Tag Archive for: Pride Month

Tractor Supply Puts Pride Out to Pasture, Handing Americans Their Biggest Win Yet

Most Americans couldn’t dream up a better way to cap off the Left’s 2024 Pride fail than another big-name company running for the exits. While major league sports and other businesses quietly dumped the June tradition, Tractor Supply Co. opted for a full-scale reversal, complete with a public apology for their activism. In a statement that read like a death knell for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the rural retailer joined the bumper crop of brands on the sidelines — putting another exclamation point on this year’s epic pushback.

Fresh off a stint at another hotbed of wokeness, Macy’s, CEO Hal Lawton, who’s only been at the helm since 2020, took the Tennessee-based company in a radical new direction, embracing everything from transgenderism to DEI — decisions that earned him a perfect score on HRC’s 2022 Equality Index (and a 95% last year), honors on Bloomberg’s Gender Equality Index for 2022 and 2023 and Newsweek’s Greatest Workplaces for Diversity in 2023. And while the adulation of the Left might have been music to Lawton’s ears, it became a battle cry for his heartland consumers.

Journalist and film director Robby Starbuck fanned those flames, exposing Tractor Supply’s not-so-secret identity as a card-carrying member of the radical Left. For the better part of this summer, he reported on the details of Lawton’s partnerships, sparking grassroots outrage so intense that the company announced a complete course-correction.

In a blockbuster statement Thursday, Tractor Supply didn’t skirt the issue, admitting bluntly, “We work hard to live up to our Mission and Values every day and represent the values of the communities and customers we serve. We have heard from customers that we have disappointed them. We have taken this feedback to heart. Going forward,” they vow, “we will ensure our activities and giving tie directly to our business.”

They list five monumental concessions, including promises to:

  1. “No longer submit data to the Human Rights Campaign
  2. Refocus our Team Member Engagement Groups on mentoring, networking and supporting the business
  3. Further focus on rural America priorities including ag education, animal welfare, veteran causes and being a good neighbor and stop sponsoring nonbusiness activities like pride festivals and voting campaigns
  4. Eliminate DEI roles and retire our current DEI goals while still ensuring a respectful environment [and]
  5. Withdraw our carbon emission goals and focus on our land and water conservation efforts.”

“We will continue to listen to our customers and Team Members. Your trust and confidence in us are of the utmost importance, and we don’t take that lightly. As we look forward to celebrating our nation’s independence, we also celebrate our more than 50,000 team members across 2,250 stores. Rural communities are the backbone of our nation and what make America great. We are honored to be a part of them. We are always here and ready to serve you and your family with our legendary service for the life you love. See you in the stores.”

The sound you hear is millions of conservatives’ jaws dropping. Had Tractor Supply agreed to even one of these policy changes, it would have been headline news. But to virtually wipe the slate clean of every vestige of LGBT activism, climate change, and then flat-out ditch DEI is a political transformation the likes of which Americans have never seen. Not only that but the company’s contrition felt sincere — and more importantly, backed by concrete steps to prove it.

“This is a massive victory for sanity and the single biggest boycott win of our lifetime,” Starbuck tweeted. To HRC, who denounced the move in a desperate attempt to hang on to their corporate leverage, he warned, “This is the beginning, not the end. … You call me an extremist but you know what I find extreme? Expecting every company on earth to force your political + social beliefs on the entire planet. That seems sort of extreme. All my side is asking for is sanity. Let stores just be stores again. No politics, no far left social values push, just good products & service. No one is asking for discrimination, just normalcy and to not have your politics shoved down their throat.”

At this rate, the people who’ll be most relieved when Pride Month is over are the organizers.

Perhaps most telling, Tractor Supply wasn’t afraid to list its disassociation from HRC first — a level of open defiance that would have been unthinkable five years ago. And yet, like so many businesses, Lawton has realized the only force to truly fear is consumers.

As All-American swimmer and women’s advocate Riley Gaines pointed out, Lawton had plenty of incentive to roll back his extremism. “It only took @TractorSupply losing $2 billion before they decided to stick to selling farm equipment rather than engaging in activism. I believe this is the strongest ‘apology’ statement we’ve seen from a corporation so far. Props to them for listening & responding to their base.”

Donald Trump Jr. applauded Tractor Supply’s disavowal of the Left, writing, “This is great. … It takes courage to admit when you’ve gone [astray] & it’s time more companies acknowledge they are there to serve their actual customers & those communities & not the woke causes of people who would never set foot in your stores. Well Done!”

For conservatives who’ve been fighting wokeism before it was a word, this is a powerful moment — even a historic one. Stephen Soukup, author of “The Dictatorship of Woke Capital,” can’t believe what he’s seeing. “Political neutrality is extremely difficult to achieve. … The reason,” he explains, “… is because of the politicization of basically everything in society, right? Health care is now political. Investments are political. Everything has been overtly made into a political issue. … [And] when everything is political, it pits us against each other. … And that’s something that we have to try and prevent against.”

Ever since the Bud Light and Target fiascos last year, Soukup told The Washington Stand, “Corporations have become aware that there is a distinction between ‘stakeholders’ and stakeholders. As the scare quotes imply, the first is a group of people who have no real skin in the game and are using the company solely to make a political point. The second, by contrast, are people who have a genuine interest in the company and its well-being — customers, employees, shareholders, etc. Catering to the former at the expense of the latter has proven to be a disastrous business strategy and, as a result, is rightly being abandoned by corporate leaders who understand what their fiduciary duties are.”

After this explosion of pushback, he feels the ground shifting. “… I’m so much more optimistic now than I was three or four years ago about how effective we can be in halting this ideological, political takeover of business and capital markets,” Soukup insisted.

But on the ideological battlefield, revolutions don’t happen all at once, Family Research Council’s Joseph Backholm pointed out. “You have to move one step at a time. You conquer a bridge, a hill, then a town. You keep piling up small victories, until eventually you realize a significant amount of territory has been conquered.”

Well, a significant amount of territory has been conquered here, and Americans who took a stand by taking their money elsewhere deserve all the credit in the world. The Goliaths are falling in a battle no conservative imagined winning. So pick up your slings, and let’s go. There are giants to slay.

AUTHOR

Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Pride Month Goes Out with a Whimper

It’s been a long time since Americans could sit back and actually enjoy the month of June. It was always an insufferable four weeks, breathing in the rainbow-saturated air that fell heaviest across our favorite sports, stores, shows, and social media. But the most remarkable thing about this year’s Pride Month may be just how unremarkable it was. Sure, there were still parades, over-the-top political pronouncements, and colorful flags billowing from too many government buildings, but the characteristic dread and fatigue from Pride is gone — replaced by a quiet confidence that maybe, just maybe, we’ve been heard.

For the conservatives in the movement fighting this battle the longest, 2024 didn’t just feel different. It was different. Heading into these final days of June, the biggest story across the mainstream media isn’t who’s celebrating Pride, but where did it go? The Associated PressNBC NewsVox, and others have talked to countless experts, who all have the same thing to say: Executives are too worried about rocking the consumer boat.

“They’ve been rattled,” Drexel University Marketing Professor Daniel Korschun insists of CEOs and other industry heads. “There’s been a definite scaling back in both big and small ways,” Joanna Schwartz, another professor at Georgia College & State University, agreed. “I had expected some brand caution, but this year seems [to be] a near full-scale retreat.”

For people whose livelihoods are actually tied to the LGBT activism that June represents, “bad” doesn’t begin to describe the year they’re having. For Tim Bennett, co-founder of a firm called Tribury that specializes in reaching gay- and trans-identifying audiences, business has been a bust. A lot fewer clients are “reaching out for Pride Month collaborations,” Bennett admitted to Vox. “In speaking with my peers,” he said, “most of us are experiencing the same pullback or wait-and-see approach.” Brand sponsorships are especially low.

Rob Smith, who sells gender-neutral clothing, told the AP that he’s seen a 25% drop in the number of stores carrying his line just over the last several months. That jives with what Alysse Dalessandro has experienced as an LGBTQ content creator. She went from 35 clients who hired her as a model for their Pride Month campaigns in 2022 to nine in 2023 — and just five this year. Even The Trevor Project, an extreme trans-affirming youth nonprofit, conceded to Marketing Brew that it’s seen “a decline in corporate giving in the last couple of years.”

Maybe this is just a “natural progression,” some have tried to spin it. If “transgender and queer people are regarded as part of the norm, there’s no point in making a big statement,” Barbara Kahn, of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, argued.

But in a country where corporate America is routinely blackmailed by LGBT pressure groups, any hint of moderating that message would be seen as betrayal. Stephen Soukup, an expert in woke capital, who’s tracked the progression of corporate activism for decades, pointed out that for the last 15 years, businesses have tried “very hard to please one specific [activist] group, the Human Rights Campaign, which is an LGBTQ interest group.” And every year, [HRC] puts out its Corporate Equality Index — and every year, corporations are expected to do different types of things … in order to receive a 100% rating.”

