“[Y]ou picked two great topics” to write about, a person once emailed me, namely an age-old “biggest threat to the Western world” in “Islamism,” and the “waste of time” in the United States’ “obsession on the gay marriage issue.” Contrary to my correspondent’s libertarian sentiments on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) issues, though, LGBT and sharia agendas are displaying surprisingly similar totalitarian tendencies.
Parallels between these two movements had occurred to me before while reporting on the Family Research Council’s (FRC) Values Voter Summit (VVS). As discussed here, Christians along with others face violence from sharia-supporting Muslims and legal demands to support phenomena such as same-sex “marriage” (SSM) or abortion. While some Muslims destroy churches abroad, LGBT advocates along with others destroy businesses at home in a two-front war against Christian faith and morals.
A similar duality exists in the world’s democracies with respect to campaigns against “homophobia” and “Islamophobia.” As used by their various proponents, these terms define as a phobia or irrational fear any reservation to any beliefs and behaviors of LGBT and Muslim individuals respectively. For these ideologues only public approval, not just private autonomy, will suffice.
This demand for public approval is perhaps most manifest in the censorship of criticism. Americans, for example, recently received a graphic display of LGBT wrath in failed attempts to pressure the firing of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson. Analyzing this latest of similar homosexual power plays, various conservatives spoke of “Homosexual jihadists” and a “‘Duck Dynasty’ jihad.”
Abroad, however, individuals have also faced legal repercussions for opposition to LGBT behavior. Canada, for example, has witnessed a host of legal actions against opposition, sometimes merely spoken, to SSM since this became law in 2005. Letters against homosexuality in the United Kingdom, meanwhile, have brought police visits and hate speech law warnings. Swedish Pastor Åke Green also endured a 2004 hate speech conviction due to his pulpit denouncement of homosexuality before the Swedish Supreme Court overturned his sentence in 2005.
Such legal repercussions will be immediately familiar to numerous Islam critics. The 57 majority-Muslim member states (including “Palestine”) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have pursued a longstanding international campaign for de facto Islamic blasphemy laws banning “Islamophobia.” Domestically in Europe and elsewhere, meanwhile, hate speech laws often covering both homosexual and religious groups like the one used against Green have led to an ever lengthening list of legal sanctions against Islam’s critics (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, for example).
Both LGBT individuals and sharia-supporting Muslims are thus pursuing aggressive, authoritarian agendas of approval prohibiting dissent, requiring force given their falsehood. One the one hand, copious data assembled from governmental and research institutions by FRC clearly demonstrate that homosexual behavior is deleterious both physically and with respect to family integrity/child wellbeing. On the other hand, no moral person could accept coercive elements in Islam such as jihad religious warfare or sharia discrimination. Even Islam’s theological claims are highly questionable (see here, for example).
Although pursuing aggressive agendas, these groups seek sympathy by always presenting themselves as victims, never perpetrators. Emulating homosexuals claims of suffering societal injustice, for example, the Hamas-derivative, unindicted terrorism financing coconspirator Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) postures as an Islamic civil rights group. Indeed, Islamic law expert Stephen Coughlin noted at a Washington, DC, panel that Muslim Brotherhood (MB)-affiliated groups introduced the term “Islamophobia” following the societal success of “homophobia.” Such victimhood-based appeals to justice are essential for the success of small minorities like the LGBT community, an estimated 2-4% of humanity. MB groups similarly can only draw upon the .8% of the American population that is Muslim or at most 7.5% of the French population, Western Europe’s largest Muslim community.
That LGBT and militant Muslims, two mutually opposed groups given orthodox Islam’s lethal condemnation of homosexuality, evince sociopolitical parallels is ironic, yet not without precedent. Communists and Nazis pursued similar yet opposed political paths while first destroying the mutually hated democracy of Weimar Germany and then dividing up Europe in the 1939 Hitler-Stalin pact. Like the Communists and Nazis, LGBT and militant Muslims are not without their areas of mutual benefit. The redefinition of marriage to accommodate homosexuals, for example, can pave the way for Islamic polygamy.
