Commentary by Hilary White

Note: This past Saturday the so-called “Gay Pride” parade took place in Rome. Our Rome correspondent was there and took numerous photos of the event, most of which we cannot reproduce here due to their extremely offensive nature.

ROME, June 16, 2009 ( – Gay Pride.

An interesting name for it.

One which theologians have noted is certainly apt, given the gravity of the sin of pride and the magnitude of the societal alteration that has come about in the last 40 years to make this kind of display accepted – semi-nude men and women writhing on top of platforms mounted on flatbed trucks, groping one another for all the world to see.

Of course, the significance of the location was a major part of the message. Rome is the home of what they imagine to be their greatest enemies. On its surface, obviously it was a calculated insult aimed at the Church. One about as subtle as a punch in the face.

But, despite these rather trite and unimaginative blasphemies, it was a punch thrown not only at the men in black down the road, but at anyone, whether believer or not, who might object. The primary object is the re-education of any observers who have not yet gone along with the general program. The people like me, who were perhaps raised in the squelching depths of the sexual revolution, but who were finally repelled by and consciously rejected it. The post-baby boom refuseniks.

Many writers, (I am thinking especially of Canadian novelist Michael O’Brien) have said that the cultural revolution that came to power in the 1960s is turning the world into a vast cultural gulag. It is, in its essence, a totalitarian ideology. It will allow no pocket of dissent.

The Gay Pride parades that went on in Europe this weekend were all merely an exercise in pedagogy, the kind that used to be blasted out of loudspeakers in remote settlements of Siberia. The Gay Pride parade, along with the millions of images of slightly lower-grade vulgarity that hourly bombard the TV-watching, is part of the cultural gulag’s vast re-education program.

It is notable that the one display not seen on Saturday was any kind of opposition.

The Carabinieri lined up in front of St. Mary Major Basilica, were leaning on their riot shields taking pictures of the show. There was not a hint of any kind of dissent. No counter protesters were holding signs on the sidewalks. No groups of nuns or priests were there talking to passersby or media. As far as I know, no official or unofficial word came from behind The Walls to refute or rebuke.

Silence. It made me wonder why they are still bothering with their traditional anti-Catholic protests. They seem to have won the field.

I took a bus up to the Piazza della Repubblica and caught up with the parade as it was starting out. It was sometimes hard to tell who was in it and who was just running alongside. Everyone was taking pictures, the people in cages on the flat-bed trucks, the reporters with their enormous black lenses, the police who led in a phalanx at the head of the parade.

But despite the somewhat strained exuberance of the proceedings on Saturday, what was clear above all was that these are not happy people. I haven’t studied the question, but I wonder if the first person to use the term “gay” did so in conscious irony. I know we have differing explanations for it, but everyone agrees that “gays” are among the unhappiest people on earth. And watching the show on Saturday, it was not difficult to understand why.

The denial and physical rejection of so basic a reality as sex – both the state and the activity – is tantamount to a rejection of the self. Imagine the all-encompassing bubble universe of self-hatred this life would create.

Imagine for a moment the horror of believing you were “born in the wrong body.” Consider what that expression would really entail if it were true. It reminds me of a comment made by C.S. Lewis: “To fear one’s self is the ultimate horror.” He was describing the miseries of the damned.

It has been noted by psychologists that often a person’s nation or religious identity is his primary self-descriptor. If I stopped to think about and define my identity, I would probably say something like Anglo-Canadian Catholic. What is the first thing one notices when meeting someone new? His accent or language. These are the most fundamental of personal identity building blocks.

Is this identification, “gay,” a replacement for all those? It certainly seems to provide an alternative to all of a person’s original set of identity building blocks, right down to accent.

The people in this movement have defined themselves according to a single and entirely artificial criterion. They have rejected the organic criteria they were born with. They are not, primarily, Italians, or sons or even students or business men or artists or employees. They are not even men or women. They have created a new all-embracing identity. It isn’t a “lifestyle”; it’s a nationality. A religion.

As I walked along, often with my fingers stuck in my ears to avoid having my hearing damaged by the thousands of whistles being blown, I wondered repeatedly what was on the minds of the elderly Italians who stood watching, who probably remembered Mussolini, lived through at least one of the last two big European wars, survived the Nazi occupation of their city, struggled through the difficult post-war years, saw the political discord of the 60s and 70s and lived finally to see the great EU-generated economic surge that has come in tandem with the erasure of their cultural values, indeed, of their deepest and most natural instincts.

Italians whose parents and grandparents were mostly peasants from huge families, are now rich as Croesus, but their iPods and mobile phones must be a poor substitute for the children they have refused to have. Isn’t the Gay Pride parade and all its goals merely a symptom of this malaise? Italy has a birth rate of 1.31 children born per woman with a median female age of 44.8 years. Mark Steyn has described this situation as the “death spiral.” It means the end of their world. An end the Italians, like most of the rest of the men of the west, have eagerly embraced.

The Gay Pride parade has a great deal to do with this fun-filled, wealthy, childless, and ultimately temporary new world that has been created since 1968. It is not merely the embracing of total sexual license but the resolve to live only in the most immediate possible now. It is the abandonment of the impulse, that had long been assumed to be hardwired into human DNA, to remember our past and project our existence into the future.

The rejection of Italy’s national religion that is so much at the core of the Gay Pride movement, is the rejection of Italy’s shared historical narrative. This shared identity is what sustains a healthy society. This is something I noted in my year living in Britain; that the British too have been afflicted with a terrible social and religious illness that has caused them to forget who they are and how they are supposed to live.

Can this societal loathing of the past and refusal to project itself into the future, shared by Quebec, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Ireland and Britain and nearly all the western countries, as well as China, Japan and Korea, really be so easily explained by the standard feminist tropes? Can the hatred of the natural family and terror of motherhood, the rejection of such primal, elemental, instincts, really be put down to something as banal as the feminists’ political slogans about “choice” and “freedom”? Isn’t there something else, something deeper and more sinister, perhaps even something more eschatological at work? Simply from the natural point of view, how can any species abandon its own survival the way we have?

The Gay Pride movement, an offshoot, or perhaps the ultimate expression, of the sexual revolution is the unprecedented rejection of societal coherence. A society that embraces it has changed from being one that is interested both in remembering its past and identifying with it, and in perpetuating itself into the future with its cultural memory intact, to being, well, gone.

I was about to say that no other society had ever done this to itself, but I am reminded that I was taking these pictures in front of the Imperial Forum, the place from which the proud Romans once ruled much of what was then the western world. The crumbling columns and fallen capitals, the field of broken pavements are a testimony to what happens when a society embraces what we were embracing on Saturday.