Protect Our Children from Exploitation and Pride Month
For Catholics, June is the month of the Sacred Heart, in which we recall and celebrate Christ’s redeeming, self-sacrificial love for us. For the world, however, June is now Pride Month – a month-long hedonistic carnival in celebration of a debased concept of “love”: one that in many cases reduces love to nothing more than sexual exhibitionism and the exchange of genital pleasure.
Every year, I think to myself that we must have reached the peak of Pride mania. Practically everywhere you look there are rainbow flags. Advertisement after advertisement on television or the radio emphasizes the advertising company’s complete commitment to every dot and tittle of the LGBT agenda. Enormous Pride parades take over the main thoroughfares of most of our cities, sometimes for days on end, and are attended by most of our politicians and entertainers, as well as millions of ordinary citizens.
“How,” I wonder every year, “can Pride become more in-your-face than it is?”
Target the Children
Well, now I know the answer: by making “Pride” symbols and messaging ubiquitous in the one space that was, until recently, at least somewhat protected, i.e., the lives of children.
In recent years, an increasing number of children’s TV shows and networks are openly celebrating “Pride” and pushing a radical LGBT agenda. However, this year, things seem be ramping up, in a big way. A recent article in Breitbart notes that after years of intense lobbying by LGBT activists, “nearly every TV series, animated or live-action, has added gay characters.” This includes shows such as Arthur, SpongeBob SquarePants, Scooby-Doo, DuckTales, and My Little Pony.
One recent video put out on the YouTube channel of the children’s show “Blue’s Clues & You” features an animated drag queen singing to kids. As The Blaze reports, the character “leads young viewers in a song about a ‘Pride Parade’ — to the tune of ‘The Ants Go Marching’ — and shows different groups of animals in a parade waving rainbow flags. The lyrics also include other LGBTQ buzzwords such as ‘ace’ — which stands for ‘asexual’ — as well as ‘queer,’ ‘bi,’ ‘pan,’ ‘allies,’ and ‘kings and queens.’”
There was a time, not so very long ago, when everybody more or less agreed that the question of when and how to introduce children to sexual topics should be left up to parents. Even more “progressive” people understood that the most explicit or complex sexual topics should be introduced to children only when they were approaching puberty. Before that, the general approach was to give kids the basics of the birds and the bees, and the minimum amount of information they needed to stay safe. Otherwise, just let kids be kids!
At the very least, people generally agreed that exposing children to sexualized displays of public nudity, or information about weird sexual fetishes, was a clear and egregious violation of their innocence – and, in many cases, a crime. An adult’s desire to expose kids to these sorts of things was generally taken as a sign that the adult was a pervert, may be grooming the kids, and should be forbidden any kind of unsupervised access to children.
Well, those days are certainly gone. A couple of years ago, The Huffington Post ran an article enthusiastically encouraging parents to take their kids to Pride parades, assuring them that – as the headline blared – “Children Can Handle The Kink.”
The author, Brianna Sharpe, was quite forthright about what children were bound to be exposed to. “Anyone who has been to a parade has likely seen the procession of leather animal costumes, kinky costumes in every hue, and more skin than is normally exposed in public,” she wrote.
She went on to quote sex educator S. Bear Berman saying, “There is absolutely no reason not to take our kids to Pride.” He explained that he takes his own children to the event every year. “It’s their right as queer spawn. And as a parent, I might want to take my kids to Pride, because they might be lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer or two-spirit.” He also added, bizarrely, that “nobody likes nakedness more than children.”
One grandma of two kids told Sharpe “that Pride, from kink to nakedness, is an excellent opportunity for parents to do unbiased sex education.” (“Unbiased,” indeed!)
The Attack on Catholic Schools
Meanwhile, LGBT activists have set their sights on schools, making sure that children are surrounded with imagery and ideas related to Pride. In some states and countries, the activists have already conquered the public schools, ensuring that they fly the Pride flag throughout the month of June (and, increasingly, all year) and hold a variety of Pride-related events. Many school libraries now stock, and prominently display, the growing list of children’s books pushing the LGBT ideology.
However, even more disheartening is the way the activists are also (successfully) targeting religious schools, including Catholic schools. North of the border, in the Canadian province of Ontario, many of the Catholic school boards (Catholic schools are publicly funded in Ontario) have voted to fly the Pride flag outside their schools. Exhortations from some bishops to school trustees to protect the schools’ Catholic identity have gone largely unheeded.
