Hugh Phillips, Family Research Council
Hugh Phillips

via LinkedIn

We are told that Hugh Phillips is a Government Affairs Intern at Family Research Council. Family Research Council is, of course, a notorious anti-LGBT hate group posturing as a religious affinity organization. Its leader, Tony Perkins, has direct ties to the Ku Klux Klan through David Duke. Thursday, the young Mr. Phillips (a graduate this year from Liberty University) offers: The Summer of Love: The Beauty of the Marriage Covenant.

I do not want to be overly harsh but it is a sophomoric effort which reads like a consolidation of anti-LGBT talking points from a Catholic extremist (irrespective of Phillips’ actual religious affiliation). Phillips gets off to an intellectually dishonest start:

During the month of June, the wedding season is in full swing. Yet, June is also celebrated as “LGBT Pride Month.” Throughout this month, the LGBT lobby argues that they are “celebrating love” and claim that their movement is based in love and a respect for human dignity. However, much of the LGBT movement is based on a misguided notion of love that is rooted in a harmful postmodern hedonism that, as Nancy Pearcey details in her book Love Thy Body, actually devalues human dignity.

I wish to hell that people would stop telling us what we say or what we argue with complete indifference to the reality of what we are about. LGBT Pride is about pride in who we are, as we are. It’s also about being proud of the very many accomplishments of LGBT people to civilization and culture; the arts and sciences. I am especially proud of our LGBT youth. Vulnerable as they often are, so many have stood up for what is right. Hugh Phillips’ reference to hedonism is an appeal to a stereotype that the Christian right has created and promoted.

As for Nancy Pearcey, here is part of a quote:

  • Transgenderism: Activists detach gender from biology. Kids down to kindergarten are being taught their body is irrelevant to their authentic self. Is this affirming — or does it demean the body?
  • Homosexuality: Advocates disconnect sexuality from being biologically male or female. Is this liberating — or does it denigrate who we really are?

I scarcely know where I would begin. Medical science is obviously irrelevant to Mr. Pearcey and, by extension, to Mr. Phillips. In point of fact the denigration of LGBT people is predicated upon the utterly false notion that sexual orientation and gender identity are choices. It never seems to occur to people like Hugh Phillips that no one would have gender dysphoria if gender identity was a choice. Does he honestly believe that people choose their sexual orientation?

Phillips has the arrogance to not only claim a special knowledge of what we say but he claims to know what we think and what we feel:

Competing Views of Love

Natural marriage and the LGBT movement represent two competing worldviews on what love and marriage actually mean. The LGBT movement, born from the sexual revolution, bases its definition of love on subjective feelings and emotions. They argue that all feelings, attractions, and passions for a person, and any relationships that result, should be celebrated and protected by state law. This view can be tied with the modern assertion of marriage and relationships as merely contractual agreements.

“Born from the sexual revolution?” That sounds like an intellectually mediocre regurgitation of the absurdity expressed by Jennifer Roback Morse. Who argues what he attributes to “they?” What on earth could make this guy think that we experience love any differently from anyone else at all points of the sexual orientation and gender continua?

What would a Christian polemic be without claiming that the writer is victimized; told to “celebrate” something that he disapproves of. Should Mr. Phillips read this and should he have the ego strengths to get this far along, the one thing that he should learn is that we do not seek, and certainly do not require, his approval. Furthermore, I never had the chance to marry my late boyfriend. If I did it would not have been a “contractual agreement.” 30 years of being together creates a different dynamic.

As for legal protections, we don’t give a rat’s ass about protecting his abstractions. Perhaps the first thing that Mr. Phillips should do, to avoid writing moronic treatises, is to actually talk to some LGBT people. What I care deeply about is that no person should be denied employment, housing or service in a public accommodation due to the fact that they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. It is a protection that Phillips enjoys under federal law with regards to his choice of religious beliefs.

You will forgive me if I skip over more of Ms. Pearcey’s eurekas. I am also not terribly interested in the writings of C.S. Lewis to support a religious perspective.

By contrast, the biblical worldview sees relational love as an objective choice and duty that, while often accompanied by emotions, is not dependent on those emotions as the basis of the relationship.

What? Are they robots in man’s service? What a bleak outlook.

Marriage is the best institution in which to express the biblical model of love. This is revealed in God’s original purpose for marriage. The Bible is clear that the marriage covenant was created by God as a metaphor for His sacrificial love and salvation for His people.

Perhaps when ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans married their gods had other ideas. Biblically, “God’s original purpose” seems to have been to unite one man in marriage to several-to-many women who would be kept in a state of servitude. As for the biblical model of love, that is subject to interpretation. Aside from slaves, there is a whole lot of very unloving violence in the Bible and exhortations to violence which were usually based on someone’s assertion that they were acting on behalf of their deity. That is not love. But I am not a theologian. Nor do I wish to be one.

In an age of LGBTQ “rights” and the celebration of sexual confusion and personal desire above all, our culture must return to a celebration and respect for the beauty of the selfless marriage covenant. Let’s return to the picture of a man and a woman sacrificially committing themselves to each other in marriage on a beautiful summer afternoon. …

I wish that obviously confused people would stop assigning confusion to things that they are confused about. Ah, yes, I see grapes in that picture. They are barefoot on a thick bed of grass. Bambi and Thumper in the background and lots — I means a shit load — of daisies. The funny thing is that marriage equality has no impact whatsoever on Mr. Phillips’ visions.

Thus, in an era dominated by individualism and obsessed with personal autonomy and choice, Christians and conservatives should counter the LGBT movement by showing the beauty and joy of the mutual sacrifice and commitment of the natural marriage covenant. …

Did he not just repeat himself?

So, this summer, let’s respond to LGBT Pride Month by celebrating the beauty of marriage according to God’s design and the couples who have been faithful in marriage. Let us also recommit ourselves as a movement to living out in our own marriages the faithfulness of the marriage covenant and truly mirroring God’s faithfulness towards us, His redeemed! It’s June—thank God for the wonder of His gift of marriage!

The above is the concluding paragraph. Why is it necessary to respond to LGBT Pride Month? He is free to simply ignore us and go on with his life, as unrewarding as it might be. And it’s not going to get any better. Oh, it will continue to get better and better for us but Hugh Phillips is stuck in a time warp of his own design. His personality disorder was honed well in advance of joining a hate group. FRC will not heal Hugh Phillips. It will only make him more irrational and angrier.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.