On October 29th, 2019, Turning Point USA, headed by Charlie Kirk, hosted their 6th “Culture War” panel taking on some harder hitting questions in the brewing fight of moral and cultural issues culture. This sixth forum took place at Ohio State University, and the hard-hitting questions came … hard. Before I get to the events that transpired, I want to provide a little background about Turning Point USA.
Kirk wants to take on the so-called culture war. Ok, but why is he inviting guest hosts who are pretty liberal on some of the cultural issues? For example, Tomi Lahren, one his guests in different TPUSA forums, is a center-right leaning pundit, but she is pro-choice. Abortion is one of the most contentious issues in the culture war. More disconcerting, Kirk invited a guest panelist/participant named Rob Smith. Smith is black, an Iraq war veteran, and he’s openly gay. Yes, and he is proud of it. On an episode of Tucker Carlson, Smith announced without any reserve or hesitation that he was “married” to a husband.
Why does TPUSA invite speakers and guest hosts who are fighting against conservatives and conservatism on the culture war? Someone please explain to me how anyone fights a culture war when the key partisans in the fight have all but given up fighting the culture war to begin with?
Furthermore, Charlie Kirk took photos with “Lady MAGA” proudly at the 2019 Politicon Convention, which took place in Tennessee this year (probably due to the fact that fewer people every year are attending the convention, in large part because the discussions panels are one-sides and the panelists are repetitive and distinctly anti-Trump). Lady MAGA is a drag queen. Why are conservatives normalizing, promoting sexual deviance?
So, with that background laid down, let’s review the key events of the October 29th, 2019 TPUSA forum.
During the question period, a young man named Dave Reilly came up to the mike and said:
“We understand that sexual liberation is political control. It’s a form of political control. You have advocated multiple times on accepting homosexuality, accepting homosexual acts as normative in the conservative movement. How does anal sex help us win the culture war?”
BAM! I was shocked and greatly pleased that a younger person finally put this question out there. Why are conservatives continuing to cave on the issues of homosexuality, gay marriage, and now transgenderism? Why are conservative pundits running away from taking a stand on the fundamental conservative principle of family? For the last five years, I have been sounding the alarm about the moral decay associated with homosexuality, and the political tyranny which is coming in the wake of the whole LGBT Agenda. It seemed that my outrage was falling on deaf ears. Those fears were dispelled on October 29th at Ohio State University. It was so gratifying to hear someone from the younger generation speak out about this, and call out these so-called conservatives for pandering to the so-called LGBT community in their push for a more “inclusive” conservatism.
The audience erupted with loud cheers and cries of support for the question. It was really stunning! The answers from Kirk and Smith were quite revealing. Smith immediately attacked Reilly: “Can you have the balls to ask the gay man on the stage that question?” Reilly had asked both of them. His question was bold, and he had boldly asked it. There should be no question about the young man’s courage. Smith began to sputter and repeat himself a little bit, as he was clearly caught off guard by this question.
Smith then gave a non-answer:
“This is America. This is the greatest freakin’ nation in the world. We realize that America is great because we have Western values.”
Right—and one of those Western values is the nuclear family and sex as best expressed within the confines of marriage between one man and one woman. So what was the point of that statement Smith continued:
“We realize that gays and lesbians get to contribute to American society in the same way that everybody else is.”
What exactly do they “contribute” in their status as living out sexual perversion? They do not give birth to children, for starters. On top of that, the sexually destructive behaviors lead to mental and emotional problems, as well as the spread of venereal disease. On top of that, LGBT militancy has forced perverse curricula into public schools, without parental knowledge or permission. Individuals who choose not to celebrate LGBT activities and ideas are hounded out of the public square, sued in court, lose their jobs, or even face jail time. How is this contributing anything worthwhile to America?
Smith then added: “When you continue doing that, you realize that we are here, we are able to do everything.” What kind of answer was this? It showed once again that Smith was caught off guard and clearly offended by the question, as though anyone should question his behaviors. Then Smith played the veteran card, as if to silence further debate.
“I served in the military …
Reilly cut through the debate and asked again: “How does homosexual sex help us win the culture war?”
Smith tried spin it back on Reilly, as though he was affirming that homosexuality is helping conservatives win the culture war. Then Smith used the basest response yet: “It’s a BS question. It’s not a good faith question.”
Wrong, Rob! Wrong, Charlie! Wrong, TPUSA! It’s an EXCELLENT question. The loud chorus of boos which followed Rob’s arrogant, dismissive response confirmed that Reilly’s question was well-taken.