Lately, that’s included everything from offering health care coverage for gender reassignment surgery to giving a certain amount of dollars and time to LGBT advocacy. If HRC doesn’t like the level of support they receive from a business, then, as “Outstanding” podcast host Joseph Backholm pointed out, they’re “going to try to destroy your reputation and make it hard for you to do business. So the companies feel an obligation.”

Frankly, Joseph argued, “I see this as a kind of extortion, where unless you do the things the [activists] want you to do, they are going to affirmatively try to harm you. Because in the marketplace, of course, your reputation is a big part of what your brand is.” He compared it to a gangster showing up at a store, “tapping their nightstick on their palms saying, ‘You know, it’s a great business you have here. It’d be terrible if something happened to it.’”

The difference now is, American consumers have managed to collectively hurt brands’ bottom lines more than HRC’s ostracization ever could. After Dylan Mulvaney’s beer cans and Target’s “tuck-friendly” swimwear, the backlash was so explosive and so sustained that companies had no choice but to recalibrate. These were billion-dollar mistakes that sent plenty of boardrooms into desperate PR tailspins — and everyone else on a year-long soul search.

This whole grassroots sea change that’s taken hold in sports, business, and other industries has been an astounding thing for longtime conservatives to witness, especially those like Soukup, who’ve been fighting the corporate beast virtually alone for the better part of two decades. “There’s definitely been a retreat,” he agreed. “When I sat down to write the book ‘The Dictatorship of Woke Capitol’ four years ago this summer,” he admits, “I was pretty pessimistic. I didn’t think that there was a whole lot we could do to push back against ESG, to push back against the broader stakeholder movement, to push back against all of this politicization of American corporations. … Even after the book came out, the following spring, I did interview after interview [and] I was asked, ‘What do you think is going to happen?’ I was still pretty dour. I [was] still pretty pessimistic about what our prospects were to get … capital markets back to neutral.”

Now, he looks around at this nationwide movement to roll back LGBT activism and can hardly believe it. “Over the past three years, there’s been really an explosion in the pushback. And there are a lot of people who’ve been involved in this, a lot of people who deserve a lot of credit for this.”

It was almost like a great awakening for everyday Americans, who finally got fed up and realized the amount of power they wield. “We’ve seen a lot of people say, ‘You know what? This is not right. This is not the way that American capitalism is supposed to function. This is not the way American democracy is supposed to function. And it’s important for us to get this right, because if we don’t, then we lose everything.’ … I’m so much more optimistic now than I was three or four years ago about how effective we can be in halting this ideological, political takeover of business and capital markets.”

AUTHOR

Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

UGG Chooses Pride, Customers Choose to Boycott

“My hope,” said comedian and commentator Alok Vaid-Menon, “is that Pride can be experienced by everyone, everywhere, every day.” Vaid-Menon, more commonly referred to as Alok, is the transgender-identifying man UGG, the widely known boot company which chose to partner with for their URSeen Pride line. In an Instagram post, he said he was “thrilled” to partner with UGG and can be seen twirling around in a pink dress in his video ad for the campaign. “I really wanted my UGG Pride collaboration to be an unapologetic embrace of vibrancy and color.”

The campaign has been met with the call for boycotts, which some have described as “deja vu” in reference to the 2023 boycotts Bud Light experienced when they hired trans-identifying influencer Dylan Mulvaney to represent the brand. According to CNN, the beer giant saw a $1.4 billion drop in sales on account of the backlash. Following the trend, UGG now faces the response of frustrated consumers.

Alok’s role in the UGG Pride line alone is upsetting Americans. As the conservative X account Libs of TikTok shared, “Alok is a radical trans activist who said ‘little girls are k*nky’ and suggests it’s their fault if a male uses the bathroom with them.” But in addition to the disfavor over a biological male parading around as a woman, many have pointed out how UGG’s rainbow line has geared their ideological merchandise toward children.

The URSeen Collection involves various rainbow themed clothing and accessories. Notably, the company included child sized slip-ons and merchandise in this line. Breitbart reported that much of the criticism is centered on the fact that UGG is “exposing children to the transgender and gay agenda” through these products. For many, the irritation seems to stem from consumers who feel that brands are not heeding to the desires of their audience. But as Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow for Education Studies Meg Kilgannon pointed out, this behavior isn’t ultimately surprising.

She commented to The Washington Stand, “UGG tells you on their website they care ‘deeply about doing business the right way,’” which apparently takes shape in promoting someone like Alok, “a male who checks his oppression boxes by being queer from Texas.” Considering the ideological push, Kilgannon asked, “Do the women who wear these boots care about any of this?” Or rather, she added, “Do they just like the boots because they are easy to put on and ugly enough to match any outfit? Are they interested in whether or not UGG is ‘driving positive change in the world’”?

Kilgannon continued, “It’s worth noting that corporations that make politics part of the business model may not be great investments as the public grows increasingly tired of the lectures and posturing.”

This concept is something other brands seem to be catching on to. For instance, this year’s Pride Month has witnessed a significant decrease in the amount of professional sport’s teams repping the rainbow gear and showing their support for the LGBT agenda. Considering this, Kilgannon added that this “toned-down Pride Month” we’re seeing is likely “a function of election year politicking.”

She continued, “Political campaign consultants and corporate executives know that topless cavorting on the White House lawn is bad for business, no matter what business you are in.” Ultimately, Kilgannon concluded, “We will all be better off when globalization isn’t the driving factor in fashion.”

AUTHOR

Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘We’re Coming for Your Children’: LGBTQ Public School Agenda Should Concern Parents

Can you imagine not being able to opt your kindergartener out of wholly inappropriate LGBTQ propaganda at school? This is a reality in Maryland’s largest school district where the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit decided parents have no say in whether their K-5-aged children must sit through classes and read books addressing LGBTQ sexuality and gender.

Public schools are often the breeding ground for this radical ideology to be forced on minors. Whether it be boys in girls’ sports, “drag queen story hour” in the library, or forcing sexual themes on minors in the classroom, a war is being waged on our children in the name of LGBTQ activism that won’t stop until every parent, child, and educator surrenders to its demands.

Annually in June, Pride Month brings a heightened onslaught of the LGBTQ agenda in the public square and reminds us of the No. 1 target of this perverse ideology: children.

Coming for Our Children?

Last June, LGBTQ activists chanted, “We’re here! We’re queer! We’re coming for your children!” in New York City’s annual drag march. And we’ll never forget when in 2021, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Choir sang “We’re Coming for Your Children,” with the chilling lyrics: “You think that we’ll corrupt your kids if our agenda goes unchecked. Funny, just this once, you’re correct. We’ll convert your children.”

Though they claim these threats to come after our children are actually “tongue in cheek,” it is evident that impressionable, vulnerable children are the primary victims of radical LGBTQ ideology.

Look no further than the state of public schools, where children are paying the price of this gruesome social experiment that affirms lies to pander to the LGBTQ lobby.

The National Education Association, for example, helped draft and encouraged “sexual education standards” for teachers to discuss inappropriate topics like sexual orientation with children despite parental concerns.

In recent years, it’s been revealed that some school libraries offer sexually-charged and sometimes pornographic books on their shelves. And some schools have even socially “transitioned” students without their parents’ knowledge or consent. In Maryland’s largest public school district, internal data from 2022 showed a 582% increase in just two years in students who identify as “gender nonconforming.”

We are witnessing the carnage this pervasive ideology has had in radicalizing school policies to the detriment of students’ physical well-being. In 2021, for instance, we were struck by the news that a ninth-grade girl in Loudoun County, Virginia was sexually assaulted after a boy dressed in a skirt was allowed to enter the girls’ bathroom, which sparked national outrage.

With the Biden administration’s redefinition of “sex” in Title IX, which will be enacted in August unless the courts intervene, I fear these stories will become even more common as schools that receive federal funds will be subjected to “affirming” a student who identifies as the opposite gender. This opens the door to a plethora of safety, privacy, and ethical concerns and would allow boys in girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports.

When we were kids, our parents didn’t have to worry about radical indoctrination and dangerous policies in public schools. Sadly, that is no longer the case as public schools have attempted to co-opt the role of the parent and sabotage the foundation upon which a child’s worldview is established, attacking truth as basic as the definition of male and female.

On top of this, government-run schools are failing to provide a quality education, as evidenced by adult literacy rates and declining test scores, especially since COVID.

A Christian Solution

If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic and school closures revealed the cancer that has seeped into the classroom as parents witnessed the ideologies certain teacher “activists” were promulgating on their students. This is one of the reasons parents pulled their children out of public school in droves as public education numbers continue to fall.

With a new school year quickly approaching, I implore parents to pray about where their children are receiving instruction five days a week and become serious about the responsibility to “train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6), understanding what’s at stake in this post-Christian world.

The average child’s worldview is in place by age 13, based on research from George Barna. Who do you trust to help shape your child’s worldview in some of the most crucial years of development?

Christian parents should consider the importance of a private Christian or homeschool education with godly educators who acknowledge truth and believe parents are the primary stakeholders in their child’s education.

Parents need to understand that select alternatives to public school provide a quality education from a faith-based perspective and Christian worldview that won’t compromise on values.

Your child is being discipled one way or another; ensure they’re being discipled in Christ and not in the world. This can change the course of a generation and the trajectory of children’s lives and spiritual growth.

