An increasing number of conservative journalists contend that the Pride movement is undermining our culture. But what does that mean? Many sincere people don’t get the connection between the growth of the LGBTQ movement and cultural decline. On the contrary, they’ve heard that gay and trans people have contributed much to our society. And they can’t see how the nice young man who lives next door and who they happen to know is gay has anything to do with the crumbling of our culture.
Yet our cultural institutions—schools, sports, scouts, churches, etc.—do play a large role in shaping the character of our citizens. And when these institutions come under attack, societies do begin to crumble. Pride Month is now behind us, but the Pride movement keeps marching on. And “marching” is an apt metaphor. It reminds us of Antonio Gramsci’s concept of “the long march through the institutions.” Gramsci argued that communism could be spread more successfully by a gradual infiltration and takeover of social institutions rather than by armed frontal assaults.
The Pride/LGBT movement seems to have learned the lesson well. They didn’t storm the bastions of society. Instead, they worked on changing important institutions from within. Because the process of infiltration was gradual, most of us failed to notice that anything had changed until, all of a sudden, schools, sports teams, the Army, and major corporations began to celebrate the LGBT movement as though it were one of the main pillars of society. Initially, acceptance of LGBT individuals was presented as a matter of tolerance. Then, LGBT values were presented as being consistent with the institution’s core values (e.g., the Girl Scouts now dutifully celebrate Pride Month). But it now seems that the eventual goal of LGBT activists was to replace the original mission of the institution with the LGBT agenda.
In short, the leaders of the LGBT movement do not seem satisfied with simply fitting in. Instead, they seem more interested in capturing an organization or institution and bending it to their own purposes. And if the institution gets damaged or destroyed in the process? Well, there are plenty of other organizations anxious to display their diversity, open-mindedness, and inclusivity.
The Boy Scouts of America provide an example of the process. In February 2020 the BSA filed for bankruptcy because of hundreds of sexual abuse lawsuits. Altogether, over 92,000 sexual abuse claims were filed with the bankruptcy court.
Some of the abuse went back decades and likely contributed to a marked decline in Boy Scout membership over time. Membership plunged from 4.8 million members in the 1970s to 2.3 million circa 2016– a loss of half of their membership.
Quite obviously, a number of homosexual scout leaders had forgotten the part of the Boy Scout pledge about being “morally straight.” One would think that, in response to the suits, the BSA might have adopted a policy of discouraging homosexuals from applying for positions in the scouts. Yet, after several years of debate, the BSA voted in 2015 to lift the organizations ban on openly gay leaders and employees. In addition, in 2017 the BSA announced that transgender children who identify as boys could enroll in boys-only programs. It looks like the Boy Scouts are well on their way to accepting the full LGBTQ agenda.
It would be simplistic to blame the troubles of the Boy Scouts solely on homosexuals, but it would be equally simplistic to absolve homosexuals in the scouts and in the wider homosexual “community” from all responsibility. It seems appropriate to ask the supporters of the Pride movement whether the near-destruction of the Boy Scouts is something to be proud of.
The Girl Scouts? Well, they haven’t declared bankruptcy. But it does seem that they are succumbing to woke ideology. For example, if a boy really believes in his heart that he is a girl, he can now become a girl scout. As the Girl Scout’s website puts it: “If the child is recognized by the family and school/community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, then Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her…” The Girl Scouts claims to be neutral on sexuality issues, but note the word “she” in the sentence above. Obviously, the Girl Scouts has already taken sides on the gender issue.
In the meantime, young girls can earn a “fun patch” by celebrating “LGBTQ+ Pride Month.” The patch can be earned by attending “an LGBTQ+ Pride celebration in June with your family or troops,” making a list of “five books written by LGBTQ+ authors that you would like to read,” and making LGBT flags.
There are other suggested options, but the main idea is “to honor LGBTQ+ history, to celebrate the diverse cultures and identities of LGBTQ+ people and to acknowledge the many contributions the LGBTQ+ community has made and continues to make across our nation.”
“Honor LGBTQ+ history”? “Acknowledge the many contributions the LGBTQ+ community has made”? What exactly does that mean? It seems legitimate to name figures in history, literature, and science who were homosexual or who are now claimed to be homosexual, but what are the contributions of the LGBTQ+ movement other than furthering the LGBTQ+ movement? Future historians may argue, as I am arguing here, that their net contribution to our civilization is negative. Many critics of the movement contend that the LGBTQ+ movement is a totalitarian movement that has served to stifle freedom of speech, and has otherwise contributed to the Orwellian atmosphere that now hangs over our nation.