I have waited a long time for someone to start asking these tough questions, to start putting the screw to political pundits and elected officials. Why is the conservative movement in general, and Republican officials in particular, caving on the LGBT issues? At the Republican National Committee Convention in 2016, pro-family and Evangelical forces strived to maintain the pro-life and pro-family planks of the party platform. They not only succeeded, but exceeded expectations. The RNC platform rejects the Obergefell “gay marriage” decision, rejects transgender bathrooms, and even affirms the value of reparative therapy for individuals seeking to leave LGBT behaviors.
And yet, elected officials in Congress put up the weakest arguments to stop the Equality Act, legislation which if passed would pervert the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to treat sexual perversions like homosexual, transgenderism, and even pedophilia as civil rights. The wrecking ball damage of state-sponsored tyranny that would result from the passage of this law is incalculable if she legislation was enacted into law.
Conservative pundits refuse to question the fundamental arguments about homosexuality and transgenderism, such as “Are people really born that way?” Other questions, like “Why are we normalizing mental illness” and “Should we allow drag queens around children” have become more prominent, as well. Sadly, libertarian-leaning pundits like David French have actually DEFENDED Drag Queen Story Hour. Unbelievable. How much more are conservatives going to tolerate on this LGBT front or rather affront?
Trying to help Rob Smith save face at The Ohio State University forum, Charlie Kirk jumped in:
“Honestly, I don’t care what two consenting adults do …
Reilly shouted back: “You should!”
Yes, we should. Private morality, or the lack thereof, does indeed have public consequences. Nations have criminalized incest, for example, even if it were to take place between two consenting adults. Prostitution is also criminalized, because she rampant sexual perversion undermines the moral fabric of a community as well as endangering public health. Kirk then adopted a similar attitude of derision toward Reilly and retorted: “Your hyper focus on it is kinda weird.” Smith then piled on: “You seem to be really interested in gay sex. If you’re into that, you can go find someone to do it with.”
Of course, the last comments were an example of a staggering left-wing tactic: don’t debate the issue, attack the person. Individuals who rightly oppose homosexuality, including its rampant promotion and pervasiveness, get slammed as “closet homosexuals” in turn. Really bad form, Charlie and Ron. Really bad! So much for an honest debate. Rob couldn’t leave well enough alone. What he followed up with next was really degrading: “Someone like that has no place in the conservative movement. That is so behind the times.”
Another chorus of boos followed, as was warranted. Wasn’t the whole Culture War forum about debating cultural issues? No one of the panelists is suggesting that that pro-family conservative has no place there. Sounds like a robust form of censorship. And since when has conservatism been about being up with “the times”? Since when has civilization, Biblical morality, or scientific fact had anything to do with fads and passing opinions? The very nature of conservatism is protection of revered institutions with a commitment to deliberate—thoughtful and slow—change if needed. Conservatism is about fighting for eternal values, not going with the flow.
The next questioner didn’t let this disregard from the two panelists pass:
“We don’t want centrists in the conservative movement. We want to retain our core values. We don’t want drag queens … You’ve advocated for homosexuality. You said there is a place for the gay agenda in the conservative movement. You’re also comfortable with transgenders and cross-dressers. So my questions, is there any points where conservatives should take a moral stance on Christian morality or should we abandon it altogether? What is your brand of conservatism doing to conserve Christian morality?”
ANOTHER GREAT QUESTION!
Conservativism, to be robust and effective, must be firmly planted in Judeo-Christian values. Yes, indeed. Islamic values, which in a chronological sense are quite progressive, considering that the Koran was written after the Torah and New Testament, do not bolster conservatism, but rather a large state at the expense of individual liberty, and even freedom of conscience. Hinduism rejects scientific fact in large measure, and even Buddhism and Daoism abandon rugged skepticism for blind mysticism. The fusion of faith and reason is essential to conservatism, and this fusion is best portrayed in the Judeo-Christian ethic.
Using another left-wing tactic, shaming the questioner rather than debating the question, Kirk pointed at Smith and said “So, you’re saying that you don’t want him in the movement?” Then he said, “I want to rationally understand an irrational position.”
What a sham deflection! Once again, instead of responding, Charlie attacks the guy. The second questioner was really clear about defending natural marriage. What is so hard about responding to that? Easy—TPUSA is NOT interesting in conserving the culture, not interested in conserving morality—and those two young men called them out on it.
Rob Smith tried to give a more spirited defense for his homosexuality while also denigrated the more insidious iterations of the LGBT movement in our culture. He talked about the “alphabet soup left.” He then referred the whole movement to allow children to transition into another gender as “garbage.” It’s not just garbage—it’s evil! Then Smith called himself a “gay Christian.”
