TFP Tour for True Marriage Visits Penn State University
St. Joseph Pillar of Families Caravan
Day 1: Penn State and Altoona
April 21, 2014
With high spirits, 2 caravan groups of 10 TFP Student Action volunteers set out to travel the highways of America defending traditional marriage. Fully aware of the ongoing spiritual and cultural battle nationwide, the endeavor was confidently placed under the protection of St. Joseph, who is the Pillar of Families. His protection could be felt from day one, and it wasn't long before the young men found themselves engaging the public in the battle for the very soul of America.
Our first stop was a joint campaign at Penn State University in College Station, where immediately after setting up beside a main gate we heard shouts from passing cars. Students who accepted the flyers were shy in showing support at first, but it didn't take long for the more vocal opposition to join the fray. Once the bagpipers began, the TFP's presence could not be ignored. As TFP member John Miller began a discussion with one student coming by on a bike, his interlocutor became visibly upset and slammed his bike on the pavement, popping the tire. He ripped up one of our flyers and later denied doing so.
With lunchtime approaching and more students out of classes, a counter-protest formed in front of our red standards and banner, and soon rainbow flags tried in vain to cover up the TFP display. A crowd of some 20 students attempted to raise support for the homosexual position, but their shouting could not drown out the TFP volunteers as they chanted: “A moral wrong can never be a civil right” and “Keep America strong. Defend traditional marriage,” along with the sonorous melodies of the bagpipes.
One younger student approached and asked, “What are you doing here?” Joseph Jordan replied, “Bringing the truth about marriage and trying to have civil discourse.” The student replied, “You guys are civil, but they're not,” pointing to the counter-demonstrators waiving rainbow flags. A bearded man claiming to be Christian then walked by and attempted to argue that only God can judge. Zechariah Long quickly replied, “God judged Sodom and Gomorrah, and you have to judge certain actions wrong, like murder and rape.” To which the man replied, “I'm going to keep apologizing for what you're doing” and walked off.
The reception was not at all entirely negative, however, as a woman dressed in red approached the campaign and started arguing with the counter-demonstrators. These had little reply to her arguments as she continued to explain how harmful their attempt to redefine marriage is.
The campaign came to a close in mid-afternoon and could be chalked up as a success, something many students will not soon forget.
Next stop: Altoona
The 10 young volunteers in my caravan group were soon back on the road, making a stop in Altoona in their trek West. The busy street corner had people honking their horns even before everything was set up. An overwhelmingly positive reaction was seen that afternoon, with those attempting to shout insults out the window being drowned out by honks from neighboring cars. Across the intersection a small counter-protest was formed, and one of their number approached the campaign and began screaming, at times incoherently. She attempted to start arguments with everyone, receiving the same answers to her emotional outbursts.
With the campaign winding down, a young boy in the passenger seat of a car leaned over and honked the horn loudly, his father not stopping him. It was an epic day for those in the caravan, and the adventure is just beginning. Saint Joseph, Pillar of Families, pray for us!
St. Joseph, Head of the Holy Family Caravan
Day 1: Penn State and Altoona
Penn State University
April 21, 2014
Today, on our way to Ohio and Indiana, two teams of TFP volunteers met at Penn State University for the first campaign of the week. We unfurled the banner, raised the American flag and TFP standards in front of the Allen Street Gates as many students walked by. As we prayed to commence the campaign, a pro-homosexual student walked by and rudely spat on the sidewalk in front of us. We were ready for the challenge and knew it would be good.
With a total of twenty-one TFP volunteers, we distributed fliers, “10 Reasons Why Homosexual Marriage is Harmful and Must be Opposed,” to students and faculty as they went to and fpro. Within a few minutes a woman crossed the street holding a vulgar anti-family sign and… sat… in front of our banner, facing the street. As she slouched cross-legged on the sidewalk holding her hastily-made sign, a few people joined her, sitting down as well. All the while, they frantically punched away on their phones, texting for help. Within a few minutes, students holding rainbow homosexual flags joined them. Twenty minutes later, about thirty people formed a cluster in front of our banner, attempting to block our message: "God's Marriage = 1 man + 1 woman."
Debates soon started. For example, as I was holding the banner, I noticed Peter Miller debating with a pro-homosexual woman who seemed quite perturbed. As I listened on, Peter asked her, “So which parent is dispensable, the mother or the father?” The woman stopped, but then pretended to ignore the question, “Well, when another woman and I have a child…” Peter stopped her, “Excuse me ma’am, but that is impossible, unnatural vice does not beget children. Only a woman and a man can have a child. True?” The woman was visibly stumped. “I am just going to walk away now. This conversation is over now.”
Another man yelled, “YOU do not have the right to carry the American flag because of your bigoted views!!!” In other words, to him, the basic and self-evident truth that marriage is between and man and a woman was so offensive that it somehow disqualified us of our beloved American citizenry.
Towards the end of the campaign, two pro-homosexual advocates came skipping up and sprayed “silly-sting” all over us. James Slobodnik, one of our faithful bagpipers, was sprayed in the face while he was playing. They sprayed silly string on the American flag itself, showing no respect for Old Glory. Yet, we were the ones disrespecting the flag!?
As the students waved their homosexual flags and shouted vulgarities, we continued the campaign. To make quite clear what we stood for, and drown out the opposing side’s obscenities, we loudly proclaimed slogans such as, “Every child needs a mother and a father,” “A moral WRONG can NEVER be a civil RIGHT,” and, “If you love America, defend traditional marriage.” I noticed people who gave us a thumb’s up after some of these slogans. Also, others were quite shocked by the vulgar, and even blasphemous tone of the opposing side. One man who received a flier from Oliver Plunkett, across the street, knew of the TFP from Italy. “I agree with you 100%," he told Oliver. "I don’t need a flier to know why this is wrong! I've also read the book Revolution and Counterrevolution by your founder, Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira. Thank you!”
It was a real spiritual battle. Despite the steady flow of pro-homosexual invective, we continued to proclaim the sanctity of marriage and distributed fliers, and even carry on a few debates. After we left, every TFP volunteer was upbeat and ready for more. A few of my colleagues noted how intense the campaign was, especially as it was only the first stop of our 7-day tour. Interestingly enough, an article about the campaign was published in The Daily Collegian, the student newspaper at Penn State University. Not only was the article biased, it was also partially untrue. It claimed that TFP Student Action volunteers skipped town because of pro-homosexual opposition. The truth is we did not shorten our rally, but left as established in according to our previously planned schedule. We are campaigning in three states (Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana), in seven days!
Suggestion: Let's fill the comments section of the biased article with lots of pro true marriage posts.
Pray for us as we move on to Youngstown and Akron, Ohio. Let us ask Saint Joseph to protect the institution of marriage in America and strengthen us to continue fighting the good fight with peaceful fortitude.
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Saint Joseph, Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.