Move over Tishrei, December, Ramadan, and every other Holy month in the calendar for every religion, ethnicity or culture – the holiest of holy months is upon us. June kicked off Pride month, and unless you were lucky enough not to get slapped in the face with a rainbow this past week, you probably noticed.
Pride month is that glorious time of year where we finally celebrate all the marginalized people that don’t get any attention the remaining 11 months of the year. Well, except for Bisexual Health Awareness Month, International Transgender Day of Visibility, National LGBT Health Awareness Week, National Transgender HIV Testing Day, Non-Binary Parents Day, Lesbian Visibility Day, International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, & Biphobia., Harvey Milk Day, Pansexual & Pan Romantic Awareness & Visibility Day, Non-Binary Awareness Week, International Drag Day, LGBTQ History Month (not to be confused w/ Pride Month), International Lesbian Day, National Coming Out Day, National LGBT Center Awareness Day, Asexual Awareness Week, International Pronouns Day, Transgender Parent Day, Pansexual Pride Day, and Gay Uncles Day. Of course, anytime anything happens to everyone in the country, the media always has to add in a line about how this will affect the LGBTQIA+ community. But, of course, we need Pride month.
Pride month is the time where anyone who still has their brain screwed onto their heads can see the disparity between how the government and corporations act when they know that they can get away with bullying people into silence or complicity. Every year it’s amusing to see corporate logos on the official Twitter pages for the American side of the company versus the Middle Eastern side. Companies like Vogue, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Cisco, and many others wave the rainbow for their U.S. twitter handles, but do not do so for their Middle Eastern ones. Same is true for the Biden administration. The embassy in Vatican City will drape the Pride Progress flag in view of the Pope, but none of the embassies or consulates in Saudi Arabia would do the same.
Defenders of these actions will claim that its the incredible tolerance of the American people that allows these actions to occur. Tolerance is not what the American people half, its lack of belief in any objective moral code that’s been lost. As English essayist G.K. Chesterton wrote nearly a hundred years ago, “When men stop believing in God they don’t believe in nothing; they believe in anything.”
This is how people, even religious people, have deluded themselves into becoming either part of or accomplices to a cult based on self-obsession and the unending need to be celebrated. The slippery-slope argument was mocked in the 2000s, but in the last generation the argument went from “let us live our lives” to “celebrate us and teach your children to make us feel better about our choices.” The moral apathy has let community after community, city after city, and school after school, library after library, and country after country fall to this new religion.
Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” This is only true if the action encounters another object. If there is no resistance, no opposite force defending the neutral space between the two, the initial action overcomes the territory. If, for example, there is no reaction when a school puts out obscene books for children in the name of “tolerance” and “inclusion”, then the school will become emboldened. Then, if there is no reaction when the school invites a drag queen to read those books to children, the school will become more emboldened. Then when there is a drag performance in a school emblazoned with pride flags where teachers are dressed in rainbows and they tell students that they are neither boys nor girls, the community feigns shock and awe. “How could this have happened?”, they wonder.
This is how a suburb of Buffalo had a Pride flag replace the POW flag flying over its town hall. This is how an Ontario elementary school got away with a lunchtime Pride party where students colored printouts that said, “I can change exactly how I am referred to by the people in my life and this can change at any time and for any reason”, “I am allowed to choose how and when I share and teach others about my experience as someone who is queer and/or trans”, “My body is the gender and sex I say it is”, “My sexual identity is not determined by the sexual experiences I have or haven’t had”, and more.
Or how a corporation went from a rainbow logo on Twitter to forcing every employee to put their pronouns in their email signatures lines. Or how about when the White House had a rainbow projected onto it in 2015 to the sitting Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, appearing on Ru Paul’s Drag Race last year. Or any one of the countless examples of the slope that has been slipped farther than anyone could have imagined. This did not spring up overnight. It occurred when apathetic leaders decided to cede their moral authority and the ground gained by centuries of traditional normality in the name of “politeness” and their unwillingness to offend the easily offended.
We now live in a country where burning an American flag is a glorious expression of free speech, but burning a Pride flag is a vicious hate crime that requires extensive investigations. We live in a country where looters could walk into and out of stores with hundreds of dollars of merchandise and have no ramifications, but if a truck leaves tire marks on a painted rainbow on the road, they are the devil incarnate.
This happened because when the actions first occurred, there was no equal and opposite reaction. There’s no need to figuratively burn a library down when it has a few inappropriate books, merely a strong and forceful reminder to that public library that their funds are public, and they must be free from such controversial and divisive topics. For some cities or organizations, it may be too late. For others, they should heed the downfall of their neighbors and strive not to replicate the same mistakes.
The Seven Deadly Sins can be found in many religious and historical texts. In Judaism, references can be found in Mishlei. However, all of them admit that Pride is the source for all of the others and the one sin that comes before destruction of oneself and one’s culture. Somehow, its both devastating and fitting that the holiest of all months in our dying and decaying culture is named after Pride. If the people had the moral courage to stand against it, than our culture will thrive on. The way things are looking, however, it’s not the best bet.