The Strange New Movement Without a Manifesto
Quick: what do you call the ideology fueling the LGBT movement? What’s its name? What founding document describes gay activism’s intellectual underpinnings?
Not easy to answer, is it? This is really quite surprising for such an influential global movement.
Virtually every other history-altering movement in Western history has been built on some founding statement or manifesto, and has its own “ism” associated with it. Think of the Jewish and Christian Bibles, the Qur’an, the 95 Theses, the Declaration of Independence, Das Kapital, Mein Kampf, Silent Spring, Letter from a Birmingham Jail, and The Feminine Mystique. These movement-establishing documents are household words among educated Westerners. You could probably rattle off the names of their authors. Even more well-known are the titles “Judaism,” “Feminism,” and all the other “isms” in between.
But what household-word document defines the intellectual underpinnings of LGBT activism? What is its “ism”? Who wrote it down for us? There is nothing.
Gay and lesbian activists have defined their strategies (After the Ball), but never their core ideology — not publicly, at any rate; not in any well-known, widely quoted book or manifesto.
I’m not saying LGBT thinkers have never produced any work of that nature. I don’t know if they have. (If you know of such a thing I’d be interested to read it.) What I’m saying is that if they’ve articulated their ideology, most of the world doesn’t know about it — but most of the Western world has adopted it anyway, whatever it is — blindly and without awareness.
The Usefulness of Masking Your Ideology
This has interesting effects. For one thing, the lack of any definitive “ism” label for the LGBT ideology supports the misconception that gay activists operate free of ideology — which is nonsense: strategically useful for their side, but still nonsense.
For another thing, it explains some of the problem conservatives have faced in fighting back against gay activist thinking. We’re pushing against something real, but not something exists in any solidly defined form. If you push something that isn’t there you will fall over, and the same can happen if what you’re pushing against can shapeshift when you press against it. You look clumsy at best. Worse, when conservatives try to swat at LGBT ideas that don’t exist in any well-defined form, it’s as if we’re swinging at nothing – but not really, for it fosters the appearance that we’re targeting LGBT people instead, which looks ugly.
But without doubt there is an ideology behind LGBT activism. It’s not written, it’s assumed. Its conclusions have the force of law, while its premises remain hidden in assumptions and obscurity. It’s not set forth in any systematic form; instead it’s being promoted through symbols and images, especially in the entertainment media.
What would we call this ideology, if we could give it a name? From where I sit I think a good label for it would be progressive sexualism. It’s progressive in that it aligns almost completely with the larger progressive movement that characterizes much of America’s elite. It’s sexualism in that it takes sexual identity, liberty, and “expression” to be near-ultimate goods, outweighing even such historic liberties as freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom of religion.
How progressive sexualism achieved its prominence in our culture is easy to explain: it’s a simple matter of strategy, well conceived and skillfully implemented. How it justifies that prominence in rational thought is another question. It’s time we asked that question. Actually it’s overdue. We’ve let the LGBT movement go on too long without demanding they explain their beliefs.