Should We Use the Phrase “Radical Gay Agenda”?

Filed under News, Sexuality & Gender on August 30th, 2009 by M. French

The following is part of a question posed by a commenter named Ben on our God Has a Better Way article:

But I’m not so sure that using the term radical gay agenda is right, nor do I see it as beneficial to our cause. What if the use of such language is part of what is causing “much of the conflict and misunderstanding between the two groups”? (And both sides have contributed to this misunderstanding in how they talk to or about one another.) Perhaps there is a fear of legitimizing the gay activist groups who oppose us by not defaulting to that terminology. But why can’t we see the other side’s point of view here? Why is it that we can’t see that they see our use of the term radical gay agenda as another way of saying, “Oh, no, the gays are coming to get us! We can’t let them mess with our rights!” \

Can we really dismiss that as liberalism trying to caricature us unfairly? We’re NOT trying to push panic buttons and act as though homosexuality is the ultimate evil, but we ARE trying to say that homosexuality is sin. That message is offensive enough. Why do we need to add to it by reacting with words like radical gay agenda?

Should we use phrases like “radical gay agenda”? Here are some thoughts on the subject:

First of all, your statement seems to presuppose that the word “radical” is morally wrong or offensive. Is it wrong to be radical in and of itself? I would say no. We proudly declare we are putting forth a “radical Jesus agenda,” and in many other sectors, it is fine to speak of groups having agendas. As Dr. Brown puts it in his 2007 lecture series:

People have had no problem referring to a civil rights agenda, a feminist agenda, or a conservative agenda – these terms have been freely used by those within the respective movements – yet it is forbidden to speak of a gay agenda which is actually the’ rhetorical invention of anti-gay extremists seeking to portray as sinister the lesbian and gay civil rights movement.’

Secondly, a small army of gay activists are actively trying to change society substantially, thus I think it is accurate to describe what they are doing as propagating a gay agenda. Take this recent column from Jeff Lutes of SoulForce for example, where the author declares that “heterosexism,” the idea that heterosexuality is “superior or preferable” to homosexuality, is a “toxic belief system” that needs to be eradicated. Thus, according to these fairly mainstream voices in the gay activist movement, the concept that men and women were made for each other, clearly one of the foundational concepts that has run throughout all history and culture, needs to be changed in the hearts and minds of people everywhere. Is this radical? Are they putting forth an agenda? This is just one of countless examples we could give of an increasingly mainstream gay activist movement. Dr. Brown summed it up well in his lecture series: [Link to Video]

Obviously these changes did not “just happen,” and so it is not incorrect to use terminology like “radical gay agenda.” I also see no reason someone should take offense to being called “radical” or of having an “agenda.” As to whether it is beneficial to our cause or not, I suppose time will tell. But I see no reason to avoid calling a spade a spade, and I see ample reason to raise awareness in the church and society of what is going on.



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6 comments
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  1. I suppose if wanting the same equalities and inclusions that all other tax-paying citizens have is “radical”, then so be it.

    Black people were considered “radical” in the 50′s & 60′s for wanting equality.

    You are extremely undereducated and misinformed on the subject of homosexuality however and your ignorance is unbecoming.  The unfortunate part of your ignorance, is that you spread it through the lies and baseless rhetoric you spew. 

    The only “gay agenda” in existence promotes equality.  Nothing more, nothing less.

    God really does have a better way…it’s called love.  Something you obviously know nothing about.

  2. James,

    Thanks for posting here. Would you be kind enough to answer a couple of questions for me?

    1) Do you believe that people of all sexual orientations should have the same “rights” that you speak of? Are there any sexual orientations or expressions of “love” that should not be protected?

    2) Is it possible to have love for someone without agreeing with their perspective? If I believe that God’s Word clearly speaks against homosexuality and that homosexual practice is not best for society, can I hold to those views and still have love?

    3) Since you speak of my “ignorance,” would you be kind enough to give me examples of this ignorance?

    I look forward to your replies.