As Voddie Baucham said, “We cannot continue to send our children to Caesar for their education and be surprised when they come home as Romans.”

AUTHOR

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, chairman of Liberty Counsel Action, an educator, and a former founding dean of a leading Christian law school.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

The ‘Queerest President’ in American History

Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. is the “Queerest” occupier of the White House in American history.

The HillsBrett Samuels in 2023 reported, “White House officials frequently tout the diversity of President Biden’s administration, including that roughly 15 percent of all appointees identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer.”

Among these appointees are:

  • Pete Buttigieg – the first openly gay Senate-confirmed Cabinet secretary in U.S. history and has served as Transportation Secretary.
  • Karine Jean-Pierre – Press Secretary who said upon assuming office, “I am a Black, gay, immigrant woman, the first of all three of those to hold this position. I would not be here today if it were not for generations of barrier-breaking people before me. I stand on their shoulders.”
  • Ben LaBolt – who was an Obama-administration veteran with ties to the Biden team, LaBolt is the first openly gay White House communications director.
  • Rachel Levine – the first openly transgender four-star officer in the public health corps or across the uniformed services of the military.
  • Ned Price – served as the State Department press secretary for roughly two years, becoming the first openly gay individual to do so.
  • Chantale Wong – the first out lesbian and first LGBTQ person of color to be confirmed to the rank of ambassador.
  • Shawn Skelly – the highest ranking openly transgender Pentagon official and the second transgender person to ever be confirmed by the Senate.
  • Judge Charlotte Sweeney – the first openly LGBTQ district court judge to serve the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.
  • Judge Ana Reyes – a district judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
  • Judge Gina Méndez-Miró – first openly LGBTQ federal district court judge in Puerto Rico.
  • Judge Daniel Calabretta – the first openly LGBTQ judge to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.

Joshua Arnold senior writer at The Washington Stand in an article titled “Biden Campaign Plans to Appear at 200+ Pride Events in June 2024” wrote,

President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign plans to appear at more than 200 LGBTQ Pride events and launch a media blitz at LGBTQ voters during the month of June, campaign spokespersons told NBC News recently. This announcement comes months after the Biden campaign declared in January it would make the abortion issue “front and center.”

The campaign plans Pride appearances in 23 states, including all battleground states, featuring not only campaign surrogates but top figures as well. Vice President Kamala Harris greeted 150 LGBT activists in Los Angeles last weekend. First Lady Jill Biden made an unannounced stop at a Pride festival in Pittsburgh.

The Biden campaign will “culminate the so-called celebration of Pride with a huge fundraiser in New York City” on June 28, where President Biden “plans to be the keynote speaker,” narrated David Closson, director of Family Research Council’s Center for Biblical Worldview, on “Washington Watch” Friday. “You’d better believe it will be the president himself waving that rainbow flag.”

Add to this that 19% of Biden Supporters Say Marriage and Childbearing Should Be a Societal Priority and you have rainbow flags, along with pro-Hamas flags, moving across America.

Family Research Council Action Director Matt Carpenter said, “If you want to understand why Americans are so divided, look no further than how partisanship affects views on family formation and childbearing. Just 19% of Biden voters say society is better off if people make marriage and having children a priority, compared to 59% of Trump voters. If Americans are so divided on something as basic as forming families and having children, then it stands to reason there is not much else that would bring us together.”

The idea of Pride Month is is a myth based upon a lie and its not okay.

The federal government first recognized the “pride myth month” in 1999 when President Bill Clinton declared June “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month.” In 2009, President Barack Obama declared June LGBT Pride Month.

So the idea of a Pride Month was based upon a myth of a black transsexual who reportedly threw a brick at a New York City police officer during a raid on the Stonewall Inn.

The Legacy Project reports,

In the early morning hours of June 28th the police attempted a large-scale raid on the Mafia-owned gay club. No one – not the police or the people they were targeting – knew what was about to happen. While the police waited for patrol wagons to cart away the arrested suspects and seized alcohol, the bar’s patrons began to resist. Men refused to show their IDs, and those in drag refused to accompany female officers to a bathroom to have their gender confirmed.

[ … ]

As the crowd erupted, the arresting officers – who were outnumbered more than 50 to 1 – barricaded themselves inside the bar. Within hours over 1000 people arrived and five more days of rioting engulfed the streets surrounding the club.

This is a lie that has now become a myth that is repeated over and over again.

Watch this video titled “The Stonewall You Know Is a Myth” to understand who really threw the first brick at the Mafia-owned Stonewall Inn NYPD:

The 1971 London version of the Gay Liberation Front Manifesto reads in part:

FAMILY

The oppression of gay people starts in the most basic unit of society, the family, consisting of the man, a slave as his wife, and their children on whom they force themselves as ideal models. The very form of the family works against homosexuality…

WORDS

Anti-homosexual morality and ideology, at every level of society, manifests themselves in a special vocabulary for denigrating gay people. There is abuse like “pansy”, “fairy”, “lesbo” to hurl at men and women who can’t or won’t fit stereotyped preconceptions…

SCHOOL

Family experiences may differ wildly, but in their education all children confront a common situation. Schools reflect the values of society in their formal academic curriculum, and reinforce their [T]rality and discipline. Boys learn competitive, ego-building sports, and have more opportunity in science, whereas girls are given emphasis on domestic subjects, needlework etc. Again, we gays were all forced into a rigid sex role which we did not want…

CHURCH

Formal religious education is still part of everyone’s schooling, and our whole legal structure is supposedly based upon Christianity, whose archaic and irrational teachings support the tamity and marriage as the only permitted condition for sex…

Here is the campaign objectives and immediate demand of the Gay Liberation Front:

  • that all discrimination against gay people, male and female, by the law, by employers, and by society at large, should end.
  • that all people who feel attracted to a member of their own sex be taught that such feelings are perfectly valid.
  • that sex education in schools stop being exclusively heterosexual.
  • that psychiatrists stop treating homosexuality as though it were a sickness, thereby giving gay people senseless guild complexes.
  • that gay people be as legally free to contact other gay people, though[sp] newspaper ads, on the streets and by any other means they may want as are heterosexuals, and that police harassment should cease right now.

Beginning on January 20th, 2021 Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. and his cabal have made all of the above public policy via the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion agenda.

We are now seeing our schools, media, corporations and churches kowtowing to the homosexuals.

Biden and his cabal  are targeting America’s faith, families and freedoms to speak out against this movement to groom our children for sex with homosexuals.

They cannot be stopped, and then reversed, unless and until we change the administration in Washington, D.C. and replace it with on that holds on to our Judeo-Christian values.

©2024. Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

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Biden Campaign Plans to Appear at 200+ Pride Events in June

President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign plans to appear at more than 200 LGBTQ Pride events and launch a media blitz at LGBTQ voters during the month of June, campaign spokespersons told NBC News recently. This announcement comes months after the Biden campaign declared in January it would make the abortion issue “front and center.”

The campaign plans Pride appearances in 23 states, including all battleground states, featuring not only campaign surrogates but top figures as well. Vice President Kamala Harris greeted 150 LGBT activists in Los Angeles last weekend. First Lady Jill Biden made an unannounced stop at a Pride festival in Pittsburgh.

The Biden campaign will “culminate the so-called celebration of Pride with a huge fundraiser in New York City” on June 28, where President Biden “plans to be the keynote speaker,” narrated David Closson, director of Family Research Council’s Center for Biblical Worldview, on “Washington Watch” Friday. “You’d better believe it will be the president himself waving that rainbow flag.”

Closson said he was “not at all surprised” at the Biden campaign’s decision, even though it was a “pretty significant” investment. “President Biden has really presided over the most aggressive pro-LGBTQ administration that we’ve ever seen,” he explained, championing the Equality Act, pushing the “so-called Respect for Marriage Act that codified gay marriage” over the finish line and rewriting Title IX, “the legislation that’s supposed to protect women and girls.”

Under the Biden administration’s leadership, the culture wars are “no longer just about the LGBT movement seeking affirmation,” Family Research Council Action President Jody Hice agreed. “Those in the movement are trying to force their supporters and even their opponents … to bow their knee, and they want to demonize anyone who refuses.”

The Biden campaign’s “plan to aggressively campaign at Pride events” comes as “Big Business has scaled back on its public support of all things LGBT,” observed Hice. “Many companies and businesses are not nearly as all-in [on Pride Month] as they have been in years past. No doubt this is due in large part to the backlash over Bud Light and Target.” But, as corporate America withdraws from this unpopular position, the Biden campaign “is really making an aggressive push” on LGBTQ Pride, Closson noted.

Hice also noticed “quite a difference, a contrast in how the Biden and the Trump campaigns are messaging on LGBT issues,” both in the priority they give to the issue and on the position they take. Whereas the Biden campaign is emphasizing Pride events, the Trump campaign is focusing on crime, the economy, and immigration, said Closson. “This is not an issue they’re really running heavily on.”

