What the Church Can Learn From the Gay Rights Movement

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The church could learn a thing or two from the gay rights movement.
The church could learn a thing or two from the gay rights movement. (Reuters)

The greatest public relations coup in the last 100 years was accomplished this summer in America when the Supreme Court decided marriage is no longer between a man and a woman. It was the crowning achievement of the gay rights movement in America that first began its strategy in the late 1980s.

Randall Collins, a sociologist and author of Discovery of Society, has stated that culture is defined by the adoption of values and beliefs in seven spheres, but that four of these spheres have the greatest influence: military, economic, political and cultural.

The cultural network is the most important of the four. It is made up of education, arts and entertainment, and media. These three most define values and beliefs. In 1975 Bill Bright of Campus Crusade and Loren Cunningham of Youth With A Mission met each other for the first time and God spoke to each of them that very week about the seven areas of influence in culture and how important they were to impacting the culture. These 7 areas are business, government, education, family, media, arts and entertainment, and religion.

When values are expressed through education, arts and entertainment, and the media, those who view the messages on an ongoing basis adopt them, often subconsciously. If the messages being communicated are antibiblical in nature, it is only a matter of time before they will be embraced.

The viewer does not recognize the subtle change until one day it is too late. Unless those in the culture understand the messages that are being communicated, and seek to alter respond to those messages, then culture will be changed by whoever chooses to influence the media through the avenues available to them. It only takes a small percentage of those influencers at the top of these seven areas to make a big difference.

One case in point is the gay rights movement. Less than 3 percent of the population has gotten the 97 percent to agree to change laws based on lies and distortion. This is another proof that it only takes a small percentage of a leadership to control or change a cultural mountain of influence.

How did the gays change America's view that homosexuality is not a moral issue, but a civil issue? It is one of the greatest strategic public relations achievements in our century. We in the church can learn a great deal from their example.

The Impact of the Gay Agenda on the Family

In February 1988, a meeting was held with 175 gay activists in Warrenton, Virginia. Marshall Kirk, a Harvard-educated researcher in neuropsychiatry, and Hunter Madsen, who hold a doctorate in politics from Harvard and is an expert in persuasion tactics and social marketing, was the convener of this meeting. In that meeting they said, "AIDS gives us a chance, however brief, to establish ourselves as a victimized minority legitimately deserving of America's special protection and care. It generates mass hysteria of precisely the sort that has brought about public stonings and leper colonies since the Dark Ages and before. ... How can we maximize the sympathy and minimize the fear? How, given the horrid hand that AIDS has dealt us, can we best play it?" This was the beginning of a public relations multi-year plan. They developed a public relations bible of the gay movement. They outline the key strategies for the movement in their book. Their goals include:

  • Break current negative associations with our cause and replace them with positive associations. 


  • Change what people actually think and feel. 


  • Reframe the terms of the debate. 


  • Seek desensitization and nothing more (until it doesn't matter any more).

What is their ultimate goal? It isn't just to get acceptance. It is far more than that. The goal is not only to bring about the complete acceptance of homosexuality, including same-sex marriage, but also to prohibit and even criminalize public criticism of homosexuality. In other words, total removal of criticism with the force of law. This is already the case in Canada and parts of Scandinavia.

A Media Campaign Built on a Lie

The first thing they needed to do was exchange the truth for a lie and convince their core audience to believe the lie so they will passionately believe in and fund their mission. What is the lie? "God made me gay so we should be a group that has protected rights."

Most of us hear the rationale of gay activists that they are born gay rather than their sexual preference being an influence of how they were raised through their exposure to societal factors and childhood wounds that predisposed them to this lifestyle. Kirk and Madsen made an amazing admission in their playbook written in the late '80s, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the '90s.

Here is an excerpt from their playbook: "We argue that, for all practical purposes, gays should be considered to have been born gay, even though sexual orientation, for most humans, seems to be the product of a complex interaction between innate predispositions and environmental factors during childhood and early adolescence." They have intentionally chosen to build their campaign based on a lie and government, education, media, entertainment and our young people have bought this lie. Once the LBGT community convinced America that people are born gay, they were able to easily shift their campaign from being a moral issue to being a civil issue. When they were successful at that, they won. There is no turning back without an all-out spiritual great awakening in our nation.

The civil argument is built around whether someone is born gay.

It's not a sin to be a black person or live as a black person, according to the Bible. However, the Bible is very explicit about homosexuality as being a sin. So the idea of comparing this to a civil liberties issue is not comparing apples to apples. If you remove the moral issue and you operate totally as a secular society then perhaps you can argue this issue purely on a civil basis, which is where our nation has evolved. However, it's a slippery slope, because then you must recognize civil liberties of polygamists, pedophiles and any other form of aberrant behavior among people who want equal access and want to be treated equally without moral consideration.

Should we legalize sodomy or sexual abuse of a child? Why would we not think of such a thought? It's because we believe we are dealing with a moral issue. What if a parent and a child are consenting? Just because immoral behavior takes place by two consenting people does not make it OK or that it should be protected by law.  

The born gay argument has no scientific proof.

Eight major studies of identical twins in Australia, the U.S., and Scandinavia during the last two decades all arrive at the same conclusion: gays were not born that way. "At best genetics is a minor factor," says Dr. Neil Whitehead, Ph.D. Whitehead worked for the New Zealand government as a scientific researcher for 24 years, then spent four years working for the United Nations and International Atomic Energy Agency. Most recently, he serves as a consultant to Japanese universities about the effects of radiation exposure. His PhD is in biochemistry and statistics.

