Commentary by Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 16, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - When the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) wrapped up its Summer for Marriage Tour in Washington, D.C. yesterday, the scene may not quite have been what true marriage supporters would hope to see.

The speakers – which included NOM executive director Brian Brown, civil rights leader Walter Fauntroy, and D.C. marriage leader Bishop Harry Jackson - eloquently and forcefully put forth the case for marriage. But as the rally began at 2 p.m., no more than 50 supporters were present; by the time the crowd waxed to its full size, there may have been 150.

Elsewhere in D.C. a larger crowd gathered with handmade, colorful signs and a playful attitude in support of same-sex “marriage.” Reports put the crowd at 250, which appears accurate from photos.

Meanwhile, the NOM rally was conducted in front of a backdrop of home-grown “equality” lovers of all ages and genders, holding up their handmade signs in quiet protest, some calling for privacy, others for love. The message was clear - here are the "bigots," the anti-equality homophobes in their expensive suits, speaking from their expensive podium and sound system, while their audience waved their mostly mass-produced signs supporting the people's right to vote.

Another crowd of homosexualists who had determined to storm the rally with a large sign and blaring bullhorn - perhaps in an effort to imitate the nightmarish disturbance created by their Rhode Island counterparts earlier this summer - were pushed away by Capitol police, rescuing the image of peaceful protest.

LifeSiteNews.com spoke with Richard Jacobs, chair of the homosexualist Courage Campaign (not to be confused with the Catholic group called Courage), which has doggedly pursued the NOM tour throughout the U.S. for the sake of, in Jacobs' words, "public education." His thoughts? "We found that there's no passion," Jacobs said. "We were really surprised at the turnout." Some rallies turned out only a handful of proponents, he noted, sniffing at the "small, small fringy group" that constituted the opposition.

Participant Vickie Hoffman said that she came to the rally because her Catholic pastor alerted her to it. Although she accepts the Church's teaching on marriage and the family, she said, she is nonetheless "conflicted" about gay rights.

Make no mistake, defenders of true marriage are sorely behind in the struggle to reaffirm something that one would think would be quite simple to explain - and which an enormous number of people do, in fact, support.

Perhaps the apparent obviousness of the issue is exactly why it's so challenging in the first place. For your average Joe, all the chatter of gay "rights" and equality on one side, and the philosophical explanations and sometimes defensive responses on the other side, have little to do with the basic instinct that makes up part of the very fiber of our thinking: boy meets girl, they fall in love, they get married and have kids. There are other kinds of love, of course, but romantic love is none other than this - and if portrayed to be otherwise, its aesthetic value (as wedding advertisers will generally admit) mysteriously vanishes.

Yet it's difficult to rally a response when such a basic notion is opposed: no one has bothered to examine why they think the way they do, in many cases because they never thought such an obvious idea could be seriously challenged.

But the debate also strikes many, even those who consider natural marriage the moral and commendable thing, as fundamentally harmless. After all, if boy meets boy and falls in love, and desires children, isn't the gay rights crowd correct to say that it's none of our business? We can choose to ignore the whiff of absurdity that comes with the idea, just as we can choose to look away when two men French kiss in a gay pride parade to demonstrate what we are now supposed to assent to as beautiful.

The cries of those in places such as Massachusetts about how parents are no longer allowed to remove kindergarteners from classes where they're told homosexual love stories, and of others from Canada or the U.K. who tell how Christians lose their job for merely indicating disapproval of the grotesque reality of homosexual sex, may seem too distant.

Speaking with LifeSiteNews.com after the rally, Brown expressed frustration at the timidity of marriage supporters, and the slow abandonment of even conservative media, which has begun shying away from tackling the difficult issue. Even conservative icons Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck have recently indicated that they are at least unwilling to question the homosexualist position.

"It's frightening. People need to get their news from some source where it's fair and the truth is coming out, and they're just accepting the lies being told," he said.

Frightening is the word. A great silence from our side has met what is arguably the greatest threat to civilization properly so called - and in countries where the persecution has begun, proponents now speak out only too late, only to be thrown in jail or fired, or harassed in other ways.

Judge Vaughn Walker, in his recent decision overturning California's Proposition 8, prophesied the same treatment of Christians in the U.S.: “Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful ... harm gays and lesbians." The judge cited a document on Catholic Church teaching and signed by Cardinal Ratzinger as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, now Pope Benedict XVI, as support for the conclusion.

We must keep in mind that, just as with the abortion debate, what we have on our hands is not a mere disagreement. It is the clash of two completely irreconcilable views of the world. When it comes to life, we find a disagreement on its value: is it sacred, or quantifiable? When it comes to sexuality, we have a disagreement on its nature: is our sexuality a created thing with an intelligible purpose, or are we our own creators, having only the purposes we choose for ourselves?

The first is a rejection of the personal, Christian God; the second is a rejection of the Creator God, which even pagan society acknowledged. The true weight of rejecting even the God that is accessible by simple reason can only be understood once the threads that hold together our society, now snapped, begin unraveling the whole fabric.