  3. If there’s no way to edit this post to make it more readable, I’m so sorry. I had originally put line breaks in there, but something a little funky happened. I’ll repost it below for the sake of convenience:

    Marcus,Thanks again so much for your response. I apologize for the lateness of this reply (I’ve been in the process of moving).Thank you for your helpful post. I don’t think that “radical” is morally wrong in the least either, and most certainly, we who are Christians are putting forth a “radical Jesus agenda.” I think there certainly is a radical gay agenda, and I was wrong to suggest that we shouldn’t use the phrase at all. (I don’t think I articulated my concerns correctly.) I apologize for that.Perhaps it’s how we use the term radical gay agenda that bothered me initially. As you said, we should not avoid calling a “spade a spade,” but I feel sometimes that we end up calling a spade a club. That is, yes, I agree that there is a radical gay agenda out there trying to make people believe that ”sexual orientation” is equivalent to “skin color” (and indeed, they have actively sought to change society substantially, as Dr. Brown demonstrates). Yes, that is a radical gay agenda, and it is promoting something contrary to Scripture.

    But I’ve met gays who have said (in an American context), “Oh, if you’re against homosexuality, that’s fine. Just don’t try to regulate our lives with the law. After all, the Constitution stipulates, ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establisment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’” I think that sometimes when we use the term radical gay agenda, we use it in a sweeping format, and we unnecessarily turn off people who aren’t expecting us conservative Christians to accept homosexuality as a lifestyle just as legitimate as heterosexuality. Sure, they believe that homosexuality is okay, but they aren’t trying to push that on us (and here, I’m talking specifically about those in that camp).

    So yes, I think I do in fact agree with you (and Dr. Brown) that there are people who have been actively trying to change society by forcing others to see gay rights as equivalent to civil rights, which I think treats the matter simplistically. So I think we’re on the same page there.

    I suppose my only concern is how we use the term radical gay agenda. If we use it to describe all gay activists (I don’t think you or Dr. Brown are alleging that all gay activists are the same, if I understand your article correctly), then I think that’s problematic, and it’s little wonder to me that they would react the way they do. But if we use it to describe the obvious agendas of groups such as Soulforce (such as the language used in the article you linked to), I don’t think that’s problematic.

    And I still don’t understand our perceived need to be involved in the political process against gays and lesbians. Do we need to legislate against gay rights activists in order to show them they’re wrong?

    God bless,

    Ben

  4. Oops. There are still some line breaks I missed when I reposted everything above. So sorry about this.

  5. Ben,

    Thanks for giving this consideration to the issue of the terminology we use. To give you some background (and as I believe you already know), my commission from the Lord in the area of homosexual issues has been to “reach out and resist,” meaning, to reach out to the people with compassion and to resist the agenda with courage. Interestingly, for years we have been told by the LGBT community that there is no such thing as a gay agenda and that, in fact, the very notion of a gay agenda is the creation of the religious right! Others will now say, “Our only agenda is love and equality.” And regardless of which terms are used, the fact is that the great majority of LGBT’s are not activists.

    In light of all this, I have found it important to distinguish a very real agenda (or, very real activism) from the people as a whole, and, so as to make myself perfectly clear, I am speaking of the radical goals of gay activism, which, ultimately, would want to put people like you and me in the closet in terms of our full expression of religious freedoms and moral convictions. (I’m sure some of them would dispute this, but I believe I can support this view clearly.)

    In order, then, to speak truthfully and accurately, I will sometimes speak of a radical gay agenda or radical gay activism (or the like), and I will always express my love and care for the people themselves, despite my strong differences with their sexual behavior and their social and political goals.

    A gay newspaper expressed things recently by saying, “one man’s ’gay agenda’ is another’s struggle for freedom and legal parity,” which I believe accurately sums things up. And for me, when I use the terminology I do, my goal is to awaken believers to the very real cultural battle in which we find ourselves while at the same time calling on Christians to ask God for His heart of compassion and love for LGBT people in general and, more specifically, for all those they can reach out and engage personally.

  6. Dr. Brown,

    Thank you for your thoughtful response. We are indeed in a gigantic cultural battle filled with emotional appeals.

    Thanks so much for your continued ministry in this area.

    God bless,

    Ben

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