Doreen Beagan

It says on the radio and TV and in the papers: the majority of Canadians support same-sex “marriage.” Also on the radio and TV, and the premise of many comedy routines, is: the majority of Canadians hate George Bush.

But I don’t.

I believe same-sex marriage” is an oxymoron and I’m glad George Bush holds the same view.

War is horrible. Yet, Rebecca Wedge of Mississauga wrote to The Catholic Register, “I admire George Bush for his firm stand against issues such as abortion, same-sex ‘marriages’ and (embryonic) stem cell research.” I do, too.

I’m glad that in Halifax, Bush used the dreaded “G” word. He said, “God bless you,” right out loud, on air! It’s a long time since any Canadian leader has had that courage.

An article by Jeremiah Denton, posted on the internet, states that America’s founding fathers regarded religion as indispensable in a democracy (government by the people). They saw it as the only source of morality strong enough to form the citizenry in sufficient compassion and self-discipline.

George Washington referred to religion and morals as “these great pillars of human happiness,” “these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens” and “indispensable supports for democracy and political prosperity.”

“Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle,” he said. In Canada, we think otherwise.

In a book on spiritual warfare, I read, “A monumental struggle against the powers of darkness pervades the whole history of man. Man is obliged to wrestle constantly if he is to cling to what is good.” And, “This monumental struggle is carried on in each and every person every day of our lives.”

We can recognize the works of the powers of darkness in the big evils: wars, atrocities, famines and epidemics.

There are less obvious ones. Denton’s article adds: “The ignorant philosophers of our time … (are) in favour of establishing their version of a godless government, big on free sex, porn, killing unborn babies, adopting adulterous cocaine-addicted celebrities as gods, a culture screaming at our children to enjoy themselves at anything that feels good and ignore their parents and almighty God, who has been removed from their education.”

We can also recognize the struggles experienced by those who lose jobs or businesses rather than compromise their values. Those jailed for picketing abortuaries. Those who plead again and again before the courts or legislative bodies. Those who are nurses or doctors or pharmacists for life. Those trying valiantly to forgive injustice and betrayal, or to love a difficult spouse or wayward child.

But isn’t it a bit far-fetched to speak of “monumental struggles” in the daily lives of the rest of us? All we do is …

Avoid dirty jokes, profanity, pornography, and gossip. Take care in our magazine, video, TV and movie choices. Teach our children to dress modestly and live moderately.

Listen to the lonely, comfort the troubled, give leadership where needed.

Reject the empty promises of Planned Parenthood. Accept unexpected pregnancies. Make layettes and have bakesales for Birthright and Right to Life.

Help with marriage preparation and marriage enrichment programs. Visit the sick. Advocate for the elderly or the disabled. Work on crisis lines and in recovery programs. Support church and foodbanks and soup kitchens and a myriad of other charities.

Send only Nativity-oriented Christmas cards. Put a creche on the lawn or in the living room. Emphasize more at Easter than candy eggs and chocolate bunnies.

Et cetera.

We may not be very conscious of a struggle each time, but all these things do take real effort. In every case, it would be easier to just go with the flow.

Perhaps we need to be more aware that these apparently little things that fill our days are really not small at all. That we really are “wrestling daily with the powers of darkness” and building the habits of compassion and self-discipline so important to democracy.

The cumulative effect may truly be monumental.

It may even give our leaders the courage, someday, to use the “G” word in public.