As I prepared for a rally for traditional marriage, I wondered how people would react to a public display on this issue that many have declared settled. Perhaps the public would be hostile and see us as divisive. Perhaps others would become furious and seek to curtail our right to free speech.
I am sure many others had similar thoughts as I joined tens of thousands of concerned Americans from all walks of life who gathered nationwide in the public square on March 18. In light of the disastrous U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision approving same-sex “marriage,” these Americans held 3,109 rosary rallies registering their affirmation of one of America’s most fundamental and cherished institutions.
Reactions to the Rally
The step onto the public square seemed to be a hard one. Our intersection was a busy artery with thousands of cars and truck passing by. It could not have been a better place to gauge public opinion. It would not take long to see what people thought.
The rally was just beginning when I arrived. The rally captain and his family had set up with a large banner reading: “God’s Marriage = 1 Man + 1 Woman.” There were also hand signs, several of which encouraged people to honk for traditional marriage. As I came into the field of battle, there were already some people honking their support of the rally from the safety of their cars. Our extraordinary rally was already being photographed by passing cars and posted on countless Facebook pages.I
By the time we began praying the rosary, there was a steady stream of support in the form of honks. Evidently, it shows that there are still a lot of people out there that did not consider the matter settled.
The support varied in its intensity and passion. Some people were so overjoyed to see us standing up for traditional marriage that they honked long and loud. Others manifested their enthusiasm with multiple honks as they sped by the rally. Truckers would let loose with their loud horns. Shouts of support and thumbs up were very common. It was quite a symphony on that intersection that I had feared might be hostile.
There were also those who were more cautious. These ventured to register only a short toot. Others honked on the run so as not to appear too committed to the cause. When one honked, it seemed to give courage to the hesitant who would then join in and contribute to the grand disharmony.
Of course, there were also a few who opposed the rally. However, they were generally quite crude and cowardly. These would usually consist of people who would scream out something unintelligible or make some obscene gesture as they sped away.
There were a brave few who took advantage of the traffic light to stop, open the window and scream out something about hatred, quite unaware of the hatred they themselves were exhibiting.
Far from discouraging us, the displays of counter-protest actually encouraged us since it revealed the weaknesses of the opposition. Their descent into irrationality showed they had no arguments—only insults. By our presence there, we had shaken their certainties and proven the debate still rages.
And then there were the indifferent ones. They pretend not to see what they cannot help seeing—even when next to a busy highway. They straddle the line without commitment. The indifferent ones never determine the course of history.
Public Square Rallies
These “public square” rallies are sponsored by the American TFP’s America Needs Fatima campaign, which is dedicated to spreading Our Lady of Fatima’s urgent message for society. The idea of these gatherings is to bring the fight for America’s heart and soul to the public square by inviting people to pray publicly for our nation. This might include groups of five, ten, fifty or hundreds gathered at conspicuous locations with a large banner to pray the rosary and clearly bear witness to the need for America’s return to order.
In March, these rallies bear witness to the family in what have come to be called the “Saint Joseph traditional marriage rallies.” These rallies focus on the agenda of the sexual revolution that makes use of misguided public policy and judicial fiat to force its agenda upon the nation especially in the area of marriage.
In October, the rallies are dedicated to the more general theme of the need to return to God as requested by the Fatima message. These rallies have grown steadily. Last year, there were 16,323 rosary rallies. This year, the one hundredth anniversary of the Fatima apparitions, the goal is 20,000 rallies nationwide.
The most rewarding part about these rallies is the impression that you were participating in something historic. This was not just an isolated protest. It was part of a whole movement that calls upon God to address what appears to be an impossible situation in desperate times.
We may be reviled, ridiculed and even physically attacked by “tolerant” individuals at these rallies. However, this is more than compensated by the outpouring of support of so many Americans who are relieved at seeing people defending moral values in the public square.
It is actions like these that will determine which way America will go. That is why I went to the rally. I was not protesting but making history.