Tag Archives: marriage

Traditional marriage grounded at United States Air Force

USAF Colonel Leland Bohannon
Genesis 2:18-23 reads as follows:
The LORD God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suited to him.

So the LORD God formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each living creature was then its name.

The man gave names to all the tame animals, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none proved to be a helper suited to the man.

So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The LORD God then built the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman.

When he brought her to the man, the man said “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called ‘woman, for out of man this one has been taken.”

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.

The story of the beginning of man and woman’s journey together here on Earth is a familiar one to most people, no matter their level of faith or their personal belief.

To some, it is simply that, a story and nothing more. But to myself and more than half of the human population it remains a basic tenet of faith. To most of those same people, this biblical story forms the basic foundation for the concept of marriage.

The institution of marriage has been under attack for decades from progressives here in America. They have made major inroads in their battle to bastardize these sacred unions.

A controversy in the United States Air Force highlights that the battle for marriage continues today.

Colonel Leland Bohannon was set to be promoted to the rank of one-star general. However, one of his subordinates recently filed an EO (Equal Opportunity) complaint against him.

This complaint was substantiated, and now Bohannon has been suspended from his command and is likely to never receive the promotion he earned with decades of sacrifice and hard work.

The complaint was based on Bohannon’s position supporting traditional marriage. This past spring, a master sergeant under his command was retiring. The master sergeant is gay, and has a same-sex partner.

It has become tradition to honor the spouse of such a retiree for the sacrifices they have made in supporting the retiree. That honor comes in the form of recognition at the retirement ceremony, and presentation of a certificate of spouse appreciation.

Per the website militarywives.org, during the retirement ceremony an air force wife will be called and escorted to the stage, and presented with a certificate that reads as follows:

 

CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION
FROM THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
In grateful appreciation,
The United States Air Force presents
this certificate of recognition to:
(Spouse Name)
for the commitment and numerous contributions
that made positive impacts to the Nation’s defense.
Thank You for the support which gave strength and
purpose to your spouse’s service

GIVEN THIS FIRST DAY OF JUNE

TWO THOUSAND AND SEVENTEEN


Holding a traditional Christian view of marriage, Bohannon refused to sign the certificate of spouse appreciation for his retiring master sergeant’s same-sex partner. He instead had a more senior military leader sign the certificate. The master sergeant then filed the EO complaint.

Per Todd Starnes, a group of U.S. Senators including Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio wrote to Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson in an attempt to save Bohannon’s career. Per Starnes, part of their letter stated:
“Col. Bohannon recognized the moral and legal dilemma this situation presented, and to his credit, sought to carve out a solution that would affirm the contribution made by the retiring officer’s same-sex partner while at the same time allowing the colonel to abide by his religious convictions.”
What you have here is a case of the U.S. Air Force attempting to force a Christian into affirming something that he fundamentally believes to be immoral, in spite of the fact that there was no need to do so.
This is exactly what modern progressives want. They want to force their beliefs on the rest of us. If you won’t conform, you will be silenced, or bullied, or punished, or all of these. And if you are not, then the entity they want to do that punishing will be sued.
When entered into between a healthy, informed, consenting adult man and woman, marriage is a sacred union. That is what I believe. That is what Colonel Bohannon believes.
The Colonel should not be forced, when there are other legitimate options that in no way take away from the retiring master sergeant or his same-sex partner, to alter his beliefs. Nor should he be punished for holding them.
Bohannon’s beliefs are legitimate, and they should be defended by all of us who believe the same. The special union of man and woman is a gift from God. We need to be unafraid to support Colonel Bohannon and his traditional view of marriage.
Hopefully the appeals from the esteemed group of United States Senators are acted upon favorably for Bohannon. He should be fully restored, his record unbesmirched, and his promotion to General granted.

Disagreement Does Not Equal Hate

Traditional, Conservative, and Christian, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee used his popularity in those circles and publicly called for Americans who support traditional marriage to get out to their local Chick-fil-A restaurant this past Wednesday.

On his Facebook page, Huckabee posted the following statement: “Let’s affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse.”

This led to an uprising of support among those, such as myself and my wife, who agree with Huckabee’s position on marriage as intended by God to be between one man and one woman. We ate dinner on Wednesday late afternoon at the Chick-fil-a restaurant at 2301 E. Butler Street, just off Aramingo Avenue in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The place was packed, and had to bring extra help on to serve all those who, like us, heeded Huckabee’s call and came out in support.

