In the wake of our recent Federal Court Victory, as The King’s Men pondered our 2nd annual outreach at the Wing Bowl, our primary thinking centered around two thoughts:
How can we get men to reconsider their actions?
What can our apostolate do to encourage something different for men and women?
Not an easy task given that the Wing Bowl was celebrating its 23rd year and was sold out weeks before the event date (1/30/15). You might be thinking: “How does a small grass roots apostolate like The King’s Men take on 20,000+ plus and mostly intoxicated attendees, an ever growing list of porn sponsors and a Howard Stern like sports talk radio program to advertise the event daily?” The truth of the matter is, TKM is not equipped to do so, but God can do anything.
Jesus said, “If you have faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree ‘Be uprooted, and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you” (Luke 17:6). TKM has that kind of faith and so we moved forward trusting that God would bless our efforts because it is in the greatest of darkness, my brothers and sisters in Christ, that light does indeed shine the brightest!
On Thursday January 29th, a few good men and one brave lady descended upon the Holiday Inn Stadium in Philadelphia. On the eve of the Wing Bowl, we gathered in the Franklin room for a pre-Wing Bowl rally. This was our first attempt to organize such a rally. Our goal was to educate and prepare our people for the next day’s witness and outreach. With some heavenly French Fries and old fashioned Philly hoagies in our bellies, 10 of us gathered for prayer (Holy Rosary) and some training on how we can best give witness to the harmful effects of the Wing Bowl at 5 AM the next morning.
With probably most of the Holiday Inn guests being Wing Bowl enthusiasts, we were a very small minority in a very big lion’s den. It seemed ironically familiar. The Apostles were in the Upper Room waiting for the descent of the Holy Spirit following Jesus’s Resurrection and here we were in the lower room of the Holiday Inn calling on the Spirit’s inspiration and direction as well. The Spirit did come and we advanced on the Wells Fargo Center at 4:45 AM on January 30th.
In the dark and surprisingly mild weather (40s) for late January, 17 men and 1 woman stood in the proverbial gap for four hours from 5-9 AM. With our friendly Civil Affairs Police Department parked conveniently by our side, we courageously stood in the gap for the many women being objectified by the thousands of men in the Wells Fargo Center. We stood in the gap for the many women trapped by the multi-billion dollar porn industry which has become such a part of this lewd showcase featuring gluttonous power eaters and not so powerful projectile vomiting eaters. We stood in the gap for the hundreds to thousands of men who felt extremely uncomfortable by the debauched and exploitive behavior of their fellow attendees. We stood in the gap for the many intoxicated and underage young people who have been seduced by the lies surrounding the Wing Bowl event. We prayed and fasted for an end to the event and for all the collaborators and supporters of it.
Finally, we invited those whom we thought would support a healthy conversation about the effects and benefits of foregoing the Wing Bowl for a more virtuous alternative in the future. That’s right; we invited the Wing Bowl attendees to join us for a post-Wing Bowl rally back at the Franklin Room at the Stadium Holiday Inn. We invited them, but they didn’t come. A betting man would have expected that, but you never know till you cast your nets what may happen. Well, on this day, despite our efforts to be fishers of men, we were not successful in getting a catch, or were we? How many lives were influenced by our witness? We will never know shy of heaven, but we do know that many conversations were had and some positive support was generated both through the journalists who wrote about our outreach and those who took the time to dialogue.
One thing is for certain, we did what we were called to do as Christians. To stand in the gap for those who are in harm’s way. We spoke the truth and we did it in love. The King’s Men will be back in 2016 and we will reach out in new and creative ways to our lost brethren.
May God be praised!
To learn how you can join TKM in prayerful outreach in your own cities, learn more about joining the No More Porn Tour in our TKM Battles.