I went to Ottawa’s Pride Parade last week. I didn’t just happen upon it – I attended it. You may think I’m crazy; I know my wife did.
When my LifeSiteNews editors asked me to go, I had no small amount of trepidation. But after pondering it, I actually started to feel that I had a kind of duty to attend – no matter how odd that might sound from someone who’s dedicated his life to defending the natural family.
But it’s precisely because I defend the family that I thought I better go. You see, I write on homosexuality all the time. I read the homosexual websites, I follow the activists and all the latest news on the issue. I’ve studied the claims of the homosexual agenda, and tried to understand the issue from their perspective.
But it’s all been from behind a computer screen. So I figured: If I’m going to do so much work on this issue, then I need to be able face it, directly. And what better place than at the Pride parade?
I think the general impression of Pride among Christian activists is that it’s a lewd celebration of sex. Certainly that’s the takeaway from the photos you find online. But I’ve always harboured some suspicion that that might just be a caricature – that the photos are just rare aberrations, people picking out the most sensational pieces. So part of my reason for attending was just to see it for myself.
Now, as a witness, I can say that the impression is entirely accurate. While the majority of parade watchers are dressed rather normally, among those walking in the parade it was not odd at all to see semi-nudity and hyper-sexualized dancing. There were loads of people in nothing but underwear, dozens in leather bondage gear, and I saw at least a dozen topless women. I took everything I was handed, and walked away with a dozen condoms. Having now attended, I would describe Pride as a large-scale, state-backed celebration of kinky sex.
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The drive to glorify illicit sex is what animates the entire event. It even comes out in the seemingly playful use of water guns that are so common. Under normal circumstances, the use of a water gun would be harmless. But when you’re being sprayed by someone atop a float that’s handing out condoms you start to wonder if there’s perhaps a bit more of a sexual connotation at play.
Of course, it’s made all the worse when the person spraying you is the Mayor of Ottawa. And I think that’s one of the sicker aspects about the event that struck me. It’s one thing for a group of people to hold a sex parade, but it’s a whole other thing when the government not only allows it, but promotes it, funds it, and joins in it.
I marvel that “LGBT” folks can still think of themselves as a “minority.” The parade was riddled with city institutions and officials. They shut down some of Ottawa’s busiest streets, including Bank and Elgin, for hours, and then held a boisterous party on City Hall grounds. They got all of this from the city for a meager payment of $15,000, and even still tried using public pressure to delay payment in the days before the event.
As I stood on Bank St. with my camera, and saw the mayor, the Police Chief, the Fire Chief, and a former Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition march past, I thought about the devout Christians that founded and built this great capital city of ours and how horrified they would be if they were to walk in on such a display.
I also mourned that this event was somehow deemed “family-friendly.” There were young children watching all along the parade route and dozens of children walking in the parade. I thought of my own children and how zealously we’ve protected their innocence in these tender years. It broke my heart to think of this innocence robbed in such a way. In any sane society an adult would be charged with sexual abuse for taking a child to such a spectacle, but here the Chief of Police was part of the spectacle.
At the end of the parade, two men walked solemnly carrying placards, seeking, I believe, to shed a light of truth into the day’s darkness. One of the placards carried the words of St. Paul from 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10: “Neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”
As the placard-bearers’ approached there was, as you might expect, a lot of anger directed at them, but I also detected a note of bewilderment on the faces of many, perhaps a fascination that someone could be so backward, so out of touch. The placards were certainly a striking contrast with the rest of the day’s event.
I question the placard-bearers’ method: As St. Thomas Aquinas says, “whatever is received is received according to the mode of the receiver,” and I don’t see how, amidst the festivities, their message could possibly be received. But I still admired their courage in bringing the message and hoped it was offered in a spirit of love.
After the oldest of the men had been lightly roughed up by two parade-goers trying to block his passage forward, I approached and spoke to him briefly. According to the man, people had tried to block him a number of times that day, but he was unfazed. “Jesus Christ is on my side,” he said.
His words resonated, because I relied on the same spiritual foundation throughout the day. Reflecting afterward, though, it seemed to me these men were a kind of symbol for the Christian’s passage in the modern world. As society falls more and more into moral anarchy, those staying true to the faith seem more and more out of touch and face greater and greater challenges. But we forge on, knowing that, as the man said, “Jesus Christ is on our side.”