Doing the right thing

By Vanessa Denha Garmo

Vanessa Denha Garmo

Vanessa Denha Garmo

In this issue, we are cov­ering the political races. We don’t endorse candi­dates. We are merely shar­ing the bigger races and the candidates in each. As I make the decision as to whom to vote for, I use my God guide and moral com­pass as I look to the teach­ings of the church.

I pray that that all elect­ed leaders do the right thing while in office.

I really try to be a person living in the world but not of it. I navigate through life — part of society that challenges me — as I work in com­munications, media and politics. My faith is challenged daily. When you make a decision to follow Christ – to do what Jesus would do and to say what Jesus would say – you walk a fine line in this world. You are often criticized, belittled and ostracized by your peers. It shouldn’t come as a sur­prise, however; it’s exactly what Jesus said would happen if you follow Him.

“And you will be hated by all on account of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.” – Matthew 10:22

I try, but I fall and fail often. However, I pick myself up and move on. And I am doing that now.

I realize that deciding to follow the teachings of the church comes with a price, especially when you work in an industry that puts you on a public platform. There is much re­sponsibly with that role. Sometimes I wish I could live under the radar. There is a burdened responsibility when it comes to being in the media and working with it. Every day I am reminded of what St. Augustine said, “what’s right is right even if no one is doing it and what’s wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.”

When I was approached about a book written by gay twins, I hesitated although we have covered the topic in the past. I have no problem giving controversial issues a platform as long as these issues are looked at from the lens of the Christian faith. In the past, I have consulted with clergy and theologians on such topics and I will continue to do so. Writing a balanced piece is what being a journalist entails.

I have learned much more about the brothers and their social media platforms since publishing the ar­ticle. Had I fully understood their position and agenda, I would not have agreed to publish the article as a stand-alone. It came off by many people like we were promoting ho­mosexuality and that was not the in­tent. After the article was published, I saw photos used in the book and on social media that I found offensive.

I realize not all will agree with me but I believe it is my duty as a Christian to look at the world from a Christians perspective. I know I don’t always get it right.

We have covered abortion, ho­mosexuality, and drug abuse among other topics. The need to include the church’s teachings on the issue of homosexuality in the article was my initial response back to the twins when they asked for us to write their story. We will continue to provide the church’s side when addressing these social topics.

Like I said last month, I have no issue giving people a voice even when we don’t agree with their deci­sions, opinions or lifestyles. We can bring many issues to the forefront but not in a way that offends the church.

There are many other topics that we are asked to cover that I believe are worthy of articles. A couple of topics that many people have asked us to write about are the rise of di­vorce in our community and about the love of money.

Again, as Catholics, we are called to look at these issues from the Church’s teachings. Although we did do that in the particular piece about the gay twins, having included quotes from Fr. Matthew’s homily on the topic, it was not sufficient. We could have included the twins’ story in an overall article about homosexu­ality without appearing to be pro­moting the book.

By trying to do the right thing, I thought it necessary to share my thoughts about that article in this editorial. Now, I move on.

August 7 is the primary election. With marijuana on the November ballot, we will probably cover more about the elections in another issue before the general election.

Legalizing marijuana is another heated topic that made it on the Chaldean News pages. I am sure we will write about it again. However, with everything we cover, we try to do the right thing!