class. Most of the other students were seminarians. But the professor didn’t play favorites. He called on me just as often as the others. He helped me understand aspects of the language that I was confused with. And, when he handed me back my first graded test, he smiled and told me I had received the highest grade of the class!
He taught me to strive for the best. There are no excuses for failure. Ask questions, participate, relish the Catholic tradition for excellence in education. For men and for women.
Joan Feyereisen Homstad
St. Ambrose, Woodbury
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