Join me in a visualization exercise, where 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 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 and sodomy of a child, among other horrors with some operating the shadows for decades.
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.
Pretend you, a church going Christian ask me, a member of the queer community if my family will continue to attend Drag shows and take my child to Drag Queen story time. I say “Of course we will, it’s a tradition and story hour with a Queen is free childcare.”
Shocked and appalled, your questions come tumbling out, how could I, with all the information we have now, allow those people access to my children? Why would I associate my family with organizations that knowingly expose kids to sex offenders?
“I know my own community”, I say and warn you not believe everything you read on social media. I make justifications from, “Not ALL drags queens. Just because it happened in hundreds of venues doesn’t mean it happens in EVERY venue and certainly doesn’t mean that the entirety of the Drag community has a pedophilia problem.
You’re understandably incredulous. The stomach turning offenses coming to light 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 First Baptist Church. You’ve just finished Crown Him With Many Crowns when there’s a disturbance in the foyer, looking down the aisle you see a group of militant queers in matching khakis and slogan shirts barreling towards the pulpit.
A bearded man in leather chaps and a shirt that reads “Gays with Guns Get’er Done!” Points to the pastor and yells “Groomer!!” The rest of his 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!!”
A trans woman waves a Bible at you “Let’s refer to your handbook, shall we?” 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! They can’t possibly believe that modern Christians participate in child sacrifice or Incest! You leave church that day shaken and hurt but 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 taught soaking at seminary 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.
One afternoon as you look over the updated “Lesbians for Liberty” list of banned books, 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; Victimizing children and weaponizing your lifestyle so that they don’t have to face the reality of their own.
Ok let’s snap back to real life. 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 to child predators, part safe haven, part hunting ground, to continue operating with impunity? No? Talk to your LGBTQ+ friends and family, see how they’re feeling. Ask what you can do to help. Be a good ally, when you hear people calling us groomers and perverts tell them why they’re wrong. Stand up for the truth and focus your attention on the children who are actually being victimized and abused and the people who are actually abusing them, because IT ISN’T US.