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When (false) narratives trump reality


One valuable lesson we can learn from the awful shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville is just how committed progressives are to “playing the victim,” no matter how dubious or fanciful the act is.

The left understands — sometimes better than the right does — that whoever shapes the account of a movement has a better chance at shaping the public policy surrounding that movement.

Put differently, the political battles of our day are largely public relations ones, where competing interests are duking it out over who controls the narrative and language regarding a contentious subject.

To cite one example, think of how certain politicians use the phrase “gender-affirming care” to describe hormone blockers and genital mutilation. People have adopted this phrase because, in part, “gender-affirming care” sounds far more palatable to the human ear than, say, chopping off a teenager’s healthy sex organ.

It is this emphasis on controlling the narrative that explains why the left, from the outset, has framed the “transgender community” as the real victims in the aftermath of the Nashville murders, even as six Christians were gunned down, including three kids, by a transgender zealot.

The Associated Press, for instance, published the absurd headline: “Trans people face rhetoric, disinformation after shooting.”

The report began with this opening paragraph:

“Anti-transgender rhetoric and disinformation in the days following the shooting at a Nashville Christian school that killed six people have heightened the fears of a community already on edge amid a historic push for more restrictions on trans people’s rights this year.”

Remember now, barely a week before this story circulated, Christians were executed by a woman identifying as a man, and yet it’s the trans community that’s “on edge” over — gasp — “rhetoric.”

The AP even straddles the line in rationalizing the horrific attack by noting how Tennessee is “where the Republican governor has signed into law restrictions on drag show performances and a ban on gender affirming care for minors.”

Translation: the Christians had it coming.

The AP wasn’t alone, however, in engineering this ludicrous role-reversal on who the actual victims were.

Kentucky Democrat State Sen. Karen Berg declared on MSNBC that there is “a national, concerted, well-funded effort to eventually erase gay and trans children from our schools.”

Berg was then asked by host Jonathan Capehart why conservative lawmakers are putting “targets on the backs of [trans] children?” to which she blamed the Christian legal firm Alliance Defending Freedom.

Catch what I mean about “narratives?”

In the real world, a “trans” person literally put a target on the backs of young children at a Christian academy and pulled the trigger … over and over and over again.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Katherine Clark got up on the U.S. House floor days after the bloodbath to proclaim that transgenders are the ones being “forced to fight for [their] very existence.”

There are other examples, but why bother.

It’s obvious that the left is trying to dictate the language involving a mass murderer because they’re invested in dictating the narrative that trans folks are marginalized members of society who need liberal white knights to come to their rescue.

It’s a well-crafted political ploy designed to collectivize and expand voting blocs under the banner of one’s victim status.

But this alleged victimhood is pure nonsense.

And we must not shy away from saying as much.

How many “marginalized” people have vocal advocates in the White House, legacy media, Hollywood, and big business?

Rachel Levine, who is the highest-ranking female pretender in the federal government, proudly announced that “for the second year in a row, the transgender flag is flying above [the Department of Health and Human Services] in Washington, D.C.”

His comments were part of the Biden White House officially recognizing March 31 as the “Transgender Day of Visibility.”

Levine also used the occasion to reiterate the Biden administration’s “support for evidence-based gender affirming care,” which, as you know, is the left’s dishonest way of championing chemical castration and double-mastectomies for adolescents.

Likewise, celebrities have promised to back the trans cause using their influential platforms and large bank accounts.

Madonna, we’re told, is planning a “benefit concert” in Nashville to protest what she called the “oppression” of LGBTQ+ individuals, while pop star Miley Cyrus will donate money to an organization that “provides LGBTQ-inclusive books to pre-K through 3rd grade classrooms to help students and teachers ‘read out loud, read out proud!’”

So much oppression, so much marginalization.

And so many corporate sponsorships.

The beer giant Anheuser-Busch turned heads recently when it inexplicably partnered with transgender agitator Dylan Mulvaney to observe his “365 Days of Girlhood” by manufacturing “commemorative” Bud Light cans with Mulvaney’s face on them. The company stood by its decision, claiming that the partnership helps it “authentically connect with audiences across various demographics and passion points.”

The argument that the LGBTQ+ brigade are victims of anything other than living outside of God’s design for their lives is a case study on how devoted progressives are to weaponizing language as they pursue the complete secularization of America.

It’s a devotion they’ve been at for a while now.

More than 30 years ago Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen authored what they described as a “manifesto” on how to shift “public opinion” on the subject of same-sex relationships. The book was called After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90s.

The approach the duo advocated was to “portray gays as victims of circumstance and depression, not as aggressive challengers.” By embracing this imagery of “victims in need of protection,” Kirk and Madsen wrote, “straights will be inclined by reflex to adopt the role of protector.”

Kirk and Madsen knew what we still know today — Americans have a soft spot for the “underdog.”

We will root for the kid who stands up to the bully. And it was the authors’ objective to get the cultural gatekeepers of civic life to paint orthodox Christianity as that bully.

Even though it was built on a pack of lies, the tactic worked.

Attitudes regarding traditional sexuality, including within the Church, have moved dramatically within the last 20 years.

The strategy has worked so well, in fact, that today’s LGBTQ+ lobby is sticking with the same PR script.

That’s why media propagandists will pump out one embarrassing story after another where they invert the literal flesh-and-blood victims in The Covenant School massacre. The goal is to foster sympathy for the “T” in their leftwing alphabet train and drive the direction of the country farther away from America’s Christian heritage.

Proverbs 18:17 reminds us that the “one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.”

The left’s fabricated narratives must not go unchallenged.

They must be examined forcefully and exposed bluntly if we care about protecting our children from ideologues who would carve them up on the operating table or shoot them up in the classroom.

Originally published at the Standing for Freedom Center. 

Jason Mattera is a New York Times bestselling author and Emmy-nominated journalist. Follow him on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

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