Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Newsweek has a fair piece on Brian Brown and NOM

I met Brian at the All Hallow's Eve celebration at the Friary in Griswold. He and his wife Susan, and their soon to be seven children have returned to the close Catholic community in the Northeast where they lived three years ago. I am a newcomer, so I hadn't met them before. Christina introduced us, fascinated by the grey bunny peeking out of Brian's coat pocket. He told us it was part of his daughter's St Elizabeth of Hungary costume. Christina was dressed as St Elizabeth too(let's face it, all girls want to be the princess saints, sooner or later) but including a rabbit was an original idea, making an instant hit with the children waiting in line for the potluck dinner.

I caught up with Brian later that evening, as he and Fra Roderick were discussing a particularly contentious demonstration he led in Providence. National Organization for Marriage was peacefully speaking at the Capitol Building, and gay activists were loudly blocking him from being heard and harassing demonstrators, including the couple's six children. Susan told Newsweek about it here,
At an event in Providence, R.I., she says, “they walked up to my kids and asked them, ‘Is Mommy raising you to be a good little bigot?’?” Yet she says she understands the frustration behind those remarks. “They believe in this as deeply as we do,” she says. “I see why we’d get under their skin.”
 I shared some of the ugly responses I receive each time I address the issue of same sex marriage here on Causa Nostrae Laetitiae, and Brian agreed the tone is more intense than what pro-life activists face. Yet, he and Susan maintain an admirable sense of balance, fueled no doubt by their fervent Catholicism, a supportive community behind them, and their strong family.
Last Friday, I had a chance to meet Susan at a rosary group of ladies from the Friary, and soon she had the group doubled over with laughter at her hilarious description of what she had to do to take the perfect family Christmas photo. Looking at it on my friend's refrigerator, with six angelic children dressed in white, a seasoned mother nods knowingly. This was not easy. 
 Humor and prayer, the perfect counterbalance to a challenging apostolate, with often frightening opposition.

Brian Brown’s hate mail is divided into two categories: messages that go straight to the police and those he dumps into a growing computer file labeled OPPOSITION. One riled caller threatened to hang him from a tree “and burn you while your children watch”; someone else sent an e-mail offering to “donate” a pipe bomb to his office. The majority, however, simply vent frustration at Brown, who has emerged as the nation’s fiercest crusader against gay marriage.

I wouldn't call the man with the bunny in his pocket and the broad smile fierce. But he is determined. And he is successful. Newsweek said, " in the 31 states where gay marriage has been put to a vote, it’s lost every time." The only place same sex marriage has been approved is in states like CT and MA where courts overrode the wishes of the people. In Iowa, three Supreme Court judges who ruled in favor of gay marriage were voted out of office, no doubt, in response to targeted campaigns of groups like the National Organization for Marriage.

Brian, like me, doesn't want his children to grow up in a nation where the traditional view of marriage between a man and a woman is characterized as a type of bigotry. He is good-hearted father of a robustly happy family, and hasn't a malicious bone in his body, despite threats of violence and ugly opposition to his right to free speech.

God bless his family and his efforts to secure a better world for all of us. Show up at their rallies to lend support. Post their information on your social networking sites.

Send donations to the National Organization for Marriage

Read the entire Newsweek article here. 
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