In case you haven't heard, we had a bit of a rally last Tuesday to support the outrageous idea of traditional marriage. I've been asked by many, those attended and those who did not but have seen media accounts of the event, what I thought and what it meant to stage such a rally. That question usually comes with some expectations, as in the hope of an immediate or at least a practical result. I don't think it will. Instead, it will have a less obvious, less expeditious impact, but a more fruitful, long term significance. More than 500 people from around the commonwealth took time off from their jobs and other responsibilities to come to Richmond and stand outside for four hours on a hot and uncomfortable day. Pro marriage supporters easily outnumbered homosexual "marriage" supporters by three or four to one. While the Mainstream Media typically stated the crowd was "about even," one actually got it right (Washington CBS affiliate WUSA-TV's Peggy Fox).
The attorneys for Alliance Defending Freedom, who are defending the Virginia Constitution because Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is not, said they had never seen anything like it, and they have tried cases all over the country on several "controversial" laws. But this was more than a turnout-the-crowd-operation. In and of itself, that's important, but this is unlike any "controversial" legal matter in recent years — because not even in the abortion debate are people who support the traditional side demonized as intolerant haters and worse, where there is a concerted campaign to inflict serious damage to livelihood and reputation on anyone who dares speak his or her convictions.
We see it every day, whether it's a major corporate CEO losing his job because he donated $1,000 to a pro-marriage campaign, sports reporters and commentators who have been suspended for honestly answering questions posed to them, or pro athletes who have been fined and sent to "sensitivity training" for expressing opinions on social media. It's not only high profile people, either. It's the every day office worker who forthrightly defends marriage who is branded the pariah or gets banished until they return to work speaking only in terms approved by the prevailing group thought. It's the photographer or baker who is forced to provide a service (under the threat of fines or imprisonment) to an activity that violates their conscience. The first amendment apparently no longer applies when it comes to 2,000-year-old traditions.
The effort to intimidate, silence and punish through "sensitivity training" recalls re-education camps used by authoritarian regimes to whitewash brains of any thought remotely contrary to the aims of ruling dictators. Except that today's authoritarians are the Dictators of Relativism, bent on conforming America to its redefined world in an effort to overcome the inherent Truth about the natural design of marriage and all else that is ordered and ordained by God (for example, killing the unborn is "women's healthcare").
When a truth is so obvious (i.e., the whole opposites attract thing) a concentrated, driven push to scare people into a contrived morality or "right" is a dictatorship's only option. What you can't get by persuasion, you take by force. This also can be said for the many young people who profess to support, counterintuitively, homosexual marriage, as leftist thought on college campuses is so prevalent, everything from grades to social acceptance depends on students getting on board.
That's why Tuesday's crowd was important. Not because it changed the mind of anyone who supports homosexual "marriage," but because it was a first step in reassuring the (silent) majority that it no longer must cower in fear of bullying tactics, that there are others, many others, who share the belief in the Truth. That the cultural stampede of pressure is smaller than the noise it makes.
So the meaning of Tuesday, beyond the inspirational speeches and the information imparted, is the fellowship of knowing one doesn't have to be afraid. The meaning of Tuesday is that people will feel the strength in numbers and know they are not alone. The meaning of Tuesday is that a fire has been lit that will embolden people to engage the culture, to speak out and act up in defense of marriage. The meaning of Tuesday is that the Truth will always be with us and will prevail no matter what a handful of mere mortals in black robes will dictate to us.
The crowd Tuesday had no problem expressing what they mean in defense of marriage.