Stop and Listen


Kathryn Jean Lopez, the editor-at-large of National Review, wrote a wonderful piece about the March for Marriage.

At the March for Marriage, Archbishop Cordileone quoted Eusebius, the fourth-century historian chronicling pagan Rome, on the early Christians, who took care of the weak, sick, and forgotten, regardless of their faith.  Lopez wrote that this quote reminded her of activists in the 1980s protesting against the Catholic Church for "hate," and Catholic leaders continuing to minister to the sick and dying.

It has become easy for us, Lopez wrote, to only hear about people's "caricature":

But as we jump from headline to headline and from celebration to outrage, human stories often get lost unless used for propaganda. This is a predominant reality of our current culture. What we hear about people is often caricature. We opine about their decisions or activities without bothering to learn the facts. This is who we are as a tweeting, blogging, status-updating people.

And so, on the topic of what has become an annual March for Marriage in Washington, D.C., Cordileone made the plea: “Please do not make judgments based on stereotypes, media images, and comments taken out of context. Rather, get to know us first as fellow human beings.” Or, perhaps, as Pope Francis put it in another not entirely unrelated context, “Who Am I to Judge?”

Lopez quoted Archbishop Cordileone's remarks about society's need for marriage.  Archbishop Cordielone explained that the institution that unites children to the mothers and fathers who bring them into the world is foundation to society.  Lopez wrote:

That’s not hate speech. That’s taking a moment to pause and consider why government would ever need to have anything to do with marriage in the first place.

There’s a lot of talk about love, obviously, in the marriage debate. But rather than talking about and politicizing love while adopting a tyrannical impulse as a substitute for democratic debate, Cordileone suggests that we conduct ourselves in charity in politics and in our daily lives, as we interact with people for whom the cultural changes that have swept through our society in recent decades have real-life, multigenerational implications.

Lopez's defense of civility and charity in the marriage debate is worth a read.  Echoing the words of Archbishop Cordileone, Lopez wrote that it can be valuable for both sides of the marriage debate to stop and listen.

The rest of Lopez's article is here.

Copyright 2014