The controversy began when leaders within the LGBT community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) had discovered that Chick-fil-a takes public stances on behalf of, and supports charitable organizations that benefit, traditional marriage as biblically defined. As the company’s President, Dan Cathy, said when confronted on the issues this week: “Guilty as charged!”

The leaders within LGBT then did what the overwhelming majority of liberals begin to do when they realize that not only does someone disagree with them, but is willing to do so publicly, including putting their money where their mouths are – they began to express hatred. They did so in the usual fashion, by accusing those towards whom they felt hatred of hating them.

It is the oldest trick in the liberal book. If you do not support gay marriage, then you are not only against it, but you hate us. The old “either you are with us, or you are against us” mentality is put into play with aggression. The immediate use of this type of accusation can be found on page one in the liberal handbook. Immediately following on page two comes demonization of the person, company or group that is against your position.

No consideration was paid to a company statement that read “The Chick-fil-a culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.”

The company went on to explain that it has a history of applying biblically-based principles to its business practices, such as remaining closed on Sundays, and that it intends to “leave any policy debates over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

In an interview with the Baptist Press, Cathy stated that “We are a family-owned business, family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.

The most recent Gallup Poll on this issue shows that a full 74% of Republicans say that same-sex marriage should not be legal, and 67% of all Americans who attend weekly religious services feel the same way. In an October 2011 poll by the Pew Forum, 74% of white Evangelicals and 62% of black Protestants are opposed to allowing gays and lesbians to marry.

But what will not be revealed in poll figures are the feelings behind those religious, moral, cultural and political opinions. The fact of the matter, which I can reveal from my own personal feelings, those of people close to me who feel the same as I, and every single person that I have ever spoken to on this issue who shares my values is that hate is nowhere in the equation.

We don’t hate gays. We don’t wish anyone damned to eternal hell. We don’t want anyone served differently in restaurants. We don’t want anyone treated differently by the police or fire departments. We don’t want anyone beaten or killed or even completely shunned.

What we do want is the hatred to stop – from the liberals. If you find that some business supports your social, political, moral position on some issue, then by all means, support that business. In fact, the Starbucks coffee company has apparently come out in support of gay marriage. Perfect opportunity to show your support by frequenting their business with your dollars. Just don’t tell us how to spend ours when we disagree with you.

On this past Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 the Chick-fil-A company set a one-day sales record. This record was set thanks to the support of the huge number of people in this country who believe as they do, that traditional marriage is the way to go. There were no signs demanding death to gays, there were no feelings of hatred towards gays.

Fundamental disagreement on this or any other issue does not equate to hate. I have known a number of gay individuals in my lifetime, none of whom I hated even though I completely disagreed with the choices they were making and/or the ways in which they were choosing to publicly express themselves sexually.

I pray that as we move forward both as a nation and as a species, that we can all find a way here on God’s beautiful creation of a planet to live together in peace. That we can all find love and compassion for one another. And that those who accuse others of hate perhaps take the time to listen to their own words, and into the feelings in their own hearts. It is there that they are more likely to find any true hate.

The ‘secret’ to a good marriage

Thanks to Miss USA runner-up Carrie Prejean, there has been a lot of discussion around the country in the past week regarding the issue of the sacrament of Marriage.

I also had the honor of attending a wedding yesterday, and got to enjoy all of the joy and happiness that surrounds those blissful occasions.

I’m going to keep the marriage topic going for one more day here. Only this time it’s not going to be the issue of ‘who’ or ‘what’ should or should not be allowed to marry.

Rather, I’m going to dip in to my own personal experience and education bag of tricks to offer some advice to married couples, and to those who are contemplating getting married.

I think that I can speak on this topic as well as most anyone on earth. I’ve been married twice in my lifetime, raised children, and gone through almost every type of struggle that most normal married persons go through, including any number that I myself created along the way. I’ve bought and remodeled two homes. I’ve bought three cars, a handful of barbecue grills, and a golden retriever.

I’ve gone from being a ‘cafeteria’ Catholic to a solid, church-going, sacrament receiving, money-happily-donated defender of the faith. My point is that, like many of you, I come from a decades-long background and experience base that gives me a strong perspective of what it takes to make a marriage work.

I didn’t come upon my own particular ideas easily or quickly, nor without causing myself and my family in both marriages a number of difficult moments. But what I have learned is that marriage can be broken down to the dedication of ones self to a pair of very simple words: love and priority. Let’s deal with the easy one first.

