GLAAD, the forerunner of lgbt advocacy, recently published a document entitled Accelerating Acceptance. The document celebrates the recent judicial victories for the lgbt Sexual Revolution, but laments the work ahead. What work? Here’s a passage from the document:
Yet, GLAAD’s survey also reveals that slow but steady progress is being made for acceptance of LGBT people. In many of the ‘comfortability’ questions central to GLAAD’s Accelerating Acceptance survey, non-LGBT Americans report significantly less discomfort than was reported in 2014. Whereas in 2014 over 36% of non-LGBT Americans said they were “very uncomfortable” or “somewhat uncomfortable” seeing a same-sex couple holding hands, this year’s survey finds 29% of non-LGBT Americans are uncomfortable in the same scenario, a notable decline of seven percentage points. Still, these Americans’ level of discomfort remains about the same year over year when asked about their children, once again indicating there is still much work to be done.
There are a few things of note here:
1. Initially, gay activists only asked for toleration. Then came the demand for equal rights and non-discrimination. Now it seems that both toleration and equal rights are not enough. These activists are now pushing for acceptance and comfort with gay behaviour, which helps explain the rise of the word “heterosexism“, a neologisim aimed to discourage heteronormative thought (language can be used to help direct thought: you say ‘government’; I say ‘regime’).
But, wait. If I strongly believe gay behaviour to be evil and sinful, that is, contrary to the will of God, how can I be comfortable with it? How can I be comfortable with that which I deem evil? I cannot. In this way, however incidentally, orthodox Christian and traditional conservative conviction is now targeted by GLAAD. For GLAAD, it is not enough that gays are tolerated and treated equally, we now should also be comfortable with their sin, which requires us not to understand it as an evil in the first place.
2. Acceptance of an lgbt person is herein understood with the level of comfort felt with gay behaviours. But orthodox Christians and many other people distinguish between accepting and loving the person who is gay but rejecting gay behaviour. Consequently, GLAAD’s model of acceptance conflicts with orthodox Christian understandings of acceptance, which implies that such Christians, on GLAAD’s model, cannot fully accept persons who are lgbt. How unfortunate.
Despite that sad implication, GLAAD is free to believe in and advocate for that model of acceptance; but if GLAAD does, then it should abandon any pretense of irenic intention toward orthodox Christians and traditional conservatives. GLAAD is trying to change us, or rally the public against us; thus, GLAAD is no friend. That needs to be understood.
Sometimes it is argued that it is nonsensical to love and support lgbt persons while rejecting lgbt behaviours, which thus suggests that doing lgbt is a part of being lgbt. How do I respond? Well, firstly, gay behaviours, such as sodomy, are not determined by same-sex sexual inclination; we remain free beings despite our sexual inclinations, just as I am now free not to engage in heterosexual sex. Hence, doing lgbt is not part of being lgbt in that deterministic sense. Objectors who declare otherwise deny the freedom of persons who are lgbt. But suppose an objector took a different route, proclaiming that doing lgbt is a part of being lgbt in a way like going to Mass and praying are ways of being Catholic. These ways are not deterministic but are still part of being Catholic. How do I respond? Here I simply deny the analogy: Going to Mass and praying are part of being Catholic, because they are obligations and historic traditions for Catholics. In contrast, there are no obligations for persons with same-sex inclination to engage in sodomy, nor any other sexual behaviour. Thus, I reject that argument, too. And so I conclude: Doing lgbt is not a part of being lgbt.
This still might sound odd to secular liberal, so let me make a further clarification. Objectors need to understand that our love and support toward persons who are lgbt is a love and support qua personhood, that is, who they are as children of God; and this sense of personhood exists despite any lgbt social identity, not because of it. Thus, the lgbt social identity is not a part of what we consider to be the person; hence, it is not part of that which we support.
3. In conflict, language is among the first tools weaponized. In this case, GLAAD takes the agreeable but vague word ‘acceptance’ and loads it in our disfavour, framing orthodox Christians and traditional conservatives as undesirables. This strategy is not new. Instead, it is an extension of what was proposed way back in the 80s, particularly within the book After the Ball. Its authors were frank about their intention: they largely rejected rational persuasion, preferring the use propaganda and psychological manipulation, such associative conditioning (see here), to both gather support for gay rights and to demonize “homohaters”. In fact, one proposed technique was to associate detractors with klansman and Adolf Hitler, something redolent of the current strategy deployed against Trump supporters today. My point here is just that gay activists, such as GLAAD and others, are playing dirty, choosing to manipulate language and propagandize rather than reason.
Given all of this, it is clear that there is a something aptly called the “homosexual agenda” for at least some activists. Maybe not all, but some. So how should orthodox Christians and traditional conservatives respond? Not in kind, I hope. I suggest that we calmly clarify our position, rebut our opponents and unveil the manipulation deployed by the gay rights movement. I suggest that we calmly insist that these activists reason and use language properly.
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