Gay Pride Month and the ‘Shot Heard Round the World’

By Tom Gilson Published on June 10, 2017

 Quick quiz: According to statements published by the U.S. government, where was the shot fired that was “heard round the world”? Lexington and Concord, you say?

Good answer — but you’re only halfway there. There was another “shot heard round the world,” says the National Park Service. That one was in June 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, where two nights of rioting “led to the development of the modern LGBT civil rights movement.”

The Gay-Rights “Shot Heard Round the World”

You read that right. The U.S. government has co-opted Ralph Waldo Emerson’s deeply symbolic phrase to make the birth of the gay rights movement symbolically equal to the birth of our own country. To fill in the rest of the quotation:

The riots inspired LGBT people throughout the country to organize and within two years of Stonewall, LGBT rights groups had been started in nearly every major city in the U.S. Stonewall was, as historian Lillian Faderman wrote, “the shot heard round the world … crucial because it sounded the rally for the movement.”

There’s history at Stonewall, to be sure. And its reach was indeed global. The month of June is now designated “Pride Month,” and almost 150 gay pride festivals are scheduled in cities around the world. 

But what does this mean for true freedom? 

The Depth of Our National Confusion

It’s worth noting that Lillian Faderman’s full quote read, “to many homosexuals, male and female alike, the Stonewall Rebellion was the shot heard round the world” (emphasis added).

I give her credit for identifying the group who might have seen it that way. The Park Service’s version leaves that out, making it a statement for us all.

I shudder to think of how celebrations in 2017 would have turned out if Stonewall had happened a week later that year, on July 4. As far as I can tell, the White House has never been lit up in red, white, and blue. We’ve all got images seared on our brains, though, of it lit up in the six rainbow colors of the gay rights movement. 

For there is “freedom,” and there is freedom.

This isn’t just happening on some obscure web page, in other words. The gay rights movement has become America’s new freedom movement. It perfectly depicts the depth of our national confusion.

Freedom Based in the Image of God

For there is “freedom,” and there is freedom.

There is the freedom for which our forefathers fought at Lexington, Concord and beyond. It was a view of liberty rooted in a biblical understanding of what it means to be human.

They knew that humans are made in the image of God. We’re not just today’s snapshot in some ever-changing course of evolution. Instead human nature is a stable, enduring, real. We have a moral nature based in God’s own character. We have a well-designed sexual nature, based in God’s plan for us as individuals, couples and families who build communities and cultures together. We have a destiny based on how we relate to God in Christ and to each other in accordance with God’s design for us.

Argue all you want about whether America was founded as a Christian nation, there’s no denying that our founders’ view of human nature that was deeply influenced by the Bible’s view of humanity. Even Thomas Jefferson, who was no Christian, knew that our inalienable rights come from our Creator. Not government, not courts, not even (later on) our Constitution.

Our founders fought for freedom from political tyranny that kept them from determining their own course. Their fight was never for the “freedom” to do whatever anyone chose, though. Quite the opposite. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” Freedom was not merely the ability to do as one wanted; it was the ability to do as one ought.

Or Freedom Based in Making Ourselves Our Own Creators

With all thought of a Creator cast aside, “freedom” now means being able to create ourselves after our own wills.

That’s the freedom for which the shots were fired at Lexington and Concord. Stonewall’s freedom has almost nothing to do with that. With all thought of a Creator cast aside, “freedom” now means being able to create ourselves after our own wills. Not satisfied with your sex? Create yourself all over again! Not content with the morality that’s held the Western world together — in spite of various wars and injustices — for centuries? Call it off! Re-make marriage while you’re at it!

And why not? The view now is that nothing about us is fixed. We’re evolving, so we can make ourselves whatever we decide to be. The same goes for human purpose and moral standards: There’s nothing there but what’s evolved over the eons, but we can alter that, too, as we will.

Our Choice: Celebrating Freedom or Free Fall

I can’t think of anything else that so clearly shows the depth of our national confusion.

We claim this as a new-found freedom. But we’re like the kite that yearned to fly high and away, free of the string it thought was holding it down. Freedom? No. Free fall.

Yet this is the freedom our own Park Service symbolically equates with Lexington and Concord. The patriotism of red, white and blue is being displaced by the spectrum of the gay rainbow.

