The Briefing, Albert Mohler

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

It is Tuesday, June 13th, 2023.

I’m Albert Mohler, and this is The Briefing, a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview.

Part I

How the LGBTQ Revolution Game is Being Played: Human Rights Campaign Declares State of Emergency over LGBTQ Issues

A state of emergency has been declared. Don’t run for the exits. It’s a state of emergency declared by the Human Rights Campaign. It has, quote, “officially declared a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ Americans.” Well, it just so happens it came out in Pride Month and, again, I’m sure that’s just a coincidence. What we need to look at here is not just the press release and the news coverage on this story. We need to understand how this gives us indications of the way that culture works, the way that morality is transformed in a culture. And, in this case, it’s by a press release declaring a state of emergency.

The first thing we need to recognize is that those words are loaded. Those words are loaded because, after all, we’re supposed to pay close attention. We’re supposed to be very concerned. We’re supposed to be moved to action if indeed there’s the declaration of an emergency.

What’s the historical background to that? Well, the historical background is both military and it is meteorological. You have a military state of emergency in which it is declared we’re in an urgent situation in which civil or national or cultural order is at stake. And so you just need to know that there will be unusual actions taken precisely because we’re in a state of emergency. In meteorological or weather terms, very similar, a state of emergency because of a tornado, a hurricane, something impending. But the point is that a state of emergency usually comes as a way of getting attention in order to mobilize concern and also, at the same time, in order to justify certain kinds of political, economic or other cultural actions. People say, “We need to take this action precisely because we’re facing an emergency.”

The other thing we need to note is that this kind of approach is evidently pretty effective, at least in PR and media terms, because no sooner had the Human Rights Campaign, this LGBTQ activist organization, released a press release saying that it had declared a state of emergency. Now, just think about that for a moment. An activist group declaring a state of emergency, it’s not exactly like the National Hurricane Center saying, “Duck, there’s a hurricane coming.” This is an activist group that has everything to gain by claiming that there’s an emergency.

And here’s what you need to know. The mainstream media play right along. If you had a conservative group say, “Hey, we’re going to declare a state of emergency because of threats to the unborn,” let’s just state the obvious. That would not make the pages of America’s major newspapers, but the announcement of a state of emergency on LGBTQ issues coincidentally coming during Pride Month, well, this has appeared throughout the mainstream media. And it’s reported as if, just in straightforward terms, this is a serious claim. USA Today, admittedly the most LGBTQ activist of the major media, put out an article by reporter Claire Thornton with a headline, Group Issues LGBTQ Emergency Declaration. That’s the scare headline. We’re evidently facing an emergency. By the way, it’s printed on Page 3A. You would think if they really thought it was an emergency, it would be on the front page. But then again, you’re trying to make sense.

The USA Today report opens this way, quote, “In a stark warning to LGBTQ Americans and their loved ones, the country’s largest gay rights organization issued a state of emergency over anti-LGBTQ laws passed across the United States. The Human Rights Campaign said its emergency declaration, the first in its more than 40-year history, comes after more than 75 anti-LGBTQ bills have become law in various states this year, more than doubling last year’s number which had been the worst on record,” end quote.

Now, let’s unpack the way this game is being played. Let’s look at something. For example, when you have the LGBTQ activist community, you have these organizations, their entire premise is that the normal state of affairs should be the absolute normalization of everything LGBTQ. Any restriction whatsoever, any moral judgment or pushback whatsoever, is an aberration which evidently now becomes an emergency.

But you need to notice something else in terms of logical sequence. You have a complaint here by the Human Rights Campaign, and let’s just underline again this is an activist organization. It raises money on activism. It raises money on declaring emergencies, but it also makes its own arguments. And the argument it’s making is that the threat is represented by all of these laws passed by legislatures and governments which have some degree of restriction on LGBTQ activities, relationships, medical therapies, et cetera. And, thus, this represents the emergency.

But here’s the logical point, the sequential point we need to understand. The only reason why you have this raft of laws being considered by so many states and governments is because the LGBTQ revolution has been so successful at pushing so hard, so fast with such success that governments are actually behind in trying to come up with any way of, say, responding to this in terms of legislation. The moral vortex right now is pulling the entire culture within this LGBTQ revolution to such an extent that if you pause for a moment and say, “Wait just a moment, maybe it’s not a good idea to use hormones to interfere with an adolescent’s pubertal development,” you are simply a part of the problem and you’re a part of why this is an emergency.

