Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gay Pride Roma: Reflections on Cultural Suicide

Here's the version that LifeSite didn't use with the pictures that are "too offensive" to print.

...actually, I think we didn't use all these pics because it would have taken up a huge amount of bandwidth.

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


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 programme. 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 programme.

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 passers by 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 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 bringing it to this kind of surgical and medicalized conclusion.

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 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 people like this,

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 dischord 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 mostly 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.

* ~ * ~ *

here if you like that sort of thing, is a link to the rest of the photos.


Antonio said...

You're a braver human than I am.

Anonymous said...

The juxtaposition of pictures was an especially fine illustration of this piece, Hilary. It didn't all start in 1968 or 1964 or 1962, though, now did it? (Of course, you don't believe that either.)

BillyHW said...

St. Luciano of Modena, pray for us!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad we have you liveblogging the apocalypse. Thanks as always for your writing, Hilary. Nice photos too.

Here in NYC we have a week's worth of "Pride" coming up, culminating in the parade of sadness that I've witnessed so many times now. It's always memorable to walk out of the Church of Our Saviour after the Mass said by Fr. Rutler on a Sunday in late June, crossing Park Ave then Madison, to see Fifth Avenue crowded with cheering spectators, lesbian motorcycle gangs, floats carrying dancing queens, senators and congressmen and mayors walking flanked by lobbyists for anti-Catholic causes. The parade starts one block from St. Patrick's Cathedral and goes right past the See of New York. Where I usually cross Fifth, at 42nd St, is the New York Public Library. Out front of the library the famous statuary lions Patience and Fortitude flank a reviewing platform and live up to their names.

Often as I'd pause to cross the Avenue after Mass I'd hear tourists talking amongst themselves, grinning stupidly or smirking knowingly. (The NYPD have these pens at selected streets whence during brief interruptions in the march those of us simply waiting to cross the avenue emerge and for a fleeting moment yank the attention away from the chelsea boys on the float.) I'd hear the tourists say something we often hear, something I still say myself, sometimes, out of a sense of pride about the Brooklyn Bridge, the occasional camaraderie on the subway, the pizza or the falafel or the FDNY: "Only in New York!"

But it's not.

Thanks again.


Mickey said...

My pastor prays for rain when this event takes place where I live.

Walter said...

"It didn't all start in 1968 or 1964 or 1962, though, now did it?"

I would say it began on All Hallows Eve of 1517.

Paola said...

Hi, Hilary! Thank you for your piece and the (ugh) pictures. Makes me want to stage "Hetero Pride Day" and go around in my underwear, but I'd lose my self-respect. It's interesting how these people seem to miss that "pride" is related to "dignity".

I have gay friends and I have the utmost respect for them as individuals (also because they would not be caught dead in such a carnival) but I'm puzzled by the concept in itself. You put your finger on it: it's a refusal of what they are, not an embracing of a neglected part of them. Or so it feels to me. They call themselves "different" (diversi) - but let's face it, what is more different and alien, for many of us, than the opposite sex? Refusing to approach it and seek the union with it is such a bold, "prideful" action?

Ditto on intolerance. "Free speech" means freedom to insult the Church. If you defend it, you're a "clerical" (whatever that means - I heard it only a few days ago!) They - and I don't mean the homosexual community, but those who exploit them and whose flags were well in evidence in your pics - must be so so scared... and my reaction is to wear crosses prominently and make as many gestures of devotion as I can. It boggles their minds.

Bye from Milan! Paola
(the one who was worried about Winnie :D)

Gregory said...

Dear Hilary,

Just a footnote to your remaks about how there was no visible opposition to this horror.

Back in the 1960's and 70's, there were a number of very ugly incidents at political marches of various kinds in Italy. The communists marched (e.g.), the fascists protested against the march, bottles and fists flew, etc. Then it happened again at a fascist march, more bottles (with some gasoline in them!), more fists, etc.

