This week there were several news stories about Ellen Page criticizing Chris Pratt for attending what is according to her an “infamously anti lgbtq” church. According to CNN, she also said, “If you are a famous actor and you belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone simply wonders why it’s not addressed.” Pratt reportedly attends Zoe Church in Los Angeles, and apart from Page’s comments I couldn’t find anything that would warrant calling it “infamously anti lgbtq.” It might be that Page was referring to its parent church, Hillsong, which has had negative press for it’s stance on homosexuality, mainly because of a gay choir leader who announced a relationship with one of the members of the choir in its New York church. However, Brian Houston’s response to these events and his own articulation of his church’s stance of homosexuality is extremely mild. Only someone who is thoroughly indoctrinated by gay identity propaganda can think that his statements are hateful.
Ellen Page has become more and more prominent as a gay activist, with a TV show focusing on LGBT issues, and public appearances, such as her appearance on the late show with Stephen Colbert, where she speaks passionately about the LGBT cause. Her twitter page is also filled with news and culture stories about LGBT issues. On the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Page condemned politicians like Mike Pence for anti-LGBT hatred in America. “Sorry I’m like really fired up tonight, but it feels impossible to not feel this way right now with the President and the Vice President, Mike Pence, who like wishes I couldn’t be married. Let’s just be clear. The Vice President of America wishes I didn’t have the love with my wife. He wanted to ban that in Indiana. He believes in conversion therapy. He has hurt LGBTQ people so badly as the governor of Indiana…Connect the dots. This is what happens. If you are in a position of power and you hate people and you want to cause suffering to them, you go through the trouble, you spend your career trying to cause suffering, what do you think is going to happen? Kids are going to be abused, and they’re going to kill themselves—and people are going to be beaten on the street.”
I first read about this in an article in The Daily Beast called “Thank you Ellen Page, for your Powerful and Glorious Queer Rage.” Catchy Title…The power and the glory of rage? If a fit of rage is powerful and glorious to you, I have to wonder about your moral compass. Firstly, it should be noted that Page gives no evidence for the idea that Pence hates gay people and for the fact that he “wants to cause suffering to them.” These are serious accusations and the fact that Page does not back them up with evidence, is not simply irrational but also immoral. The gay identity movement is not driven by reasoned argument but by sensationalism. In other words, it is driven by what the author of the Daily Beast article aptly called “queer rage.” And rationality is important when dealing with morally charged social issues, because if you are not rational, then you will not be fair. Lady Justice wears a blindfold because she will weigh the merits of the case dispassionately without any favouritism shown to one side or the other. The gay identity movement does the complete opposite of this. It’s message, it seems to me, is often driven by emotional blackmail, uncontrolled anger (or “queer rage”), uncharitable interpretations of others’ opinions, and unforgiveness. This is not always the case. There are gay activists who are more measured in their rhetoric, such as John Corvino. Page herself is normally more charitable than she was here.
What I never can figure out is whether the gay activists who say things like this honestly and truly believe that every Christian who disapproves of homosexuality actually just hates their guts and wants to see them suffer, or if they’re just saying this because they know it will result in a victory for gay activism. They know saying things like this will provoke outrage and public shaming of the individuals involved, which will presumably lead to it being much more risky to oppose homosexuality in any way in the public square. Is it honest opinion or is it political opportunism? Perhaps a combination of both? In this particular case, it doesn’t seem like Ellen Page is being opportunistic. She really seems to believe that Mike Pence and other politicians who oppose gay marriage hate her and other gay people, and gets visibly upset by it. But the logic here clearly doesn’t work. He opposes gay marriage in Indiana and he believes that homosexuals who want to change can do so through therapy. Therefore, he hates gay people, wants to see them suffer and has spent his career trying to cause them suffering. Do you see the problem here? Can you see there are some fairly crucial missing premises in this argument?
