Josie Luetke:

Interim writer, Josie Luetke, Talk Turkey

My anonymous Twitter troll has seemingly finally moved onto bigger and better things (knock on wood), but in the past, (presumably) he would repeatedly demand I educate myself on the history of the pride flag – originally the gay pride flag.

I recently declined to attend an alumni event at my alma mater, St. Jerome’s University, citing its decision to fly this flag.

Somewhat surprisingly, I received a response from president and vice chancellor Peter Meehan, explaining, “To me, raising the PRIDE flag is in line with the example of Jesus, who also tells us that where we show love and mercy to the least in our world, we are showing it to him, as well as to his ‘new commandment’ (to love one another as I have loved you).”(He also mentioned that the raising of the flag was “done with the full knowledge of the Diocese of Hamilton,” lest we forget the blame Church leadership bear in this debacle.)

Anyway, his email, and the looming approach of my favourite time of year – Pride Month – provided me a convenient opportunity to finally take up the invitation of my aforementioned Twitter troll.

I wrote to Meehan, “If you want to try (in vain) to reconcile the pride flag with the Catholic Church, you must completely rip it from its origins—who it was created by, and why—and turn a blind eye to how it is used today.”

A foreword: I don’t know that such exploration of the history and purpose of the pride flag is at all necessary. Before the pride flag came to grace every single available surface—from GO buses to hockey jerseys—it was a hallmark of pride parades and drag shows, where sex acts are blatantly performed in public, nudity and sexual paraphernalia abound, and hedonism is on full display. Is anyone truly sincere in claiming that the pride flag is merely a benign symbol of inclusion, shorthand for “We shouldn’t kill or harm the LGBTQ”? Colour me skeptical. You’d have to have serious blinders on not to recognize the ideology the flag represents—the normalization of homosexuality and transgenderism. Why else would it be called a “pride” flag?

Still, I’ll go through the motions of this exercise anyway.

The original eight-coloured pride flag (with hot pink for sex) was designed by activist Gilbert Baker at the behest of openly gay San Francisco politician Harvey Milk (who preyed on younger males, including a 16-year-old boy). Baker was also gay and would adopt the drag queen persona “Busty Ross.” He was a member of the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence,” a drag group that intentionally uses religious imagery to mock traditional values.

The flag debuted at the 1978 San Francisco Gay Freedom Day celebration.

Baker said of the flag, “We are a people, a tribe if you will. And flags are about proclaiming power, so it’s very appropriate.”

Interesting. A group with “power” isn’t usually in need of protection, is it? And when you consider how complete the LGBTQ takeover of media, government, educational institutions, etc. has been, and how one risks jail time for “misgendering” someone or trying to counsel a child to accept his or her biological sex or not to engage in homosexual behaviour, it is clear that, on the whole, in Canada, this community is no longer marginalized today. Quite the opposite.

The progress pride flag, a variant quickly gaining traction (including outside St. Jerome’s), was developed in 2018 by graphic designer Daniel Quasar, a self-described “queer non-binary celestial object having a human experience.” Last year, he (xe/they) tweeted, “Last I checked, we were in Late Stage Christianity. Ironically, also while we’re in Late Stage Capitalism.” His Twitter biography aptly announces: “Leave me alone and let me go to hell by my own route.”

The progress pride flag combines the “classic” pride flag with the colours of the trans pride flag (credited to Monica Helms), and black and brown from the Philadelphia’s “More Color, More Pride” flag (introduced by Amber Hikes).

Helms (really Robert Hogge) admits to having stolen women’s undergarments, possessed a fetishism for cross-dressing, and left his wife and sons to indulge his transgender and sexual fantasies. (His reported pastimes are disturbing and extensive.)

Hikes coincidentally (or not) also advocates for abortion, and has tweeted, “The future is queer, trans, and non-binary AF.” (You can google what “AF” means, or you can take’s definition of “to a great degree.”) Again, this is not about tolerance, but domination.

Tell me then: Is the Pride flag really something that should be flying outside any institution (let alone Catholics ones)? It all strikes me as Satanic, an unmooring from sexual mores and morality all together. As pleasure swells and reality drops away, restraint becomes peculiar.

 I understand why a Catholic could believe it licit to fly the pride flag if he or she already wrongfully considers homosexual activity and transgenderism not to be sinful. Of course, he or she would be abandoning the teachings of the Catholic Church, which has long held that God created us male and female, and preached the complementarity of the sexes.

 The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls homosexual acts “acts of grave depravity,” which are “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to the natural law.” It is explicit in pronouncing, “Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

I cannot, however, understand how a Catholic could recognize the sinfulness of LGBTQ doctrine, but not recognize the flag as sinfully promoting said doctrine.

It undermines Catholic teaching and the virtues of temperance, humility, and chastity.

As I told Meehan, Jesus did not condemn the adulteress whom the Pharisees wished to stone, but He also said, “Go and sin no more.” The flag says, “Go and sin some more.

I do think there’s more that can be done to welcome those who struggle with same-sex attraction or gender confusion into Christian communities and to recognize these particular crosses as ones connected to a whole host of other sexuality and family-related failures, which must also be condemned—masturbation, fornication, adultery, divorce, etc.

There’s no high ground here. There’s not one of us who is not a sinner—and yes, the Church is our hospital.

We cannot usher fellow sinners into it under the banner of our enemy though, to tell the lies that the flag does, under the guise of “belonging” and “inclusion.”

Real love tells the truth. Real love will bear the brunt of worldly scorn rather than suffer the hellfire of falsehood. I love those who identify as LGBTQ so much that I’d rather be falsely accused of bigotry and hatred than pretend that the path they’re going down is not deadly.

I’m fond of beating this drum: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world” (Romans 12:2). Too many Christians want the love and approval of secular society; theirs is a Jesus that demands nothing of them, but bland, indiscriminate niceties. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions and lined with rainbow flags.

We have lost the spirit of the Jesus who overturned tables, who roared about what was being done in His Father’s house. Father, forgive us, though we know what we do.