Stumbling around the internet I found:
Sincero Bernini was my Grandmother's brother. He and the rest of the boys were murdered by the Nazis/Fascists in 1944.
I grew up hearing their story from my Grandma, a story she could never tell without crying. These men stood up for what they believed, fought tyranny and apparently did it without too much soul searching. It was the right thing to do, so they did it (with the shrug of the shoulders Italians are famous for - as if doing the right thing is something that takes a great deal of thought, right?).
Today, of course, doing the right thing takes a great deal of thought, and discernment and understanding. In the 12 step program to which I belong we often say that integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching and I have no reason to quarrel with that understanding. What I have discovered, however, is that integrity and courage are two different things. I have come to believe that integrity is demonstrated by doing the right thing without a witness, but courage is doing the right thing when everyone is looking and few approve.
For example: Brad Pitt, the superstar, has a mom who happens to be against "Gay Marriage". She wrote a letter to her local newspaper stating as much. Because her son is such fodder for gossip magazines (and leading a famously unconventional lifestyle) her letter to the local paper was picked up and blared by the trumpets of the media for all the world to hear. Depending upon which group broadcasted the woman's letter it was described as either 'Anti-Gay' or 'Pro Marriage'.
Either way, what many have overlooked is that this woman has the courage of her convictions and is willing to state those convictions despite the expected lashing she will receive from the Left.
Here is another example: Me.
I am not a superstar and maybe six people read this blog with any kind of regularity. I rarely get any posts and have been accused (falsely) of not allowing any by those who disagree with me.
I adhere to the Teachings of The Catholic Church - all of them (even the unpopular- with- members- of -my- own -family ones that can cause problems at Thanksgiving dinners).
However, I also am one of those people that find it difficult to believe that we cannot come up with a solution to the problem presented by the proponents of Same-Sex Marriage that protects the rights of adults to be counted, taxed and otherwise monitored by the government AND protect those Religious Institutions from what surely will be lawsuits claiming discrimination when certain people are denied a Marriage Ceremony by their Rabbi, Minister, Priest, Shaman or Coven Leader.
Many of my very conservative Catholic Christian friends think I am selling out. They especially believe this when I state I would like to see the word 'marriage' retrieved from the secular world all together. The government should not be issuing a LICENSE for a MARRIAGE - rather, the government should be allowing couples of any type to register that they are now in a contractual relationship as a team, a fiduciary entity. Then, if that team wants to get 'married' they can take that piece of paper that shows they have properly registered with the government and get married -by whomever they chose and whomever will marry them.
Now, the Left will tell you that religion does not have a monopoly on the word marriage and quite frankly that argument does not historically ring true. Every society ever known has made a religious or quasi-religious ceremony out of bringing a man and a woman together to share property and have children and pass on goods. That has lessened over the centuries as religion and government has separated and, of course, as an American I think that is a good thing. As a Catholic I believe it is a good thing as well because the government has not always looked kindly upon Holy Mother Church (sometimes with good reason) and so I want to make sure I am allowed to be a Catholic American without having someone show up at the rectory with the intention of forcing a political belief upon my priest.
With that in mind, those of use who propose to remove 'marriage' from the civil code do so because we are accepting that the proponents of 'Gay Marriage' really just want to protect Homosexuals from civil discrimination - to allow them to transfer property, share health care insurance, pay taxes, share inheritance, be counted and tracked and managed by the government in the same manner as Heterosexuals.
And, in spite of the chorus of derision I will receive from both the Left and the Right, I am stating for the record that I do not believe the government should issue a license to ANYONE for a Sacrament.
It might not seem courageous to you, but for someone like me who always fights the fear of being hated, disliked and left alone, it is a big deal.
I hope my Uncle Sincero is proud - and praying for me.