If they honestly believe it (which Page seems to) this is a symptom of how damaging identitarianism is. Identity politics encourages members of those groups to see themselves as victims and this victimhood becomes as much a part of your identity as the marginalized or victimized trait ( in this case, homosexuality). It is not merely that you are gay, but that you’re oppressed for being gay that becomes your identity. And the camaraderie and solidarity with other gay people is borne of your shared victimhood; it is the glue that binds you together. This is when the group becomes a type of religion, in which it determines your actions and beliefs and gives you a sense of meaning and purpose. Your membership in this group becomes a source of emotional fulfillment and motivation. Without your victimhood ( or your strong belief therein) this glue that binds all of you together would be gone. So that sense of community and purpose suddenly dissolves. This is why identitarian groups always have a strong interest in maintaining a narrative of victimhood. And maintaining a narrative of victimhood requires really villainous victimizers. And this in turn requires you to see those who support and those who oppose your cultural and political interests in morally black and white terms. Those who oppose it in any way whatsoever can only be sadists who hate you and want to hurt you. And since they are so malevolent, and since they are only a villain in your mind, there is almost nothing that wouldn’t be wrong to do in order to silence them. The end justifies the means. So, whenever a Christian disapproves of homosexuality, the gay activist is “programmed” to interpret this disapproval as hatred. But this is even more damaging to those who absorb such a mindset than it is to those they decide to label victimizers. You will always come across people who oppose your interests and who disagree with you. To encourage the mindset of seeing every disagreement as a declaration of hatred and every opposition and disapproval as an act of sadistic aggression, will hinder you greatly in the real world and in the world of relationships. It will also make you unhappy, since you have been encouraged to think that the world is against you, and that you must be hyper-vigilant and suspicious, constantly interpreting people’s words and actions in the worst possible light through the lens of your own insecurities, especially those who are not part of your in-group and with whom your are unfamiliar. (Unfamiliarity magnifies our insecurities.)
In a different interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Page said “You know what it’s like to grow up and internalize homophobia and live with that shame and how much that poisons you.” This is a perfect example of what we’ve just spoken about. If you feel insecure, if you feel there is something wrong with you, it must be somebody else’s fault. But it isn’t. Everybody has insecurities, some people more than others. But your level of insecurity has no relationship with how much you’ve been victimized. In fact, I’d say that someone who has been pampered and protected from the ugly things in the world are more likely to be insecure, because they never learnt how to step up in courage in the midst of fearful things. Do gay people feel very insecure about their sexuality? Purportedly so. Are they more insecure than other people? Maybe, maybe not. Why do they feel more insecure? There are many possible answers to this question, but if you belong to a victim group, there is no doubt how you will answer it, not because there is any evidence for this answer, but because it fits into your narrative. The mere existence of disapproval does not explain it. I have often done things I know many others disapprove of. Perhaps the first or second time, I would do it self-consciously. But after that, I would do it without a second thought. The idea that you can be so deeply affected by the existence of some disapproval seems far-fetched to me. If gay people really are that deeply insecure about their sexuality, the origin of that insecurity cannot lie or cannot only lie in the existence of disapproval of their sexuality. If you are so insecure that you feel you must stamp out every flicker of dissent, then your insecurity will never go away, even if you succeed in this endeavor. Or your insecurity will simply take on a different form.
At the beginning of this article, I said that there are two options for how to view the disapproval-equals-malice narrative. One is that gay activists truly believe it and the other is that it is just a form of political opportunism. If it is political opportunism that usually motivates statements like that made by Ellen Page, then we have an easier rationale. To admit that moral disapproval is not equivalent to hatred and sadistic longings to make gay people suffer ( as ridiculous as that is), would collapse an important part of gay identity propaganda. Without being able to say that moral disapproval of gays is always a terrible evil, gay activists would have to find a new reason why moral disapproval of homosexuality may not exist in any form in the public square. So which is it? Opportunism or sincere, yet self-destructively misguided, belief?
To conclude, let’s bring a Christian perspective into the mix. Christianity is at odds with the gay identity movement in more than one way, not merely because its recommendation of homosexuality to vulnerable young people who are different, socially awkward and confused, but also because it makes homosexuality into an identity, and something that plays a role in defining your humanity. And, as discussed, not merely homosexuality is made an identity but also the victimhood associated with it. But for the Christian, Jesus is our only identity, which means that defining yourself according to anything else is wrong. To consider something as definitive of your identity is to worship that thing, because you make it your all and so give your all to it. Gay identity ideology encourages a type of idolatry. This would explain some of the excesses for which gay subcultures have become notorious. Also, it seems to me that the gay identity movement and other identity movements encourage unforgiveness and vindictiveness under the guise of righteous indignation, which is far more serious a sin than homosexuality itself.