So as you look at this, you understand that the theory of history that is built into this public relations strategy is that the only way things can possibly move is towards greater and greater normalization of just about every conceivable sexual orientation and behavior in a relationship you can come up with, remember the + sign at the end of LGBTQ+, but that anyone who stands in the way is actually now creating an emergency or a threat.

I guess we just need to underline the fact that this is extremely effective as a public relations strategy. It’s incredibly effective as a media strategy, and that’s maybe the most important point we can raise is for Christians, in worldview terms, is to understand that we are in a battle of ideas. We’re in a battle of cultural maneuvers. We’re in a struggle for the supremacy of truth claims. And when you look at one side, being able to get the media to go along in the declaration of an emergency, well, you’ve got an awful lot of cultural leverage.

And we understand right now it’s entirely on one side. The press release, the statement from the Human Rights Campaign, states this, “As we kick off LGBTQ+ Pride Month, HRC will be working tirelessly to educate and arm the LGBTQ+ community with information and resources to ensure their safety, whether they’re planning summer travel through regions that are becoming increasingly hostile to LGBTQ+ people or whether they already live in a state where legislative assaults and political extremism are continuing to put a target on our backs.”

You see the way this language is framed, and that’s frankly the kind of language you would expect from an activist organization. What makes it more threatening is the fact that the mainstream media picks up on so much of this and, as we have discussed on The Briefing and will have to see over and over again this claim of harm, this claim of threat, it is not so much framed in any kind of physical term or anything that would be related to the use of those terms throughout most of, say, our lifetimes.

It is instead related to any effort to press back on the full normalization, acceptance and celebration of all things LGBTQ+. That’s now described as a harm. Any pushback is considered a threat. And just to look again at the press release from the Human Rights Campaign, just listen to this language. The description of the recent period is, “an unprecedented and dangerous spike in LGBTQ+ legislative assaults sweeping statehouses this year.”

Good grief. Listen to the language. Language like, again, listen to this, “an unprecedented and dangerous spike in anti-LGBTQ+ legislative assaults.” So here we have spike, dangerous spike and legislative assaults. Let me just point out that legislation results in laws. Legislation is not in it itself an assault, not unless you can turn this into a propaganda tool, and they have done that with extreme effectiveness.

By the way, what kind of legislation is here called an assault? Well, three categories, for example, transgender sports bans, and this means if you believe that a biological male should not play on a high school girl’s team, well, you’re part of the assault.

Second, gender affirming care bans. Again, this relates in the very first statement to, quote, “transgender youth hormone treatments and beyond.” If you don’t believe that that’s appropriate, you’re a part of the assault. You are dangerous. You’re a part of the reason why there has to be a state of emergency declared.

The last issue is bathroom bans. And to that issue, I just have to return, throughout most of human history, we have basically been able to understand how bathrooms are supposed to work. It is not a sign of civilizational progress that many people appear right now to be confused. I would say that that’s the kind of issue that reveals a kind of deep confusion and rebellion that ought to be flushed, but that would be too easy.

Charles Blow, identified with the movement, a very liberal columnist for The New York Times, wrote a piece that jumps on this bandwagon. The headline, “Yes, We’re in an LGBTQ State of Emergency.” So here you have a columnist in the nation’s most influential newspaper saying, “Yes, they say it’s an emergency. It is an emergency.” Listen to this sentence, “The trans community is an attractive target for culture war bullies because it’s a small subset of the queer community and an even smaller subset of society as a whole.”

So here’s where you understand that if you believe that only girls should be on a girls’ team, you are a bully. You are a part of an assault and it’s all because you want to take advantage of a small subculture, a small percentage of your fellow Americans, simply because you want to exercise your cultural and political power. I have to believe that this kind of language raising the temperature is more for political effect than anything, but it does tell us something very troubling.

Charles Blow cites Sarah Kate Ellis, the president of GLAAD, “the preeminent,” he says, “LGBTQ media advocacy organization,” saying, “this is a terror campaign against our community.” Notice the volatility of that language. This is a terror campaign. Look across the world. If you use the word terror campaign, you pretty much know what you’re talking about. Come back and consider a law in a state that says that only biological males should use the boys’ room and biological females should use the girls’ room. That is now a terrorist attack.