However, Closson continued, “when they’ve had opportunity,” the Trump campaign has “highlighted the importance of religious freedom, whereas the Biden campaign really is kind of all-in on this whole gamut of LGBT issues.” He added that “we don’t have to guess what the second Trump administration would look like because we have a four-year record [reflecting what the] Trump administration did on issues related to religious liberty.”

Closson highlighted the Trump State Department’s leadership on the international religious freedom ministerial, an executive order protecting religious freedom, the Department of Health and Human Services designating clergy as essential workers and protecting the conscience rights of doctors, and the Justice Department intervening to support religious liberty for everyone from private citizens like Jack Phillips to churches seeking the freedom to assemble together. “When it comes to religious liberty,” Closson concluded, “the contrast between the Biden administration and the first Trump administration is actually quite stark.”

This policy difference between the presumed nominees for America’s two major political parties is “why Christians really need to be paying attention” to the Biden campaign’s emphasis on Pride events, urged Hice. “This is not simply an issue of sexual preference or whatever. This goes far beyond that to impact your church, my church, our religious liberties, the doctors, where they work … [even] teachers at school.” Closson agreed. “Elections really do have consequences.”

AUTHOR

Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.

RELATED PODCAST: PRIDE Goeth Before the Fall Month – Rosaria Butterfield

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Expert: Military’s Pride Posts ‘Prioritize the Trivial to the Detriment of the Significant’

In honor of Pride Month, the U.S. Navy SEALs and Naval Special Warfare Command’s Facebook page shared a post that read, with the words spread out across a rainbow background, “NSW. Dignity. Service. Respect. Equality. Pride.” The Navy SEALs, which are often regarded as one of the U.S. military’s leading and most respected fighting forces, was not able to walk away from the post free of backlash. It “brought a tsunami of criticism and ridicule,” LifeSite News reported. They added, “The message was hugely ratioed, eliciting 7,000 mostly negative comments to just 1,500 ‘likes.’”

One comment, which received significant attention, said, “This is a slap in the face of every special warfare operator that has put their lives on the line for our nation.” Adding to the criticism, the conservative Libs of TikTok, wrote, “The Navy Seals have gone woke. Our elite special forces. This is terrifying.” But it would seem the Navy SEALs were not alone in their promotion of Pride, as the Department of Defense shared a similar post. It stated, “Pride Month is a time to come together to honor the contributions of LGBTQ+ service members. We are committed to ensuring and promoting an atmosphere of dignity and respect for all civilian and military personnel.”

Followers weren’t pleased with that either, as users said things like, “You have purposely made a mockery of our country and my grandfather who died defending it.” Another commented, “Your account is a disgrace to our country. Delete it.” Additionally, someone pointed out, “This is NOT the Department of Defense’s mission. Stay out of the American people’s politics.”

In addition to this backlash, some have acknowledged the fact that June is also Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month — which was also recognized by the Navy after the Pride post. And while other U.S. military social media accounts did not initially share posts related to Pride Month, the Air Force, Navy, Space Force, Coast Guard, and the Pentagon Force Protection Agency now have. Those accounts also received overwhelming backlash.

Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. Boykin, Family Research Council’s executive vice president, wasn’t surprised by the military’s Pride Month posts. He shared with The Washington Stand, “The negative comments regarding the support for Pride Month reflect the deep-seated sentiments of these sailors and other military personnel regarding the value of this woke program that exists in all the services.”

Boykin continued, “In a world like the one that we live in today, war is inevitable — and being ready for war is the responsibility of all our military leaders. I have not found anyone who can explain how this focus on the LGBT agenda is going to enhance the readiness of our armed forces.” The general added, “I personally applaud those that have the courage to say what they believe, as their expressions reflect the sentiments of the majority of people serving in our military today.”

According to Joseph Backholm, FRC’s senior fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement, the posts reveal a lot about the priorities of the military’s leadership. “This is yet another reminder that our current national leadership prioritizes the trivial to the detriment of the significant,” he shared with TWS.

“In theory,” he continued, “you can maintain military readiness while also posting silly and false things on social media. But we’ve seen plenty of other evidence that politics have caused our military to take their eye off the ball.” Ultimately, Backholm emphasized, “They make these statements because they believe in the cause” they’re representing. He went on to explain how, in their eyes, “negative responses” serve as fuel that “simply affirms how important it is for them to continue on the path.”

While some of the users that left negative comments wondered why the military supports an agenda many people reject, Backholm noted that, at the end of the day, it’s because the branches promoting it “don’t care that most of the country finds it bothersome and that most of the world finds it offensive.” Rather, he observed, “They have no doubt they are correct” in backing it. Backholm concluded, “They believe they are defending the oppressed and anyone who disagrees with them are one of the oppressors.”

AUTHOR

Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘What Makes a Man?’ Christian Coalition Publishes Statement on Godly Masculinity

While Pride Month is busy promoting homosexuality and gender confusion, a coalition of Christian men is proclaiming a doctrine of biblical masculinity. On Monday, the men’s chastity and marriage ministry Promise Keepers led a number of other Christian organizations and individuals in issuing “A Proclamation on Godly Masculinity,” which “seeks to establish where leaders and pastors nationwide fall in their position on masculinity, femininity, gender roles and most specifically, Godly masculinity and the role of men in our culture.” The “Proclamation” clarifies God’s design for masculinity, what masculinity is (and is not), and what men are called to do.

Speaking to Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on Monday night’s “Washington Watch,” former Major League Baseball player-turned-entrepreneur David Benham — who, along with his brother Jason, was one of the co-authors of the “Proclamation” — explained that Satan “does not want men to be godly men, biblical men, to embrace masculinity as God designed it.”

“The reason why masculinity is controversial in 2024 is because the world system has set itself against the very design and the image of God for manhood,” he explained. “And so what the world system has done is it elevates perversion and greed and promiscuity and dominance and chauvinism. And then it flips it around and calls its own invention toxic.” Benham further clarified:

“When the church forsakes its conscience and we don’t train up men to be biblical men, to lay their lives down, and then men turn around and use the same power and strength God has given us to stand against injustice — men are using it now to perpetrate evil, to be greedy, to be chauvinist, to dominate, and to do all kinds of evil around this world. And so in the absence of good men, evil men have risen. And that’s where we find this issue with toxic masculinity and all these things that we desperately need to set straight with good male leadership.”

The “Proclamation on Godly Masculinity” explains that “maleness (masculinity) and femaleness (femininity) are essential to building God’s world according to His purposes. The combination of masculinity as expressed by men and femininity as expressed by women reflect the image of the Creator and thus are wholly perfect.” Due to sin, “a man departs from the Godly masculinity in which he was created,” and that “can lead to a multitude of destructive outcomes such as exploitation of others, the pursuit of feminine traits, passivity in the face of injustice and/or oppression of those who are weaker.” But since Christ is God become man, “He is the best embodiment of both humanity and masculinity. By believing in Jesus as God who died and came back to life, and repenting of sin, a person is restored in their relationship to God.”

Thanks to the redemption purchased by Christ’s blood, the statement explains, men can fulfill their masculine purpose “as perfectly demonstrated in the man, Jesus Christ.” The redemption and restoration offered in Christ afford men the opportunity for sanctification, which is deepened as they “deny their sinful desires, pray, study Scripture, and actively look to serve others. They begin to live in the identity their Creator intended. Their desires align with God’s will, causing the peace, joy, unity, and power that Jesus promised to become reality.”

Benham explained that it is necessary to define the terms of Godly masculinity, saying, “We have to define what a true biblical man is. What is manhood? What is masculinity?” The proclamation he co-authored explains that masculinity is “the eternal foundational value present in men who live out the identity, order, and purpose that gives meaning to their lives as God intended.” It necessitates practicing servant leadership, exercising authority in the home and submitting to the authority of God, and living a life of self-discipline.

Godly men are called, the statement reads, to be peacemakers, to act with courage, to promote justice, to display controlled strength, to practice interdependence, and to exercise biblical conviction. “Being a peacemaker requires healthy, humble, and gracious confrontation,” the proclamation explains. “A man is not called to be a peacekeeper, simply trying to keep the peace at all costs. Sometimes, being a peacemaker requires personal risk — confronting the wicked for the sake of the innocent.”

As David pointed out, “In today’s culture, leadership is often associated with dominance. … It’s your way or the highway. That’s not the type of leadership we’re looking at. The type of leadership that we define in Scripture is the leadership of Jesus Christ, the servant leader who sacrificed himself for us, who laid his life down. And that’s truly the essence of biblical masculinity,” he emphasized, “is that a man is tasked, number one, to provide and to protect, to lay his life down, to be the first line of defense. … Thank God for all those moms who are out there doing wonderful things, especially in the absence of good men. But men are tasked with that responsibility. And so now, during Pride Month, especially, now is a time to clearly define what a man is.”

As the declaration explains, “All people experience fear, but courage is standing boldly for Truth anyway.” “Because of the unique call to men to defend and protect, masculinity requires an extra measure of courage. It must come from the core of a man’s character.” It continues, “As the leader in the war against Satan, man has a unique role in confronting injustice, the primary indicator of God’s enemy’s presence and effect.” To do this, men must learn to control their strength, using it “to protect the innocent, defend the oppressed, and stand for justice.”

