It was fitting that we would meet up with Karin at the end of the March for Life, since she was also there for my first, much warmer protest at the Stand Up for Religious Freedom rally in Baltimore on March 23, 2012.
Unlike at the March for Life, the mood here was more reactionary. Karin is in the back of this photo (from WBAL-TV\Tommy Culp) with her pink sweater. As you can see, the group was somewhat disgruntled.
We were pretty wimpy about our first protest. With the vast majority of our coworkers salivating over the proposed HHS Mandate, we felt uncomfortable going public with our intention of attending the protest—I guess because it’s easier to brave confrontation with strangers than with close acquaintances whom we’ll see on an almost daily basis. But I had the consolation of knowing that my supervisors care little to know how I spend my vacation time. In the end, we conquered our fears and got the time off from work. Step one complete!
We met FrC at his church and walked to the rally where he, in his collar, was immediately swarmed by people and lost to the crowd. It was a beautiful day with roughly 150 people gathered, and there were many familiar faces. We listened to a handful of speakers from various faith backgrounds, including a Rabbi who was concerned about future encroachments on religious freedom that might follow the upholding of a conscience-violating mandate. Then we shouted some slogans and prayed some prayers and that was about it. For our first protest we were actually a bit disappointed, having expected some type of march or other activity.
A man from a tv station (I can’t remember which one.) asked to interview us. He asked us why we came to the rally. As far as I remember our answers went something like this: Karin explained that she is a Lay Missionary of Charity and that it’s part of her vocation to live in accordance with her faith, and that the ability to live her faith fully is under threat due to the HHS contraceptives mandate. Then I explained that I am a recent convert to Catholicism and I see that our American culture has progressed into a moral liberalism and I would like to see the restoration of some good Christian orthodoxy. (Gasp!! Perhaps that was a little too honest.)
FrC finally made his way back to us, happy we were still there, as he felt it his duty to walk us back to the car. For whatever reason, he decided he would eat that day and insisted on buying us lunch at Subway. He had a Subway gift card, now that his family discovered that food cards are the one thing he won't immediately give away. He was excited and amused to hear that we had been interviewed and confessed that he had prepared for potential interviews, thinking they might be looking for priests. Since none of the three of us watch tv we have no way of knowing if it ever aired, but I suspect not, because the camera man never told us where to look so I was shifty-eyed, trying to decide if I should look at the camera or the man with the microphone. Maybe they used Karin’s part and cut me out.
Fortunately, now I’m media trained and ready for the next time some reporter wants my opinion on a highly controversial and incendiary topic. Surely it's only a matter of time. ;o)