It is much, much more likely that the Islamic State will see the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage as evidence of the U.S.’s decadence and societal decay, and that will only serve to embolden and encourage them. But there is another glaring fallacy in this “analysis”: “That’s the lesson of history,” Rosa Brooks asserts: “Brutality and fear can keep people down for only so long. The Nazis learned this; the Soviets learned it; the Ku Klux Klan learned it; Pol Pot learned it; the Rwandan génocidaires learned it.”
How, exactly, did they learn this? By viewing photos of gay rights supporters? Or of loving couples of whatever persuasion? Did a photo of an embracing couple move Adolf Hitler to tears and induce him to call his genocidal armies back home and close the extermination camps? Did a photo of smiling people make Pol Pot realize that his stacks and shelves full of skulls were a terrible mistake, and lead him to resign and spend the rest of his life as a florist?
No. This kind of thing never happened, and by no stretch of the imagination is it the “lesson of history.” If the Nazis ever learned that “#LoveAlwaysWins,” they learned it in the blood and chaos and ruin of Berlin, as Soviet troops ran wild and raped every young German woman they could catch. #LoveAlwaysWins, indeed. The groups Brooks names learned that #LoveAlwaysWins, if they ever learned it, at the point of a gun, when they were forced by violence to stop what they were doing. Yes, even the Klan was prosecuted in the “racist” United States. The only exception to this is the Soviet Union, but Mikhail Gorbachev didn’t oversee the dissolution of the Soviet Union because he realized that the United States was not an enemy, but just a big gay hunk of love. The Soviet Union collapsed under the economic pressure that Ronald Reagan brought to bear upon it, and the societal/cultural pressure that Pope John Paul II and Lech Walesa brought upon it. It might still exist today if Walesa hadn’t been willing to risk his life in the Gdansk Shipyard.
And that’s what will defeat the Islamic State today: people willing to risk their lives to safeguard the dignity and freedom of every human being. But those who are willing to do that are the very ones who, in a case of suicidal short-sightedness, are generally vilified as “racists” and “bigots” by the supporters of gay marriage.
“Can Gay Marriage Defeat the Islamic State? A few — admittedly sappy — thoughts on the power of #LoveWins,” by Rosa Brooks, Foreign Policy, June 26, 2015:
I was thinking about two sets of images this morning: one from an Islamic State-controlled city in Iraq, the other from the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
The first set of images, from early June, shows masked gunmen surrounding a crowd of people, mostly men. Some of the faces in the crowd show fear or hatred; others are studiously blank. But all eyes are fixed on the rooftop of a nearby building, where a blindfolded man is dangling upside down, his ankle held tightly by another masked man. Next image: The blindfolded man’s body plummets headfirst toward the pavement below. Final image: a crumpled, bloody heap on the ground, surrounded by a sea of faces. Headline and caption, from Fox News: “ISIS conducts more executions of men for being gay.… On June 3, 2015, Islamic State (ISIS) operatives in Iraq’s Ninveh province published photos of a public execution in Mosul of three men convicted of acts of homosexuality. The three men were blindfolded and dropped head first from the roof of a tall building in front of a large crowd of spectators, including children.”
The second set of images shows another crowd, thousands of miles away from the first. This crowd is full of men and women, all ages and all races, and they’re waving American flags and rainbow-colored flags. This crowd isn’t flanked by gunmen; no one looks frightened or enraged. This crowd is laughing and embracing; a few people are weeping, their faces lit with relief and joy. Caption from the Washington Post: “Gay rights supporters celebrate outside the Supreme Court in Washington after justices ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry, no matter where they live.”
I know which crowd I’d rather be in.
Do you want to fight the Islamic State and the forces of Islamic extremist terrorism? I’ll tell you the best way to send a message to those masked gunmen in Iraq and Syria and to everyone else who gains power by sowing violence and fear. Just keep posting that second set of images. Post them on Facebook and Twitter and Reddit and in comments all over the Internet. Send them to your friends and your family. Send them to your pen pal in France and your old roommate in Tunisia. Send them to strangers….
And I still have faith that this dream is the one that will prevail, in the end. That’s the lesson of history: Brutality and fear can keep people down for only so long. The Nazis learned this; the Soviets learned it; the Ku Klux Klan learned it; Pol Pot learned it; the Rwandan génocidaires learned it.One of these days, the Islamic State and al Qaeda will learn it too.
I’m not a big fan of Twitter, but for once there’s a Twitter hashtag worth quoting, though it took my 13-year-old daughter to point it out to me: #LoveWins….