October 24th, 2012Faith, Football and Familyby Joseph Pearce

I know very little about football (the American variety), though I enjoy watching it on the rare occasions when time and opportunity permit. I was, however, very pleased to see in the latest issue of The Remnant that a leading NFL player has taken a courageous stand in defence of marriage. Matt Birk of the Baltimore Ravens and formerly of the Minnesota Vikings went public in the press about his support for the Minnesota Marriage Protection Amendment, a bold stance that has sent shockwaves across the NFL. Birk, a Catholic father of six children, wrote an editorial in the Minneapolis Star Tribune and also appears in an online video for the Minnesota Catholic Conference in which, to quote The Remnant, "he, in dramatic fashion, begs voters to keep marriage only between a man and a woman for the sake of God's law and for the good of all children".
Here, in part, is Birk's impassioned plea for the welfare of children, so often forgotten in the heated arguments about the meaning of marriage:
"Children have a right to a mom and a dad, and I realize that this doesn't always happen. Through the work my wife and I do at pregnancy resource centers and underprivileged schools, we have witnessed firsthand the many heroic efforts of single mothers and fathers - many of whom work very hard to provide what's best for their kids. But recognizing the efforts of these parents and the resiliency of some (not all, unfortunately) of these kids, does not then give society the right to dismiss the potential long-term effects on a child of not knowing or being loved by his or her mother or father. Each plays a vital role in the raising of a child.
"Marriage is in trouble right now ... The effects of no-fault divorce, adultery, and the nonchalant attitude toward marriage by some have done great harm to this sacred institution. How much longer do we put the desires of adults before the needs of kids? Why are we not doing more to lift up and strengthen the institution of marriage?
"Same-sex unions may not affect my marriage specifically, but it will affect my children - the next generation. Ideas have consequences, and laws shape culture. Marriage redefinition will affect the broader well-being of children and the welfare of society. As a Christian and a citizen, I am compelled to care about both ...
"I encourage all Americans to stand up to preserve and promote a healthy, authentic promarriage culture in this upcoming election."
Matt Birk has emerged as a fearless frontline soldier in the war that is ravaging modern society. He will face attacks from the fascists of homosexism for his bold stand for traditional marriage and the needs of children. As Michael J. Matt, editor of The Remnant, explained, he "has risked his reputation and professional career in the name of doing what's right ... and the air is filled with the sounds of Leftist hammers pounding away on his scaffold".
Michael J. Matt called on all Remnant readers to pray for Matt Birk, a call that I am honoured to echo to visitors to the Ink Desk. I am also happy to end this post in praise of this courageous football player with the same prayer with which Michael J. Matt ended his article: May God bless Matt Birk!

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  • October 25 2012 | by Daniel F. McNeill

    If only our bishops had such courage!
  • October 26 2012 | by Harry Colin

    Thanks, Joseph, for highlighting this courageous piece by Matt Birk. I saw it in the Remnant and immediately realized we have been blessed by someone who has chosen truth over comfort and social approval.

    I watched an interview yesterday on the TV in a hotel breakfast nook in which one of Birk's teammates was being interviewed about the subject and this player - the punter, ironically - was babbling about "moving beyond hate " and "loving who you want;" the interviewer was fawning over him and congratulating him on educating the public and some of the older players in the league who "still carry deep prejudices." No mention of Birk by name but the reference was obvious.

    It's refreshing to know that courage and character are not absent in our world - thank you Matt Birk!