It's tragic and perverse enough that drag queens reading to toddlers is now a national and international craze. But a new video takes thing even further, as a scantily-clad drag queen dances suggestively in front of a little girl seated in a chair. Even worse, the adults in the room seem delighted with this act of public child abuse. Yet it is this identical scenario that helped motivate me to take a stand back in 2004.
Prior to 2004, gay activism was not a major focus of my ministry. Not in preaching. Or teaching. Or writing.
Check out every one of my books written prior to that year, and you will find a few references to homosexual activism scattered between them. Add all those references up together, and I doubt it would even amount to a full page.
Or listen to the thousands of messages I preached prior to that year, dating all the way to back to 1973. LGB activism (there was very little "T" activism back then) was hardly on my radar.
But things changed in 2004.
While I was speaking in England in the spring of that year, some of my ministry colleagues were invited to share the gospel in the midst of a gay pride event in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Our ministry relocated there in the late summer of 2003.)
They were shocked by what they encountered. It was as if the world was turned upside down.
Lesbian cops held hands as they walked through the park, which was located right in the heart of the city. And if you were wearing a Jesus T-shirt or carrying a Bible, you were asked to leave.
We're not talking about being asked to leave for intimidating the pride participants. We're not talking about several people surrounding an individual and harassing that person. We're not even talking about allegations of rudeness.
Simply sharing the gospel was forbidden. Or carrying a Bible. Or wearing a gospel-based T-shirt.
But there was something even more disturbing.
There was a gay porn exhibit that anyone could view, including children.
Our team snapped pictures to document all this while they were there. The images were terribly disturbing. And where were the parents? Did they care?
And then there was the drag queen.
He was dressed in a tutu, and he was dancing before a small crowd of onlookers. (I can assure you he was not doing ballet.)
And as he shimmied and shook, a small child walked up to him—again, in the presence of a good number of adults—and put a dollar in his panties.
More troubling still, when we raised our voice in protest in the months (and years) that followed, there seemed to be no outcry from the local gay community.
It's one thing for them to want to be out and proud. To walk down the streets, with men holding hands with men and women holding hands with women. To proclaim that their relationships are just as valid as heterosexual relationships. To call for "equality and tolerance."
While I profoundly differ with them on all these fronts, I fully understand why they would unite together in a gay pride event like this.
But pornographic displays in view of children? And a drag queen in a tutu dancing for little children? And an innocent little child putting money in the drag queen's panties?
When I discussed this with local gay activists (whom I sought to befriend for honest dialogue and understanding), I was basically told this: "Those children were not there on their own. They were there under the oversight of their parent or parents. And we trust the judgment of those parents."
And when I wrote to Starbucks in 2005, sending them pictures of the 2004 gay pride event and urging them to drop their sponsorship, this is how they responded: "Starbucks is deeply committed to our Mission Statement and Guiding Principles. One of our six principles is 'embracing diversity as an essential component to the way we do business.' This includes the gay and lesbian community. Supporting local events like the Gay Pride Festival in Charlotte, NC, gives us the opportunity to live by the values we have set."
As I noted in A Queer Thing Happened to America, "So, embracing diversity includes embracing perversity – really, how else could you describe a drag queen, wearing a tutu, gyrating his pelvis in the presence of little kids who were putting money in his panties, or having a Hot Nudist Camp booth with open pornography in full view of young children? Sadly, this sort of perversity – and worse – has often been front and center in gay pride events worldwide, especially at the larger events."
Is it any wonder that the American Library Association now supports drag queens reading to toddlers? Or that this phenomenon is spreading worldwide? (I was in Brisbane, Australia, this past weekend. In January, some conservative students disrupted one of these drag queen events in Brisbane, and the media painted them as the culprits. "Protesters from University of Queensland Liberal National Cub ... yell at performers, leaving children in tears.")
And what of the aggressive, open, systematic and systemic indoctrinating of our children in our school systems for well over 20 years now? (For disturbing documentation through 2011, see the Queer Thing book.)
And what of the words of Jesus concerning the little ones?
He said, "But whoever misleads one of these little ones who believe in Me, it would be better for him to have a millstone hung about his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matt. 18:6).
I plead with you, for the sake of the children, to stand up and speak and act.
It does not mean hating those who identify as LGBT. God forbid.
It does mean saying, "You will not indoctrinate or abuse our kids!"
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Evangelicals at the Crossroads: Will We Pass the Trump Test? Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.
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