AMAC Exclusive – By David P. Deavel
For teachers, kids, and for many, many people, the fact that June is almost over should be a horrifying thought. School just ended and yet we are already to midsummer and facing down the month of July? For Americans who do not celebrate the sexual revolution and all its pomps and vanity, however, this natural reticence to see away the gentlest of months is mitigated by the fact that this sweet month has been turned into thirty days of propaganda. The good news is that we are now seeing resistance to the so-called “Pride” and also thoughts about how to replace this designation.
Originally designated by Bill Clinton in 2000 as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, June was later designated by Barack Obama in 2011 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. As corporations have been captured by progressive forces, this has meant the transformation of almost every economic, bureaucratic, and social interchange into an opportunity for catechesis in the false and often contradictory dogmas about sexual desires and gender identity. Sexual desires are said to be necessarily good no matter what they are attached to merely because one has them. They form, we are told, the metaphysical core of an identity that one cannot fight in oneself or discourage in others without being guilty of self-hatred or “conversion therapy.” Meanwhile, “gender identity,” one’s perception of oneself as male, female, some combination of the two, or some other thing animal, mineral, or vegetable is, because one says it, ipso facto true and the core of a metaphysical identity.
That these dogmas not only are false but have no internal coherence is pretty obvious. A man saying he is a woman and a woman saying she is an animal (“furries,” they call them) are simply a man and a woman—not a woman and a wolf. Yet corporations and even the government now punish those who do not bow to this Orwellian nonsense. Moreover, Orwellian falsehood must give rise to Kafkaesque madness as women who say they are attracted to women are told that they must, on pain of being “transphobic,” bestow their romantic love upon men claiming to be women lest they be guilty of transphobia.
Many Americans are getting tired of this entire schtick. They do not want men who bear massive biological advantages to be able to compete with and defeat their daughters in sports, to hurt them in collisions, or to see them changing in locker rooms just because they “identify” as a woman. They do not want to have to “give their pronouns” since they know that this practice implies that they believe that one can “choose one’s gender.” They do not want to have all their business communications decorated with the “Pride flag,” as if they owe allegiance to it. And they really do not want their children either to be catechized in these absurdities or forced to take part in the rituals designed to enroll them as adherents of this belief system. They do not want teachers, counselors, or anybody to have conversations with their children about sexual things or to suggest alternate “gender identities.” They do not want young children brought to witness grown men dressed in women’s lingerie gyrate in sexually explicit ways to increase their tolerance.
There has been progress this year. Though the federal government has fully embraced the insanity, with the CIA and FBI promoting it, many corporations have started to think that good ESG scores aren’t worth wholehearted ideological identification. The NHL recently said they would not force players to wear Pride jerseys. The Dodgers, who promised to honor the blasphemous drag group known as the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, followed through on it but only well before a game started when there were roughly sixty fans present—many of whom booed. Major League Baseball, the Navy, and many other groups similarly put up Pride logos on their materials for a long enough time to claim credit and a short enough time to pray that many missed them. The famously progressive Starbucks has been accused by some activist union officials of allowing regional stores to stop putting up Pride decorations. And in places such as Hamtramck and Dearborn, Michigan, city governments run by Muslims ridded their municipalities of the hand of government pushing Pride. Pushback has been successful.
Pushback, which, it might be noted, is now coming from more people who identify as gay and lesbian. They think, with reason, that the modern iterations of Pride are making people rethink the very recent consensus on the goodness of same-sex attractions and the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex relationships. Indeed, a Gallup poll this year showed that approval of same-sex relationships has actually dropped by seven percent in the last year.
Many gay activists think that transgenderism is completely disconnected from homosexuality and thus can be expunged to get back to the original spirit of “Pride.” But those of us who predicted that the redefinitions of morality involved in acceptance of same-sex eroticism and the redefinition of marriage would lead to much greater redefinitions of reality are not surprised. While the protection of human rights for everyone is a noble cause, the promotion of the idea that the only criterion for sexual morality is that the activities involve consenting adults has nothing to do with rights. Nor does the idea that the experience of sexual attractions toward a group of people (any people) is the basis of an identity about which one should experience pride. These are moral and even religious claims that have to be rejected. You don’t have to long for the days when homosexual behavior and adultery were prosecuted as crimes to think that public promotion of these behaviors is destructive.
So what should we be doing next June? Several people suggested this year that we celebrate “Humility” month since that virtue is the sin of pride’s opposite number. The Princeton legal scholar and philosopher Robert George thinks humility too “negative” in the public mind and proposed celebrating a “Fidelity Month” focusing on fidelity to God, family, and country. I confess to agreeing with C-FAM president Austin Ruse that whether “humility” sounds too negative or not (and I don’t think it does), “Fidelity,” even with the specifications of God, family, and country, is a bit too generic. “Even now,” Ruse writes, “I can hear [Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence] Sister Guard N. O’Pansies, Sister Lourdes Mae Shepherd, or Sister Shalita Corndog exclaim, ‘I love God, family, and country. This is why we do what we do!’”
There’s no doubt that George proposed what he did because he was hoping to unite people of faith, particularly, Christians, Jews, and Muslims, and likeminded people of good will. But I think that Ruse is quite right that something specific is called for. Let’s focus on a possible religious response. Ruse notes that June for Catholic Christians has always been associated with a focus on the Sacred Heart of Jesus—that fully human heart of the Incarnate Son of God that always wills exactly what his divine mind says is good.
Is that too Catholic? I don’t know. Protestant and Orthodox Christians can certainly think about the heart of Jesus from their own resources even if they don’t accept the devotional practices or theology of Catholics. While Jews and Muslims can’t join in such an emphasis at all, is that necessary? Perhaps we don’t need to have everybody who rejects modern sex-and-gender ideology doing the same thing as an alternative.
Perhaps the problem is that Pride is itself a pseudo-religious event that is meant to replace the religious faiths that we already have. Maybe we don’t need anything other than to have all Christians, Jews, Muslims, and people of good will follow their own religious faiths, which universally reject this ideology, by the way. Muslims in eastern Michigan didn’t need Robert George’s Fidelity Month to use their political authority to end public promotion of Pride. They simply lived out their own beliefs, got elected, and put their feet down.
We can have room for all sorts of religious and cultural emphases in our nation. The important thing at this point is to reject the government imposition of Pride on our citizens and our students and the private imposition of it by corporations. But that latter task will involve American citizens using their own economic power to punish corporations that hate them and reward those that, at the very least, don’t force us to sprinkle incense to the gods of sex and gender with every transaction. If we do this successfully, June will again be the month whose rapid passage we unapologetically mourn.
David P. Deavel teaches at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, and is a Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative. The paperback edition of Solzhenitsyn and American Culture: The Russian Soul in the West is available this summer from Notre Dame Press.