America was never perfect. It took us way too long to recognize that human rights belong to everyone. Still we got there in law and (to an obviously lesser, yet still helpful, degree) in practice. The shots fired at Lexington and Concord led ultimately to our country becoming the world’s greatest champion for true freedom. The shot fired at Stonewall is leading us in another direction altogether.

The LGBT crowd will be celebrating their “pride” this month. That’s their choice. Our own Park Service seems to be saying everyone else is obliged to join them. I can’t think of anything else that so clearly shows the depth of our national confusion.


(I owe some of my reflections on this to a conversation this week with John Stonestreet, president of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview.)

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  • ImaginaryDomain

    And so the devil holds these lost people, and by proxy the rest of society, in the slavery of sexual bondage.

  • Gary

    Sexual immorality is nothing to be proud of.

  • LYoung

    “Pride goes before destruction…”
    what was once shameful and hidden has become brazen and haughty. “And a haughty spirit goes before a fall.” (Prov. 16:18)
    And God’s beautiful rainbow, the sign of covenant to us that he will not destroy the earth with flood again cannot be absconded by the enemy of our souls. God cannot be mocked. I pray for his mercy in the wrath that is coming.

  • Karen

    If human nature is unchanging, you should be able to describe it. What makes a personality “female” beyond chromosomes and hormone receptors?

    • Why do you ask it that way? The question is what makes a human person female.

      • Karen

        Answer that question then.

        • That’s been pretty easy for centuries. Sure, there have been some extremely rare anomalies in persons’ understandings of themselves, but the exceptions don’t overturn the principle.

          • Karen

            If it’s so easy, you should be able to tell me. No one ever does though.

          • Hannah

            Female-ness can be determined in many different ways – just as there are many different personalities and character traits – but here are a few that might help shed light on this:

            *Biologically, you’ve already pinpointed what determines “female” over “male” – a pair of the same chromosomes, which leads to breast development in puberty, the ability to reproduce, higher vocal range, and lesser muscle mass overall than males (among *MANY* others, I’m sure).

            *Psychologically, female-ness is cultured throughout the girl’s life. She is raised being called certain pet names (“baby girl”, “honey”, “sweetie”, “sugar”, etc); she often wears dresses and skirts that have bright colors and sparkles of some sort; she tends to prefer quieter playtime over raucous (I was half Barbie fan, half “run around attacking my brother with lightsabers”, and I think that can be said for a lot of girls these days); and she finds joy in dress up and “playing pretend housewife” (not always, but typically).

            I’m generalizing for the sake of this statement, so don’t go saying I’m speaking for all of female kind – believe me, I’m not even speaking for myself on some parts. I’m a woman not just because I “feel” like one but also because my genes say so. I’m more emotional than my husband. I’m more intuitive than men tend to be. I’m also prone to irrational anger more so than the average male. “Hell hath no fury….” is a classic example of this. Overall, being female is equal parts biological and psychological – though both must exist in tandem, not apart. The book “Captivating” by John and Stasi Eldredge is a wonderful resource that helped me see the strength and beauty involved with being female; it also addressed some common reasons why women struggle with their own sense of femininity and offers paths of healing. I advise it to every woman, no matter where she is in her life. I’ve read it twice and cried each time.

          • Hannah, this is helpful — noting that there are differences between men and women besides the more obvious physical ones. Again, the fact that not all of this applies to every person in the same way and in the same degree does not change the fact that there are principles that apply commonly. And it also doesn’t change the fact that the most fundamental difference between male and female is (a) biological and (b) absolutely obvious to everyone, and not in need of question.

          • Karen

            The examples you give of typical “female” behavior are the behaviors of cowards, dimwits, and weaklings.

          • GPS Daddy

            Female: has the pluming to have a baby.
            Male: has the pluming to enable the female to have a baby.

          • Hannah

            I’m sorry you feel that way. It hurts me to see a woman’s pain, truly. You can deny it till you’re blue in the mouth, but that doesn’t make it go away. I’m still seeking help for my past hurts and even though I’m healthier than I was six months ago, I still hurt. I still cry about what happened to me. As a woman, I grieve with you.

          • Karen

            Why do you assume that I’ve been injured? I rejected traditional female roles because the roles themselves were injuring me. I am not going ever again to pretend to be a nitwit because some male can’t stand that a woman is smarter than he is. Deciding that any man that needs me to be deferent to him can go jump in a boiling lake was the healthiest moment of my life. I recommend to all women. We don’t need to be doormats.

          • Karen, what do you consider to fit in the range of acceptable human behavior, and why? Does that standard apply to every interaction? If not, what are the exceptions and why?

