For many on the LGBT left, stemming from the left more broadly, mocking and attacking Christians seems to be the only thing giving them a sense of purpose during the COVID-19 crisis. While it is normal to see headlines from major LGBT sites blasting Christian leaders and denouncing the “anti-LGBT” religious right, April has been particularly inundated with such articles, especially on the most-followed LGBT news site, LGBTQ Nation.
With its 1.5 million followers on Facebook and 163,000 followers on Twitter, LGBTQ Nation holds a great deal of influence among its readers. Here are four of its headlines in the first half of April attacking Christians.
1. ‘Defiant Pastor Who Kept Church Open Despite Coronavirus Warnings Dies a Week Later from COVID-19’
Capitalizing on the recent death of Bishop Gerald O. Glenn of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church near Richmond, Virginia, the article argues, “Misguided preachers nationwide have continued to hold in-person services despite the deadly risk to their congregations, but a Virginia pastor who vowed to keep his church open and to keep preaching ‘unless I’m in jail or the hospital’ has died a week after preaching his defiant service.”
The bishop is quoted as saying, “I firmly believe that God is larger than this dreaded virus,” which was also featured in a tweet and article by The Washington Post, “Prominent Virginia pastor who said ‘God is larger than this dreaded virus’ dies of covid-19,” demonstrating that the mainstream media, not just LGBT media, are perpetuating the anti-religious narrative through their framing.
The New York Times also posted the headline, “Pastor Who Defied Social Distancing Dies After Contracting Covid-19, Church Says.” LGBTQ Nation ends its article, “But a week later, the minister has died from COVID-19. His wife is also sick.”
What they left out, detailed by local news CBS 6 News Richmond, is that the March 22 sermon, regularly aired on the news channel, occurred a day before the state of Virginia officially banned gatherings of 10 or more people. The church has held drive-in sermons since.
The bishop, his daughter says, had a serious underlying health condition. She also described him as someone who loved to greet and hug his congregants whenever he saw them in public. His wife has also tested positive for COVID-19.
2. ‘The Religious Right Has a New Coronavirus Concern: People Are Touching Their No-No Parts’
Mocking several Christian leaders for sharing their concerns about an uptick in pornography, the article quotes the Liberty Counsel, after denouncing it as a “hate group,” saying, “There are many forgotten people who have become collateral damage in these far-reaching lockdowns. We must not forget them, and we must do better to protect the people who are being harmed by the government’s response to COVID-19. Churches are more essential now than before the pandemic.”
Referring to the Family Research Council as a “hate group” as well, the article quotes Tony Perkins as saying, “We cannot afford to let this crisis open the door to a craving that destroys our kids’ innocence and future happiness.”
Despite the article presenting the concerns of Christian leaders as laughable and petty, a recent 2019 study validates them. A cross-sectional study of Polish university students in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health concluded, “In the opinion of the majority of the surveyed students, pornography use may have a negative effect on the quality of social relationships (58.7%), mental health (63.9%) and sexual performance (67.7%), as well as negatively affect psychosocial development in childhood and adolescence (78.1%).”
3. ‘Charity Compares Homosexuality to Drug Addiction to Justify Rejecting LGBTQ Coronavirus Volunteers’
As detailed here, LGBT activists have been aggressively attacking Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse charity for setting up a desperately needed 68-bed COVID-19 field hospital in Central Park. Quoting an article by the Charlotte Observer, they argue, “He said that opposition to LGBTQ rights is ‘part of who we are,’ but also justified the policy in practical terms. ‘I don’t want a person who is going to be on the job and drinks; that’s not a good witness,’ he said, effectively comparing homosexuality to drug addiction. ‘I don’t want a person who’s going to be using drugs to be part of our team.’”
The primary issue of contention is the Statement of Faith all volunteers must sign to participate in the Christian charity’s activities. Much of the media reporting has cast this as discrimination and “anti-LGBT.”
The referenced Charlotte Observer article, despite its objectionable framing, provides more useful context. Defending the Christian nature of his organization, Graham told the Observer, “Of course, I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s part of who we are. So we have a long list of things we want people to understand and agree with before we take them to work with us.”
In a related article, LGBTQ Nation argued the organization could be discriminating against LGBT patients because an LGBT activist reported calling the organization to offer his volunteer services but pushed the issue of his sexuality and claimed he was “turned away” from the organization. Graham, however, had previously told the Religious News Service, “We don’t discriminate against anybody we help. We provide our services to everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation. We don’t discriminate. Period.”
4. ‘PHOTOS: Hunky Jesus Contest Manages to Resurrect Our Spirits in Challenging Times’
Queerty, the sister site to LGBTQ Nation, highlighted an annual event by the San Francisco Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the Hunky Jesus and Foxy Mary contests. The contests feature gay men dressed provocatively as both Jesus and Mary (in drag) and have become a “time-honored” celebration in the LGBT community. Mocking the central figures of billions of people worldwide is the group’s Easter tradition.
These are only a few of the dozens of articles mocking Christians: scoffing at their deaths as they advocate faith during the crisis, mocking Vice President Mike Pence, attacking Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A, accusing Christians of endangering the public through church services, and attempting to humiliate them during their holiest season. It borders on an obsession and appears to be little more than vindictive and petty exploitation.
People of faith have struggled to adapt to this global crisis as congregating and public worship are vital daily aspects of many religions worldwide. The attempts to suppress any gatherings whatsoever, even when participants are safely in their own cars, has caused many to challenge state orders.
But more than that, people of faith are doing their best to support each other and keep their communities active and alive. Why the left is specifically targeting Christians for shaming and defamation can only be understood as bigotry and prejudice.
As one of the loudest voices in LGBT media, LGBTQ Nation often becomes a catalyst for attitudes within the larger community. Comments on Facebook and Twitter, despite incorrect information within the articles, demonstrate the ease with which the left can be enraged and their bigotry can be validated through headlines. But feeding into this mob mentality by targeting Christians serves no other purpose than to create division and perpetuate hatred.
In a time when our culture has the opportunity to find common ground in our collective experience, we should all reject this kind of relentless stereotyping. Most importantly, the death of anyone as the result of this virus should never be exploited for political gain or social narratives.