Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
This past Saturday night, the New York Rangers National Hockey League (NHL) team did something almost unbelievable. Though scheduled to wear LGBTQ “Pride” jerseys during pregame warmups, not one member of the team did so.
Another recent example of defying LGBTQ+ “Pride” jersey demands in the NHL — which is run by people who are as governed by cowardice as those who run Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the National Basketball Association — was a player for the Philadelphia Flyers, Ivan Provorov, who refused to wear a “Pride” jersey 10 days earlier.
As reported by Fox News:
“Provorov refused to participate in pregame warmups where players wore Pride-themed jerseys and wielded hockey sticks wrapped in rainbow Pride tape. ‘I respect everyone,’ he told reporters after they won the actual game against the Anaheim Ducks. ‘I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion.'”
Provorov is Russian Orthodox. (Question: has one Protestant or Catholic NHL player refused to wear a “Pride” jersey?)
Perhaps the New York Rangers organization was aware of the amount of support Provorov received: “Multiple news outlets including the Post Millennial, OutKick and Washington Examiner have since reported that the Philadelphia Flyers Provorov jerseys have been selling out in multiple stores online.”
The Flyers and, apparently, the Rangers learned the truth about their fans: the vast majority of them — and presumably of Americans and Canadians in general — do not wish to discriminate against those who are LGBTQ+ but they do not want their teams to go on record as expressing “Pride” in those who are LGBTQ+.
This mirrors society at large. The vast majority of Americans believe in tolerance of LGBTQ+ individuals but not in organizations expressing pride in them.
Why is this?
Because “Pride” is not about tolerance. “Pride” is totalitarian.
Tolerance is about behavior. “Pride” is about thought.
The proof is that while there are laws governing tolerance, there are no laws governing pride. And if there were, most people would understand that such laws would enter the realm of thought control.
Most people could not articulate the totalitarian nature of LGBTQ+ “Pride.” But they do sense it. That is why Provorov’s jersey became the Flyers’ best-selling jersey. Contrary to the pablum written by virtually every sports writer in North America (there is no more sheeplike group than sports writers), people do not oppose LGBTQ+ jerseys, nights, hockey sticks, illumination and other displays of obsequiousness because they hate gays. They do so because they intuit that this is totalitarian — that they and their teams are being forced into groupthink.
That is why the Left chose the word “pride” and not “tolerance” — “pride” is about thought. Unlike liberalism and conservatism, leftism is totalitarian. And totalitarianism controls thought as well as speech.
The only difference between the American Left and communist totalitarianism is opportunity. All leftists want to control speech and eventually thought. Thus, if you treat gays in your daily life just as you treat heterosexuals, it is not enough. You must go much further. You must express “pride” in gays and lesbians — and not in just gays and lesbians, but in the bisexual, the transgender, the “queer” and the nonbinary. You must not only say, but think, “I am proud of people who consider themselves neither male nor female” — as if such mental illness is an achievement.
So, too, you must refrain from thinking, let alone saying, that having a mother and father is generally best for a child or that one man married to one woman is best for society. And you must refrain from expressing any reservations about teachers no longer calling their students “boys and girls”; about “drag queen story hours” for 5-year-olds; or about giving hormone blockers to children.
The next time you read about “thought control” in North Korea, understand that North Korea’s thought control differs from “Pride” days and nights at sporting events — and from the rest of the Left — only by degree. The Left in America, like the Left in North Korea, demands your mind, not just your behavior.
Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His commentary on Deuteronomy, the third volume of “The Rational Bible,” his five-volume commentary on the first five books of the Bible, was published in October. He is the co-founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.
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