And as a conservative Christian, you are now identified as a terrorist and, as a conservative Christian by extension, you are now identified as a terrorist. And by the way, even if your motivation is understood as believing that boys should be on boys’ teams, girls should be on girls’ teams, boys should go to boys’ rooms, girls should go to girls’ rooms when it comes to bathrooms, he writes, “The Republicans pushing anti-LGBTQ laws usually pretend that their principal, if not their sole motivation, is to protect children. But these laws operate in furtherance and protection of the fragile patriarchy and perpetuation of the twin evils of homophobia and heterosexism and in the reinforcement of abusive gender identity policing.”

Notice all the ideological language that is compressed into just one sentence there, but you also notice another way that the moral revolutionaries make so much progress with that kind of language, it is because if you declare that someone is guilty of all of this, patriarchy, perpetuation of homophobia, heterosexism, reinforcement of abusive gender identity policing, well, you’re not in an appreciably better place if you just say, “Well, yeah, but not as much as some people.” This is why on so many of these issues, there is quite honestly a disappearing middle. It’s because when you have the lines drawn in this way, you’re either entirely for the transgender revolution or you are a part of the patriarchy. Well, at that point, there’s not a little bit either way.

By the way, it’s also interesting that another special interest organization on the left, very influential with the media known as the Southern Poverty Law Center or SPLC, it has a list of organizations it refers to as radical and extremist hate groups it sometimes says in its identification, it has a list of the bad people and bad organizations in society.

And by the way, as you look at this list, you recognize it basically is an effort to try to describe anyone who has any hesitation about the vast revolution and morality around us, including even the extremes of the LGBTQ movement. If you resist that in any way, then you are an extremist. You are driven by hate. That’s the only categories this group uses and the media, once again, just plays along.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has its own twisted moral background but the point is this, and you can just Google the organization, look at the news stories and the reports. You’ll understand what I mean. But the point is this, the media plays along as if this is basically something like a quasi-government organization. You have the sense of authority.

This is on the front page of last Thursday’s Courier Journal. That’s the local newspaper in Louisville, Kentucky, by the way, owned by Gannet that is the company that also owns USA Today, which is why all of this tends to follow the same pied piper just about every time. By the way, as you look at this article, you come to understand that other groups identified with parental pushback in the public schools from a conservative direction, they’re basically all just lumped together.

Part II

Pride Month Seeks Even More Consumer Support: The LGBTQ Pressure on Companies to Corporate Capitulation

But next, another look at the way this game is played. I want to look at an opinion piece that also ran in USA Today. Not a coincidence. This one’s headline is, “Pride Month Needs Help, Not Just Rainbows From Companies.” The Human Rights Campaign as an organization is here again. Kelly Robinson’s identified as the president of the organization, the author of this piece, and the piece makes a contradictory argument but it’s really important that we notice it. The piece begins with condemning conservative organizations, family organizations, conservative interests in pushing back on companies that have bought into the woke agenda, and in particular on the LGBTQ inclusion policies.

So look at the controversies about Anheuser-Busch Bud Light. Think about the recent controversies over Target, and the accusation here is that conservatives are wrong to try to bring political and economic pressure on these companies because, after all, these companies are doing good work in aiding the LGBTQ community. The article talks about efforts by conservative organizations, conservative Christians and then says, “There is a long list of failed attacks on corporate inclusion.”

This article produced by the Human Rights Campaign tells us that conservatives are wrong to try to bring economic action or economic pressure against these companies. But then, on the other hand, the article tells us that the Human Rights Campaign is very busy trying to exercise that same kind of leverage. For instance, listen to this, “Companies need to take a page from Disney’s approach. That means pushing back against the conservative activist and let Anheuser-Busch be a case study of what not to do.”

This is the president of the Human Rights Campaign writing, “After a Bud Light partnership with transgender advocate, Dylan Mulvaney, the company issued a milquetoast response to controversy sparked by a viral video in which Kid Rock shot a case of beer with an assault rifle. The company said recently that two executives had taken leaves of absence after the backlash, sending a signal that the campaign and not the rabidly anti-trans rhetoric was the problem.” The article goes on, “The company failed to engage in any meaningful action to undo their missteps, and we subsequently suspended its corporate equality index score.” Take that, Anheuser-Busch.