Interdependence, the proclamation clarifies, is a sort of teamwork among men. “Because of their call to lead, each man must understand his strengths and limitations, recognizing his need to work in relationships and teamwork with others.” The document continues, “Wisdom understands the call to work with others as a team to rescue as many people as possible from sin and bring them to the gift of forgiveness in Christ.”

Finally, the proclamation states, biblical conviction “is a belief that is not negotiable. A man of God refuses to relent on his biblical convictions, no matter what it costs him.” Echoing St. Paul in Philippians 3:8-10, the document concludes, “A man of God considers money, fame, security, and admiration worthless compared to the immeasurable value of standing for Truth, no matter the cost.”

Men can visit WhatMakesAMan.org to sign the proclamation and “demonstrate your commitment to godly masculinity.”

AUTHOR

S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: Acceptance of Men in Women’s Sports Declining: ‘A Hopeful Sign’

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Pro-Palestinian Protestors and Pride Month Paraders Face ‘Progressive Standoff’

It’s officially June, which means the celebration of Pride has come out in full swing. Although Pride celebrations this year appear to be a bit more muted, many city streets are still cluttered with numerous festivals and parades rooted in the theme of “inclusion” and “acceptance” of all things gender and sexuality. However, even though such festivities are already rejected by countless Americans, this year the Pride displays seem to have been met with a new foe.

A “progressive standoff” ensued on Sunday as hundreds of LGBT paraders were confronted by hundreds of pro-Palestine protestors during the Philadelphia Pride Parade. The rainbow march was abruptly stopped when their path was blocked off by the anti-Israel crowd, who chanted phrases such as, “No Pride in genocide.” As reported by The Post Millennial, “Drag queens, trans folx, and Pride flag waving persons looked confused as they were unable to proceed down the parade route.”

Police were forced to break apart the two groups as they battled to claim the streets of Philadelphia. In a post on X, one bystander described the scene as “some kind of intersectional civil war.” And considering the somewhat unexpected nature of this controversy, Breitbart News pointed out, “The protest highlights a growing tension between segments of the Democrat Party base who believe that anti-Israel protests should take precedent over other causes like LGBTQ activism.” To that point, Joseph Backholm, Family Research Council’s senior fellow for Strategic Engagement and Biblical Worldview, commented to The Washington Stand, “On one hand, it’s not unusual for a political tribe to have competing priorities.”

He continued, “There are lots of issues in the world, and it’s normal for people who agree in many ways to still have disagreements about tactics or priorities. But what makes this intramural conflict interesting is the awareness that their differences are not superficial.” As Backholm stated, “Many on the Gaza side of this conflict would literally kill the Pride side if they could.”

Interestingly, Backholm noted that while both sides “are united in their disdain for Christianity,” it’s “for totally different reasons.” For instance, he explained, “Palestinians hate Christianity because it allows so much personal freedom that the Pride folks are allowed to exist at all. The Pride team hates Christianity because it doesn’t celebrate what they choose to do with their freedom.”

Since June has only just begun, the question is: Will we see more of these standoffs? As far as Backholm is concerned, it’s entirely possible — especially since pro-Hamas college campus activism is predicted to go into the summer months, as TWS Senior Writer Joshua Arnold reported in May. “College semesters may be winding down, but the anti-Israel, pro-Hamas demonstrations that have dominated the past month are not,” Arnold wrote, highlighting that not too long ago, Philadelphia saw new campus encampments pop up at Drexel University shortly before their summer term began — a school in close proximity to where last weekend’s events took place.

Regardless of how often these conflicting protests occur, Backholm said, “I suspect the Palestinian protests will always win,” given that, “in political standoffs, the more committed team virtually always wins.” He added, “The rainbow people will not endure actual pain for their cause, the Palestinian side will.”

Backholm predicted that we can also expect to see throughout the month the Left wrestling with how to handle problems of their own making. He expounded, “The challenge for the Left is that their worldview requires them to resolve conflicts by focusing on the identity of the people involved rather than the ideas involved.” He went on to say that “a critical theory framework” means whoever is more oppressed “has a greater right to be heard.” But in the case of Pride versus Palestine, “both the rainbow people and the Palestinian protestors are currently on the Mount Rushmore of oppression,” Backholm said, where “the Left doesn’t know who to listen to and who to ignore.”

From a biblical worldview, Backholm said, “Christians need to understand … that the ideas themselves are always more important than the group identity of the person speaking.” In other words, “We need to evaluate arguments based on how closely they align with truth, regardless of who is speaking, because everyone has the potential to be wrong and everyone has the potential to be right.”

He concluded, “Truth is what matters most,” so it would be wise for believers “to avoid silly games like this.”

AUTHOR

Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.

RELATED VIDEO: Pro-Palestine Protestors CLASH With Pride Marchers

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘If You Can Keep It’: America’s Foundation Is Crumbling but Not Lost

Pride Month is once again upon us — that special time of the year when governments, corporations, and seemingly every major institution band together to noxiously celebrate the chief of all sins, as well as a whole legion of sexual perversions, degeneracies, and aberrations.

As absolutely everything about it makes clear, Pride Month is not a matter of fostering tolerance nor even a misguided notion of affection for a marginalized minority (the very claim that the LGBT crowd is “marginalized” puts to shame even the most egregious cases of George Orwell’s “doublespeak”) but rather of insufferably demanding submission to grave depravity and psychologically browbeating the masses into accepting as “normal” that which is diabolically deviant. From leather bondage gear and public nudity at Pride parades to the mutilation of children’s genitals in surgical theaters, the accoutrements of Pride Month would have appalled generations past.

The top-down adoration of the LGBT agenda (for, of course, Pride Month is not a grassroots achievement but an innovation of the elite) is symptomatic of the decadence of America. Nigh-unfettered immigration pouring millions of third-world denizens across the border, rampantly rising lawlessness seeping out of urban hellscapes, the debilitating decline of both marriage and birth rates plaguing society, the stentorian campaign to slaughter untold thousands of unborn children, and the more recent corruption and subversion of the justice system to target lawful political figures like former President Donald Trump are also indicative of the impending demise of the Land of the Free.

While many on the political, social, and cultural Left like to hypothesize that America’s Constitution is out of date, designed uniquely for a people who lived and labored over 200 years ago and thus in need of revisions and updates according to modern standards, that is by no means the case. Certainly, America’s Founding Fathers likely never imagined the nightmare scenario of “doctors” chopping off the healthy breasts of teenage girls and the healthy penises of adolescent boys, blithely calling the whole barbaric affair “lifesaving,” but they were far from ignorant of degeneracy. Those on the Left pretend that the Founders never imagined or possibly foresaw the advent of such things as pornography, abortion, or the LGBT agenda.

Certainly, it is difficult to imagine the Founding Fathers sitting around their desks in Philadelphia, New York City, or Annapolis, Maryland and discussing whether or not there would be a time when “doctors” would cut off adolescent children’s sex organs, but the provisions they placed in the Constitution were intended to prevent such nightmares from ever becoming reality — by addressing the principles which could either prevent or permit such nightmares. But those principles rested upon and rest upon still certain conditions. When asked in 1787 what kind of government the Constitutional Convention had agreed upon for the fledgling American nation, Benjamin Franklin famously answered, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

We have not kept it. But we can perhaps reclaim it. Franklin himself intimated how. In a speech before that Continental Convention on September 17, 1787, the scientist-turned-statesman proclaimed:

“I think a General Government necessary for us, and there is no form of government, but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered; and [I] believe further, that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government.”

At the time, Franklin was nominally addressing the Convention’s president, the legendary George Washington. But the content of his speech was directed to three delegates present who expressed doubts about the form of government which their colleagues were crafting. In earnestly encouraging his fellow Americans to sign the Constitution, Franklin wisely observed that while other forms of government may devolve into despotism at one man’s whim, the American government was structured in such a way that only the will of the people could corrupt it. Franklin’s fellow Founder and America’s first Vice President John Adams put it more pointedly when he said, “Our [C]onstitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

America was once comprised of a moral and religious people, but no longer. Now, Pride Month is close to becoming a state-mandated religious observance, child sacrifice via abortion is a protected anti-sacrament across numerous states, drag queens preach the gospel of gay to children, the rank stench of marijuana hangs over most major metropolitan centers, the soul-sucking scourge of pornography is available at the click of a button on every cell phone and laptop, heartless hookup culture and DIY prostitution have their own trending apps, and all manner of godlessness is accepted and touted in the public square while Christianity is ostracized and shushed. This is the present state of the people.

Is it any wonder then that the American government — of those people, by those people, and for those people — is hurtling headlong into the very despotism that the Founders warned against? The Justice Department is abdicating its duty to the virtue it is named for and targeting pro-life Americans for the crime of standing up for the unborn; courts award government-run schools carte blanche to secretly transgenderify children, leaving American moms and dads in the dark; government “health” agencies commit fraud against the American people to bolster pharmaceutical sales; the legitimacy of authorities is smeared and castigated in pursuit of radical, unamerican agendas; and the dominant political party shields its own when the law is broken and just as wantonly breaks the law in persecuting its political opponents.

