Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the February 2020 edition of the CBMW Newsletter, a monthly ministry update that features exclusive editorial content from CBMW Executive Director Colin Smothers. We are posting part of this month’s newsletter editorial here to give non-subscribers a chance to read it and have the opportunity to sign up here to receive CBMW’s monthly newsletter in your inbox.
What do libraries, public schools, Sesame Street, and the Super Bowl have in common — that is, besides having children make up a significant slice of their target audience?
If you guessed that all of them have been the targets of LGBT propaganda in the past month, you guessed correctly. This past month has seen nothing short of a full-court press by LGBT activists on the cultural commons, especially those frequented by our nation’s youth. Don’t believe this isn’t coordinated, as we’ll see below.
Drag Queens, Coming to a Public School Near You
A nationwide controversy erupted last year as the world was introduced to Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH), a campaign whose mission is to bring cross-dressing, flamboyant men into public libraries to read stories to children. Here’s is a description of DQSH from their official website:
Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is just what it sounds like—drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores. DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real.
Astute cultural observers saw this controversy expose deep rifts in the politically conservative right last year concerning how best to preserve liberties while attempting to oppose such abject depravity. But those who thought DQSH was just a weird 2019 anomaly were given a rude awakening when reports came out last month that DQSH powerbrokers were taking their spectacle into local public schools. Re-read the description above; they aren’t hiding their ambitions. Their aim, from their own statement, is to provide “unabashedly queer role models” who can teach kids to “defy rigid gender restrictions” and to “present as they wish.” And now public schools are signing up for it.
But what if discerning parents opt their first graders out of DQSH? Or are careful to avoid the library during the hours of controversial programming? Or maybe they are fortunate enough to live in a community that is actively attempting to bar this from libraries and schools? How will the propaganda reach them?
The Broad Street Sesame
At the tail end of last month, we got at least a partial answer when the official Twitter account of Sesame Street made the following stunning announcement:
In this tweet, Sesame Street announced that actor and singer Billy Porter would make a gender-bending cameo on the popular PBS kids show. Porter made news last year when he showed up to the Oscars in what can only be described as a half-dress, half-tuxedo. It seems this went over so well with the culture makers that the producers of Sesame Street decided Porter should come onto the show in the same costume for its pre-K viewers. Here is the question they almost certainly hope to extract from children watching: “Why is that man wearing that funny looking dress, mom?” Parents everywhere will be put on the spot to give an answer that far too many are ill-equipped to give. And many will be caught unawares by the question due to this uninvited, unseemly, family-room intrusion.
But remember their stated goal: LGBT disciples and evangelists. And most parents are more obstacle than ally when it comes to the havoc that radical gender ideology can wreak on their little girls and boys. After all, it’s far easier to experiment on someone else’s kid. In order to counter the conserving institution of the family — the same adversary, not coincidentally, faced by communists everywhere — there must be a strategy to accelerate the collectivization of child-rearing. Thus the effort to ease parents’ decision to effectively deputize — in loco parentis — the TV and internet, media which just so happen to be on board with the LGBT revolution.
Wisdom still cries out in the streets, but is the noise from the screens drowning her out?
Super Bowl, Super Mole
Then, over the weekend, millions of Americans tuned in to the Super Bowl, one of the most-watched television events of the year. If baseball is America’s favorite pastime, then football is America’s favorite part-time job. Even the disinterested seem happy to put in the hours on Super Bowl Sunday. The Super Bowl has been an American staple for decades now; but what used to be a family-friendly event is increasingly pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable for all audiences. This is not a new trend, of course, but it is still noteworthy.
If you watched the game like I usually do, when the halftime show came on you changed the channel or shut it off. From the reports I read, I think I made a good decision — sexually suggestive and boundary-pushing would be understatements to describe what took place during the halftime of America’s biggest sporting event. As I didn’t watch the halftime show, I can’t comment on it directly, except to say that the message that was sent to little boys and little girls who did watch is crosswise, ironically, with the message many prominent progressives and conservatives are pushing: the de-sexualization of public masculinity and femininity.
But here’s something that is new: tuning out of the Super Bowl halftime show did not tune you out of the full-court propaganda press. Instead, more than a handful of commercials seemed to have as their aim the same mission as DQSH: pushing the envelope on gender and sexuality. From a hummus commercial that featured two drag queens, to a pop tart commercial that starred an actor from the show “Queer Eye,” to others that featured various LGBT personalities, the point was made: this is the “new normal.”
How did we get here?
At one level, it shouldn’t surprise us when those who have “no hope” and are “without God in the world” (Eph 2:12) act in ways that are hopeless and godless. In fact, this is why our fundamental response to any such should always be spiritual in nature and gospel oriented. We should pray for God to continue to build his church through the witness of the saints, even and especially in the face of such spiritual strongholds. Remember: where the Spirit of God attends the Word of God, there dead men are raised to walk in newness of life.
The Billionaires Behind the Curtain
But on another level, we should be aware of the coordinated efforts that are playing out before us. The conservative ecumenical publication First Things ran an article last month titled, “The Billionaires Behind the LGBT Movement,” that details the kind of coordination that has resulted in this full-court press in the public school classrooms and libraries, on our televisions and computers, and in nearly every other quarter of public life.
