Sarah Hey

I just wanted to make certain that all of us can see and understand what’s under our noses from the past week’s fun.

To recap, Chick-fil-A experienced what can only be called an outpouring of support all over the country. Even as a conservative who’s quite aware that the progressive activists are a tiny minority of the country’s population, I was astonished at the display on Wednesday of last week; I never expected the level of involvement, engagement, and passion that we saw. All around the country—not merely in the good old South—people stacked up, stood in line outside, and flooded the counters of Chick-fil-A.

On Friday, the gay activists were going to have their parallel outpouring of non-support. . . only it didn’t turn out that way at all.

What can we learn from last week’s demonstration? Or rather, of what can we be reminded, since I expect that most of the readers here already recognize these four principles from the past?

First, the fascists are the progressive activists. They want a country—and in The Episcopal Church, a denomination—that bullies others into silence, forces others to support them with their money, redefines morality, and forces redefinitions of words, without protest from those who don’t want that. If they ever gain the power, they’ll make laws that won’t allow you to voice your opinion, support what you believe, build your own businesses, claim any social power or credibility, and refuse to support what you do not believe in. If they could, they’d send you to prison for refusing to support their agenda.

I think many—many—more Americans recognize this today than they did two weeks ago. These people are not “tolerant.” They’re bullies, they hate those who do not support their agenda, and they will do all in their power to hurt you, try to embarrass you and silence you, and force you to capitulate on your values and your morality.

This is who they are—and that’s demonstrable from the actions and the on-the-record statements of the last several weeks.

Second, no surprise, but the supporters of traditional marriage are in the large majority.  We all know this—including, I should add, the gay activists.

Remember, their rhetoric is designed to imply that the vast majority of Americans are in support of redefining marriage to include one particular, currently-faddish-amongst-progressives, sexual attraction. They spend a lot of time and money cultivating the “inevitability” meme, so as to discourage organized resistance.

As I pointed out in a recent post:

“…what gay marriage activists want to foster—in fact, a time-honored tradition on the part of liberal activists—is the perception of “inevitability” which, if such inevitability is accepted, means that opponents will cease the effort of resistance. But there’s a big difference between attempting to promulgate the vision of “inevitability” and that inevitability actually being reality.  Gay marriage approval is not inevitable at all, and I don’t think Americans are buying it either.”

Only—it’s not inevitable. Not at all. And their supporters are not in the majority—not even close.

So it may be time for them to wheel back from that line of rhetorical spin and return to their “pity us, give us a few bones, we’re being oppressed by a cruel majority of bigots” meme.

Which brings me to point three.

Third, the progressive activists have so misused language that fewer and fewer who are opposing them are ashamed any more.

Part of the strategy on the part of progressive activists—after asserting droningly that only a tiny minority of savages would actually dare to believe that marriage should not be redefined in order to accommodate one particular minority sexual attraction currently faddish amongst progressives—is to attempt to shame people into being quiet. Whatever else happens, progressive activists can’t afford to have people saying out loud what they believe, since the more people say these things out loud, the more others recognize that they have allies and are not, after all, in the minority, but quite the opposite.

That’s the big shift I’ve seen over the past 9 years, since 2003. In those days there was a bit more shame or fear involved in saying out loud “I don’t believe that marriage should be redefined to include one particular minority sexual attraction just in order to make them feel better about themselves. And furthermore, I don’t think sexual acts between two men or two women is a good thing at all, in fact, it is harmful and wrong.”

Now, there’s just a whole lot less shame in being public and open about one’s traditional beliefs and values. On Wednesday, August 1, many thousands of people said it. And they felt good saying it, and they’ll continue to say it more and more.

Nobody cares any more if they’re labelled a “bigot” by gay activists—it’s a badge of honor, and there’s no shame in it.

I sense that difference now—a big shift in the willingness of people to step up and say out loud and publicly—“nope, we don’t agree and we’re not going to support it.”

I was struck by one local radio call-in commentary on the support—the commentator, who is, I believe, a Baptist, stated [and I paraphrase] “in the parking lot here I see stickers from all the churches . . . Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Episcopalian, and so many more. Everyone’s out supporting Chick-fil-A.”  He took care to note the myriad of denominations, and had no special need to note “Episcopalian”—he just noticed it.

Truth is, the majority of Episcopalians don’t want marriage redefined either. And in the past, they’ve been too quelled and fearful to say that out loud.  But the tide is turning, and more of them now are saying “uh, no—we don’t want this and we won’t support it and you can’t make us.”

And folks, the current TEC leaders cannot make parishioners support it either. They can’t make us write checks, and they can’t keep us from redirecting money to more worthy charitable endeavors. And we can do that just fine and remain Episcopalians, because the current TEC leaders don’t get to redefine what being an Episcopalian is, no matter how hard they try.

That’s why Episcopalians who are staying in TEC all around the country need to Write The Letter, and continue on worshipping happily at their chosen parishes. You’re in the majority, you need to state what you believe, and let the progressive activists squeal and try harder all they like.  They can own the national instruments of TEC, and they may even own your diocese—but you own your checkbook, and you own your voice, and you get to say what you believe and what you support.

We’ll see more of this around TEC, of that I’m confident. More Episcopalians distancing themselves from the stances of our leadership, and shutting off more and more money.

Fourth, symbolic action counts.

The actions of Wednesday not only heartened the majority of American citizens, they deflated the tiny minority of progressive activists—and I think that’s one reason why The Great Kiss-In was such a flop. When people recognize just how outnumbered they are, it’s harder to get them out there engaged in childish demonstrations.

They—and their willing allies in the media—will certainly make every effort to discount and “forget” what happened on Wednesday.

It’s up to us to make certain we don’t forget and that those symbolic actions transfer to more meaningful and substantive actions.

But don’t let people—either conservatives or progressive activists—try to tell you that “symbolism doesn’t count.” It does, even if you can’t point to something “real” accomplished from those symbolic actions.  There’s a reason why opponents go for the flag-bearer, even when the flag-bearer doesn’t engage in the active part of the battle. There’s a reason why taking down statues in town squares is meaningful, even though technically what does it actually accomplish in the progress of the battle? There’s a reason why Puddleglum’s stamping out of the fire and speaking strongly about the lies that the powerful queen was telling to the children was a powerful symbolic action, even though they were defeated, lost, and afraid.

Symbolic actions matter, especially when they evolve into more.

Hopefully they will.

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