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How LGBT Pride Month Became a Religious Holiday

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The month of June hadn’t even begun yet when Donald Trump became the first Republican president to express his support for LGBT Pride Month. On May 31, President Trump tweeted about celebrating LGBT Pride Month and how we should “recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation . . .”

The rest of America soon followed his lead, as people across the country posted rainbow flag banners on their Facebook pages and almost every company in the nation rushed, as Newsweek wrote, to be “among the companies celebrating inclusion, equality and love for LGBT Pride Month.”

How did we get to the point where celebrating homosexuality and transgenderism became a month-long event that rivals Christmas?

Commemoration of Pride

The roots of LGBT Pride Month extend back to the Gay Pride Marches that began in New York City in 1970 as a commemoration of the Stonewall Riots in Manhattan the previous year. The original march was more of a protest than a celebration, says German Lopez. “There were thousands of people, but there were no floats, music, or scantily dressed men,” Lopez adds. “Marchers instead carried signs, chanted, and waved to reportedly surprised onlookers.”

Within four years the parades had spread to dozens of cities across the United States. Pride marches, pride events, and pride festivals became a common occurrence from the mid-1970s through the 1990s. In 1999 President Clinton officially designated June as “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month.” From 2009 to 2016, President Obama also declared June to be LGBT Pride Month. A new secular holiday was born.

LGBT Pride Month is often mistakenly compared to Black History Month or National Hispanic Heritage Month, as a celebration of citizens of the same background. But there is already an LGBT History Month (in October). It was created in 1994 by a coalition of education-based organizations, and in 1995 was included within a list of commemorative months by the largest teacher’s union, the National Education Association (NEA).

LGBT Pride Month is not a just a secular commemoration of a people but a religious celebration of a belief—the belief that “Gay Is Good” and that moral opposition to homosexual behavior or transgender ideology is inherently bigoted.

Pride Month as Advent and Passover

In America gay, lesbian and bisexual adults are substantially less likely than straight adults to affiliate with a religious group. Four-in-ten (41 percent) identify as atheist, agnostic, or “nothing in particular,” compared with just 22 percent of straight adults who say the same. People are religious by nature, though. If they abandon one faith they’ll eventually adopt another. For some in the LGBT community, that has meant embracing the Satanic Temple. But for most LGBT “nones” it has meant imbuing a faith they already held with religious symbolism. That is why LGBT Pride Month has become the secular equivalent to Advent.

The word advent is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming.” For Christians, Advent is a nearly month-long celebration of the anticipation of Christ’s birth. As Justin Holcomb explains, Advent symbolizes the present situation of the church in these “last days” (Acts 2:17, Heb. 1:2), as God’s people wait for the return of Christ in glory to consummate his eternal kingdom

For the LGBT community, though, their secular Advent has a different focus. Rather than the coming of Christ they are looking forward to the day when behavior that God has called sinful (1 Cor. 6:9-10, et al.) will not only be tolerated but also celebrated as “good” by all people. It’s a vision outlined in President Obama’s 2014 Pride Month proclamation: “[O]ur Nation has made great strides in recognizing what these brave individuals long knew to be true in their hearts—that love is love and that no person should be judged by anything but the content of their character. . . . I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists.”

Because the LGBT agenda of normalizing homosexuality and transgenderism conflicts with Christianity (at least in its non-apostate forms), to “eliminate prejudice” requires anathematizing the beliefs of Bible-believing Christians. In the future the celebration of LGBT views will likely be compelled. But for now, every American is simply required to choose a side.

This is why LGBT Pride Month is also, as my colleague Betsy Howard says, a form of Passover. In the original Passover, the Israelites put the blood of a lamb on the doorposts so that God would “pass over” their house and not bring judgment upon the people within (Ex. 12:7-13). Today, the American people fly a rainbow flag, wear an “ally” pin, or change their social media avatars to show they observe LGBT Pride Month. In doing so, they show they’ve bent the knee to the LGBT cause and will not incur their wrath that will be poured out those who are not “affirming.”

We should expect such submissive behavior from corporations, who have uncritically adopted “woke capitalism.” We can also expect it from government agencies, such as U.S. embassies, since they are often overseen by LGBT-affirming presidents, like Clinton, Obama, and Trump. Corporations and governments can be absolved for showing their support for anti-Christian causes. But what excuse do Christians have?

When Christian ‘Allies’ Become Idolaters

Why do so many professed believers adopt a symbol that shows the world they are opposed to God’s Word? And why do we overlook such displays of idolatry by those who claim to be both LGBT “allies” and our brothers and sisters in Christ?

As I wrote a half-dozen years ago, for too long those of us in the church have grumbled to ourselves or remained silent about this open idolatry. We fear that if we point out too clearly or forcefully that you can’t both serve God and endorse sin, people may leave our congregations. We seem more concerned with losing the volunteer for the Sunday-morning nursery or the regular tithe in the offering plate than we do with the souls of those in open and unrepentant rebellion against God.

We also seem more worried about the judgment of the kids in the youth ministry than we do with the judgment of a wrathful and holy God. We are so troubled by the thought that LGBT-friendly advocates will fall away from the faith that we fail to see that they’ve already rejected the faith of historic, orthodox Christianity and replaced it with an idolatrous heresy—one that is as destructive and hateful as any that has come before.

We do not love our neighbor when we tell them they can continue to engage in unrepentant rebellion against God. We cannot continue with the “go along to get along” mentality that is leading those we claim to love to destruction. If we truly love our LGBT neighbors, we must speak the Word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31). We may have to accept the fact that those who have fallen away may not ever return, but we shouldn’t lead them to hell because we are too craven to tell them the gospel requires repentance.

We must choose whom we will serve. Will we love our neighbors and stand with the only wise God, or will we hate our LGBT friends by allying with the foolish idol-makers of LGBT Pride Month?

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