Some people would think that the idea of ‘love’ is the more difficult, but I say that is not true. To me, love is the beginning and the bedrock of any marriage relationship. But we also need to remember what love is and is not. Love is not that romantic feeling that you get when you first meet someone and feel that ‘connection’ or attraction.

Many people get those early months and even first couple of years of a relationship when the sexual attraction and energy are strong, when the bonds of intimacy towards one another are first being formed, confused with actual true love. True love is something that grows over time. It may actually come in those early months for some. For others it may grow over a period of years.

One thing that is certain is that you need to have a certain level of personal experience and maturity in order to understand that true love comes not only with an attraction to, but also with a respect and a deep caring for your partner. Once you obtain that level of understanding, then the knowledge of your love for another is revealed to you in your heart.

It is a fact of your life, the very fibre of your inner being that you cannot deny. When you love someone, you see the world through their eyes, you feel their pain and their joy, you would give your life for them. You never have to ask the question, there is none to be asked. It is simple truthful knowledge. This true love will never die. It cannot be burned out by the fires, or frozen solid by coldness, or stomped out by the giants that will inevitably cross our paths in life.

The Bible indicates that love is from God, and in fact states that “God is love.” He loved man so much that, despite our turn from him, despite our rebellion, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” This is the type of love that married people need to have towards one another. The type that sacrifices and gives in perpetuity, without expecting anything in return, that is not conditioned on the response of the other person.

I put it to you that in fact, true love is impossible without a relationship with God. The feelings that you have for one another, whatever they may be, however long they may have existed, will not be enough to sustain a true, deep, passionate, committed love without God’s care and involvement in the relationship. You might feel responsibility, affection, even enjoy physical intimacy, but that is not love.

The second term is a bit trickier, and hearkens much more to the tangible, physical, easy to grasp everyday world of all of our lives. That idea of ‘priority’ again takes experience. There is no substitute for actually growing up, not just physically, but more particularly growing mentally and emotionally.

Through personal trial and error, through watching the example of others, and through formal education we learn that actions have consequences. We learn that some of these consequences are good, and some of our actions yield greater good. We also learn that some are bad, and yield various levels of poor results for us.

But we also learn those many lessons in between ‘good’ and ‘bad’, learning that some actions yield better results than others. And so in most of our lives we learn to ‘prioritize’ our actions, doing those good things most of the time that will yield us the best results.

Married couples, and this is a special message that those contemplating marriage need to hear, must make one another and their family their greatest priority, and must constantly examine their lives to ensure that their personal individual priorities are not taking precedence over those of the family.

If you are not prepared to subordinate your own needs and desires to those of a spouse and children, then you should not even be thinking of getting married. If you know that you do in fact truly love your partner, and are committed to building and sustaining a family with them throughout your life no matter what circumstances arise, then you should by all means go ahead and marry them.

You should absolutely not get married because they look good, are good in bed, like the same sports teams or music as you like, are the same religion, or for any other reason whatsoever. And once married, you need to continually prioritize your family first. Not only the caring for of them physically, but the emotional nurturing of your relationships, the education of your children, these things must come first.

Most of us work hard for hours upon hours each week, and we deserve some ‘down time’ for ourselves. But we must always be very careful that this time never takes away from our family time. In fact, our first enjoyment should always be in the spending of time with our partners and our children.

We also need time to sleep, to rest our bodies. If we deny ourselves this necessary act, then we make ourselves vulnerable to emotional and physical pains and anxieties that will take away our ability to make the best decisions for ourselves and our families.

A good marriage based on true love will prioritize itself to include working to sustain our families with shelter, food, clothing, and education but which also at the same time includes time with them bonding and enjoying one another. Sleep and rest must be prioritized, because without these we cannot be healthy enough to function properly in our right mind and body, thus denying our family our best.

Most everything else is extra, a bonus that comes during those few hours each week where we are not working, or enjoying time with our family, or resting. Some weeks those bonus or extra hours may not come at all, but how can any reasonable man or woman say that they are missing out on anything that life has to offer of real lasting value simply because they didn’t get to listen to some music file, or play some video game, or watch some television show, or go to some concert or movie?

