Faith & Values

Recently Charlene and I were the subject of a cover story, "A Faithful Church Draws Back Two of Her Own", in our local Catholic newspaper, The Georgia Bulletin.

As the article explains, we had joined many another '60s type in straying far from the faith and values we learned when we were young. We always considered ourselves socially aware, but our mature reflections on our responsibilities to society - especially our duty to promote healthy family life - brought us back to the roots of our concern for others.

Today we try to uphold a consistent life ethic: promoting peace, racial and economic justice, and the beauty of human diversity.

We are active members of our parish church, Our Lady of Lourdes in Atlanta. Both of us support the work of RESULTS, a citizens lobby against poverty, hunger and disease, the Atlanta chapter for Habitat for Humanity (for which our younger son works), and the Atlanta Community Food Bank. I also take firmly pro-life positions, working in the pro-life ministry in Atlanta and joining other pro-life liberals in the March for Life in DC.

As a strong advocate of gay rights and other socially liberal causes as well as traditional family values, I find myself politically adrift. I often vote Republican these days, but I pray that more Democrats and other progressives will stand in defense of the most vulnerable among us.

My greatest source of encouragement is my work with Pax Christi Atlanta. Many of us are involved in the effort to close the SOA, curtail the gun lobby and abolish the death penalty. Charlene and I - as well as our newly adopted daughter - regularly visit a young man on Georgia's Death Row.

Together we hope to instill in our little girl the primary lesson our church teaches, a lesson Chantel's struggling birth mother so well exemplified, that we must always uphold the dignity and value of human life.