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The flags we raise

What I saw at an LGBT event in Philadelphia

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June is LGBT pride month. October is LGBT ­history month. How about February for Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence month?

Anyway, that’s 61 days in all (veterans who fought for our freedoms get the last Monday in May and the fourth day of July). Which means it couldn’t be easier to attend an LGBT event when your to-do list is clogged: If you can’t go Wednesday, you can always find an event on Thursday.

I was free both nights so I did both—the LGBT flag raising ceremony at the Upper Dublin High School on Wednesday, and one on the following evening in Veterans Park in Lower Gwynedd Township.

At the high school, God’s loyal opposition used poster board signs with Bible verses. On Thursday I went alone and signless to try another approach: ­mingle and talk. If nothing good came of it, at least I could get practice in being persecuted, which is next up on the historical calendar if I’m reading the times right.

I was fearful but remembered what God said to the prophet: “Do not fear their faces, for I am with you to deliver you” (Jeremiah 1:8). The faces, when I arrived, were of young mothers and fathers, gray hairs, and ­gay-striped-flag-wrapped children playing among the legs, about 60 people in all.

A young bearded man—though here I presume—took the mic and read prepared remarks. I noted his strategy. He projected righteous indignation. He cast the affair as a civil rights rally, and LGBT as a persecuted minority fighting for its very existence. (In fact they have already won the day.)

He cleverly made a point to name every other minority social cause he could think of as comrades in arms—not only gays and transgender people, but blacks, the poor, persons with disabilities—thus multiplying clout through subtle and seductive flattery. The enemy was named too: “white supremacists.” The word hate was cynically repeated in almost every sentence. Brilliant.

I pondered how to defend against such a vehement charge of hate. It’s like a conversation in which your opponent leads with, “So when did you stop beating your wife?” and now you’re already at a rhetorical and psychological disadvantage before you even get up to speak.

The last presenter was a black minister from a local church that was once orthodox. Citing his 37 years as a pastor, he apologized for Christianity being the caboose rather than the forefront of the LGBT movement. Then he said, “Let us pray.”

I started to pray too, but not with him. I quietly begged God to do something bold for His name. No sooner had the praying duel begun than a blond middle-­aged woman not 10 feet from me suddenly collapsed unconscious on the ground. A man yelled out, “She gave blood today!” No one was listening to the pastor anymore as he droned on. Police in attendance whisked the woman away in a car.

The assembly then formally disbanded, and while people still mingled, I noticed that no one sought out the elderly pastor, who was now making his way to the parking lot unnoticed. He had served his purpose. His usefulness was over. Religion had been enlisted to confer its blessing on perversity.

As I therefore had full access, I drew close to him. He stopped, and I said, not without respectfulness as befitting his office, “You were supposed to change the world but instead the world changed you.” He was taken aback and attempted a defense. I did some defending too, explaining that correction is not the same as hate. Who knows where God will take all this from here.

Satan must be gobsmacked by his great success. Who would have thought big hairy men in garish rouge and lipstick dressed in nuns’ habits and vamping in broad daylight would become the cause célèbre of purported ministers of the church of God? Federico Fellini’s “Vatican Fashion Show,” in all its sacrilegious glory.

Andrée Seu Peterson

Andrée is a senior writer for WORLD Magazine. Her columns have been compiled into three books including Won’t Let You Go Unless You Bless Me. Andrée resides near Philadelphia.


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