Judging from the demand that the whole nation put aside a whole month every year to celebrate pride history, one would think that the pride movement has an unblemished historical record– that it has nothing to be ashamed of. But this would make it an historical rarity. Dig through history and you will discover that almost every movement has a dark side.
Modern historians, no matter how proud they may be of their nation’s history and values, are for the most part willing to admit that not everything in our history is a matter of pride. Who can be proud of the institution of slavery or of Jim Crow? We rightly find it disturbing that some of our founding fathers were slaveowners, and that blatant segregation persisted for mor than a century after the end of slavery.
But were there no homosexual slave holders? No homosexual racists? No homosexual misogynists? No homosexual or lesbian antisemites? No homosexual or lesbian spies and traitors? Are LGBTQ people free of the flaws and faults we find in other humans?
Why for example did the LA Dodgers honor the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence? The “sisters” are a deeply misogynistic group of men who mock the Catholic Church and promote promiscuity. Do Dodgers owners believe that promiscuity is good for society? Do they believe that religion is bad for society and therefore ought to be mocked? Haven’t they noticed that professional sports, which once served to bring people together, is being torn apart by the mandatory celebration of Pride?
The institution of baseball has long been an important part of our culture. The same is true of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. But the loss of those institutions would not be the end of our culture. On the other hand, the loss of Christianity might well spell the end of our civilization. Western civilization is inseparable from Christian culture.
Although there are many Christians within the LGBTQ+ “community”, the movement is essentially anti-Christian. It rejects central elements of the Christian faith, including the belief that God created only two genders, and the belief that marriage is a union of one man and one woman. In addition, the Pride movement asks us to celebrate behavior that has always been considered sinful.
One example of the Pride movement’s disruptive effect on Christianity is provided by the recent turmoil in the Methodist Church. In the last year alone, more than 5,000 congregations have broken away from the United Methodist Church over its pro-LGBT stance.
But it is in the Catholic Church that the destructive effect of the Pride ideology can most clearly be seen. By the 1940s the Catholic Church in America had become a highly respected institution and it remained so for decades afterward. Then came the priestly sex abuse scandal. The scandals became national news in 2002 as a result of an investigation by the Boston Globe into sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston over a number of years.
Before long, investigations in other dioceses in other states revealed a pattern of sexual abuse and cover-ups across the United States (and eventually in other nations.) In the U.S., billions of dollars were paid in settlement fees, and dozens of dioceses were forced to file for bankruptcy. In addition, Church membership declined sharply after the sex abuse scandals came to light. A Gallup poll of Catholics in 2020 revealed that the percentage of Catholics who say that they are a “member” of a Church has dropped by nearly 20 points since 2000.
Catholic bishops, who moved offending priests from parish to parish while covering up their crimes, bear much of the responsibility for this debacle in the Church. But there is another group which, logic suggests, also ought to bear some of the responsibility.
According to the John Jay Report, 81 % of the victims were male, and 78% were between the ages of 11-17. Moreover, a large percentage of victims over the age of 17 were seminarians. A reasonable person might thereby conclude that the Catholic sex abuse problem was largely a problem of homosexual priests who failed to keep their vows But in 2018 when Archbishop Timothy Broglio, the current president of the USCCB, argued that “the crisis of sexual abuse by priests in the USA is directly related to homosexuality,” he was widely condemned. “I think it would be naïve,” said Broglio, “to suggest that there’s no relationship between the two.”
But that’s exactly what many in the homosexual community, the John Jay Institute, and the Catholic Church did argue. As one of the authors of the John Jay Report put it, “[though] the majority of the abusive acts were homosexual in nature…participation in homosexuality is not the same as sexual identity as a gay man.” In other words, “this may look like homosexuality, but if you look at it the right way, it has nothing to do with homosexuality.”
Many in the Church hierarchy were also inclined to let homosexuals off the hook. When the much-anticipated sex abuse summit was held in Rome in 2019, Cardinal Blasé Cupich, a strong supporter of homosexuals in the Church, was put in charge. Not surprisingly, the topic of homosexual involvement was shelved. Instead, the summit participants agreed that the responsibility for the abuse should be pinned on “clericalism”—a slippery concept that served to let everyone off the hook.
It’s become taboo to say that the Church’s abuse scandal had anything to do with homosexuality; yet, as Archbishop Broglio observed, “it would be naïve to suggest that there’s no relationship between the two.” The non-naïve can see that the presence of homosexuals in the priesthood and the presence of homosexual-sympathetic bishops in the hierarchy had a profoundly negative effect on an institution that has provided meaning and hope (as well as schools and hospitals) to millions of people. Ironically, real Catholic nuns have provided far more care to AIDS victims than the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence can ever hope to do.