In this piece, Jennifer Bilek details how “[t]he LGBT rights agenda—note the addition of ‘T’—has become a powerful, aggressive force in American society. Its advocates stand at the top of media, academia, the professions, and, most important, Big Business and Big Philanthropy.” As one example, Bilek details how an organization called Arcus, which has leveraged millions of dollars on behalf of LGBT causes, helped organize a meeting in 2008 in Bellagio, Italy where “international leaders committed to expanding global philanthropy to support LGBT rights.” Out of this meeting came an entity called MAP, whose purpose is to “track the complex system of advocacy and funding that would promote gender identity/transgenderism in the culture.” That same year, Bilek notes, another group sprung up, this one called the LGBTI Core Group. Its purpose? “[T]o represent LGBTI human rights issues to the U.N.” Again, this is 2008, and the timing should not be lost on us. When was the first time you remember being aware of concerted LGBT activism? Bilek’s list of organizations coordinating with Arcus is daunting: “Victory Institute, the Center for American Progress, the ACLU, the Transgender Law Center, Trans Justice Funding Project, OutRight Action International, Human Rights Watch, GATE, Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), The Council for Global Equality, the U.N., Amnesty International, and GLSEN.” And their efforts range from influencing policy on the international, national, and state levels, to shaping educational training programs in public schools, universities, and even professional organizations in disciplines like psychology. No one can say they’re not thorough.
I encourage you to read Bilek’s whole article. It’s eye opening. I didn’t even touch on Bilek’s mention of half a billion dollars (yes, billion with a “b”) that were poured into LGBT groups in just one state to influence LGBT policy there; and Bilek has almost certainly not overturned every stone of contemporary LGBT financial coordination.
Why is it that we do not see matching countermeasures of coordination from conservatives against the LGBT agenda? Now, this isn’t to say there aren’t any such efforts. But it is to acknowledge that these efforts do not approximate the scale and scope of the LGBT activists. To raise this question is why I wanted to spend some effort on these things in this month’s newsletter, and I want to answer with two, seemingly contradictory points.
The Rampant Truth
First, it must be stated that capital “T” Truth doesn’t need the kind of campaigning, coordination, and effort that it takes to propagate deceit. Charles Spurgeon once quipped that defending the Bible — and here we could add defending the Truth — can be likened to defending a lion:
“Suppose a number of persons were to take it into their heads that they had to defend a lion, a full-grown king of beasts! There he is in the cage, and here come all the soldiers of the army to fight for him. Well, I should suggest to them, if they would not object, and feel that it was humbling to them, that they should kindly stand back, and open the door, and let the lion out! I believe that would be the best way of defending him, for he would take care of himself.”
In other words, sometimes the best way to defend the truth is to not defend it, and instead just articulate it. Truth does not become any more true through a defense. Truth has stood, is standing, and will continue to stand regardless of whether or not we or anyone else assent to it, for it is anchored in God and inscribed in his Word and world. The self-evident nature of truth is not the issue where falsity abounds; denial is the issue.
This is especially the case with gender and sexuality, whose truth is so fundamentally rooted in natural revelation. Think about it. Are natural or unnatural arrangements harder to maintain? Anyone who has spent time on a river knows the effort is in rowing upstream, not downstream; in the damming, not the channeling. To return to our question, conservatives may feel less of a burden to defend what is so evidently clear and common-sensical: marriage is a union between a man and woman; boys are for manhood and girls for womanhood; men and women are different, etc. The imparity between progressive and conservative efforts surrounding gender and sexuality could actually evidence who thinks they have the stronger hand — or on whose side sits the lion, as it were.
A Truth Worth Defending
But we live in a fallen world that is actively attempting to “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom 1:18). And as Christians, we care about the suppressor and the suppressed — the oppressed and the oppressor.
And for this reason, we must still defend the truth — for the Bible tells us so. This is why Jude insists the church must “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3); it’s why Paul invokes the imagery of warfare in 2 Corinthians 10:5 to commend his mission to “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God.” And as detailed above, what we face today are well-funded arguments and well-organized opinions. They are playing for keeps, and so should we.
Let me level with you. The CBMW annual budget is $250,000; and frankly, we’d like that to grow so we can expand the influence of our mission. Compared to the millions of dollars listed above that are actively being invested to spread the LGBT agenda, this is pocket change. Coming off of the end of last year, we are encouraged that we met our fundraising goals — thanks to generous partners like yourself. But it wasn’t easy! While Bilek can list off dozens of organizations whose sole purpose is LGBT advocacy that receive millions of dollars in funding from billionaires, it is harder than you might think to name organizations whose mission includes countering such efforts — and their budgets aren’t big. I am glad to serve one such organization, but we need more — and these organizations need more funding.
We serve the God who owns cattle on a thousand hills. And — praise be to God! — we serve the Lion of Judah who needs no defense. But in his kindness and according to his inscrutable ways, he has conscripted us in the fight, enlisted us in the defense. And we should want to go about it faithfully and well-equipped.
The full-court press is on. The playbook is written, and it’s playing out before us in the cultural commons. We want to contest this ground, because we serve the One who has the heavens as his throne and the earth as his footstool. We should be jealous for our King’s footstool.
At CBMW, we will continue to press on. Eikon Volume 2 Issue 1 is in the offing, our curriculum project is well underway, Spring conferences are nearing, and we continue to write and speak in the service of edifying the church to be ready to fight the good fight and finish the race. Would you pray about joining our efforts?
Let’s demonstrate that our ideological opponents aren’t the only ones with a playbook. Let’s articulate the truth, yes; let’s even defend it! But why not try a little offense, too?
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