Identical twins have the same genes or DNA. They are nurtured in equal prenatal conditions. If homosexuality is caused by genetics or prenatal conditions and one twin is gay, the co-twin should also be gay.

"Because they have identical DNA, it ought to be 100 percent," Dr. Whitehead notes. But the studies reveal something else. "If an identical twin has same-sex attraction the chances the co-twin has it are only about 11 percent for men and 14 percent for women."

Because identical twins are always genetically identical, homosexuality cannot be genetically dictated. "No-one is born gay," he notes. "The predominant things that create homosexuality in one identical twin and not in the other have to be post-birth factors."

The predominant things that create homosexuality in one identical twin and not in the other have to be post-birth factors.

Spiritually speaking, people can be predisposed to sexual behavior and preferences based on the sins of their parents and their upbringing. However, we should not confuse this with the idea that God made someone gay.


Tipping Points

Several tipping points in culture have occurred through the arts and entertainment mountain. One tipping point occurred when Ellen DeGeneres kissed Laura Dern in the 1997 episode of Ellen. This event became a tipping point for the gay rights movement. Gays and lesbians have long been prominent in the arts and entertainment worlds, but this event encouraged famous gays and lesbians to come out of the closet. They told their people to get jobs in media, script writing and acting so that their lifestyle would be represented in sitcoms, movies and news. Issues about gay life worked their way into story lines in television, movies and plays. Modern Family is one of the more successful examples of this.

Hollywood films have become one of the primary propaganda machines for their cause, which is designed to legitimize their lifestyle. They present a wholesome view of the lifestyle so that they would be perceived as a discriminated group of people so you would have sympathy for them. Their strategy has worked wonderfully. Our young people have especially bought into this lie.


Public Perception of the Gay Agenda

Seventeen Magazine has been doing a survey about the gay lifestyle for several years. To get an idea how effective the gay rights movement has been with public relations, one only needs to look at this survey of its readers compared to earlier years. Consider their 1991 survey, which revealed that 17 percent of their readers accepted homosexuality as appropriate. However, in their 1999 survey, after eight years of public relations work, the same survey said 54 percent accepted homosexuality as appropriate.


In Pew Research polling in 2001, Americans opposed same-sex marriage by a 57 percent to 35 percent margin. Since then, support for same-sex marriage has steadily grown. Today, a majority of Americans (57 percent) support same-sex marriage, compared with 39 percent who oppose it.

This is clearly further evidence of the success of the gay agenda using the media for their cause and the public's increased acceptance of an ungodly lifestyle. Gradually even those in the church begin to succumb to public persuasion and pressure and begin to rationalize sin. This has led to an entire Episcopal denomination to not only embrace the lifestyle as acceptable but also to even ordain them as priests. This has spread into parts of the Lutheran church. 


The Church Has Lost Its Authority to Speak Into This Area

The problem the church has is we have lost our authority to speak into this area. A recent sitcom illustrated this. A recent show called The Goodwife presented a story about a wedding planner who denied service to a gay couple. A major law firm was trying to determine if they would take the case. They did a mock trial to see what the opposition would do in this situation. They hired another lawyer from another firm to be the prosecuting attorney. In the mock trial the prosecuting attorney questioned the wedding planner in this way:

"Miss Jones, you are refusing service based on your religious beliefs, is that correct?"

"Yes."

"Did Jesus say anything about homosexuality?"

"No, but the Bible clearly speaks of it in several places."

"Did Jesus ever speak of divorce and remarriage?"

"Yes, on at least four occasions he called it sin to divorce and remarry."

"Have you ever done a marriage for a divorced couple?"

"I suppose I have."

"Actually, you have conducted two weddings for Christian couples who are divorced. So, what you are saying is your religious ground is selective, at best. I rest my case."

The judge's verdict was in favor for the gay couple.

You see, the church has failed so badly in the area of marriage by condoning divorce and remarriage as well as other sins that we have lost our voice. Fatherlessness has contributed to broken families. One survey says that over 50 percent of men who attend church are regular viewers of pornography. You combine this with the Catholic Church scandals and you see why we have lost our authority. This does not change the fact the sin is still sin, but if the church is going to judge homosexuals, it must first judge itself.

How can the church counter the narrative currently being pervaded by the anti-God movement?

First, the answer to all of this is that the church must begin to return to God and establish wholesome families again. We must stand against divorce and remarriage. We must return to purity in men and leadership. A divorce rate of 3 percent would be a good start to reverse the brokenness in families.

Secondly, we must change the narrative in the media and speak the truth about this issue in creative ways. We must engage with the media about this lie that is being propagated and embraced. We must create positive messages in the media and entertainment about God and His love for people. We must create sitcoms and movies about the love of God and powerful stories of redemption.

The gay rights movement is well funded, they are passionate about their cause and they are unified. The church has failed to be any of these things. So, we are trying to fight a battle with no bullets in our spiritual gun.

Perhaps when we do all these things, we can begin to see a shift and a spiritual awakening in our nation.

Os Hillman is author of TGIF Today God Is First and Change Agent. Visit todaygodisfirst.com.


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