Early this morning, as our team of young TFP volunteers assembled to begin a new tour for traditional marriage in Maryland, a sense of expectation lingered in the air. For TFP members, there’s nothing more exciting than defending moral values in the public square. What would it be like this time? We would soon find out.
First Stop: Annapolis
After praying a few rosaries, our van rolled into Annapolis, the state capitol. We pondered how the homosexual movement is now pushing to legalize same-sex “marriage” in Maryland and how so many people are rightly concerned. One thing is certain: A great spiritual battle is raging between the forces of good and evil, sin and virtue, right and wrong.
Shortly after setting up at a busy intersection, reactions erupted from passing traffic. All sorts of reactions -- honks of approval, thumbs up, double thumbs up, and applause. Then there were some who let out ghastly strings of insults, all in the name of “tolerance.” Why did they insult us? Because our banner stated this truth: “God’s marriage = one man + one woman.”
What ensued in the next hour or so was like a sidewalk press conference. TV news crews showed up one after another wanting more information on the TFP campaign. Media outlets had converged on Annapolis for a hearing at the state house that was canceled, so many decided to cover the campaign for traditional marriage instead. The timing of it all was Providential.
Unusual Gift in a Shopping Cart
Remarkable things happen on campaign. “I brought you some drinks and snacks,” said a generous lady who approached the intersection pushing an entire grocery cart of food. We had never met this kind soul before and here she was delivering what we needed most just in time for lunch break. Before leaving, she said: “God bless you for what you are doing. If you need a place to stop, my house is 5 minutes away.”
TFP volunteer physically attacked
After a calm picnic lunch near the charming water front in Annapolis, we pressed forward for another campaign at Arundel Mills Mall. The rush hour traffic made for a splendid campaign. You could tell the message for traditional marriage was hitting home, making a difference. The only difficulty thus far was the whipping wind. The grommets on one banner even came loose. The banner tore slightly.
Having completed a successful campaign, we wrapped up and made our way up the sidewalk toward the parking lot where our van was parked. But our progress was violently interrupted. A man driving a purple beetle stopped on the curbside, lowered his window and started provoking us with insults. “I hope you don’t want to deny us our freedom of speech,” I said. But that didn’t help much. He kept screaming.
TFP volunteers always make it a point to conduct themselves peacefully, without responding to petty personal attacks. But the man in this car flung into a rage that I don’t ever recall witnessing before. He literally parked his car on the busy road, got out and started threatening us verbally while standing on a busy street, ignoring the passing traffic. Then he attacked the Bible.
“Obviously you think it’s [marriage] between a man and a woman because of your [expletive, expletive] Bible thing.”
Unable to control himself, he swiftly walked up to TFP member Danniel Pribble, who was on the sidewalk, and attempted to throw him to the ground, violently pushing him backwards by the shoulders. I must add that there was a fairly steep drop off near the sidewalk, and if this pro-homosexual assailant had succeeded in pushing Mr. Pribble down the incline more harm may have resulted.
Danniel Pribble did not push back or retaliate in any way, but remained peaceful. We simply repeated “aggressor” several times and the thug finally backed off into the street again. At some point, I said “you just attacked my friend and am going to call the police.” He responded: “I don’t care. [Expletive, expletive] “I’ll attack you too. Just wait here, I’m going to get my friends and come back, you [expletive, expletive]!”
As you can tell, the “tolerance” of the homosexual movement is an empty slogan, a one-way street: anyone who wants to protect traditional marriage is not tolerated.
Please pray for us.
With God’s help, we will be on tour for about 30 days.