I encourage you all to read the entire document “On being faithful citizens” by Bishop Robert J. Baker on the Diocese of Charleston’s website. I quote in part:
“Various voter guides have emerged, sharing particular perspectives that may reflect to a degree our religious moral perspective. The only statement I support or affirm for use or distribution in parishes and Catholic institutions of our diocese is the statement by the Catholic bishops of the state of Kansas, entitled “Moral Principles for Catholic Voters.”…
“The bishops indicate that issues before us are of differing moral weight. Some issues allow diversity in our prudential judgments. Others involve nonnegotiable principles. “A correct conscience recognizes that there are some choices that always involve doing evil and … can never be done even as a means to a good end,” the statement says. “These choices include elective abortion, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, the destruction of embryonic human beings in stem cell research, human cloning, and same-sex ‘marriage.’ Such acts are judged to be intrinsically evil, that is, evil in and of themselves, regardless of our motives or the circumstances. They constitute an attack against innocent human life, as well as marriage and family.”
On the ballot on Nov. 7 is proposed Amendment I, Article XVII, Constitution of South Carolina, on the issue of the definition of marriage, calling on the state and its political subdivisions to define marriage as being “between one man and one woman” as “the only lawful domestic union that shall be valid or recognized … ”
Voting for this amendment will carry on the traditional Judeo-Christian understanding of marriage that has existed in our country and state since their inception. How marriage is regarded is of vital importance to the survival of any society. Were we to turn from the Judeo-Christian perspective that is shared by people of many other religious persuasions, we will shortly see the demise of Western culture as we know it because marriage and family are at the epicenter of what defines society. We come at this discussion not only from a religious perspective, as people who see marriage and family as institutions rooted in God’s plan of salvation, but as people who also are concerned about the stability and survival of our society. Redefining marriage in any other way constitutes a threat to family life and consequently a threat to society.
It is not discrimination to recognize that single people should be treated with respect and dignity and their basic rights defended. It is also not discrimination to recognize that married people have responsibilities and needs that must be protected by society. This amendment does not seek to deny rights to anyone. It seeks to protect those rights which God gave to a man and a woman who have joined together in a monogamous relationship, dedicated to the forming of a family. It is essential that good citizens of this state defend our basic moral values.
As South Carolinians, we are faced with important decisions. Decisions are also underway regarding extending educational options to all children. Many candidates for public office are talking about their plans for reforming education. It is important that we seek them out and find out their position on extending educational options in our state. As Catholics, we have a long and proud history of providing education, and we look forward to the opportunity of being included in discussions regarding options for the education of children throughout our state.
I encourage all of our readers to exercise their freedom and vote for those who share our values of morality and social justice.
Published Oct. 26, 2006
The Catholic Miscellany