For those whose smart phone is broken, June is Pride Month. According to numerous websites, the purpose of Pride Month is to celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, and Queer (LGBTQ) members of the community. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) cites commemoration of the tide-turning 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City as the foundation for Pride Month. The ADL even offers K-12 education packets for schools to teach positively the history and choices of the LGBTQ community. Meanwhile, as President Trump furthers the call to decriminalize homosexuality, the State Department has rejected all requests to fly the rainbow flag during this year's Pride Month in a move that has led some diplomats to call for "a category one insurrection." According to ABC News, hate crimes against the LGBTQ community are up this year.
Why is Pride Month so polarizing?
Let's be clear. I have gay friends. I have worked and served alongside gay co-workers and service members. And I have close friends and acquaintances with gay family members. While they all know I disagree with their choices, I love them just the same. We disagree on sexual orientation, but we also disagree on political affiliation, the best pizza joint, and which NFL quarterback is the greatest of all time. None of that leads us to hate one another.
So why is Pride Month, or pride in general, so problematic? I have black friends who espouse black pride. They live a deeply-held conviction to display and live a lifestyle that promotes pride in their heritage, regardless of African, Jamaican, or Brazilian origin. I have female co-workers who prove everyday their capacity to outperform male counterparts and who embody "girl power." I even have family members who bleed blue and gold, proud to have attended and graduated from that grand hillbilly bastion that is West Virginia University, couch burnings and all. None of them espouses the militancy we see associated with promoting and defending Pride Month.
Perhaps Pride Month is so troublesome because pride is the original sin that set us on this path to needing redemption. If not for Satan's own pride, we would not know evil (Isa 14:12-15). If not for Eve's pride, we would not know sin (Gen 3:1-6). Or perhaps it is simpler – that pride is the enemy of wisdom.
"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." (Prov 16:18, NIV)
"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom." (Prov 11:2, NIV)
So, Christian, my challenge to us all this "Pride Month" is to instead be wise. Don't fall for the goading of anyone espousing militant pride; rather, pray for their enlightenment. And don't stoop to their hateful level, claiming, "We can have a pride event too!" If pride is folly, and the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, why play the game by their rules? Play by God's rules, and God's rule is love. Don't let hate steal your joy. You don't have to support Pride Month events, but please also don't add to the hate, either.
– Mark Klages is an influential contributor, a former US Marine and a lifelong teacher who focuses on applying a Christian worldview to everyday events. Mark blogs at https://maklagesl3.wixsite.com/website under the title "God Provides where Hate Divides," with a heart to heal social, political, relational, and intellectual wounds through God's divine love and grace. Mark can also be found on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-klages-04b42511/.
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