          • Karen

            Minimum: Humans should not commit crimes.

            As for affirmative instructions, all humans should be physically courageous, polite, and intellectually curious. It is better to be intelligent than stupid, fit rather than lazy, and interested in the world than to be a blob parked in front of a tv or video game screen.

            In answer to your specific question, I don’t assign traits to genders. Men don’t get a pass on being kind and clean, and should be able to enjoy personal display and domestic hobbies as much as any woman. Women don’t get a pass on strength, intellect, or courage. In fact, the biggest reason I reject traditional sex roles is that a traditional woman is obligated to be a cowardly stupid weakling, and if she isn’t naturally a pathetic twit she’s forced to pretend to be one so that no male has his pweshuss widdle fee-fees hurt by the existence of a competent female.

          • Oh. My. Goodness.

            Where on earth are you getting your stereotypes from? Do you believe in stereotyping? You’ve got men nailed here — though not accurately, unless you think all men are the same. Unless you’re stereotyping, in other words. You’re stereotyping broad swaths of women, too.

            And I’ll bet you call yourself a liberal, or a progressive, who disbelieves in stereotyping.

          • Karen

            Tradional women are expected to defer all public roles to males. We are expected to submit to our husbands. We are expected to allow men to do all the important jobs in the world while we make coffee and vacuum. Do yo have any examples of conservatives actually supporting women working outside the home? Owning our own property? Seeking education in something other than needlework? (And for what it’s worth, I really enjoy knitting and needlepoint, as well as cooking. Men would be well-advised in learning these skills.)

          • Jennifer Hartline

            Karen, that is almost so ridiculous as to warrant only laughter and not an intelligent response. C’mon. If you’ve never met a conservative female doctor, lawyer, scientist, engineer, CEO, or business owner, then you really need to get out from under the liberal “feminist” rock.

          • Karen

            I’ve met a few women with conservative political opinions who were professionals. They were not, however, “feminine.” It is not possible to be “feminine” as I have heard it described and be in a learned profession, since the most important element of being feminine is to defer to males just because they are male. i have always considered conservative professional women as deluded.

          • Direct question, Karen: do you believe in stereotyping?

          • Ryan

            It is the, “victim,” mentality, that created homosexuality, male and female. The male role is still dominant in either of the relationships. Male dominance in human nature is still being played out, like it or not.

          • davidrev17


            Perhaps you should acquaint yourself with God’s perspective, of what actually constitutes the essence of a “Godly” female member of the species Homo sapiens, found in Proverbs 31:10-31? (You know, the dumb, submissive, barefoot & pregnant doormat-type??)

            (BTW: Read this carefully too, kuz it represents a roughly 2,950 year-old written assessment, originating from within a thoroughly oppressive, male-dominated Jewish culture. Maybe we ultra-sophisticated 21st-century folk, could all use a new pair of glasses, huh?)

          • Jennifer Hartline

            Karen, sorry, but I’m a “traditional” woman, and I’m certainly not a cowardly stupid weakling, nor do I pretend to be a pathetic twit for the sake of any man. I’m not sure how or why you’ve come to that very ungenerous view of women, but I hope you’ll set it aside for a while and seriously reconsider. Femininity does not mean stupidity or weakness. But feminine strength is not the same as masculine strength, and thank God!

          • Jim Walker

            You really don’t know how stupid this remark is…

          • It is that easy, Karen. Doctors and nurses and moms and dads and grandparents and midwives have been able to figure it out with astonishingly high reliability rates — in the range of about 99.98 percent, according to statistics on ambiguous genitalia.

            Given that statistic, if you think it’s hard to understand the basic principles by which males are distinguished from females, it’s on you to explain the problem.

