At a CNN town hall on LGBTQ equality last October, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was asked if he believed God made him gay and if being gay is a sin.
The questions posed by CNN’s openly gay news host Anderson Cooper were not unexpected at the forum, hosted by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation in Los Angeles.
In fact, you might say the script for such an occasion was written more than 30 years ago. In 1989, two gay activists laid out a master plan of sorts that called for a yearslong mass media public relations campaign intent on normalizing homosexuality and desensitizing those who believed homosexual practice was abnormal or immoral.
In that national bestseller, “After the Ball—How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90s,” authors and Harvard alumni Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen wrote: “It’s time to learn from Madison Avenue, to roll out the big guns. Gays must launch a large-scale campaign—we’ve called it the Waging Peace campaign—to reach straights through the mainstream media. We’re talking about propaganda.”
Eight years later, in April 1997, Ellen DeGeneres’ “I’m gay” declaration—before nearly 42 million viewers of her weekly ABC sitcom—became groundbreaking television for the gay movement. And DeGeneres, self-effacing and personable, was the ideal messenger to convince the masses that a lifestyle that runs counter to God’s plan for sexual and relational fulfillment is laudable.
Although DeGeneres’ show subsequently lost advertisers, including Chrysler and Wendy’s, and was canceled the following season, the comedian-actress’ coming-out episode garnered her an Emmy Award and the endorsement of media mogul Oprah Winfrey and scores of other celebrities.
Today, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which debuted in 2003, is among the highest-rated talk shows in daytime television.
“We like television because it’s the most graphic and intrusive medium for our message,” Kirk and Madsen prophetically wrote. “In everyday life, intrusiveness is considered impolite; but not in public communications, where nine-tenths of the challenge is simply getting people’s attention.”
Fast-forward to 2020, and Buttigieg, the first openly gay Democratic presidential candidate, remains one of 12 presidential hopefuls in a field that once numbered more than 25.
In their book, Kirk and Madsen asserted: “The fastest way to convince straights that homosexuality is commonplace is to get a lot of people talking about the subject in a neutral or supportive way. Open, frank talk makes gayness seem less furtive, alien and sinful: more aboveboard. Constant talk builds the impression that public opinion is at least divided on the subject … .”
The two authors predicted that portraying homosexuals initially as “victims” evolving to the “Everyman” through “films, sitcoms, talk shows and news reports” would be the “gateway into the private world of straights through which a Trojan horse might be passed.”
Yet unconvinced that enough “ambivalent skeptics” would be converted through the media’s heroic depiction of gays and lesbians, Kirk and Madsen also prescribed behind-the-scenes tactics including “urgent whispering into the ears of liberal and moderate public servants at all levels of government.”
“The goal here has been to forge a little entente or conspiracy with the power elite, to jump ahead of public sentiment or ignore it altogether,” they admitted.
And with the U.S. Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015, Kirk’s and Madsen’s “gay manifesto for the 1990s” has proven more effective than perhaps even they imagined when the book was published.
At that time, the authors speculated that at least 10% of the U.S. population was homosexual and “no more than a fraction of the gay population is likely to come out over the next 30 years, and that is not sufficient to transform public attitudes at a satisfactory pace,” the authors concluded.
Meanwhile, an estimated 4.5% of the U.S. population identifies as LGBTQ, according to a 2018 study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.
And while government institutions, media outlets and corporate America increasingly marginalize the Bible’s teaching forbidding homosexuality and transgenderism, Christians must not compromise their Biblical convictions, says Christian apologist Michael Brown.
“The gay activists who came out of the closet want to put us in the closet,” Brown says. “Their unspoken mantra is, ‘We will intimidate, and we will manipulate, until you capitulate.’”
Author of “Jezebel’s War With America: The Plot to Destroy Our Country and What We Can Do to Turn the Tide,” Brown says the same demonic powers that operated through Queen Jezebel 3,000 years ago are flourishing today.
“We’re not fighting gays and lesbians,” says Brown, host of the “Line of Fire” radio program and president of the Fire School of Ministry in Concord, North Carolina. “We’re fighting demonic powers that want to destroy America and that want to first destroy, and silence, and seduce the church. When we recognize that, then we recognize our mandate to push back and fight.”
Monica Cole, director of the American Family Association’s One Million Moms, agrees.
She says the Hallmark Channel’s re-airing of advertisements in mid-December for a wedding planning company featuring a lesbian couple kissing—only 48 hours after canceling the ads in response to her organization’s social media protest—should not deter Christians from standing for Biblical truth.
Cole’s petition to boycott the Hallmark Channel, at OneMillionMoms.com, has garnered more than 56,000 signatures and counting.
“Souls are at stake,” she says. “The media and the schools have done an effective job as far as indoctrinating and normalizing what we know is a sinful lifestyle. But as Don Wildmon, founder of AFA, says, God does not ask us to be successful but to be faithful.”
And while the United Methodist Church—the second-largest Protestant denomination in the U.S.—is expected this May to debate a denominational split over approving homosexual clergy and same-sex marriage, Brown says this is a “now or never moment for this generation.”
Referencing 2 Chronicles 7:14, Brown says, “The problem begins with us. My greatest concern is not so much the presence of darkness in society, but the absence of light. So, if we can have awakening in our personal lives, if we can turn to God in repentance for sin in our own lives and if we can cry out for revival, it’s not too late to turn the tide but it will take divine intervention.”