Joanna Bogle is Visiting Research Fellow at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London. She is the author of some twenty books, including several historical biographies and A Book of Seasons and Celebrations with information on traditions and customs marking the Church year. Her most recent book is John Paul II - Man of Prayer with colleague Clare Anderson, exploring the spiritual life of St. John Paul the Great. She broadcasts regularly with EWTN and has recently initiated popular Catholic History Walks around London. She blogs at “Auntie Joanna Writes” and EWTN’s “Catholic Journalist in London”.
Pride is one of the seven deadly sins, and some say the deadliest. It is deeply horrible that this summer great crowds gathered in London and other cities to celebrate it.
Specifically, the big the publicly-funded events and associated posters, music, celebrity backing and so on, are to celebrate Gay Pride – pride in affirming lesbianism and homosexual activity. Things culminate in a great day of Pride and a march through London – helped large sums of public money, and support from the armed forces, and the government, plus local authorities and all sorts of commercial companies.
The big posters bearing official announcements are an annual part of London life now: The Royal Navy officially promotes the Pride March, the police support it, the mayor of London supports it. Announcements supporting the “Pride” line on lesbianism and homosexuality are at Tube stations. Big companies support Stonewall, the leading homosexual lobby group. Prince William, our future King, gave a media interview indicating support for young lobbyists for lesbian and homosexual groups.
All normal loyalties are suspended. To support the lesbian and homosexual Pride March, the Ministry of Defence in London will, on the day of the march, take down our country’s flag and replace it with the striped “rainbow” flag of the LGBTQ lobbyists.
This is London in the summer of 2019 and it is not something about which any public official is allowed to speak except to give the whole Pride project unconditional support. It’s not clear what law would be broken if some humble local borough councillor were to voice some opposition to this ghastly stuff — there is talk of “hate crime” and so on. But essentially voicing opposition would not involve imprisonment or even being fined. The problem would be that of simply being rendered wholly ineffective — sacking from chairmanship of a school’s governing body or similar, loss of any useful role. There might be the satisfaction of being on the receiving end of official opprobrium, but this would probably be temporary: the bigger worry is simply being squeezed out of public debate and making it easier to squeeze out any other people who might possibly be of like mind.
It is going to be increasingly difficult for any Christian who affirms the authentic teachings of the Church on sexual ethics to hold public office over the next years. Being quizzed on the subject can be subtly done. Proving formal discrimination will be difficult — while it is illegal to ban some on for having a particular racial characteristic or being disabled, the position with upholding a religious view on this subject area is unclear. Often simply it is enough to suggest that a public official has the capacity to offend the “LGBTQ” sexual lobby to sweep him or her from a position of influence.
As always, there were large crowds at last month’s Pride events — the idea is that this is a carnival and the emphasis will be on united celebration of the whole lesbian and homosexual message. There will be music, celebrity endorsements, restaurants offering special meals, and lots and lots of organization, commercial and official, producing Pride flags and brochures, making their staff wear Pride badges, and so on.
It’s going to be like this for some years into the future. Christians must be prayerful and courageous. Truth is mighty and will prevail: and prayer and evangelization are at the service of Truth. With every passing year, more and more people will be wounded by Pride, and the Church will be there for them. Pride begets anger and many of these wounded people will be angry. Pride begets hatred too — and Christians will be on the receiving end of that.
As a Londoner, I might allow myself a little bit of grieving — for a great city brought low by pride. But true sorrow should probably be expressed in a much deeper way. Talking about the Pride Day recently I found the greatest wisdom from some contemplative nuns. They decided as a community to make this year’s London Pride event a day of fasting and prayer. Pondering it all, I think I will start joining them.