How many of you have kept a memento given to you by another person? Whether it be an autograph, birthday card, or letter of encouragement, mementos serve one other special purpose; they continually remind us of the unique role a particular person has within our lives. With Mother’s Day upon us, our mothers offer themselves as easy targets. Through their encouragement, they usher us forward in life and provide us with the ultimate memento: the constant knowlege that we are always loved—by them! As Pope Paul VI once said:
Every mother is like Moses. She does not enter the promised land. She prepares a world she will not see.
This past week, a memento of another sort was provided us by the president of the United States; and perhaps also, a world that many mothers would never have envisioned. As reported by numerous media outlets, Mr. Obama became the first president to publicly support “gay” marriage. And as he did so, I carefully observed his language:
I’ve been going through an evolution on this issue…I’ve always been adamant that gays and lesbians should be treated fairly and equally…I’ve just concluded that, for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.
Notice the language. While the president’s words focus extensively upon his personal feelings, there is scant deference given to outside truth or revelation, with the exception of these words:
I was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people, the word ‘marriage’ was something that evokes very powerful traditions, religious beliefs, and so forth.
But with the cameras and reporters now having exited the White House briefing room and the American people having been exposed to an extensive presidential litany of “I’s,” we were told that “traditional” marriage was finished. For so it had been declared.
Somewhat alarmed by this revelation, yet another insight touched my heart, from the Letter to the Hebrews (10:16):
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts and write them on their minds.
But today, who has time to wrestle with divinely-given and truth-filled mementos that have been written upon our hearts and minds? Rather, let’s just make up “truth” as we go along. Yours will be yours and mine will be mine. And while doing so, may we recall the words spoken to us on Ash Wednesday, during the imposition of ashes:
Remember, man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.