Believe me, over the course of our lives, a normal life will yield many opportunities for entertainment and pleasure. We must prioritize our partner, our spouse, our family above all else. And above all of this we must place our own personal, individual relationship with God, and realize that a home that has Jesus Christ as its rock and foundation has a far greater chance of weathering the storms of life than any home trying to do so without Him.

Most of the problems that we have all encountered in our lives, if we are fully honest with ourselves, can trace themselves back to times when we decided that we were going to make our own desires our priorities rather than the will of God as demanded of us in His commandments, as further expanded upon by the teachings of Jesus Christ, and then as grown by the Holy Spirit in the teachings of the Church down through the ages.

The two bedrocks of any good marriage then are love and priority. When you know without thinking that you love someone else, when they can say the same about you, and when you can confidently know that you will always make them your first priority no matter what else happens, then you have the stuff of a good, lasting, loving marriage.

I can tell you this for certain in my own life: I love my wife. Debbie Veasey has all of my love, truly and for as long as we live and hopefully beyond that, and of that there is never any question in my mind or heart, ever, no matter what happens. She has all of my love, and she is my priority. The same extends to my children and grandchildren, and the rest of my family. But that marriage between Debbie and I has to be the rock on which all the rest settles.

In the end, there will be one final test of your marriage that will absolutely tell if it was based on this true love. It will be the old ‘proof is in the pudding’ saying, and you won’t know perhaps until your last day on this earth. This final test is stated perfectly in the closing lyrics of a song titled ‘When It’s Love’ by the rock group Van Halen, which ends “When it’s love, it lasts forever.” Amen.

Miss California Gives Straight Answer

What was very obvious early on in the Miss USA pageant held this past Sunday night was that Miss California, Carrie Prejean, was a beautiful young woman on the outside.

She was the typical stereotype of what we all would expect from a ‘California Girl’: blond, long legs, gorgeous face. And when it came time for the bikini/swimsuit competition she displayed the great body that you would expect to come strolling down the beach in Malibu.

But what did not become apparent until right near the end was just how beautiful Carrie Prejean is on the inside. It took an incredibly controversial question under those circumstances from an incredibly outrageous, over-rated, quasi-celebrity judge in the pageant named Perez Hilton who demonstrated his own internal ugliness to bring out Miss California’s inner beauty.

Hilton, an openly gay male and celebrity gossip blogger, had the task of asking a question of Ms. Prejean during the final portion of the contest. All of the other finalists had to give their opinions on the somewhat difficult questions asked by a particular judge when their own turns came, but none got a more outrageous judge with a more sensational question than Ms. Prejean.

Hilton asked his question with wide-eyed enthusiasm, quite obviously expecting a different response: “Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?” 

With the relative softballs that the other finalists were being tossed in comparison to this bomb shell of a question, Miss California looked momentarily lost as she searched her mind and her heart for an answer. She quite obviously knew that this was her make-or-break moment.

Many people thought that she was the odds-on favorite to win, and the results of later voting showed that was indeed the case heading in to this question period. A politically correct answer, even some non-committal answer, very likely would have resulted in her being crowned as Miss USA.

But fortunately for everyone in attendance and for everyone searching for good examples in these increasingly amoral days, Carrie Prejean is a Christian, and she simply could not sell out here true beliefs for a pageant crown.

She stumbled through her answer as she tried hard to balance those beliefs with an answer that might still salvage the title. Some of her reply included “I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.”

Well hallelujah! First, a young woman with integrity enough to answer a controversial question with honesty. She very well could have gone another way with her public answer, won the crown, kept her personal beliefs to herself for now, and perhaps revealed them down the road as a ‘change of heart’.

But that’s not how Carrie Prejean rolls. This beautiful young girl just a few short years out of high school stood on that stage in front of thousands watching her live, and millions more on television, and spoke from her heart and soul.

And secondly, big kudos go out to the parents and family that raised this young woman to also be beautiful on the inside, and to understand at such a young age that truth cannot be compromised for expediency. She later would comment that she now believed that God had placed her in that position intentionally, and I would have to agree with her.

Immediately, the exasperated Hilton was taken aback, and he along with numerous gays in the audience and later on the internet and in other forums had negative, hurtful, and profane comments to make about this wonderful young lady. There is only one word that comes to mind: typical.

The fact is that God instituted marriage as a sacrament to be between a man and a woman. That is in no way a hurtful or sexist or demeaning statement towards gays. It is simply the truth.

