By Robert Oscar Lopez
The Stream has been warning Christians that our religious liberty is in danger. Both Maggie Gallagher and John Zmirak pointed to the crucial upcoming race in Pennsylvania. There the GOP establishment has endorsed a candidate who sponsored a pro-trans “bathroom bill” with no protections for dissenters.
Such disasters don’t come from nowhere. They emerge because the conservative movement itself is undergoing an LGBT-inspired purge.
Consider the phone call Dan Schneider made to Brian Camenker in early February 2018. Dan Schneider is the Executive Director of the Conservative Political Action Conference. (“CPAC” wields great influence in politics. Just how great? Donald J. Trump is speaking at their yearly convention!)
Mass Resistance Fights for Us
Brian Camenker is the president of Mass Resistance. That’s a decades-old network of grassroots organizers. His groups fight radical left-wing movements in schools, local communities, and state policies. You may not have heard of Mass Resistance because its chapters focus on local activism, not always elections. They tend not to congregate on Twitter but encompass many people. Mass Resistance works with the folks who got Donald J. Trump elected.
Mr. Camenker had applied to run a table at CPAC’s big conference. CPAC approved his application and took his payment. Then about ten days before CPAC, Mr. Schneider told Mr. Camenker that he had changed his mind. He unilaterally rescinded the contract between Mass Resistance and CPAC.
Why? Mr. Camenker opposed transgender and homosexual curriculum for children in 2015. He used language that is less than perfectly … winsome. How does Mr. Schneider know about these comments? Because he found a video clip online. That’s thanks to gay activists who have indexed Mass Resistance as a “hate group.” So gay activists are now vetting who can speak at “conservative” events. Isn’t that special?
Mr. Schneider has barred Camenker him from exhibiting at CPAC. It seems that CPAC wants more gay lobbyists with deep pockets. So CPAC is now stiff-arming religious folks who want the public library to stop pushing sodomy on four-year-olds.
CPAC has come a long way since it worried about including gay Republican groups like the Log Cabins. Now CPAC serves as their enforcement wing. It silences conservatives for stating that homosexuality or transgenderism might be objectionable. Imagine if Think Progress did the same to pro-gay activists. …
Et tu, CPAC?
A year ago I published Wackos Thugs & Perverts. This collection of essays detailed how the left used universities to brainwash an entire generation. Ever since Allan Bloom’s Closing of the American Mind over thirty years ago, conservatives have heard plentiful tales of William F. Buckley types standing up against leftist insanity on college campuses. In the late 1990s I thought conservatives would actually do something about left-wing domination of higher ed. By the late 2010s I figured out nothing was going to change.
Why does the right rail against political correctness but always surrender to it? One three-time CPAC attendee spoke to me. He’d worked for many years with well-known student conservative groups. Let’s call him “Tony.” Tony told me:
[S]exual morality is aggressively discouraged by a growing faction of youth leaders on the right.
I’ve had representatives from major conservative orgs openly jeer at conservative social advocacy to my face. One — a recruiter — even told me he avoided giving opportunities to social conservatives.
I’ve met both conservative and liberal students from the organization Turning Point USA, for example. TPUSA might be the best example of the mixed bag campus conservatism has become. I worry that the more conservative students might miss how vulnerable they are to aggression from their socially liberal counterparts in the same movement, who … are basically operatives for the Left.
The student attendees at CPAC who are most involved in legacy campus political organizations like the College Republicans tend to be the most disdainful of social conservatism…. The slick students who are best at obtaining funding and publicity tend to have the least backbone when it comes to social issues.
As for CPAC enforcing the left’s pro-gay totalitarianism? Tony’s not surprised.
The Lost Chaste Generation
Neither were two other twentysomething conservatives I interviewed. Both are Catholic. They asked me not to use their names. One was an active student leader who defended the sanctity of marriage several years ago. His group disintegrated as students drifted away. To what? Libertarian groups that crushed on Milo and other media-savvy provocateurs.
The other student leader described a similar collapse of the chastity movement all along the West Coast. Some chapters promoted sacred marriage between a man and a woman, but they fell dormant or dissolved. The libertarian rage against political correctness eclipsed the chastity movement.
“But the libertarians do not really support traditional morality,” she explained. “At best some are pro-life, but they want to have sex with a lot of people and they want to be accepted by gay friends.” A few students have formed tight-knit groups devoted to studying natural-law giants like Robert George. The problem, as Tony put it, is that “they just talk and don’t do anything.”
Many of the students I knew in California were pro-family. They found religious pro-chastity networks closed to them. “There was nothing to do with our idealism but just say we should devote ourselves to our professions,” my interviewee told me. And so some students did, excelling in fields like business and law. But they stopped fighting for marriage and morality in politics.
The Danger of a Pro-Gay CPAC
If things go on like this, we are doomed. Some youngsters, particularly young males, will not surrender the “conservative” label to all these socially liberal quarters. They know they will never break into the Princeton circles populated by Robert George protégés or writers for First Things.
Where to go? Some drift toward the Alt-Right where their social conservatism and frustration with the “cuckservatives” leaves them open to dark temptations. Some will give up on all politics. Others will simply seethe.
The “winsome” camp says that conservatives have to play nice when they talk about LGBT issues. They should smile. Apologize for being bigots. Maybe pray quietly to themselves in locked closets
Many of us recognize the phases of “welcoming” sexual diversity as such a project always unfolds. First you let gays participate. Then you let gays tell you how to run the place. Then gays threaten you if you don’t expel the remaining social conservatives. So “welcoming” LGBT groups into an institution becomes surrender and submission to the LGBT agenda. Allies turn into the gay community’s henchmen.
By now it is clear that LGBT “conservatives” can support narrow exemptions for Christian pâtissiers or wedding vendors and still favor no-platforming Christians at conservative events. They can back hounding ex-gays or people on watch lists out of public life. They see no contradication in claiming that as gay conservatives they only want “inclusion.” Then calling powerful conservatives on the phone to get people fired for not applauding homosexuality. That is why I told Sandy Rios on the air, “Gay conservatives are no better than gay liberals.” That is also why I join with other conservatives in rejecting attempts by Dennis Prager to normalize right-wing gays with his video featuring Guy Benson.