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The fragmenting rainbow

We must be ready to offer a positive vision to those harmed by LGBTQ lies


Marchers participate in the annual Pride parade in Jerusalem on Thursday. Associated Press/Photo by Leo Correa

The fragmenting rainbow
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We can still remember when June was remarkable for nothing more than the arrival of summer. In recent years, however, it has become synonymous with Pride. Christians the world over have grown accustomed to enduring over four long weeks of the ostentatious celebration of the transgression of any and every standard of sexual responsibility, modesty, and self-control. While veterans and presidents have a day dedicated in their honor, the hedonists of our day have an entire month, lest we forget who really made modern America what it has become.

And yet last year there was something of a change. In the wake of the Dylan Mulvaney fiasco, the promotion by Target of the commodities of teenage transgenderism, and the obvious double standards when compared to Covid of advice given by public health officials regarding monkey pox, Pride seemed somewhat less ostentatious and confidently in-your-face than previous years. Whether that was an aberrant blip or the beginning of a hopeful trend, only time will tell. It will be worth watching this year’s events to see if there is evidence of the latter.

At the heart of Pride’s public relations problem, of course, is the inclusion of transgenderism as part of the rainbow. Indeed, in recent years it has been the most prominent public part of the alliance, driving much of the political agenda. Yet this is quite bizarre. Trans ideology is not predicated upon sexual desire, in contrast to the LGB. And it denies the significance of given biological sex, as affirmed by the LGB. More significantly from a public policy perspective, trans ideology affects everyone, particularly the most vulnerable in society, intruding on childhood, parental rights, and women’s private spaces, be they restrooms or locker rooms. And when trans logic will place violent male sex offenders in women’s prisons, the socially perverse results of the ideology should be obvious to all but the most willfully blind. Gay marriage does have effects upon society, but not in the same obvious and direct ways that trans ideas do. As long as the LGB ally with the T, therefore, they are going to find that their public relations problems are likely to grow.

The T is going to be an increasing embarrassment to the LGB.

It is quite possible, therefore, that the coming years will see significant fragmentation within the rainbow. The backlash against the transing of children is already growing overseas, and it is only a matter of time before the findings of the United Kingdom’s Cass Review gain traction in the United States. As the number of detransitioners grows and as the science undergirding the whole trans pharmaceutical racket is exposed as junk, the T is going to be an increasing embarrassment to the LGB. And that raises an important question for Christians: Will we be ready for the conversations that this will possibly open up with others who have been committed to the sexual and gender chaos to which pride witnesses? If Pride is possibly reaching the point of fragmentation and self-doubt and if the alliance is crumbling (admittedly, both big ifs), will we be equipped to capitalize on the situation?

To do this, we need at least two things. First, we need a good theological grasp of how matters surrounding sexuality and gender have deep and comprehensive anthropological significance. At stake are not merely matters of behavior but of what it means to be truly human. Only if we understand that can we communicate what the real problem with Pride is and avoid appearing merely as a collection of killjoys focused upon acts and attitudes we merely find distasteful. Second, we need churches where those whose lives—and often bodies—have been shattered by the lies of the sexual and gender revolutions can seek shelter, support, and find the offer of God’s grace. That requires community marked by cheerful hospitality.

It may be that this year sees a Pride rebound. I have no confidence of any great collapse any time soon. Perhaps last year was a blip, not a trend. But even if matters do not change at the national level, there will still be individuals at the local level who come to realize that the promises and the mythology of sexual and gender freedom are fake. So the challenge to the local church still applies: Are we ready with the answers and the communities necessary to deliver such people from the darkness that has consumed them? We should certainly lament Pride Month. But we should also use it to reflect on whether we are prepared for that moment when we will be called to offer a positive vision and not just critique.


Carl R. Trueman

Carl R. Trueman taught on the faculties of the Universities of Nottingham and Aberdeen before moving to the United States in 2001 to teach at Westminster Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. In 2017-18 he was the William E. Simon Visiting Fellow in Religion and Public Life in the James Madison Program at Princeton University.  Since 2018, he has served as a professor at Grove City College. He is also a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a contributing editor at First Things. Trueman’s latest book is the bestselling The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self. He is married with two adult children and is ordained in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.


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