Though there were a smattering of boos, the large majority in the audience cheered and applauded when Ms. Prejean gave her answer, one that she had to know once she was finished would derail her Miss USA hopes. As it turns out, it was still very close. She finished as a very close 1st Runner-Up in the judges voting.

In the aftermath, the Miss California Organization denounced her answer and said that they did not agree with it. Shame on them for not standing up for their California girl. One of the most liberal states in the American union has already turned thumbs down on gay marriage when it was put to the public for a vote, which only shows that even many people with generally liberal political and social viewpoints understand basic, fundamental truths.

In response, Hilton commented that she lost the pageant because of her answer, and then later video-blogged that she did not lose because of the answer, but because she was a “dumb bitch“.

This one should not even be considered in any way controversial on Prejean’s part, but the controversy should be squarely on Perez, who showed with his attitude and his words that he is a total and complete horses ass. Perez Hilton is a perfect representation of all that is ugly in the world today, while Carrie Prejean represents all that is right and true.

After his outrageous attacks on her simple honest answer, Prejean said simply that she would pray for Hilton. Thankfully, she stood up and showed all of us her beauty on Sunday night, both inside and out. Congratulations to Carrie Prejean for her high finish in the pageant, but more importantly for her, for taking the higher ground that night and ever since.

Think globally, act familially

Yesterday I asked the question: “What are you prepared to do?”

Today I will begin with another one: “What are you supposed to do?”

Anyone who read yesterday’s post and came away with the impression that “there is no use in caring about the injustice in the world when there is nothing that an individual can do about it” simply missed the point.

There is plenty that you can do about it. You can get active politically in support of folks who are willing to invest American ‘blood, sweat, and treasure’ in the causes that you feel are important.

This means that you can both vote for these candidates when they become available in elections in which you can participate, and you can write and phone your current elected officials no matter what their track record, letting them know how you feel and what you want them to specifically accomplish.

Heck, if you have the opportunity at all, run for office and become the ‘mover and shaker’ yourself.

We should always be willing to look both at our own neighborhood and town, but also outside at the region, nation, hemisphere, and world around us for injustice of all types. We should then be willing to get involved in helping to correct those injustices, both as individuals and as a nation.

But while we should place that political pressure on candidates and nations, we need to absolutely ensure that there is one place where we are actually taking action every day: in our homes with our families.

Outside of our relationship with God, there is nothing more important in this life than family. Acting familially means any number of things. First of all, it means actually being there and being involved, and that goes particularly for men.

Anyone who got married and began to have children as a mature, thinking, responsible adult had reasons for doing so. You need to understand and embrace that commitment fully at all times, and ensure that nothing in this world comes before your family relationships and responsibilities. Not work, not school, not hobbies, and certainly not any interest in global injustices.

By being a strong, loving, supportive husband to your wife and father to your children you are doing the one thing every single day that you can best do to make a real positive difference in the world.

That isn’t to take any of the same responsibilities away from women. It is just to frankly recognize the fact that the vast majority of familial problems can be traced to men, and that a change in our attitudes and actions as a whole would make a measurable difference at home.

If enough men around the world took their familial responsibilities more seriously, the world would be a better place. Women need to do their part as well, and the traditional role of nurturing mother should be at the forefront of their lives.

There is nothing more important in this world than properly raising children, and no one, including natural fathers, will ever be as important in this regard as a mom.

Another consideration needs to be extended to those who say that they don’t want children, or only want one child. I can think of no more selfish position for someone to take in life than a militant anti-parenting position, or even a restrictive one such as the one-child position.

It is a well known fact that for any society to propagate and sustain itself, families need to produce approximately two and a half kids per family. I would highly recommend to any young American a dual goal of marriage, and planning to have at least three kids within the context of that marriage, be that by physical birth, adoption, what have you.

And when you have those kids, you need to raise them to understand and appreciate traditional American values and history. And also raise them with a love, understanding, and knowledge of God and His love for them.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is not me telling you what to do, no matter how it sounds. Because the fact of the matter is that I didn’t follow all of this advice in my own life. Then again, it took me a long time to grow into my current level of education and experience, and to form my adult opinions.

What I am pointing out, however, are what I believe to be the best things that you can actually do to make a real positive difference in our nation and our world.

Pray on injustices and direct the powers-that-be toward their attention, but to really make a difference you will need to concentrate on your own marriage, children, commitment, presence, love, and faith.

You can indeed make a difference by thinking globally, but acting familially.