How did the LGBT movement conquer America? Well, to paraphrase Ernest Hemingway in The Sun Also Rises, slowly—and then all at once. Which is to say that the country we see now—where once-radical ideologies are the fiercely defended dogmas of half the American political spectrum and are part of the formal public education curriculum in many states—endured many small changes before it became apparent that a once-mocked movement was now running the show.
Carl Trueman, author of the surprise academic bestseller The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution, broke this down in a fascinating essay earlier this year titled “America’s LGBTQ establishment.” An excerpt:
How do you take over an empire? That is a question that I used as a title for a lecture I gave each year in my Ancient Christianity class. The answer is simple to state but somewhat more difficult to achieve in practice: You simply need to control time and space.
Christianity achieved this in the Roman empire during the fourth century, a century that opened with the last great imperial persecution of the church and ended with Christians firmly established as the dominant religion officially sanctioned by the state and privileged above all pagan rivals. By no coincidence, it was also the century that saw struggles where the deployment of martyr relics was used as a means of claiming ownership of land for sacred purposes and the development of liturgical calendars for marking the rhythm of the year in distinctly Christian terms.
In our modern days, the same principles are deployed by those who seek to control our world. And Pride Month is surely the most ostentatious, annoying, and egregious of them all. June has been taken over by the avant-garde of the sexual revolution. It is the high feast of the progressive liturgical calendar and almost as long as Lent—though committed of course to self-indulgence, not self-denial. Pride parades pass through the streets, flaunting ever more exotic forms of explicit sexuality, often cheered on by parents with small children.
In that context, throwaway headlines take on a new significance. Such as this one, for example: “California becomes first state to recognize Transgender History Month.” “Transgender History Month” is already a thing in places like San Francisco, but now, as of September 6, House Resolution 57 makes California the first state to formally set aside an entire month to celebrate “transgender history” because California has been “the epicenter of the trans liberation movement” and this would further “create a culture led by research, education, and scholarly recognition of the contributions of transgender Californians to our great state’s history, and will educate future generations of Californians on the importance of this history.”