As a result of this, counter-protesting of any sort was made completely illegal in Italy. When the big anti-gay marriage rally was held at the Lateran under the Prodi government, the Carabinieri were there in force to make sure the pro-gay-marriage crowd did not attempt to counter protest, and indeed they did not.

Just to be fair.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Oh yes dear. I know.

But that's how things go when you directly confront an evil of this magnitude. It was why the Caribinieri were there with riot gear. The fact that everyone is running scared of this because of the memory of those incidents is the reason it has been allowed to grow to its current magnitude.

But your comment does nicely encapsulate the problem. People are so terrified of the consequences of opposing evil that they tolerate it to the destruction of everything.

Isn't that the essence of the modern West's dhimmi attitude. Avoid a fight. Give up everything, but avoid a fight.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

What I'm wondering is why there was nothing announced, and never is anything announced, of that kind.

If there can be nothing on the street (if we think that this law is worth giving up our souls to obey), why then was there nothing in the press. Nothing in the Vatican Information Service bulletin. Nothing (I'm laughing here) in L'Osservatore Romano, nothing from the Pope, nothing from anyone about anything.

Ignore that crocodile. Don't even bother appeasing it. If you pretend it's not there, maybe it will go away.

Joanne said...

In Seattle, the number of children who are dragged to this event is sickening.

It is not illegal to counter-protest here. How much protest do you think this draws? I saw one lone brave soul up to enduring the tolerance. And the media gushes for weeks talking this up while "nothing from anyone about anything" is also the case.

End result? Everyday becomes an in your face flaunting of perversity: you can't go out anymore without seeing outrageous behavior.

Anonymous said...

I am completely shocked by the presence of children as well, and I grew up going to the SF Pride. It was different then - it was happier and more innocent, as bizarre as that is to say. There is a spirit present now which is so obviously demonic people I know with no religious faith whatsoever describe it as such.

Hi Joanne, we're neighbors!

- Karen

Anonymous said...

But doesn't it just give them even more publicity if we do protest?

When is it helpful to ignore misfits and when is it not helpful?

Some (many?) gays are "over" these kinds of events, recognising them for the shallow bits of crap they truly are.

Joanne said...

Hello, neighbor Karen, Obviously demonic--that's my assessment as well. I once left Mass and walked smack dab into this bizarre world. I had to wait for the bus while people poured past jostling me. I truly felt soiled. And I've never seen such deliberate human uglification on this scale. I thought that the demonic influence must be especially powerful around me and started praying the Rosary. I was absolutely floored when the entire sidewalk cleared and stayed clear until I got on the bus and it pulled out.

Louise, with the media the way it is, any opposing voice is turned into a hateful and bigoted person who should go the way of the dodo. This may be why there is silence via the media. But they won't preach either.

Felix said...

First, let me note the photos of the Communist Party flag being waved at the march.

Also, while you might not be able (or up to) a counter protest, other action is possibe. For example, have prayers for reparation and their conversion.

And let me underscore the fact that ordinary family people take their kids to watch "the fun".

But, perhaps worst, the pastors are largely silent.

Anonymous said...

I am open to other explanations, but I think that the lack of public opposition to the sodomites is not due to fear of reprisals but due to people's intuitions that it's a big tar baby. There is no way to discuss the subject without risking one's dignity. In order to even make the slamdunk case that male homosexuality is a public health hazard, it is necessary to bring up really, really gross stuff that ladies shouldn't have to know about. It's very difficult to make a direct assault on this kind of thing without coarsening the public sphere almost as much as the original offenses. So people just leave it alone. It's icky.

Anonymous said...

sorry, that was me - Karen

Howie said...

Your piece is interesting. I am gay, a military veteran, a UCSD student, and HIV positive. I thought about what you wrote, then ultimately decided that happiness is relative.

Despite some political oppositions, I have a new job, loving family, supportive friends (gay & straight), committed boyfriend, and purpose. It's all I really need. I don't always participate in gay pride, but I certainly condone the underlying message.

So yeah, I'm pretty happy enough that I hope others can be as fortunate as I am. Thanks for helping me realize this again. :-)