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


Pro-Palestinian Protestors and Pride Month Paraders Face ‘Progressive Standoff’

June 3, 2024

It’s officially June, which means the celebration of Pride has come out in full swing. Although Pride celebrations this year appear to be a bit more muted, many city streets are still cluttered with numerous festivals and parades rooted in the theme of “inclusion” and “acceptance” of all things gender and sexuality. However, even though such festivities are already rejected by countless Americans, this year the Pride displays seem to have been met with a new foe.

A “progressive standoff” ensued on Sunday as hundreds of LGBT paraders were confronted by hundreds of pro-Palestine protestors during the Philadelphia Pride Parade. The rainbow march was abruptly stopped when their path was blocked off by the anti-Israel crowd, who chanted phrases such as, “No Pride in genocide.” As reported by The Post Millennial, “Drag queens, trans folx, and Pride flag waving persons looked confused as they were unable to proceed down the parade route.”

Police were forced to break apart the two groups as they battled to claim the streets of Philadelphia. In a post on X, one bystander described the scene as “some kind of intersectional civil war.” And considering the somewhat unexpected nature of this controversy, Breitbart News pointed out, “The protest highlights a growing tension between segments of the Democrat Party base who believe that anti-Israel protests should take precedent over other causes like LGBTQ activism.” To that point, Joseph Backholm, Family Research Council’s senior fellow for Strategic Engagement and Biblical Worldview, commented to The Washington Stand, “On one hand, it’s not unusual for a political tribe to have competing priorities.”

He continued, “There are lots of issues in the world, and it’s normal for people who agree in many ways to still have disagreements about tactics or priorities. But what makes this intramural conflict interesting is the awareness that their differences are not superficial.” As Backholm stated, “Many on the Gaza side of this conflict would literally kill the Pride side if they could.”

Interestingly, Backholm noted that while both sides “are united in their disdain for Christianity,” it’s “for totally different reasons.” For instance, he explained, “Palestinians hate Christianity because it allows so much personal freedom that the Pride folks are allowed to exist at all. The Pride team hates Christianity because it doesn’t celebrate what they choose to do with their freedom.”

Since June has only just begun, the question is: Will we see more of these standoffs? As far as Backholm is concerned, it’s entirely possible — especially since pro-Hamas college campus activism is predicted to go into the summer months, as TWS Senior Writer Joshua Arnold reported in May. “College semesters may be winding down, but the anti-Israel, pro-Hamas demonstrations that have dominated the past month are not,” Arnold wrote, highlighting that not too long ago, Philadelphia saw new campus encampments pop up at Drexel University shortly before their summer term began — a school in close proximity to where last weekend’s events took place.

Regardless of how often these conflicting protests occur, Backholm said, “I suspect the Palestinian protests will always win,” given that, “in political standoffs, the more committed team virtually always wins.” He added, “The rainbow people will not endure actual pain for their cause, the Palestinian side will.”

Backholm predicted that we can also expect to see throughout the month the Left wrestling with how to handle problems of their own making. He expounded, “The challenge for the Left is that their worldview requires them to resolve conflicts by focusing on the identity of the people involved rather than the ideas involved.” He went on to say that “a critical theory framework” means whoever is more oppressed “has a greater right to be heard.” But in the case of Pride versus Palestine, “both the rainbow people and the Palestinian protestors are currently on the Mount Rushmore of oppression,” Backholm said, where “the Left doesn’t know who to listen to and who to ignore.”

From a biblical worldview, Backholm said, “Christians need to understand … that the ideas themselves are always more important than the group identity of the person speaking.” In other words, “We need to evaluate arguments based on how closely they align with truth, regardless of who is speaking, because everyone has the potential to be wrong and everyone has the potential to be right.”

He concluded, “Truth is what matters most,” so it would be wise for believers “to avoid silly games like this.”

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.