It’s difficult to see why anyone would want to celebrate the harm done to the Church by those who ignored the Church’s teachings. Untold billions of dollars that might have gone into helping the poor and hungry of the world went, instead, into paying settlement costs and lawyers’ fees. And the spiritual damage is incalculable. Yet, the Catholic Church is only one in a long list of institutions that are being undermined because the LGBTQ movement insists that its own agenda is more important than the mission of any other institution.
And now, unfortunately, that includes the military. The chief mission of our armed forces is to defend us against foreign threats. But ever since the military went woke several years ago, defense is no longer the number one priority. Instead, the top brass fret over climate change, diversity, white supremacy, and, of course, Pride.
All of a sudden it seems that most of the top posts in the service are held by gay or gay-friendly officers. Pride flags and insignias are everywhere, the Pentagon holds an annual Pride Day, recruitment videos are targeted to gays and lesbians, and the Air Force relies on drag queen entertainers to bolster their recruitment campaigns.
Recruits? Predictably, there are fewer and fewer each year. Enlistments are sharply down in all three services—as are reenlistments. Meanwhile, as our Army grows woker and weaker, the armies of our enemies grow stronger—both in size and in weaponry.
Is the LGBTQ contribution to the decimation of our military another cause for celebration?
How about the LGBTQ influence on education? Has it been largely positive or negative? At one time, parents could trust schools to impart commonly-held values to their children. But no more. Thanks to the LGBTQ wrecking crew, schools now feel they have a right to teach values that directly contradict the values of many—if not most—parents.
Family life? The family has long been considered the basic institution of society—except, of course in totalitarian societies. In such societies, the state demands that the child’s first loyalty is to the state. In order to ensure that loyalty, it will often seek to alienate children from their families through the use of propaganda and the agency of schools and youth groups.
Currently, families are being torn apart by the LGBTQ-manufactured transgender crisis. Teen-age girls who, in a previous era, might have vociferously asserted their right to attend a rock concert, now demand to know why they can’t have their breasts removed. And, more often than not, they can find a teacher, a psychologist, or a doctor to back them up.
But if, years later, they regret their decision, they won’t get much support from their former enablers. Instead, like defectors from the Communist Party, they will be denounced as traitors to the cause.
None of this should be surprising. The LGBTQ movement is essentially a totalitarian movement. As Jonathon Van Maren observes:
The LGBTQ movement’s agenda is totalizing, and no institution, organization, or church, for that matter, will escape the activist-led crusade to force them into participating in the moral revolution.
This may seem exaggerated. But consider that the “movement” has already forced countless Americans to collude in one of its big lies—the lie that it’s possible to change one’s gender at will. Thus, millions in our society are coerced into using pronouns that they know to be false, or else lose their jobs. It’s ironic that the LGBT people and their enablers claim to care so much about people’s feelings, yet seem to have so little regard for the feelings of those they control and coerce. Being forced to lie is a humiliating experience. The forced lie was widely used in the Soviet Union to demonstrate the Party’s power over the individual, and to make him more pliable. Now, the technique is being revived in order to serve the interests of the gender ideologues.
Once again, it seems appropriate to ask if this is one of the “accomplishments” that we are supposed to celebrate during Pride Month, and every other month of the year. Are the lies that millions of Americans are forced to tell something to be proud of?
Of course, not every person of the LGBTQ persuasion is a totalitarian. Many fail to understand the totalizing nature of the movement that claims to speak in their name: they think of it simply as an alternate lifestyle. Others, however, do understand the tyrannical potential of the LGBT movement, and have spoken honestly about the abuses of what has come to be known as “the Alphabet Mafia.” There is always the possibility that cooler heads within the LGBT camp might prevail.
In the meantime, the “Alphabet Mafia” is gobbling up one institution after another. What appears above is by no means the end of the list of the institutions that the Pride movement aims to subvert. The LGBT revolutionaries also seeks to capture and co-opt the institution of marriage, the courts, corporations, publishing, advertising, libraries, and the entertainment industry—especially children’s entertainment.
The Pride movement is intolerant and moralistic. Yet it needs to be understood as an anti-morality movement. After all, the motto of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is “go and sin some more.” It would be a mistake not to take them at their word.
By now, it’s all in plain sight. Still, there are many who are blind to this cultural coup d’état. Though our society is bending over backwards to please the proud crowd, these sympathetic souls fall for the propaganda that the people who now control most of the levers of society are actually victims of widespread hatred and oppression.
And besides, they’re sure that the nice young man who lives next door would never harm a fly—let alone be part of any subversive march through our most important institutions.