Running for US President in 2010, Beto O’Rourke said he thought that religious organizations should lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same sex marriage.
Though it is not in an area of the Bible thought prophetic, the most striking prophesy of all to me—and this holds true regardless of one’s view on homosexuality—is Romans 1:26-28:
“That is why God gave them over to uncontrolled sexual passion, for their females changed the natural use of themselves into one contrary to nature; likewise also the males left the natural use of the female and became violently inflamed in their lust toward one another, males with males.”
The tenor of the verse is “anti-gay,” but for the purposes of this post that need not be considered. When I became one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the 1970s and first encountered it, I thought the verse was way way out there—not realistic at all. Of course, there had always been homosexuality—and there always would be—but to suggest that it would one day go viral seemed absurd. Yet it has happened. Even gays themselves, though they will be happy at the extent of their progress, must be surprised at how quickly it has come about. From an historical point of view, it is as though in a few minutes.
The pace accelerates and spreads to new frontiers. Whereas gays have taken decades to enter the mainstream, the embrace of the transgender movement has taken mere months. Gayle King (I heard her say this on CBS This Morning) did not know what the Q stood for when she obediently appended it to LGBT. Did it mean “questioning?” Or “queer?” She didn’t know. But she didn’t dare not include it.
Jehovah’s Witnesses hold to “fundamentalist” views with regard to sexuality—the norm that has held sway throughout history—until recently. Still, during their entire 3-day Regional Convention program for 2019, not one sentence mentioned homosexuality. During the entire 3-day Regional Convention of 2018, a mere two minutes were devoted to the topic. Witnesses don’t go on the attack is the point, as many fundamentalists groups do.
The two minutes in 2018 was of a video in which a Witness woman in the workplace declined to sign the wedding card for an upcoming same-sex marriage—maybe Beto’s own, for all I know—and she took much verbal abuse from one of her colleagues. The video was quickly condemned by gay activists. With activists of any stripe, if you do not align with them, you are said to “hate” them. “So that’s how they portray gays,” was the complaint, “as shrill and abusive!” Well, no—but clearly some are.
Courtney Kirchhoff, of louderwithcrowder.com, who identifies as gay herself, calls them the “Gaystapo,” and she is fed up with them. They are “small in numbers, shrill in voice.” She makes a point, and then makes it again: “As stated before, the Gaystapo, and now the Hollywood Gay Agenda Pushers DO NOT represent millions of gay people who just want to live their lives in peace. Okay? Okay.”
Okay by me, too. Ms Kirchhoff is fed up with Hollywood’s gay agenda. It’s overkill. Homosexuals make up 3.4 percent of the population, but 14 percent of films released in 2014! The percentage is higher still on television: “The one and only modern show I can think of without any uber-gay plot line?” she writes. “Breaking Bad.” (Traditional moralists ought not seek the out show on that account, however, for its theme involves manufacturing meth.) Thanks to Hollywood, most Americans believe the gay population is 23 percent or more, not the 3.4 percent it actually is, she says.
Didn’t the Watchtower (or was it Awake?) write decades ago of a powerful Hollywood homosexual entertainment lobby?** What were they smoking? “Get your head out of New York City!” some said. But now it becomes evident that they were merely standing upon the shoulders of giants, seeing farther than others of their time.
It is not mere numbers but also how incessantly something is pushed that determine its visibility. If Ms. Kirchhoff is right, (her article was written in 2016) gays are 3.4% of the population, Most people think 23%. Yet even that number understates influence, because God help you if you withhold acceptance. That’s all the Witness woman was doing in the video, the purpose of which was not so much about homosexuality, anyway, but about standing up to opposition. She didn’t attack anyone. She didn’t tell anyone else not to sign the card. She just didn’t do it herself—yet that is enough to be labeled a “hater” today.
Transgendered persons are a far tinier sliver of the population, yet with similar disastrous social consequences should one reveal oneself unwilling to remodel society to accommodate the trend. Educators are seldom the ones unwilling—they are frequently on the cutting edge of such things.* In some British schools, segregated restrooms give way to common restrooms, and—could no one have foreseen this?—young girls refrain from liquids all day so as not to use the restroom, and if nature calls anyway, they simply “hold it.” Educators have their work cut out for them. Try though they may, they have not succeeded in convincing girls that a boy can be a girl because he “identifies” as one.
*Lest anyone doubt that educators are on the cutting edge of moral paradigms, consider the 2017 summons to “inclusiveness training” directed to the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario. The acronym “LGGBDTTTIQQAAP” heads the announcement, and the letters stand for the newly discovered divisions of humanity that all teachers must know: Lesbian, Gay, Genderqueer, Bisexual, Demisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Twospirit, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, Asexual, Allies, Pansexual and Polyamorous.
One sarcastic so-and-so complained on social media: “Couldn’t they have selected an acronym that doesn’t remind one of some old guy ripping one?” The heading was selected by its creators as light humor, still the conference and the mandatory training was real.
**It was the Watchtower of August 1, 1988
*** (There are no 3 asterisks in the post, but—in response to a question about whether there is a scriptural basis for any particular stance on transgender people:
Certainly nothing specific. Doubtless it would be thought a psychological issue. But what would happen if a man identified as a woman and had hormone therapy & surgery to physically become one (or vice versa) and, in that state, accepted a Bible study and came into the congregation. I have no idea. Probably she would be accepted as she now is. But if she later grew discontent and wanted to revert into a man again (it does happen), I haven’t the foggiest. I suspect there would be no consequences in the congregation, but I don’t really know. I do not know where it has happened among Witnesses. Being gay and being transgendered are two separate topics that don’t necessarily overlap. I combined them because they are both included in the LGBTQ acronym. Strictly speaking, maybe I should not have. Sexuality turns out to be much more fluid than anyone my age would have thought.