Tuesday, July 02, 2024

Bring on the Screwdriver

Inclusion is exclusion by another name. Somebody always pays the price.

This morning I went shopping at a retail chain that normally collects for cancer research, hospitals, the homeless and other causes with moral legitimacy. They could have been doing that today. Instead, they were virtue-signaling like so many of their competitors, rainbow flags everywhere, and the senior behind the cash register politely inquired whether I would like to donate a couple dollars to “the Pride”.

I just about lost my teeth … and the ones I have are not dentures.

Yep, inclusion is exclusion by another name. This month it’s sick kids out, sexual deviation in. The preschoolers in the oncology ward will just have to wait until July. And here I was going to leave the subject of Pride Month alone this year.

Oh well, here goes …

Can Wait to Donate

First, I had to sate my own curiosity. What on earth does the LGBT lobby need with my money? (They are now using “2SLGBTQI+”, but they’ll probably change it again by next week, so trying to keep up with the latest branding is wasted energy.) I checked the PrideToronto website to see what my coveted donation was intended to cover. Sure enough, if you contribute to the cause, you are now keeping their annual festival “free and accessible for all to enjoy”, promoting “representation and inclusion” at the festival, supporting community Pride events across First Nation Reserves and the Global South and backstopping their education/advocacy initiatives and events 365 days a year.

That’s a nebulous enough agenda to allow financial contributions to be diverted just about anywhere, as famously happened with #BlackLivesMatter donations, causing the executive director to step down and provoking an investigation into possible misappropriation of funds. That vagueness accounts for my friend behind the cash register simply referring to “the Pride” rather than pitching the intended purpose of donating more specifically: even the available detail doesn’t have much detail.

‘Reforming’ Iran

The more curious bit is why PrideToronto is asking Canadians to support Pride events in the “Global South”, a term that generally refers to Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, which, with minor exceptions, are patriarchal cultures where the Pride brand is not exactly flourishing. Morocco advises LGBT visitors to “be discreet” and avoid “pursuing underage boys”, as male homosexuality is still technically illegal there. Iran and Afghanistan have the death penalty on the books for homosexuality. So then, there is some serious evangelical fervor about this Canadian campaign if it aims to stage Pride events in places like that.

Anyway, that’s where the money is going, if you’re curious. More propaganda. Movements cost money.

Ignore It?

That’s a long way to get to my main point, which is (surprise, surprise) that I declined to donate. Leaving the business, I wondered if I should have expressed my lack of enthusiasm for the cause more emphatically. My sister-in-law had a similar experience recently. In her usual demure manner, she responded to the request for a donation with a polite “No, thank you,” but admits to a thrill of envy that rushed through her when the man behind her in line was asked the same question and responded with a gruff, “Hell, no!” She liked his response better than her own, though hers was less likely to give offense. I have often said we get more of whatever we are willing to put up with. Businesses like to jump on popular political agendas, but most are not looking to lose customers in the process. A little gentle pushback goes a long way to changing the world, or at least your personal experience of it.

Not coincidentally, I was reading a Stand to Reason post this morning in which Alan Shlemon responded to queries about how he handles Pride Month. His advice: “Ignore it.” If you feel obligated to take that up a notch, he suggests avoiding businesses that aggressively promote the LGBT agenda, a policy I’ve followed for several years now wherever possible. If an alternative exists, I spend my money there instead.

Not Far Enough

Ignoring organized efforts to promote sin may be peaceful and inoffensive, but putting one’s money into businesses that actively enable evil is a form of self-contamination. As Paul put it, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” and “Touch no unclean thing.” Further, the modern equivalent of eating meat offered to idols may not soil our consciences or break our fellowship with the Lord, but Paul cautioned believers who know where the meat came from not to do it anyway, especially in front of the unsaved, who may interpret our continued patronage of their pro-LGBT store as support for the agenda.

As a dispensational premillennialist, I’m not expecting my Christian faith to transform the political landscape, but I’m thinking just ignoring sin does not go far enough. Let me suggest active disfellowship with evil should be the absolute baseline for Christians when your favorite business breaks out in all the colors of the rainbow. Most Christians would not be comfortable with a “Hell, no!” at the cash register, but it’s definitely more succinct than “Thanks, but I’d rather gouge out my eyes with a screwdriver.”

As Pride Weekend expands into Pride Season, that’s pretty much where I am on it.

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