Now, I mention this just again to point to how cultures change, morality changes. A moral consensus is transformed when people bring this kind of concerted effort. But you’ll also note that here you have the argument in one article by the Human Rights Campaign that says conservatives are wrong to do this, and we’re doing this. We’re doing it without apology. And I’ll simply say, from the conservative side, they’re doing it better and they’re winning. By the way, you notice the right side of history argument. Yeah, this article can’t end without it.

The author, Kelly Robinson, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, ends by saying, “The businesses that do so,” that means go their way, “that don’t perform allyship but practice it will be on the right side of history.” Don’t ever underestimate the cultural power of that argument, insidious as it is.

Part III

Disney Remakes Spark Debate Between Those on the Left: The Argument Within the Left on How to Keep the Animated Classics “Relevant”

But next, while we’re thinking about watching how culture is transformed, let’s go to the business section of The New York Times. Last week they ran an article with the headline, “Updating Disney Classics Isn’t for the Faint of Heart.” Now, Disney’s played such a role in all of this. Human Rights Campaign just held up Disney as a positive example of not buckling to conservative parents and conservative concerns, but this tells us a lot, not just about what’s going on in the left versus the right.

This tells us a lot of what’s going on in the left versus the left. Because when you’re talking about Disney updating these classics, you’re talking about Disney trying to take its classic movies, its animated movies that made so much money, its narratives that are so central to Disney and trying to update them in ways that will meet the current expectations of the cultural creatives on the left. And it turns out that’s rather hard to do. The headline is that updating the Disney classics isn’t for the faint of heart and, reading this article, you come to understand, it certainly isn’t.

Brooks Barnes is the author of the report, again, front page of the business section and the subhead is this, Sean Bailey’s job remaking films like The Little Mermaid has increasingly put him in the middle of a partisan divide. Again, I want to pause for a moment and say, yeah, but that partisan divide is not just simply conservative versus liberal. In many ways, it’s liberal versus more liberal versus even more liberal. How do you keep up if, in your effort at Disney you’re trying to keep up with this moral trend and this revolution, the left keeps eating the previous left?

Barnes begins the article, “For more than a decade, Sean Bailey has run Disney’s animated film re-imagining factory with quiet efficiency and superhero sized results. His live action Aladdin collected $1.1 billion at the box office while a photorealistic The Lion King took in $1.7 billion, a live action Beauty and the Beast delivered $1.3 billion. Let’s just add that up.

That’s a lot of billions, and Barnes writes, “Disney likes the cash. The company also views Mr. Bailey’s remake operation as crucial to remaining relevant.” Listen to this, “Disney’s animated classics are treasured by fans but most showcase ideas from another era, especially when it comes to gender roles. Be pretty, girls and things might work out.” Bailey said, “We want to reflect the world as it exists.”

Well, maybe that’s so and the verification of that would be the fact that Disney does have to sell this product. It’s not giving these movies away. I mentioned the box office take. Trust me, they’re counting it right down to the penny.

But, on the other hand, Disney is also taking actions that are costing it business here because it is so beholden to that creative class. It is so situated within the cultural left these days. It really has no option but to keep moving in that direction. The big balancing challenge for Disney is being left enough without being too left for the viewing public just to walk out the door and never come back. This business article looks at the money that’s involved. It looks at the challenge that’s involved. There are incredible challenges here, by the way, and it shows you how representation comes down.

If you are going to try to please the cultural left, evidently that’s going to be very hard. Listen to this, “Others have blasted The Little Mermaid for failing to acknowledge the horrors of slavery in the Caribbean. A few LGBTQ people have criticized Disney for hiring a straight male makeup artist for the villainous Ursula, whose look in the animated film was inspired by a drag queen.”

Wow, an awful lot to unpack right there. Seriously? Now we find out that Ursula was based upon a drag queen? Looking backwards, maybe it makes a little bit of sense, but you’ll notice how the left is working here. Yeah, the right has its problems and, boy, we can argue about some stupid things.

