In a previous column and elsewhere I have written that the approach needed for those in politics who want to face down the left should be: confront, educate, consistently, in charity. We could add to it: with prudence. The educative function of politics seems almost lost, especially for those on the conservative side. Prudence, if it’s thought about at all, seems to be confused with simply avoiding confrontation and hurrying to quickly compromise with the left—so that it seems its agenda is advanced even when its political opponents are in power. This contrasts with the understanding of it that Lincoln had (as the late professor Harry V. Jaffa explained): always keeping the sound moral vision in sight while navigating the difficult waters of politics, realizing that accommodations may have to be made along the way but never pushing aside the vision and constantly even if tentatively navigating the ship of state toward it. The political opposition to the left is often not sustained—confrontation, such as it is, fails to be consistent. The fact that it’s not coupled with trying to educate the public means that the effort quickly runs its course and the public opinion needed to keep it alive and advance it is not adequately molded.
This same approach is as advisable for private citizens working to challenge the destructive tendencies of the left as it is for those in elective or appointive office, except that we need to add organization and coordination. So there is the need to confront, educate, consistently, in charity and with prudence—and in an organized and coordinated fashion. The leftist power structure is ingrained in the major institutions in government, academia, and the corporate world and challenging it cannot be done in a haphazard way. The opponents, while each may have a different role to play, must regularly communicate and consult with each other, coordinate their efforts, and fashion a solid, truthful, and effective narrative.
One of the main parts of the leftist agenda to which this applies is challenging the homosexualist juggernaut that Robert R. Reilly says is “changing everything” (by which he means it’s subverting many aspects of what makes for sound and civilized culture). We have just witnessed the conventions of the two major political parties. The Democrats outright celebrated homosexualism. The Republican platform, despite rejecting same-sex “marriage” and defending religious liberty with respect to it, did not in any way criticize the homosexualist movement. The party seemed at least welcoming to it by the prominent speaking role it gave to a big-name, openly homosexual businessman. So, we should not expect serious opposition to it from the executive branch regardless of who’s elected this fall. That means that resistance to it, for now at least, has to come from the grassroots.
That grassroots resistance should take place on different levels. It should focus most immediately on exposing and attacking the tyrannical actions of the homosexualist movement and the governmental bodies, such as state “human rights” commissions, which carry water for it by persecuting those who won’t go along with every aspect of its agenda. There needs to be frequent “Stop Homosexual Tyranny” rallies and demonstrations around the country, and accompanying vigorous efforts—even demonstrations outside their headquarters, if that’s what it takes—to get attention from a hostile media (along, of course, with using all forms of alternative media to make the case). Persistent efforts should be made by anti-homosexualist groups to get into schools to have “equal time” to present the truths about homosexuality so that the homosexualist groups and a pro-homosexualist message are not all that school children are allowed to hear. They should try to get an audience before any citizen groups they can to present the same truths.
Pro-family legal advocacy groups should intensify their efforts, not just to insure that every persecuted wedding planner, baker, and religious group refusing to rent out halls receives an uncompromising legal defense, but also to put homosexualist organizations on the defensive with lawsuits for defamation, abuse of process, etc. and insure that repressive government agencies and officials trampling on religious liberty are always sued for civil rights violations. When the homosexualists are consistently targeted in the courts they may be forced to step back under the strain of dwindling resources. It may be hard to convince committed leftist politicians to back away from pro-homosexualist positions, but citizen help and pressure can keep wavering ones from succumbing to the onslaught and can give sympathetic ones the support needed to pass favorable legislation. At least serious efforts should be made around the country to get them to support conscience protections. Leading pro-family organizations should step up the effort to organize boycotts of especially bad pro-homosexualist businesses, as has been done with Target for its unisex restrooms.
