". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


The Hidden Hurt behind Pride Month and Sexual Rebellion

June 18, 2024

While parents and everyday Americans scramble to put out the wildfire of LGBT activism that’s hurting our kids, what if the solution was right here, in plain sight? Yes, homeschooling, voting for good people, running for school board, and going to church matters, but so does what happens inside every family’s front door. Despite how desperately society has tried to convince us, the culture of “acceptable divorce” that exploded during Gen X isn’t okay. And neither are the children who lived through it.

Like a lot of adults her age, The Federalist’s Joy Pullman grew up as a child of separated parents. It’s an experience that she’s carried with her into her research and writing about the LGBT movement. In her new book, “False Flag: Why Queer Politics Means the End of America,” she talks about how this instability at home is creating entire generations of hurting kids. And it’s that family chaos and dysfunction, she insists, that makes it more likely that someone will identify as homosexual or transgender.

Rosaria Butterfield, who lived as a practicing lesbian for 10 years before finding Jesus, is adamant that most people who adopt this kind of lifestyle have been traumatized or abused in some way. That hidden hurt is exactly what Pullman zeroed in on when she talked with “Outstanding” podcast host Joseph Backholm.

“I think people don’t talk enough about the consequences that easy divorce [has] had on young people,” she said. “I think a lot of the move for people in this current generation — and generations going forward — away from marriage and family is partly because of family traumas that [they’ve] experienced and haven’t healed. [When you have family separation], when you have divorce … if that’s not addressed,” Joy warns, “if you don’t have a way of healing and reconciling that, then people are scared of being in those intimate relationships because they’ve been hurt in intimate relationships before.”

Sometimes that shows up in the millennial and Gen Z reluctance to marry and have families, she points out. “Many young people’s home lives have not been happy. … They’ve been a source of pain, alienation, and conflict. And so I think there’s a lot of unaddressed [anguish]. … And if people aren’t going to church as much anymore, they don’t have kind of a second institution there to help catch them and teach them what a family looks like when their own nuclear families fail.”

The reality, Pullman explains, is that “people who have unstable families where children are not growing up in the homes with their two biological married parents [are] much more likely to identify as queer. And then on the flip side,” she continues, that kind of family trauma can also express itself in “a lack of natural identity [that] God has given each of us as man and woman…” She goes on to say that these young people grow up to be much more likely to engage in “every sign of personal distress,” including crime, teen pregnancy, and LGBT identification.

So, the “sexual chaos that children are experiencing,” Joy says, is what she sees “as kind of a second-, third-generation consequence of our culture’s acceptance of feminism, no-fault divorce, and those other things. … And so all of these decisions that people are making absolutely affect each other.”

One of the most horrifying pieces of evidence that America has lost its sense of moral direction when it comes to the family is that very few people seem to prioritize it. In a shocking poll published this month by Pew Research, only 19% of Biden voters and 59% of Trump voters agreed with the statement that “society is better off if people make marriage and having children a priority.”

While the number suggests a huge chasm between the two parties, Backholm was just as shocked by the “tragically [low]” number of conservatives who value the cornerstone of society. Every poll needs to be taken with “a grain of salt,” Pullman cautioned. But, she conceded, “It’s absolutely true that we have a decline in acknowledgment of the important and crucial role that family plays in a happy civic society. … You can’t even have a society if you don’t have children.” It’s in the difficult work of parenthood, she insists, that we really develop “productive and loving and self-sacrificing behavior.”

But of course in our culture, Joy shook her head, “a horrible culture that hates children, it’s cast as the opposite. Children are supposed to be somehow an obstacle to your self-improvement, when in truth, they are maybe the greatest catalyst that I’ve ever had in my whole entire life towards self-improvement.” Let’s face it, “spouses and children do not allow self-indulgence,” Pullman said bluntly. And “that is the reality of marriage and family. And you and I would both agree it’s totally worth it. But when you contrast that to the value system of the Sexual Revolution, which is live authentically, satisfy your urges as quickly as you can, and don’t ever deny what your heart is trying to do, those values are just not consistent [with raising a family].”

As for the gap between the value of children and marriage in Biden voters versus Trump voters, Joy thinks partisanship “is just the tip of the iceberg.” “What’s really under there are people’s … deepest beliefs about the world, their worldview, if you will. And the worldview manifests in people’s political affiliation.”

She believes a lot of people “turn to leftist politics as a substitute for religion, as a kind of psychotherapy.” But in the end, all that really does is encourage a victim mentality that never brings a person closer to healing in their life. “You have to be an overcomer. You have to decide to take responsibility for your life and make your own decisions about how to move ahead and get maturity — even if other people are at least partly at fault for the situation you find yourself in.”

Sure, people have pain and loneliness that “nobody really wants to talk about,” because of things in their past that may not be resolved or a dysfunctional childhood. And they need empathy, Joy agrees, “but not just the empathy that enables and says, ‘It’s okay for you to sit and wallow in your trauma’ but a compassionate ear that says, ‘You know, if you wanted to address that, I’ve got some solutions for you, starting with, for example, going to church, maybe repenting of your own sins and hearing the message [of positivity].”

And unfortunately, the church hasn’t always been the example the world needs of strong, lifelong marriages and healthy families. As Family Research Council’s David Closson pointed out, social conservatives have spent the last 20 years focused on issues that “a generation ago were unimaginable” — things like same-sex marriage and transgenderism. But none of these things originated in a vacuum, he insisted to The Washington Stand. They are the “natural progression of a moral revolution that started decades ago.” “In fact,” he told TWS, “we can trace some of the confusion about marriage back to 1969 when then-Governor Ronald Reagan signed the nation’s first no-fault divorce law. Ever since then, the broader culture has increasingly seen marriage as a contract rather than a covenant. Over the last several decades, no-fault divorce has contributed to the weakening of America’s marriage culture, to the point where today the divorce rate in the church is approximately 30%.”

If American Christians “want to see a return of sanity and morality in our culture, rebuilding a marriage culture in our churches is an important place to begin,” Closson urged. “We need to regain a vision for what marriage is really about, namely, the bringing together of one man and one woman into a lifelong covenant that is open to any children their union produces. Before we can fix society at large, we must re-double our efforts in inculcating and discipling those in our churches to have a comprehensive biblical worldview.”

At the end of the day, Joy points out, “If you obey God,” staying married, for instance, and valuing children, “in the long run will be happy — whether it’s on life or in eternity. And that’s just a fact. [But for many people] it’s difficult for them to accept, because they want to be their own God. So I do think that that spiritual kind of struggle is underlying these cultural and political struggles that we’re talking about. And that’s really what’s underneath.”

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.