This is nonsensical. There is no “gay” identity. Homosexuality is a behavior, even an ideology, but not an identity. Charlie Kirk says “I’m a Christian, and I think the Bible is the greatest book ever written.”
OK, well what do Christians find that the Bible says about homosexuality?
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” (Romans 1:26-27)
“Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11And such were some of you” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
You cannot be a Christian and walk openly in sin. The grace of God teaches us to deny ungodliness and live godly lives (Titus 2:11-14)—and that includes rejecting homosexual behaviors and embracing a new identity in Christ (1 John 4:17). I submit that there are Christians who struggle with same-sex temptations or gender dysphoria. Life in Christ is a process of growing in grace (2 Peter 3:18), and there are many Christians who may not understand their full standing and the fulfilled promises which they can claim in Christ Jesus.
But the notion of a “Gay Christian” is not sound doctrine and should not be tolerated. The notion of “gay conservative” is also untenable. There may be conservatives who struggle with same-sex temptations, just as there are conservatives who eat too much, drink alcohol to excess, etc.—but in no way should these behaviors be celebrated as identities and welcomed into conservative movements as a part of a broader “inclusive” outreach.
For the last 20 years, conservatives have been bombarded with this harsh talking point—mostly from the media, major corporate interests, and liberal activist groups—that conservatives, that Republicans need to be a Big Tent. What conservatives seem to forget, however, is that a tent has to be grounded in something, cover something, and stand for something. Otherwise, it’s a piece of cloth on the ground, no matter how big, which everyone can walk on, and which does not serve its intended purpose.
And this is precisely why conservatism is not conserving anything. Instead of taking a stand on moral issues, conservative activists and the politicians they elect accommodate and give up. They have continued to cede ground on the complex yet compelling moral issues of our day. The attitude has been “we can’t win on this issue. Let’s just give up and focus on what we can win on.” And it’s not working. The Overton Window has moved so far to the left, that we have Drag Queens in our libraries and pornographic images pushed on our children in public schools as “sex education.”
This stand-and-retreat accommodationism is not acceptable.
Donald Trump didn’t run that kind of campaign when he ran for President. He responded effectively to the border crises and immigration problems that this country faces. He spoke openly about the plight of mothers and fathers who lost their children to illegal aliens, even when the mainstream media and political class refused to talk about them. He recognized the damage done by “free trade” policies—which were not really free trade—and how they eviscerated our country’s manufacturing base. He also responded boldly to the problems of radical Muslims, Islam, Islamic terror, and the coming refugee crisis which had overrun Europe.
The Pro-Life Movement is not that kind of movement, either. Since 1973, when Roe v. Wade was shoved onto the country by judicial fiat, pro-life activists have punched back twice as hard, doubled-down on their demands to make abortion illegal and to make life the best choice for mothers and fathers to make. 40 years later, the pro-life movement has become distinctly militant and effective. A number of states have criminalized abortions after different timetables closer to the actual conception of the child. They continue pressuring lawmakers to take a firm stance on the life issue. In the last ten months, Congressional Republicans have tried to bring up a bill 85 times to spare the lives of babies born alive after a botched abortion. When they were in the majority, Congressional Republicans attempted to repeal Obamacare only 55 times. The pro-life movement has been so driven, that even bluntly pro-choice real estate mogul Donald Trump became the most pro-life Republican President on record—even more than Reagan, and actually fulfilled the promises offered by previous Republican administrations to defund Planned Parenthood and install an unprecedented number of pro-life judges and executive officials.
That kind of robust advocacy and consistency, not leniency, is needed in the culture war. Ironically, TPUSA’s “Culture War” town halls have shown how this and other so-called conservative movements are more like “culture surrenders”. The garbled and perverse responses from Charlie Kirk and Rob Smith on the infiltration of homosexuality into mainstream conservatism really called this out, and called out it quite well.
I am so glad that the young men who lined up to ask questions put the issues out there so succinctly. It’s time to hold political pundits, commentators and gatekeepers to higher standards. We need to be confronting our elected officials and national opinion makers on these issues, especially the integrity of the family and the rampant moral corruption of the LGBT movement. Let’s hope that more young people will ask these hard questions to mainstream conservative leaders and proponents and put a stop to this LGNBT pandering and disregard for faith and family, not just freedom.
TPUSA is a blight on conservatism, and they were finally called out for it. Now it’s time for battle-tested, war-minded conservatives to take up the fight for faith, family, and freedom and call out this insidious LGBT Agenda, which has warped its way among the Christian faithful and within the conservative movement in the United States and around the world. If younger people can ask these bold questions and take conservative thought-leaders to task, what’s holding back the rest of us?