July As “Survivor” Month

Celebrating the Embattled Survivors of Pride Month Activism

Unless you have been living under a rock over the past several weeks, you cannot escape that June is “pride” month. The evidence of pride is ubiquitous whether you are browsing Amazon in your jammies, sipping mocha latte’s at Starbucks, or attending the neighborhood progressive church. The sycophantic compliance of industry and state to the implacable demands of the LGBTQ+ lobby is patronizing, as they lecture all of us in the name of civility to not merely “accept” members of the community, but rather “celebrate” their life choices, and actively champion their noble cause.

For the unwoke, unwashed masses not inclined to join in the rainbow revelry of pride month, there are other reasons (and people) to celebrate in pride month’s wake (or better yet, storm). Perhaps July would be a fitting month to recognize those few institutions and individuals who stood up to bullying by the LGBTQ+ lobby - we can call it “survivor” month. Doubtful that “survivor month” would gain any traction with Amazon, Starbucks, or the local woke church, however.

For starters in survivor month, we can all cheer in the June 17 Supreme Court decision regarding Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. While many conservative commentators have remarked that the decision does not go far enough to establish freedom of religious expression, it is at least a start. The face of the case – Sharonell Fulton, and the organization she worked with as a loving foster-care provider – Catholic Social Services (CSS), after a three-year legal battle with the City of Philadelphia, survived cruel and inane LGBTQ+ activism. This disturbing case exemplifies the tactics of the insatiable left who will stop at nothing to seize power or advance their agenda in the name of justice, even at the expense of hurting innocent people – in this case, the children in the Philadelphia foster-care system and the parents who sacrificially love them.

Heroine Sharonell Fulton for over twenty five years has fostered forty children, many of whom came from disadvantaged communities and suffered considerable trauma. Because of the significant medical and psychological needs of these children, Sharonell – herself a Catholic – leaned heavily on CSS for support, training, and guidance as to how to best render care for them. Over time she developed a close relationship with the agency, as the social workers she came to know and trust became like family members.

When Ms. Fulton learned that the City was considering terminating their contract with CSS in early 2018, she expressed great concern, knowing her two foster children would be removed from her home, and would likely have a difficult time being placed in another due to their extensive medical needs. And why did the City feel the need to terminate their contract with CSS? Was it because they were certifying parents who were harming children or inept? Objectively, no; CSS was ranked among the top twenty-eight foster care agencies in the city. Social worker-turned-foster parent Toni Lynn Simms-Busch - the second plaintiff in Fulton v. Philadelphia, regarded CSS as being the most responsive and professional agency in the city.

City activists took issue with CSS simply because they were Catholic. As such, in good faith to Catholic teachings, their organization would not certify same-sex foster parents, because doing so would be tantamount to affirming same-sex marriage (which as Catholics they cannot do). It is noteworthy that CSS has never had a same-sex couple request, nor have any same-sex couples been denied the ability to become foster parents (as there are several other agencies in the City which will certify them), nor even have any same-sex couples filed any formal complaints against the agency. In typical strong-arm tactics the progressive left has become quite well known for, the only way the City would renew their contract with CSS was if they agreed to certify same-sex couples.

It seems PC commissars within the City of Philadelphia - barring any formal complaints against CSS from same-sex couples - felt the need to enact their brand of justice, in denying CSS foster-care referrals. Perhaps this is “justice” they can all feel proud of and celebrate; yet unfortunately the principal individuals injured by this were children.

Fortunately, the SCOTUS majority decision (9-0) ruled in favor not just of CSS, but the exemplary foster mothers Ms. Fulton and Ms. Simms-Busch. Chief Justice Roberts made it clear that the City cannot exclude CSS or even foster parents like Ms. Fulton and Ms. Simms-Busch on the basis they may disagree with their sincerely-held Catholic beliefs concerning marriage. The ruling adds that “[t]he refusal of Philadelphia to contract with CSS for the provision of fostercare services unless it agrees to certify same-sex couples as foster parents cannot survive strict scrutiny, and violates the First Amendment.” Finally, in a rebuke the Court remarked “[t]he City apparently prefers to risk leaving children without foster parents than to allow CSS to follow its religiously dictated policy, which threatens no tangible harm.” Indeed, this was a victory for the exercise of Christian faith everywhere, as other Christian foster parents may have been inclined to keep their views concerning marriage (or even gender) to themselves in fear of retribution by the foster-care bureaucracy.

The bullying from “pride” activism does not stop with heroic foster-care mothers. We are all aware in recent memory of bakeriespizzerias, and photographers having to spend considerable time and hard-earned dollars to defend their decisions to exercise their beliefs concerning marriage or even more recently, gender.

Likely you have read the account(s) of yet another survivor of pride activism - Jack Phillips, who is no stranger to controversy. Having survived a legal battle before the SCOTUS in 2018 for refusing to bake a custom wedding cake for a same sex couple, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado, finds himself still treading hot legal waters. Autumn Scardina, an attorney, asked Phillips to bake a pink cake with blue icing on the outside to celebrate his gender transition. Phillips explained to Fox News that Scardina “. . . came to us intentionally to get us to create a cake or deny creating a cake that went against our religious beliefs,” adding that Scardina had been tracking the former case for multiple years and this was merely a trap. Only time will tell if Phillips becomes a two-time survivor of pride activism, as the bully Scardina has threatened if the case filed against Phillips is dismissed or rejected, he will be back the next day to request another inane cake.

As the proud month of June wanes in memory, we should all keep in our thoughts and prayers those survivors of the June storms. With July upon us, perhaps we can celebrate the lives of those truly brave men and women – be they bakers, foster-parents, photographers and everything in between - who are not afraid to withstand the June storms of pride activism and affirm the values of family, marriage, and gender their faith informs. Let’s designate July as “Survivor Month.”

graduated summa cum laude from California State University, Fresno, with a BS in molecular biology and a minor in cognitive psychology. As an undergraduate, she conducted research in immunology, microbiology, behavioral and cognitive psychology, scanning tunneling microscopy and genetics - having published research in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, and projects in scanning tunneling microscopy. Having recently completed an M.Ed. from University of Cincinnati and a Certificate in Apologetics with the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University, Emily is currently an instructional designer/content developer for Moody Bible Institute and teaches organic chemistry and physics. As a former Darwinian evolutionist, Emily now regards the intelligent design arguments more credible than those proffered by Darwinists for explaining the origin of life.

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