Even if the executive branch, Congressional leadership, and the majority of Congress won’t take on the homosexualists and their government allies, there are things that members of Congress, individually and together, can do that will strike blows at the homosexualists’ enablers. They can use Congressional debate to attack the persecution and tyranny, push for committee hearings to expose pro-homosexualist governmental schemes, and do things like file impeachment resolutions against Supreme Court justices who have foisted same-sex “marriage” on the country and on federal judges like David Bunning who jailed Kim Davis in Kentucky. Even with the scant possibility of succeeding, these would create at least a small amount of pressure on overreaching members of the judiciary and focus more national attention on their abuses, which helps forge public opinion critical of them—and incidentally, can also help educate the public about the Constitution. When individual judges are put under a microscope, it might even motivate more cautious behavior. Maybe it’s time for governors and state legislators opposed to same-sex “marriage” to consider an idea one of my Society of Catholic Social Scientists colleagues wrote about years ago of basically withdrawing the state from marriage.
While the opponents of the homosexualist movement should start by attacking its tyrannical actions, they should not back away from presenting the truths and facts about homosexuality itself. They should tell the world there is no evidence that people with same-sex attraction are born that way, the facts about how the professional mental health organizations “normalized” homosexuality because of politics and not science, and that persons with same-sex attraction can in no way be considered the same as members of racial or ethnic groups. They should drive home that all homosexualism is about is justifying errant, immoral, and unnatural behavior, and they should focus people’s attention on what that behavior is: buggery, mutual masturbation, and sado-masochism. They should remind everyone about the health consequences of homosexual behavior and about how “faithfulness” of homosexuals to one partner is by far, far the exception than the rule. They should also take the time to consistently explain what the social consequences of extolling sodomy and accepting same-sex “marriage” will be. They should rely heavily on the testimony of those who suffered from the homosexual “lifestyle” and escaped it and the unhappy experience of those who were raised in same-sex households. Such personal witness is needed to buttress the reasoned arguments and make a more profound impact.
They should also finally give up the charade and make clear that the support for homosexualism was an end-point of a dynamic that began with the acceptance of contraception—the misuse and thwarting of the ends of the sexual faculty is why both are unnatural. If they could introduce this into the debate, the opponents of homosexualism could conceivably have an effect far beyond even the homosexual issue, perhaps laying the groundwork for a general restoration of sound sexual ethics and a true renewal of culture. Most importantly, the opponents of homosexualism must avoid accepting any of the other side’s assumptions. For instance, Allan C. Carlson has argued that the critics of same-sex “marriage” have compromised themselves by implicitly embracing the liberal principle of “tolerance.” They should also strongly challenge shallow notion of “love” that same-sex “marriage” proponents have gotten a pass on.
Too many people think that the acceptance of homosexuality and even same-sex “marriage” are “closed” issues, and that we should just “move on,” Indeed, we have often heard this response to the left’s agenda over the decades, even from people who might not have liked many parts of it. After a particular triumph, many of the left’s defenders are ready to gloat and are sure that they are one step closer to their new utopia. Both groups should remember what happened a quarter-century ago, when almost out of the blue the seemingly impregnable Communist regimes of Europe collapsed. While Gorbachev’s glasnost policy had been proclaimed not long before, hardly anyone expected the results to be so dramatic. I always like to tell people about my hearing a Catholic lay leader and former history professor around 1981 predict that communism in the East would fall before secular humanism in the West. That meant, of course, that both would eventually collapse—first the most extreme and repressive one and later the more “benevolent” one. The one shoe fell in less than a decade; the other is yet to come. So, no one should be so sure that the leftist ideological and institutional power structure is a permanent phenomenon—especially as it becomes more repressive and irrational. Like communism, it could crumble before our very eyes. As international pressures and heroic actions of dissidents within the Soviet Bloc—along with “little old ladies praying the rosary for seventy years,” as a priest-professor of mine said at the time—were essential elements in communism’s collapse, so the intelligent, persistent, coordinated efforts of the defenders of sound culture—along with, to be sure, much prayer and sacrifice to the Almighty—can bring Western secular humanist leftism to heel.