Should We Use the Phrase “Radical Gay Agenda”?

August 30th, 2009 by

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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