In establishing the American republic, the Founding Fathers also articulated how to reclaim it: morality and religion. The American government was, in fact, predicated upon morality and virtue, as the writings of the Founders evince — America’s foundation is morality and religion. This was not a novel concept, nor singularly unique to the new American government. The Founders were no simpletons: they were well-read men with a profound depth and breadth of knowledge of history and philosophy. Many of the Founders had enjoyed classical educations in the Christian West and were thus familiar with the most significant works of the ancient Greeks and Romans, as well as the Bible and the writings of Christian saints and heroes over the previous centuries. All of these sources upheld virtue as a necessary prerequisite for a functioning society.

Greco-Roman political philosophy, shaped by men like Plato and Aristotle, Cicero, and Marcus Aurelius, considered virtue paramount and even fundamental to the city, state, nation, and empire. These pagan ideas were perfected upon by Christian thought. In his voluminous treatise “The City of God,” penned shortly after the Sack of Rome, Augustine of Hippo concluded that for any earthly nation to survive and eventually thrive, its people must be virtuous, as are the citizens of the Heavenly City. Almost 1,400 years later, Franklin’s speech before the Continental Convention closely echoed Augustine when the saint wrote:

“In this world, therefore, the dominion of good men is profitable, not so much for themselves as for human affairs. But the dominion of bad men is hurtful chiefly to themselves who rule, for they destroy their own souls by greater license in wickedness; while those who are put under them in service are not hurt except by their own iniquity. For to the just all the evils imposed on them by unjust rulers are not the punishment of crime, but the test of virtue. Therefore the good man, although he is a slave, is free; but the bad man, even if he reigns, is a slave, and that not of one man, but, what is far more grievous, of as many masters as he has vices; of which vices when the divine Scripture [2 Peter 2:19] treats, it says, ‘For of whom any man is overcome, to the same he is also the bond-slave.’”

Indeed, Augustine’s words perfect upon not only the philosophy of the pagan Greeks and Romans, but even upon the American ideals of Franklin and his fellow Founders.

Sadly, as the rampant degeneracy and lawlessness of today make clear, we have not kept the republic given to us by the Founders, the foundations of America are crumbling — but we can reclaim the republic, we can restore the foundation upon which America rests. To do so, we must mount a crusade of virtue, we must model ourselves after the citizens of Heaven, we must become again a moral and religious people.

We may very well, as Augustine warned and as our Founders themselves experienced, live for a time under the rule of the unjust, of the vicious and licentious, but if we keep our eyes fixed upon God and the Heavenly City, such trials will serve as “the test of virtue” and will become for us a strength. The nation is not lost, so long as we keep alive virtue in our hearts.

AUTHOR

S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

RELATED VIDEO: It’s Not a Republic. We Couldn’t Keep It. | TIPPING POINT

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Target Retreats from LGBT Merch after Year-Long Profit Bloodbath

This year’s Pride Month is shaping up to be a much more humble affair at Target. In an extremely gratifying twist, the company that bragged their transgender line is “great for our brand” has changed its mind after a year-long stock market bruising. It’s the latest evidence that the wildfire of consumer activism is not only spreading but forcing the kind of change most people never thought possible.

If you asked conservatives two years ago, stopping the woke at major brands would’ve been a victory. But reversing the woke? That’s a tectonic shift in the power structure of Big Business. For once, CEOs — who for years have thrown their radical agenda in the face of shoppers — are feeling enough pain in their profit margins to stop and ask if appeasing the far-Left is worth it.

Target’s CEO Brian Cornell, who flaunted the stores’ chest binders and tucking swimming suits for kids as “progress,” finally counted the cost of his social extremism late last summer. By the end of a dismal August, he didn’t apologize, but he did admit that it was time for some soul searching. As his first and second quarter earnings tanked, he hinted at changes ahead. “As we navigate an ever-changing operating and social environment, we’re applying what we’ve learned to ensure we’re staying close to our guests and their expectations of Target.”

What Cornell learned, Americans will be pleased to know, is that trans activism is the fastest road to financial insolvency. After thumbing his nose at Christmas shoppers with shelves full of LGBT pandering, the full weight of consumer outrage started to sink in. Like his counterparts at Anheuser-BuschNikeDisneyPlanet FitnessRipCurl, and Doritos, he sent shoppers running for the exits.

But the activism has obviously gotten to an unsustainable point for his business, forcing Target to announce what would have been unthinkable a year and a half ago: a significant reduction in Pride products. On its website Thursday, the company wanted people to know that this summer’s LGBT merchandise will not only be limited but designed with adults — not children — in mind.

“We’re offering a collection of products including adult apparel and home and food and beverage items, curated based on consumer feedback,” the notice read. “The collection will be available on Target.com and in select stores, based on historical sales performance.” Of the company’s 2,000 stores nationwide, only some will carry the items that landed them in hot water last year.

Naturally, the company’s course-correction didn’t thrill the corporate hostage-takers in the LGBT movement, who immediately blasted Target’s decision to put profitability first. Kelley Robinson, president of the extreme Human Rights Campaign, said Cornell’s move was a disappointing betrayal of their progressive values. “Pride merchandise means something,” she insisted. “LGBTQ+ people are in every zip code in this country, and we aren’t going anywhere.”

The company’s PR team rushed to reassure Robinson and other activists, saying in a statement, “Target is committed to supporting the LGBTQIA+ community during Pride Month and year-round,” headquarters wrote. “Most importantly, we want to create a welcoming and supportive environment for our LGBTQIA+ team members, which reflects our culture of care for the over 400,000 people who work at Target.”

So while Americans can (and should) celebrate the difference they’re making with their money, the work isn’t over. This muted approach to Pride is still an effort to play both sides. As Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told The Washington Stand, “CEO Brian Cornell is discovering that customers do ‘expect more’ now that many consumers are spending less at Target because of its LGBTQ fixation. By avoiding Target, consumers are getting the woke corporation’s attention, but not necessarily their behavior. They should continue spending elsewhere until their behavior meets consumers’ expectations.”

FRC’s Meg Kilgannon also chimed in, pointing out that Pride Month’s celebration of “unnatural lifestyles, proclivities, and identities has become more and more obnoxious over time.” The idea that Target is “setting a limit on Pride merchandising and marketing is remarkable for a corporate America too willing to bend the knee to HRC’s fake business scores,” she agreed. “As American shoppers endure rising prices and lower wages, retail stores suffer — not only from Bidenomics — but their own ridiculous investments in social justice and culture war issues that have nothing to do with profits and everything to do with virtue signaling to shape public opinion.”

“I haven’t shopped in Target recently and don’t plan to,” Kilgannon said. “But it is nice to think that the June rainbow radicals might be dialing things back. If people stop shopping in June, or at least stop spending money in stores and with businesses with rainbow logos and beyond, more retailers will get the message.”

Others, like expert Stephen Soukup, author of “The Dictatorship of Woke Capital,” urge people not to be duped by Target’s “half-measures.” “They seem unlikely to make anyone happy,” he told TWS, “while almost certainly frustrating observers and activists on all sides of the issue. Target says, for example, that it is carefully assessing which stores will have LGBTQ merchandise this year,” he pointed out. “That’s irrelevant in the digital age. Wherever the displays are, they will be videoed and uploaded to social media, causing every bit of outrage and frustration they have caused in previous years,” Soukup said.

“Likewise,” he explained, “it’s important to remember that Target took a hit on its Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index score last year, simply because it responded to customer anger at its displays. The company will almost certainly get nicked again this year for supposedly capitulating to anti-LGBTQ sentiment by limiting its Pride Month offerings.” Ultimately, Soukup predicted, “Both outcomes are likely to aggravate Target’s shareholders. It took several months last year for the company’s stock price to recover from its Pride Month-induced freefall, and a repeat of that disaster may well cause larger and more activist investors to question management’s competence and foresight.”

Regardless, there’s no denying that Americans are moving the needle on corporate extremism. As Perkins said on Mike Johnson’s (R-La.) “Truth Be Told” podcast before he was elected speaker, “This is not a gray area” for most people. Even non-believers understand the difference between males and females. “And I actually think this is why we’re seeing such significant pushback across the nation…” When Americans are silent, he warned, “we are playing right along with the deception that is destroying the lives of many young people.”

At the end of the day, he acknowledged, “What we have is not our own. … God has entrusted you with the resources to buy food, clothing, the necessities of life. Do you think He would really want you sending that to an entity that uses the profits … [to attack] the biblical truth that he expects us to live by? So it really comes down to a stewardship issue. It’s not about boycotting. [It’s about using money] in a way that would honor God. … And I’ll have to be very, very clear. I do not think being caught in a Target store is honoring God.”

AUTHOR

Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: Feminism, Transgenderism, and the Disappearance of Male Spaces

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Don’t Say Gay, Say Groomer Instead

It’s easy for conservatives to think of the LGBT activist crowd as constantly crying wolf over pronouns and “deadnames,” but when self-described “queer” people try to describe who they are and what they do, pay attention. A prime example of this principle occurred just this week: participants in New York City’s annual Pride Parade chanted, “We’re coming for your children.” Others shouted, “Five, six, seven, eight, don’t assume your kids are straight.” Other scenes included nude adult men exposing themselves to children — both in New York City and in Seattle.