One Catholic board that refused to kowtow is catching extreme heat from LGBT activists. Even more troublingly, the province’s “human rights commission” is threatening another school board with legal consequences if it continues to refuse to fly the flag. While the school board decided not to raise the flag, they did “vot[e] instead that all school staff must undergo ‘mandatory training’ about LGBT students, schools must ‘raise awareness around Pride month,’ and schools must post pro-LGBT signage ‘to ensure that students in the 2SLGBT community are supported throughout the entire school year.’” In a letter to the board, the commission wrote: “the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has recognized that an organization’s failure to symbolically acknowledge Pride events can in some cases amount to a violation of the rights of people who are LGBTQ2+ to equal treatment in services under the Code.”
Such threatening language coming from a government agency, ordering a Catholic school board to proactively support a specific social movement and political cause, is truly chilling. It is staggeringly anti-democratic, and one of the clearest and most egregious violations of religious freedom that I have seen in recent times.
“This Is Why We Lose”
To me, this deliberate targeting of children by sexual revolutionaries is one of the most disheartening aspects of the culture of death. Outright perverts are being given unrestricted access to children, to fill their heads with as much obscenity as they want, and all in the name of “inclusion” and “progress.” Children are being robbed of normal, happy, healthy childhoods.
A few days ago, prominent conservative commentator Matt Walsh made what I think is an absolutely crucial point. “Do you want to know why conservatives are losing the culture?” he wrote on Twitter. “Nickelodeon put out two videos in a week of a drag queen pushing gay pride on children and still most conservative parents will allow their children to watch shows on the network. That’s it. That’s why we lose.”
He added: “Nickelodeon should be bankrupted. They’ve made their agenda clear. They’ve made it plain that they hate us. And if we all stopped giving them their money, they’d collapse. That’s what should happen but it won’t.”
He’s absolutely right. Hollywood studios have learned that they can keep pushing the envelope on what they put into their shows, and most parents will simply shrug their shoulders and carry on. If they’re conservative, they might sign a petition or two. But that’s about as far as protest efforts go.
Seceding from mainstream entertainment takes work, commitment, and sacrifice. It means being intentional with how you and your children spend your spare time. It means explaining to your kids why they’re not watching the same shows and movies as their peers. It might mean that parents have to change their own media consumption habits, realizing they are setting a bad example for their kids by consuming entertainment that is bad for their own souls.
It amazes me how many parents seem to care so little about what their children are watching, or how they are spending their time online. A staggering number of parents put TVs in their children’s rooms, or hand them Internet-connected smartphones or other devices, often without any filtering in place.
What I want to ask such parents is: Would you invite a drag queen into your house, to speak privately with your child about sexual topics? Would you invite a Planned Parenthood sex educator to give your children all sorts of information about specific sexual practices, or the latest, craziest progressive theories about gender? If the answer is no, then why would you let your children watch mainstream entertainment without first vetting the content, or at least ensuring that they are within earshot or eyesight of a parent?
The fact is that the extremist LGBT activists are banking upon the laziness of parents. They are assuming that parents will act like the proverbial frog in boiling water, allowing the studios and the activists to get away with more and more.
Pray Together as a Family
Finally, parents need to be far more intentional in how they pass their faith on to their children. Long, long gone are the days when Western culture was broadly “Christian.” Not only can you not expect the schools or the broader culture to impart basically decent, Judeo-Christian morals in your children, in many cases you must assume the exact opposite: they are proactively seeking to steal your children’s innocence, and to fill their heads with the latest, craziest progressive insanity.
One way of fighting back is to make sure that you are praying with your children on a daily basis. The old saying – “A family that prays together stays together” – remains true. If you don’t already, try praying the rosary together with your children every night before bed. Quiet prayer time together as a family is a great way to wind your children down. It also provides the kind of “together” time that is far too rare these days, and an opportunity to talk about spiritual matters with your kids.
In the month of June, why not obtain an image of the Sacred Heart, and find some spiritual reading about the Sacred Heart devotion? The world is peddling a destructive concept of “love” to our children. It is not enough merely to oppose their propaganda. We must show our children what true love is – and the self-sacrificial love of Christ is the greatest example we have. Pray with your children. Pray for conversion for our lost culture.
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Father Shenan J. Boquet was ordained in 1993 and is a priest of the Houma-Thibodaux Roman Catholic Diocese in Louisiana, his home state, where he served before joining HLI as its President in August 2011. Father Boquet earned a BA from Saint Joseph Seminary College, a Master of Divinity (MDiv) from Notre Dame Seminary Graduate School of Theology, a Certification Program in Health Care Ethics from the National Catholic Bioethics Center, and a Master of Science in Bioethics (MSBe) from the University of Mary in Bismarck. In 2018, Father Boquet was awarded an honorary visiting professorship by the Benedict XVI Catholic University in Trujillo, Peru. He is available for interviews and bookings on behalf of HLI by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.