On April 14, 2021, members of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) answered the call for reinforcements from a conservative college student in Alabama. With a van loaded with enthusiastic volunteers, they drove to the Auburn University to oppose “homosexual marriage” and promote God’s marriage between one man and one woman.
The Request for Reinforcements
The student who invited TFP Student Action members to his campus held a campaign against abortion on April 1, which lasted for about six hours. His campaign resulted in a smattering of insults and some support but lacked the debates he wanted to create.
He posted pictures of his pro-life campaign on Instagram, which sparked over six hundred comments. He also suffered attacks because he defended moral truth. Undaunted by the opposition, he kept in contact with the TFP until they could help his crusade for moral values.
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By the grace of God and by keeping in touch with Student Action volunteer Domenick Galatolo, his request was answered.
Taking a Sizzling Stand for Marriage
A glaring Southern sun greeted the members as they crossed the intersection to the campus’ side entrance. To their surprise, a young man was waiting for them. He introduced himself as Craig, shook hands and readily helped out with the campaign. Soon after, a cheerful young friend of Student Action named Simon walked over and joined the campaign holding a traditional marriage sign – rosary in hand. The primary contact, Jaden, soon joined in the demonstration. As the sun slowly rolled across the sky, seven students and friends joined the ranks of the campaign. The turnout was a huge success, considering the short notice of one day.
The TFP volunteers held their hallmark “honk” signs for their campaign to raise the awareness that God’s marriage is between a man and a woman. They also passed out fliers with ten solid reasons to resist the homosexual movement, with the most important reason being that homosexual unions offend God.
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The TFP members attracted more attention to the message by playing bagpipes and a drum to defend true marriage. Amid the intense heat, the college students who were participating in the campaign brought refreshing lemonade.
The TFP endured the arid climate because of the Church’s call to love and desire the greatest good for one’s neighbor. In this case, it means not allowing the sin of homosexuality to spread like wildfire, for the good of those who suffer its seduction and for the good of society. The TFP flier says clearly that its stand is principled and not personal.
The TFP’s book, Defending a Higher Law, summarizes the point well: “In short, according to the famous expression attributed to Saint Augustine, we ‘hate the sin but love the sinner.’ And to love the sinner, as the same doctor of the Church explains, is to wish for him the best we can possibly wish for ourselves, namely, ‘that he may love God with perfect affection.’”1
Mobbing for Questions and Debates
A large group of university students later organized a counter-demonstration. They presented some arguments that were quickly demolished by TFP Student Action director John Ritchie and twenty-one-year-old participant Joseph Meyers. During the debates, the students question the existence of truth to the point of doubting the equation two plus two equals four.
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Joseph Meyers commented: “All their arguments were based on uncertainty, and that each individual has the right to doubt everything…” He concluded, “They were ultimately relativistic.”
Engaging Pedestrians and Traffic
A jogger ran past the demonstration and doubled back to say, “Thank you for your service.” A skateboarder rolled to a stop in front of the campaign, where a new volunteer, Dimitrius, talked with him. The skateboarder was not opposed to homosexual “marriage.” Learning of the man’s respect for the Bible, Dimitrius brought up God’s disapproval of homosexuality as seen in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. The man never thought about homosexual unions that way and changed his mind about them. The two shook hands, and he skated off.
The passing cars reacted well to the “honk signs.” One man in a truck yelled out, “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” Another man spent the duration of his wait at the stoplight making an obscene gesture. He did not give any profound arguments but held his vulgar position the whole time. One driver’s horn played “Dixie” in support.
The campaign even had support from above. A construction worker high up on an I-beam of a nearby project enthusiastically raised his arms in support while donning a broad grin.
The campaign ended with a Rosary. A woman who had donated bottled water and lemonade prayed with the members. Two counter-protesters held their rainbow flag in front of the demonstration to block the solemn act of prayer.
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The street corner was a mix of colors, signs, and flags, but the TFP’s message to Auburn University still stood out. “God’s Marriage = 1 man + 1 woman.” The student who invited TFP Student Action was profoundly grateful. He was even ready to fundraise to have the members return.
Campaign Made Local News
A journalist with the Alabama Plainsman interviewed participants on both sides. One student campaigner, Simon, was misquoted. He took it well, knowing that he was taking a stand for God’s truth. Simon wrote to TFP member Domenick Galatolo: “I’m not stressed or worried about it at all because I know I stand in the truth, so I’ll take this in stride!”
Why the Sacrifice?
Why did collegians and Student Action members spend a large part of their day in the hot sun, when they could be studying or having a good time with friends? Why encourage others to do the same thing? Here are three reasons. First, to make reparation to God for the offenses committed against His Law. Secondly, to show the public that there are still young people upholding the unchanging teachings of the Roman Catholic Church concerning the evil of homosexual vice. Finally, Catholics can influence the next generation toward the good by promoting traditional moral values, one campus at a time.
Was it hot? Yes. Could there be better ways to spend an afternoon? Well, it would be hard to find something better than defending God’s law in the public square for the salvation of souls.
May God protect America from the sin that prompted the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and encourage souls to resist the trend of immorality in the U.S.A.
1. Defending a Higher Law: Why We Must Resist Same-Sex “Marriage” and the Homosexual Movement (Spring Grove, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 2004). To download this book in pdf format, please go to https://www.tfp.org/images/books/Defending_A_Higher_Law.pdf.