Legal precedents concerning one group can aid the other. Thus the Canadian Supreme Court’s 2013 denial of truth as a defense in an anti-homosexuality “hate speech” conviction has troubling implications for discussion of Islam. Such speech codes, however, raise the question of what happens when members of one of these politically correct groups criticizes the other. Speaking of his ultimately defeated hate speech prosecution, writer Lars Hedegaard noted that in his native Denmark Muslims had the unique de facto privilege to say whatever they wanted about various groups such as homosexuals.
Fundamental differences exist between the two groups, of course. While LGBT groups work within free societies to change domestic mores, Western MB groups are Western outposts of a wider, often violent international movement supporting Islamic rule. No LGBT counterparts to Hamas or Iran’s Islamic Republic with its quest for nuclear weapons exist, although LGBT individuals like would-be FRC shooter Floyd Corkins II are not above violence.
What LGBT persons lack in firepower, they compensate with social, political, and legal successes outstripping any fears of “Islamization.” American activist courts, for example, have done far more to overturn democratic decisions concerning marriage’s definition than to acquiesce in any decried legal encroachments of sharia. The failed television series All American Muslim, meanwhile, left critics and the American public alike unconvinced about Islam’s compatibility with a free society.
By contrast, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) estimated that “4.4% of all scripted series regular characters” were LGBT in the 2012-2013 season on five major networks (ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox, and NBC). Fox earned GLAAD’s praise as the “most inclusive broadcast network” for the season, “with 42% of primetime programming hours having included LGBT images,” although this only sufficed for GLAAD’s “Good” and not “Excellent” rating. Such overrepresentation of LGBT television characters is having results, with Americans estimating in one 2011 Gallup poll that gay and lesbian individuals comprise 25% of the population. The almost universally positive presentation of these LGBT characters has resulted in 27% of respondents in one 2012 poll becoming more pro-SSM.
This soft power LGBT cultural infiltration has thus succeeded where militant Muslim groups in the West supportive of hard power jihad and sharia have often failed. However wrongly understood, LGBT issues involving identity, human sexuality, and relationships have a decisive advantage here over any Muslim agenda. The former come from the deep within the human heart, while Islam in general and inhumane sharia practices in particular simply cannot shed a non-Muslim sense of being foreign. Muslim violence cannot compensate for this disadvantage in the face of security forces and resulting popular backlashes likely more severe than anything produced by the Robertson suspension.
Comparing LGBT and sharia agendas can aid their rebuttal. With respect to both groups, for example, conscientious criticism demands honest conversation, even with individual offense as a consequence. Any offended individual from one of these mutually contradicting groups, however, should have to answer why offense is acceptable in criticism of the other. These two groups have perhaps equally intense feelings, given that sex in general and homosexuality in particular have become for many a pseudo-religion, as Catholic philosopher Peter Kreeft once noted in How to Win the Culture War: A Christian Battle Plan for a Society in Crisis.
Comparisons with totalitarian systems like Communism, meanwhile, are applicable not just to sharia, as has been commonplace, but also to LGBT thought control. Accordingly, totalitarian references to the LGBT movement like “gaystapo,” pictures of goose-stepping German soldiers, and “Commissars of Gay Compliance” are emerging (Homosexual sharia, anyone?). Such analogies appropriately note that the LGBT movement is ultimately more angry than “gay.”
Despite temporary victories by sharia and LGBT agendas, these movements will end on Ronald Reagan’s proverbial “ash heap of history” like “other tyrannies which…muzzle…self-expression.” Arbitrary approval of LGBT behavior and Islam as, respectively, an alternative lifestyle and faith fundamentally equivalent to any other is part of the cultural “dictatorship of relativism” decried by Pope Benedict XVI. This relativity goes so far that defenders of these two inherently contradictory phenomena, parallel to Christian opponents, are often one and the same (e.g. Southern Poverty Law Center). Yet the “truth [that] will set you free” (John 8:32) and the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” (Declaration of Independence) remain unalterably “written on…hearts” (Romans 2:15). Even the “gates of Hades will not overcome” (Matthew 16:18), however confused a society’s majority might become. Christians called upon to bear witness to the “truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) in the hard struggles ahead should remember: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).