The Dodgers’ capitulation to the LGBT lobby demonstrates yet again that Christians have lost the culture war.
As goes baseball, so goes the country. America’s pastime may be much diminished from its golden age, but in a culturally fractured moment nostalgia makes it all the more important as a symbol. So it is worth noting, suggesting something of catacombs, when the Los Angeles Dodgers would rather offend Christians and sitting U.S. senators than risk the wrath of the homosexual lobby.
The team announced last Wednesday that it would no longer honor the drag fraternity “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” with a Community Hero Award at its LGBT etc. celebration on June 16. Senator Marco Rubio had written to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred questioning whether honoring a group dedicated to obscenity and the mockery of religious devotion would be “inclusive and welcoming to Christians.” But on Monday, the Dodgers backtracked, with a groveling apology to the gay clowns, re-inviting them to the team’s tenth annual Pride Night.
A decade, then, at least for one professional baseball organization, is how long it takes for pro-gay to become anti-Christian. This is baseball, recall; the team needn’t really have ever taken a public position on the sexual revolution, let alone prostrate, but here it is, and it says much more about American culture as a whole than about the Dodgers in particular. There was a culture war, once, and you lost.
The right response to all this—the spectacle of degenerates mocking women, nuns, and God in one costume; the dust-eating pardon-begging by the Dodgers, “we will continue to work with our LGBTQ+ partners to better educate ourselves”—is simple disgust.
Some things are disgusting, and we should cherish and protect our capacity for disgust. The global homogenization that characterizes our time seeks to erase all distinction—between men and women, better and worse, adults and children—and to have its revenge for the distinctions that persist despite those efforts. To bring forth a beige world of polymorphous perversity, slaves to modernity like these perpetually indulgent work to erase your instinct for reality, the individual spark of human spirit that aspires to the high and is revolted by the low. They want to desensitize you to disgust.
In his modern fairy-tale for grownups, That Hideous Strength, C.S. Lewis describes “the Objective Room.” It is a place for bludgeoning the soul. In a pivotal scene, the not-very-heroic protagonist, Mark, is brought to the Objective Room and asked to trample “a large crucifix, almost life size, a work of art in the Spanish tradition, ghastly and realistic.” He is not a Christian, yet he finds the demand too much. The room has been the arena for a contest in Mark’s mind between “the Crooked,” everything subtly wrong, twisted, and distorted, and “the Straight or Normal or Wholesome.” But this icon is something new:
“this image, though not itself an image of the Straight or Normal, was yet in opposition to crooked Belbury. It was a picture of what happened when the Straight met the Crooked, a picture of what the Crooked did to the Straight — what it would do to him if he remained straight. It was, in a more emphatic sense than he had yet understood, a cross.”
It is the final test.
The men who seek to condition Mark by exposure to the Crooked—to make him believe that “objectively” there is no difference between it and the Straight—must in the end resort to blasphemy. It is not enough to celebrate the diseased and belittle the normal; eventually a stronger statement is needed. And this is the significance of the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence”: Eventually not even drag is enough. (Indeed, the group has hosted “hunky Jesus” contests.) And now the Dodgers, desensitized by a decade of celebration, reject the concerns of Christians and again extend their invitation to degraded mockeries of holiness. The ratchet of progress turns only one way.
You live in the Objective Room, reader. Toleration comes from a position of strength, and, good Christian, you are not doing the tolerating—nor even being tolerated. As the evangelical writer Aaron Renn has argued, since about 2014, which marks the cultural victory of the Alphabet People over a normal that had forgotten why normal mattered—remember, Obergefell was 2015—you have lived in a Negative World. While once Christianity was celebrated, and then at least accepted as part of an American public square, in a Negative World, “being known as a Christian is a social negative, particularly in the elite domains of society. Christian morality is expressly repudiated and seen as a threat to the public good and the new public moral order.”
For those in comfortable suburban enclaves, Renn’s thesis may sound histrionic. But think for a moment about what has happened here. A large-market baseball team—an avatar of American culture and big business—was pressured by religious groups and a sitting U.S. senator to maintain a recently expected standard of public decorum. They did not protest a Pride Night and the Dodgers’ celebration of sexual expressivism, only an obviously anti-Catholic and even anti-Christian demonstration. This was a request for toleration from a position of weakness. And now there is no hesitation to trample.
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