None of this is a novelty. Back in 2021, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus faced backlash for writing and performing a song entitled, “A Message From the Gay Community,” which repeats the phrase, “We’ll convert your children.” Another startling line goes, “You think that we’ll corrupt your children if our agenda goes unchecked / Funny, just this once, you’re correct.” Yet another says, “Just like you worried, they’ll change their group of friends / You won’t approve of where they go at night.” And another exclaims, “Oh, you’ll be disgusted when they start finding things online that you’ve kept far from their sight.” The singers initially took the song off YouTube in the face of criticism, but restored it days later, announcing they stand by the message.

Although LGBT activists once went into hysterics at the suggestion of homosexuality inevitably being pushed on children, now that the movement is firmly entrenched in American society, they retroactively admit they were always coming for your children — they just don’t want parents to be up in arms over the fact. A recent spate of bills passed in Florida — and, more importantly, the alphabet mafia’s reaction to those bills — revealed this facet of LGBT ideology well before this past week, and confirmed the connection conservative Christians have long noticed between homosexuality and child-predation.

Grooming is the act of deceptively building a relationship of trust with a child, most often utilizing a position of authority, in order to take advantage of a child sexually. The LGBT ideology is predicated upon grooming. But don’t take my word for it, take theirs.

The first half of the grooming process involves building a relationship of trust with a child, most often utilizing a position of authority (such as the role of a teacher), and progressively pushing the child to the point where sexual acts are accepted. When Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed into law a bill last year forbidding teachers from telling elementary school students about gay sex, oral sex, gender fluidity, and a host of other homosexual propaganda, pro-gay activists were up in arms, labelling the legislation the “Don’t Say Gay Bill.” LGBT groups claimed that their very existence was being threatened simply because they weren’t allowed to talk to kids about anal sex. That law was recently expanded to ban all classroom promotion of the LGBT agenda, sparking further rainbow-colored outrage and claims that the ban on telling children about anal and oral sex is an attempt to “erase” the LGBT “community.”

We all know a man can’t impregnate another man, nor can a woman impregnate another woman. In other words, LGBT activists cannot reproduce — instead, they recruit. They groom. Children are taught that being gay or lesbian or bi or trans is not only acceptable but even cool, and, being but children, they believe it. This is grooming. The previous generation of LGBT activists were told (by the previous generation of groomers) that being gay or bi or trans isn’t acceptable but is cool and should be made acceptable. Now that same generation has taken up the groomer mantle and is telling children it is now acceptable, thanks to the hard work of previous generations, to be gay or lesbian or bi or trans — and it’s still cool.

Teaching children about sex is not the teacher’s role, ever. Although the teacher is, in theory, endowed with the parents’ authority to educate their children, there are certain things that only parents have the authority or right to discuss with their children: sex is chief among those things. A teacher violating that boundary and having those discussions with children usurps the role of parent, the ultimate physical manifestation of a trusted authority figure in that child’s life. In other words, by violating that boundary, an LGBT activist claims a child as his own. Remember, it’s not reproducing, it’s recruiting.

Banning LGBT activists from using the classroom to promote sexual abnormalities to children cuts them off from their most easily-accessible recruiting pool and makes grooming children more difficult; no longer are groomers put in a position of practically-unquestioned authority and given the role of mentor. When their capacity to groom children is taken from them, LGBT activists claim it’s an attack on their very existence. Why? Because they groom children. It’s how they carry on their lineage. Believe them when they say these things.

The LGBT activist reaction to Florida authorizing use of the death penalty for child rapists is even more disconcerting and even more revealing. This seemingly commonsense and surprisingly bipartisan piece of legislation is also, according to the activists, an attack on “LGBT rights.” The definition of grooming culminates in taking advantage of a child sexually. Raping a child would fit that definition. Yet LGBT activists are boo-hooing that legislation threatening child rapists with death “literally spells death” for them.

This time, the LGBT claim is backed up by studies. A 2013 study published by the Department of Health and Human Services stated, “Epidemiological studies find a positive association between physical and sexual abuse … in childhood and same-sex sexuality in adulthood …” A study last year by Vanderbilt University Medical Center found that adults identifying as homosexual reported childhood sexual abuse at more than twice the rate of their heterosexual peers. A 2001 report conducted by Judith Reisman of the Institute for Media Education estimated that adults identifying as homosexual are 40 times more likely to abuse a child than their heterosexual peers. While none of these studies prove causality, they do demonstrate a correlation that cannot be ignored.

Without grooming, the LGBT ranks are, if not generationally decimated, at least significantly diminished. Their own proclamations (“We’re coming for your children”) and actions, as well as their vehement responses to legislation limiting grooming tells us who they are. If we accept their own definition of themselves, we can only conclude that the LGBT “community” are, by their own admission, groomers.

AUTHOR

S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Pride Messaging Down 40% from 2022 as Boycotts Explode

It was a normal Wednesday commute, crawling across the 14th Street Bridge with thousands of other frustrated D.C. drivers — until out the corner of my eye, I saw the metro glide across the tracks next to us. There, suspended above the Potomac, were eight cars — all wrapped in transgender and rainbow flags — speeding into the most powerful city in the world. Even now, weeks into this contrived celebration, it was a jarring picture of how insufferable the Pride movement has become. Deep into June, you can’t blame Americans for wondering: When will this train of extremism end?

Like me, Free Republic’s Kristinn Taylor was annoyed to see that even commuters can’t escape the LGBT oversaturation. “DC Metro cars [have] transformed into rolling ‘Pride’ struggle sessions,” she protested on Twitter. And according to a new poll, she’s not alone. Pride fatigue is real, The Trafalgar Group found, and it’s across the board.

In a new survey, Robert Cahaly’s group asked more than 1,000 people (who leaned Democratic by 4%) if they’re sick of the public LGBT pandering. A whopping 62% said yes, they just wished companies would stay neutral. Only 23% think corporations should continue on with their extreme political themes.

Equally as damning — at least for the CEOs still clinging to their offensive activism (think NikeTargetKohl’s) — are the massive swaths of consumers who are avoiding leftist brands. While 41% of all voters say they’ve “personally boycotted a company that took a public stance on a cultural or political issue they disagree with,” almost 70% are Republicans, who’ve refused to shop with “progressive” businesses. Forty percent of non-affiliated voters admitted to doing the same.

That’s a sizeable gap in pushback compared to Democrats, who are much less likely (45%) to punish “conservative or MAGA-leaning” businesses. Interestingly, 14% of Joe Biden’s party admitted to joining Republicans in abandoning overly woke companies — a surprisingly high cross-over rate that shows just how much radical CEOs have overplayed their hand on issues like transgenderism.

And the farther we get into June, the more intense the backlash has become. Shoppers everywhere have made punching bags out of Bud Light and Target — forcing several of American brands to reconsider just how much capital they’re willing to sacrifice. As the losses to those brands dip into the multi-billions, there’s a growing sense that businesses are getting the message.

According to Bloomberg, brands are dramatically toning down their Pride promotion from last year. In the wake of the Dylan Mulvaney scandal in April, “references to ‘Pride Month’ in filings, presentations and transcripts from April to June at more than 900 of the largest US companies dropped almost 40% from this time last year, the first decline in five years. Other LGBTQ terms showed similar declines, the analysis found.”

That’s a seismic shift for the U.S. market and an enormous victory for grassroots Americans who’ve finally put their dollars where their values are. As Dr. Ben Carson said on Wednesday’s “Washington Watch,” these big brands have finally been forced to reevaluate their purpose — and, just as importantly, their loyalties. “Corporate America has a very important purpose, and that is to reward their stockholders. Now, they can’t necessarily do that if they have another agenda — like being social manipulators. And I think they’re starting to recognize that. And I’m glad to see also that the people are pushing back.”

The Bud Light disaster, Target’s trans outreach, “all of these things,” Carson pointed out, “are wake-up calls for corporate America to get back to doing what they’re supposed to be doing and stop meddling. You know, one of the reasons that our country was established is because people wanted to come to a place where they could live the life that they wanted to live without it being manipulated and without all kinds of mandates. And whether those mandates come from the government or from corporate America, they still have a deleterious effect on the freedoms that people experience.”

“And the only people who can change that is we the people. … We have to put our foot down and say, this is America. This is where we are free to live the way that we want to, to worship the way we want to, to say what we want to say. And we’re not going to stand for government or corporate America to try to dictate [what we think and believe].”

No one has been in that bullseye more than Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth, who called the crashing and burning of his brand a “challenging few weeks” on Fox. And while he has yet to apologize for the firestorm that Bud Light started by embracing transgenderism, he does accept the blame for the devastating consequences of that decision. “We have to understand the impact that it’s had … on our employees, the impact on our consumers, and as well the impact on our partners,” he said. “One thing I’d love to make extremely clear is that impact is my responsibility and as the CEO, everything we do here I’m accountable for.”