But again, listen to this, “A few LGBTQ people have criticized Disney for hiring a straight male makeup artist for the villainous Ursula,” who again was a drag queen. So how in the world do you keep a list if you’re on the left these days? How do you make this work if you’re Disney where using a straight male makeup artist, I don’t know how many of you are applying for that job, evidently put you on the wrong side of history if the person receiving the makeup is supposed to represent an historic drag queen? Go figure. It’s supposed to be an animated movie for children, people.

But then again, maybe we need to turn it around and say to Christian parents, “Do you realize that all this is evidently baked into this cake, a part of this package, a feature of the storyline?” Now, they tell us. And the agenda comes through in so many different things.

For example, we are told that in the live action movie, Beauty and the Beast, the film contained a three-second glimpse of two men dancing in each other’s arms. The Times says, “It became a global news story. Ultimately, the fracas seemed to have no impact on ticket sales.” This just tells us again how this kind of thing works. You just sneak things in and there they are just for a matter of seconds but yet young eyes are watching and all this sends a moral message.

Now, understand this. Disney knows it’s sending a moral message, and we’re fools if we think it’s not, but there’s something else embedded in this article because the article tells us that this entire remake process under the direction of Sean Bailey, it has produced only products in which the hero is a female. That’s right, exclusively. Not one in which a male is a hero. That tells you how the storylines change. The only way you can make a movie acceptable to the left is that the male has to be something other than the hero, and the girl has to be the hero of the story.

Geena Davis known as an actress and also identified as a gender equity activist, said, “I think what he’s doing,” meaning Sean Bailey in that respect, “I think what he’s doing is vastly important.” She said, “It’s not just about inspiring little girls. It’s about normalizing for men and boys, making it perfectly normal to see a girl doing interesting and important things and taking up space.” All kinds of ideological language there.

But I don’t hear complaints about Disney having too many female characters. I don’t really hear that complaint at all. What I hear is about the moral messaging. But in this case, you will notice that inclusion means only girls and Geena Davis says, “Yeah, that’s exactly right.” It’s about “normalizing for men and women, making it normal.” Just consider what it means that this is being held up as just absolutely and exclusively normal.

The article cites this man responsible, that is, Sean Bailey, responsible for this transformation. It concludes by saying, “Mr. Bailey’s in the business of making movies for everyone. That challenge is part of what keeps his job interesting. How do you deal with audiences that are changing outside our country, inside our country? How do you tell stories, stories that matter to everyone in a world that is increasingly polarized?”

Well, the point I want to make is this, when it comes to this extremity of worldview polarization, I don’t think it is possible to tell a story that’s going to be absolutely pleasing to everyone. Disney is taking sides. They’ve been taking it for quite a while now.

Part IV

Digital Media Destabilizes CNN: Chris Licht Steps Down as CEO of CNN

Finally, a couple of updates on some things we talked about on The Briefing. For one thing, we talked about Chris Licht who was in tumult at CNN as the president of the network. Well, just hours after we talked about it on The Briefing, but not because we talked about it on The Briefing, he was out. He lost the job. The distress was simply too much for the network to bear.

Once again, it just points to the fact that we are undergoing a fundamental transformation of the news media, and we’re looking at digital media destabilizing just about everything, including CNN. And when we talked about this last, we talked about the worldview issues of how CNN even positions itself in the political spectrum.

But when we talked last week about these changes in the media environment, we also talked about changes to print media and the cutback taking place on several newspaper staffs and, again, just within hours of our discussion of that on The Briefing, here comes another headline, “In move to restructure, Los Angeles Times plans to cut 10% of the Newsroom.” 10%.

The executive editor of the Los Angeles Times is quoted as saying, “Collectively, we’ve done a vast amount of work as a company to meet the budget and revenue challenges head on, but that work will need acceleration, and we will need more radical transformation of the newsroom for us to become a self-sustaining enterprise.”

Again, more evidence of how the media environment is being radically transformed right before our eyes and these days sometimes in just a matter of hours.

Thanks for listening to The Briefing.

For more information, go to my website at You can follow me on Twitter by going to For information on The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, go to For information on Boyce College, go to

Today I am in New Orleans, Louisiana, and I’ll meet you again tomorrow for The Briefing.

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

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