Imagine we’re in an alternate universe where we swap realities.
For the purpose of this exercise that means that the Christian community and the LGBTQ+ community take the roll of the other In size, scope, scandals, influence and power .
In this version of reality the Catholic Church didn’t cover up wide spread sexual abuse, “Priest” isn’t synonymous with “pedophile”, The Mormon Church hasn’t been sued or exposed or called out in a Netflix Docuseries for pedophilia and child brides. The Southern Baptist Convention didn’t protect the identities of hundreds of sex offenders in churches across the country. Several hundred childrens’ and youth camps of various denominations haven’t had to be closed due to multiple accusations of child sex abuse. And in this faux-reality the demographic that statistically most often sexually abuses children is NOT straight, white, church going males.
Let’s say instead that in this reality, one of the above situations has just unfolded in the LGBTQ+ community. An article was recently published exposing that leadership across our community had known for decades about widespread pedophilia being perpetrated at Drag venues. That LGBTQ+ community leaders heard accusations against Drag Queens regularly and over the years had cobbled together a secret list naming 700 Queens, the sex crimes they’d been convicted of, the age of each person they abused and the names of the venues where the abuse had taken place
Imagine that the crimes on that list mainly targeted children ages 3 to 14, that in several cases venue managers knowingly employed performers convicted of things like possession of child pornography, indecency with a child, sodomy of a child, indecent criminal sexual conduct with a minor, sexual exploitation of a child, online solicitation of a minor… And those weren’t even the worst of the charges leveled againt these performers.
Now Imagine this info comes to light and all over social media there are posts and threads with comment after comment saying #metoo, flooding the public sphere with anecdotal evidence that there are countless undiscovered child molesters within the Drag community and hundreds of thousands of unknown victims.
Now imagine you, an upstanding church going Xtian ask me a member of the queer community if my family will continue to attend Drag shows, if I will still take my child to Drag Queen story time. I say of course we will , it’s a tradition & story hour with a Queen is free childcare! You’re shocked and appalled, how could I? Knowing what we now know, how could I allow those people access to anyone I love? Why would I socialize in spaces that knowingly exposed children to sex offenders?! Why would I risk acquainting my child with a potential predator?!
I tell you that I know my own community, I say #Notalldragqueens and don’t believe everything you read on social media. Just bc it happened in hundreds of venues doesn’t mean it happens in EVERY venue & certainly doesn’t mean that the entirety of the Drag community has a pedophilia problem.
You’re understandably incredulous. You know that list is no where near comprehensive and the stomach turning offenses in that document are not simply tragic stories from the past, they’re the traumas currently being experienced by thousands of kids. But, You bite your tongue, these are sensitive subjects and it’s not your place to push.
Sunday morning rolls around and you’re tucked into the 3rd row of the First Baptist Church. You just finished Crown Him With Many Crowns when there’s a disturbance in the foyer, you look down the aisle to see a group of militant queers in matching khakis and slogan shirts barreling towards the pulpit.
A trans woman in a shirt that reads “Gays with Guns Get’er Done!” Points to the pastor and yells “Groomer!!” The rest of her group joins in, pointing fingers at the congregation calling you perverts and deviants. Finally you’ve had enough “How dare you!” You scream. “How dare you accuse US of doing the very thing YOU are guilty of! How dare YOU call US perverts!!”
One of the protestors waves a Bible at you “Let’s refer your handbook” Suddenly different protesters start calling out Bible passages “Exodus 21:7!” “Genesis 22:2” “Hosea 13:16!” “Deuteronomy 20:14!” “Ephesians 5:22!”
“Is that what you teach your kids!?” They shout.
They’re misinterpreting the scripture, taking Old Testament verses out of context! Surely they know that! They can’t possibly believe that modern Christians participate in child sacrifice or Incest! You leave church that day shaken and hurt but you try to brush it off as a rouge group of ignorant people.
Thursday morning you turn on the local news & learn that several churches across your state had their Wednesday evening Prayer meeting interrupted by armed members of the rainbow mafia. You see the slogans on their signs and tshirts, each more ridiculous than the next and all equally hateful .
Over the next few weeks more churches are protested. On cable news and social media LGBTQ+ broadcasters and podcasters and YouTubers are whipping their followers into a frenzy, imploring them to protect children from religious abusers at any cost.
Crimes against Christians and people of any religious affiliation begin to rise.
The radical LGBTQ+ leadership of some state governments have begun to pass laws against certain types of Christianity. Florida’s rabidly gay Governor passes a “Dont Mention Christian” law that bans any reference to Christianity or church in schools. Mormon, Catholic and Christian parents that allowed their children to transition to being “saved” are instructed to de-transition their children or face CPS intervention. There’s an attempt to make laws prohibiting clergy from using public restrooms. Online, rumors swirl that religious children are forced to watch a snuff film about Jesus every Easter, that all Mormon girls are secretly married off at 14 and that Communion wine is actually real blood…All the while story after story of queer people in positions of power abusing children continue to quietly come out.
And that’s when it finally hits you. They know they’re misinterpreting scripture. They know you’re not putting your kids in danger, they know you’re not grooming children.
But most of all, they know that if they can get the world to see YOU as the problem, they’ll be free to continue doing what they’ve always done. They will continue to weaponize your lifestyle so that they can keep victimizing their own followers.
As you contemplate the full implications of that truth, you pray to God that this plan, this diversion, was a scheme straight from the devil himself, because the thought of existing in a reality with people capable of such calculated evil, is genuinely terrifying.
You don’t talk to your LGBTQ+ friends and family much anymore. They say you’ve changed, that you’re always angry and defensive. They don’t participate in the protests or the violence but you’ve see their Facebook posts, you know what their leadership has convinced them of and now you know why.
Can you imagine the rage you would feel in that reality? Can you fathom the frustration of being labeled a “groomer” by the very people with a documented history of providing a sanctuary, part safe haven, part hunting ground, to continue operating with impunity