“There’s a big social conversation taking place right now,” Whitworth acknowledged, “and big brands are right in the middle of it. And it’s not just our industry or Bud Light. It’s happening in retail, happening in fast food. And so for us, what we need to understand is — deeply understand and appreciate — is the consumer and what they want, what they care about and what they expect from big brands.”

What they expect, the polls have shown since 2021, is neutrality. When a good 40% of your consumer base ups and walks away, there should be plenty of motivation for corporations to sit down and rethink their politics.

“Most Americans respond to relentless, preachy marketing from businesses trying to virtue signal their progressive bona fides like they respond to street preachers thumping a Bible,” Family Research Council’s Joseph Backholm told The Washington Stand. “But the LGBTQ movement, like the street preacher, doesn’t care because they have simply decided anyone who rejects their message is going to hell. The LGBT movement has become what they claim to hate, but they haven’t recognized it yet.”

In the meantime, what they and everyone else can’t help but recognize is Americans’ buying power. May it continue to be the bridle that holds the woke in check.

AUTHOR

Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Weaponized HHS Takes LGBT Agenda on ‘Offense’

Biden’s Health Department is being weaponized to promote homosexuality and the transgender agenda. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra launched the department’s “Pride Summit” on Monday, stressing the importance of normalizing the LGBT agenda. He quipped, “Supporting the LGBTQI+ community is a top priority for me and HHS. Equity runs at the heart of every initiative we take on here.”

Numerous Biden administration officials participated in the event, including White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who identifies as a lesbian, and HHS Assistant Secretary Rachel Levine, a biological man who identifies as a woman. Several other non-governmental LGBT activists were present too, including American Civil Liberties Union “Trans Justice Strategist” Arli Christian and Casey Pick, director of Law and Policy for the Trevor Project, which has hosted sexually explicit online chatrooms for children and teens.

The Pride Summit served dual purposes: the first was to laud, in the words of an HHS press release, “the historic actions taken by the Biden-Harris Administration to ensure that LGBTQI+ communities … have the resources and support they need and deserve.” Under Biden’s tenure, the HHS has turned into a veritable LGBT cheerleading squad, with both Becerra and Levine marching in Pride parades and vociferously promoting gender transition procedures (including genital mutilation surgeries) for minors, flying the “Progress Pride” flag outside HHS headquarters, and hosting a pro-trans roundtable discussion — and that’s just this month’s activities.

The second purpose of the Pride Summit was to showcase future HHS endeavors to promote LGBT ideology. Among them are the planned release of a “Behavioral Health Care Advisory on Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth” for mental health experts to use in advocating for harmful gender transition procedures, mandating state child welfare agencies use federal funding to promote gender transition procedures, and efforts to force health care providers to violate their consciences and commit gender transition procedures.

Becerra said of the HHS’s efforts, “This game of defense can get tiring. We want offense. Let’s play on the offensive and let’s grow.”

The sentiment was echoed by Levine, who tweeted last week, “All summer long we will be celebrating the ‘Summer of Pride.’” He repeated the slogan at the Pride Summit, calling for not just a whole month dedicated to the LGBT agenda but a whole season: “Happy Pride Month, and actually — let’s declare it a summer of Pride.”

Speaking on gender transition procedures for children — including puberty blockers, hormone drugs, medically-unnecessary double mastectomies, and genital mutilation surgeries — Levine declared, “We often say that gender-affirming care is healthcare, gender-affirming care is mental healthcare, and gender-affirming care is literally suicide prevention care.” There is no evidence to support Levine’s claims, and there is actually evidence which contradicts it.

In fact, Dr. Jennifer Bauwens, Family Research Council’s director of the Center for Family Studies, told The Washington Stand that “this is the most invasive ‘intervention’ that exists to treat any psychological condition and yet it has the least evidence to recommend it.” In a 2021 study authored by Bauwens, she noted that “despite the years of empirical study, there is no clear understanding of etiology in the suicide literature. In other words, there is no clear understanding of the individual and combined risks that cause a person to commit suicide,” yet transgender advocates consistently claim to know definitively, after a cursory period of usually inconsistent research, exactly why teens and adults identifying as transgender commit suicide.

Most U.S. studies on the link between gender transition procedures and suicide are largely inconclusive, admitting that there is not enough data available over a long enough period of time. The most thorough study on the subject comes from Sweden. The 30-year-long study found that the suicide rate amongst those who identify as transgender increased after gender transition surgeries, rising to at least 20 times the suicide rate of peers.

Back in 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services refused to mandate coverage of gender transition procedures, citing an absence of evidence that such procedures are actually beneficial. That was undone by the Biden administration last year, and health insurance providers are now required to cover gender transition procedures. Conservative author and commentator Matt Walsh’s documentary “What Is a Woman?” also explores the question, highlighting the experiences of those who regret their gender transitions and the increased risk of suicide, especially since underlying psychological issues aren’t addressed by gender transition procedures.

Quena Gonzalez, Family Research Council’s senior director of Government Affairs, told The Washington Stand, “How much more aggressive can the Biden administration possibly get? We may be about to find out. Buckle up: Biden has another year and a half in this term.”

Monday’s Pride Summit doesn’t just mark the ideological weaponization of yet another federal agency under Biden’s guidance: since his appointment to head HHS in 2021, Becerra has turned the department into arguably the largest pro-abortion activism arm in the U.S. It should be no surprise that a man who considers the brutal, broadscale killing of unborn babies to be “health care” should also advocate for the sexualization and mutilation of children who aren’t killed in the womb.

AUTHOR

S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

In Monumental Shift, NHL Joins MLB in Quitting Pride Jerseys

Before Dylan Mulvaney’s six-pack lit a corporate bonfire, there were already signs the cultural tide was turning. In January, a single defenseman’s refusal to wear the NHL’s Pride jersey shook the sports establishment to its very core. He wasn’t trying to start a revolution. He was just a man following his convictions. But six months later, Ivan Provorov’s courage hasn’t just changed hockey — it’s changed the world.

“I respect everybody, and I respect everybody’s choices,” the Russian told reporters at the time. “My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion.” They were just two sentences, but they challenged a status quo that had been as thick as cement in professional hockey.

Thursday, after months of player and team revolts, the NHL finally righted its 13-year wrong of making players props for Pride. After hinting at the need to “reevaluate” the practice in the offseason, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman finally said the league will no longer co-opt athletes for a radical message many reject.

After four months of trying to contain his players’ revolt, Bettman says rainbow-themed jerseys will no longer be worn. “I suggested that it would be appropriate for clubs not to change their jerseys in warm-ups, because it’s become a distraction and taking away from the fact that all of our clubs in some form or another host nights in honor of various groups or causes, and we’d rather them continue to get the appropriate attention that they deserve and not be a distraction,” he told SportsNet at Thursday’s Board of Governors meeting.

For fans, who’ve had to endure the sight of their favorite players draped in the colors of child mutilation and sexual extremism, the league’s reversal is more proof of the cultural earthquake shaking America’s woke foundation. This is a victory for moral courage. It’s a victory for free speech and real tolerance. But also, it’s a victory for corporate awareness. For once, the NHL listened to someone other than the bullies.

When SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman pushed back that Bettman shouldn’t have made this decision now, in the middle of Pride Month, the commissioner said, “Those are legitimate concerns, but in the final analysis, all of the efforts and emphasis on the importance of these various courses have been undermined by the distraction — in terms of which teams, which players [will opt out]. This way we’re keeping the focus on the game and on these specialty nights. We’re going to be focused on the cause,” he said.

If players want to “model” Pride jerseys on their own time, fine, Bettman said. But “it’s really just a question of what’s on the ice,” he emphasized. And what’s on the ice is going to be respect for players’ diverse views. Finally.

Major League Baseball arrived at that decision before hockey, quietly telling teams as far back as February that they wouldn’t be opening themselves up to the NHL’s nightmare. In the directive, which MLB’s front office kept under wraps until this month, they quashed all player Pride gear. And watching Bettman painfully navigate the media circus of six teams’ boycotts (New York RangersNew York IslandersMinnesota WildChicago BlackhawksSt. Louis Blues, and Toronto Maple Leafs) was a big reason why.

“We have told teams, in terms of actual uniforms, hats, bases, that we don’t think putting logos on them is a good idea just because of the desire to protect players,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told The Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes. At the end of the day, he said, we should not be “putting them in a position of doing something that may make them uncomfortable because of their personal views.”

In a society where evil is constantly on the march, these moments of taking ground back are incredibly significant. A year ago, no one imagined that the entire Pride movement would be upended. And yet, that’s what we’re seeing — not just across sports, but across major industries and corporations. Why? Because enough people had the guts to stand up and say, “Enough.”

“This situation shows that progress can be made if people are kind and make reasonable arguments,” Family Research Council’s Joseph Backholm told The Washington Stand. “There are still a lot of Americans who believe diversity includes the freedom to have different beliefs. It seems the NHL was open-minded enough to listen to players who told them they did not want to wear political and religious symbols they disagreed with.”

“It takes humility and courage to admit your mistakes,” he insisted, “and the NHL should be applauded for doing so. Hopefully, this will be a cultural turning point back toward real diversity — not the kind of diversity the sexual revolution is looking for where everyone thinks the same things.”

AUTHOR

Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.