Action Alert!

Famiglia è Vita!

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | May 14, 2007

On May 12th a very large number of Italians demonstrated in Rome on behalf of the family. Although the gathering was billed as a positive statement unrelated to any particular legislation, it is clear that the size of the rally was in direct proportion to opposition to the current government’s proposal to provide legal recognition to same-sex civil unions.

One hundred thousand were expected to turn out, but crowd estimates ranged from 200,000 to 1.7 million, depending in part on the biases of the estimators. About a thousand homosexuals staged a counter-demonstration. Could this be the start of serious public action in defense of Europe’s core values? This was not a typical European turnout; it was something more than the periodic protests by the French over the potential loss of some of their social benefits. For Europe, a massive demonstration in favor of the family is very big news indeed.

Unfortunately, as we Americans know from our experience with the March for Life, it is one thing to stage a demonstration and quite another to send a decisive message at the polls. After thirty years of demonstrations, Americans have not yet turned American politics into something that strengthens American culture, but at least they have taken American politics and culture out of free fall.

It will be some time before Europeans can say as much, but in Europe we’re not looking yet for political gridlock. In Europe, we’re primarily looking for signs of life.

Family Day in Rome on May 12, 2007 was an enormous sign of life.

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and See full bio.

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