  • greatjoy

    For 8 years we have been told by our president, that America is not a Christian nation. As I have studied islam and found it to be another god entirely, but pretending to be “one of the world’s three great monotheistic religions,” I have watched Christians accept idea after idea, that I never thought would happen in America, and I have realized that we have lost our vision of WHO CHRIST JESUS IS, and WHO WE ARE. We have allowed the communist world view to teach us during every hour, and even the hours in church meeting are highly influenced. It’s as though we are the govt-controlled Chinese church, without even knowing it. The godless put pressure on us, and we fold–without knowing that we are in a battle. The main thing the godless do to our brains is make us believe we already know all about everything, being unaware that we know nothing. The Marketing of Evil and Making Gay Okay are two very good books, for which I am very thankful to God and to our freedom, that we are able to not go to prison or be executed for writing books that are displeasing to those who practice licentiousness. Two other books necessary for understanding are: From Crayons to Condoms, The Kinsey Corruption (Alfred Kinsey’s fraudulent “research” that the govt has taken as gospel for 50 years, analyzed, oh, and the book published by WND, about al-husseini’s alliance with Hitler, (socialism and islam) which created the concentration camps…and then there is the History of Islam, and you can also google articles about the 400 million hindus the islamists murdered, and how the Sikhs finally organized militarily to free India of their 800 year terror campaign. Oh, and while I am recommending books–The Jefferson Lies: Exploding the MythsYou’ve Been Taught.

  • JP

    I’m still trying to figure out how a person proves they are homosexual in public. We know what a man and a woman look like as we do the differences in skin color. How is one to identify a homosexual in public?

  • Chris in NC

    It seems that some are more proud than others.
    The Homo pride parade in Charlotte has apparently turned down one group of their peers request for a float in this years event. The group is “Gays For Trump”.
    Seems the people in charge see degrees of gay.
    If it wasn’t so sick it would really be funny.

    • m-nj

      to paraphrase Animal Farm… “…All LGBTxyz are equal. But some LGBTxyz are more equal than others.”

      I say let them turn on each other, as is bound to happen in their continually splintering society of special interests

  • Jeremy L

    “there’s no denying that our founders’ view of human nature that was deeply influenced by the Bible’s view of humanity. Even Thomas Jefferson, who was no Christian, knew at our inalienable rights come from our Creator”. “Our inalienable rights come from our Creator” is not necessarily Christian nor Biblical.

    ” the morality that’s held the Western world together.” Just stop. Heterosexuality is not holding the world together. Homosexuality isn’t holding the world together either. Neither is marriage. No sexuality nor tradition is holding the world together. If anything could be holding the world together, it would be empathy and undertanding, which is in short supply among the religious crowd.

    “The patriotism of red, white and blue is being displaced by the spectrum of the gay rainbow”. Being gay is not antithetical to being patriotic. First, they’re out to “corrupt children,” now they are national traitors. Whatever you say….

  • There’s one more “shot heard around the world” that tragically nearly no one’s recognized as the genesis of the homosexual agenda (and every other national abomination) here in America: The 1787 clandestine meeting in that upper room in Philadelphia.

    Had the constitutional framers (like their 17th-century Christian Colonial forbears) established government and society upon Yahweh’s immutable/unchanging moral law (including Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13), there would be no homosexual agenda in America today because no sodomite or lesbian would dare risk exposing themselves to petition government for their “rights.”

    “…3. Every problem America faces today can be traced back to the fact that the framers failed to expressly establish a government upon Yahweh’s immutable morality as codified in His commandments, statutes, and judgments. (Would infanticide and sodomy be tolerated, let alone financed by the government, if Yahweh’s perfect law and altogether
    righteous judgments were the law of the land? Would Islam be a looming threat to our peace and security if the First Amendment had been replaced with the First Commandment? Would Americans be in nearly as much debt if usury had been outlawed as a form of theft? Would crime be as rampant if “cruel and unusual punishment” had not been outlawed and criminals were instead punished with Yahweh’s altogether righteous judgments? Would we be on the fiscal cliff if we were taxed with a flat increase tax rather than a graduated income tax?)….

    “On February 27, 2009, James Dobson conceded that we have lost the culture wars.This is the consequence of Christians having spent the last two centuries lopping at the rotten branches of our culture’s corrupt tree while watering and fertilizing its roots.

    “We should lop away at the tree’s corrupt branches (infanticide, sodomy, the economy, etc.). However, until the
    root of these problems is Biblically addressed, we will never shut down the infanticide mills, we will never defeat the sodomites, and we will never fix the economy. In short, we will never win the culture wars. This issue is more than important for anyone concerned about God, our nation, and the future of our posterity, it’s the cutting- edge issue of our day….”

    For more, see our Featured Blog Article “5 Reasons the Constitution is Our Cutting-Edge Issue.” C;lick on my name, then our website. Go to our Blog and search on title.

    Then find out how much you really know about the Constitution as compared to the Bible. Take our 10-question Constitution Survey in the right-hand sidebar and receive a complimentary copy of a book that examines the Constitution by the Bible.

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