Students too young to defend marriage



I write with some measure of alarm in response to the lead article in Rhode Island Catholic’s January 14 issue “Diocese enlisting students to respond to attacks against traditional marriage.”

As a parent and an educator, I believe strongly that we should not use children to swell the numbers for adult protests concerning adult issues. I found it telling that it was freshmen, who possess neither the intellectual tools nor the emotional maturity to maneuver their way through as complex a question as gay marriage, who were the target audience. Ironically, the author himself hints at their lack of preparedness in the opening paragraph!

Moreover, as a Catholic Christian woman who is living out a 34 year sacramental marriage, I do not believe that I or the sanctity of my vocation are under “attack” from those who are seeking gay marriage.

Marriage is two things: it is a civil contract undertaken by two parties and the state, which allows those individuals certain rights and protections from the state. It is also for many of us a sacred institution, made so by its sacramental nature. Gay people are not asking for inclusion into the latter; they are asking for inclusion into the former. How, then, are they a threat to the sacredness of marriage which comes, not from the state, but from the Church?

I am sure that those involved in this initiative are motivated by only good will and love for the Church; however, to invite children into this controversy and to use such inflammatory words as “attack” “battles” and especially “ground zero” reduces a complex issue and a very real and painful struggle on the part of both “sides” to little more than a caricature.

Kathy Pesta

Wakefield, RI