Monday, May 9, 2016

American heroine: Anita Bryant... 40 years on, she was right

I watched two documentary series on Netflix, one was imaginatively called The Sixties, the other was called The Seventies. I was born in 1960 and my first memory was in February 1963, I was 2 years and 2 months old. I remember the 60s from that point on, very clearly. It was a terrible decade. The protests, chaos, riots, marches, cultural decline ... it was chaotic to my young eyes. But when I watched The Seventies documentary, I was surprised to learn that decade was in fact much worse. The groundwork satan had laid in America during the rebellions of the 1960s came to ugly fruition in the '70s.

In one episode of the documentary The Seventies in particular, the Feminist marches and Feminist agenda was covered. What came with that was the sexual revolution. What came with that was the homosexual revolution.

The homosexual revolution is acknowledged to have begun in 1969 at the Stonewall riots. America of the 1950s and 1960s was legally against the sodomites and the lesbians, and Stonewall was the catalyst to their militant journey to forcing America to accept normalization of their perverse sexual behavioral choices.

According to Wikipedia about Stonewall,
Very few establishments welcomed openly gay people in the 1950s and 1960s. Those that did were often bars, although bar owners and managers were rarely gay. At the time, the Stonewall Inn was owned by the Mafia. It catered to an assortment of patrons and was known to be popular among the poorest and most marginalized people in the gay community: drag queens, transgender people, effeminate young men, butch lesbians, male prostitutes, and homeless youth. Police raids on gay bars were routine in the 1960s, but officers quickly lost control of the situation at the Stonewall Inn. They attracted a crowd that was incited to riot. Tensions between New York City police and gay residents of Greenwich Village erupted into more protests the next evening, and again several nights later. Within weeks, Village residents quickly organized into activist groups to concentrate efforts on establishing places for gays and lesbians to be open about their sexual orientation without fear of being arrested.
Within 6 months of the Stonewall riot, two pro-gay organizations had been formed, and in June of 1970 the first "Gay Pride" parade was held In NYC. The rest of the 1970s was an accelerating snowball of forced homosexual acceptance into society that has never ended to this day.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, says Newton's Third Law, and that Law can be applied to cultural movements too. For every 1970s homosexual parade, march, or gay push into the culture of America, there was a push-back. The push back came first in the form of Anita Bryant. Again, according to Wikipedia,
Anita Jane Bryant (born March 25, 1940) is an American singer, former Miss Oklahoma beauty pageant winner, and former spokeswoman (brand ambassador) for the Florida Citrus Commission (marketing orange juice). She scored four Top 40 hits in the United States in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including "Paper Roses", which reached #5. She later became known as an outspoken opponent of gay rights and for her 1977 "Save Our Children" campaign to repeal a local ordinance in Dade County, Florida, that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, an involvement that significantly affected her popularity and career in show business.
You know the saying, “A day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine”? Anita Bryant said that in her commercials. It can't be stated emphatically enough how popular Mrs Bryant was in the 1960s and 1970s. She was the emblem of American wholesomeness due to her success at the Miss America Pageant, she had a national platform due to her work as Florida Orange Juice spokeswoman, and her music career was a chart success. In 1960 after licentious behavior by Jim Morrison of the Doors, she helped organize and participate in a Rally for Decency. Mrs Bryant was a strong Christian and was public about it.

According to Wikipedia, the homosexual battle with Mrs Bryant at the center began in Dade County, FL.
In 1977, Dade County, Florida, passed an ordinance sponsored by Bryant's former friend Ruth Shack that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Bryant led a highly publicized campaign to repeal the ordinance as the leader of a coalition named Save Our Children. The campaign was based on conservative Christian beliefs regarding the sinfulness of homosexuality and the perceived threat of homosexual recruitment of children and child molestation. Bryant stated:
What these people really want, hidden behind obscure legal phrases, is the legal right to propose to our children that theirs is an acceptable alternate way of life. [...] I will lead such a crusade to stop it as this country has not seen before
From the vantage point of nearly 40 years of American cultural history, we can see that Mrs Bryant was exactly right. The Dade County ordinance was among the first of its kind in America to pass and the homosexual lobby was elated, but then shattered when it was overturned. From a March 1977 Chicago Tribune article, Mrs Bryant is reported as saying,


According to American Blog,
The victory in [Dade County] Florida is an especially exciting win for gay rights advocates as Florida was the scene of one of the most bitter battles in American gay rights history, when singer and former Florida orange juice spokeswoman Anita Bryant organized the successful repeal of Dade County, Florida’s new ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. After winning in Florida, Bryant then went national, and led several battles across the country against gay rights. I’ll let Ms. Bryant speak for herself:
“As a mother, I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit our children” and “If gays are granted rights, next we’ll have to give rights to prostitutes and to people who sleep with St. Bernards and to nail biters.”
Again, Mrs Bryant was right. She knew that once special rights were given to one lobby, other lobbies would then pile on and claim special rights based on their personal preferences too. From a Chicago Tribune article in March 1977, Mrs Bryant said, 


As to the reference to St. Bernards, well, haven't we seen people advocating for the right to marry their pets, as for one example? And don’t we know from the Bible that sexual deviancy knows no depths? Leviticus 18:23 forbids the practice of bestiality. Left to their own devices, bestiality had become a problem.

From the same Chicago Tribune article in March 1977, Mrs Bryant said,

One legacy Mrs Bryant left during that heated time was that she led a legislative ban on gay adoptions in Florida that held up for nearly 40 years. The legislation forbid homosexuals from adopting children, a ban that was only recently overturned in 2015. In this article we read,
In her book “A New Day,” she stated, “I made a stand, not against homosexuals as persons, but against legislation that would tend to ‘normalize’ and abet their lifestyle and would especially afford them influence over our children who attended private, religious school.” She became the leader of a group called Save Our Children, and her highly publicized campaign against gay rights took off. She was quoted in a news conference that can still be seen on YouTube video clips today saying, “The war goes on to save our children because the seed of sexual sickness that germinated in Dade County has already been transplanted by misguided liberals in the U.S. Congress.”
Again, she was right. The Bible says that once depravity sets in so deeply as evidenced by the deviant homosexual lifestyle, it means they have been given over to a depraved mind. They simply cannot think straight anymore. (Romans 1:26-32).

There was a famous incident that occurred when Mrs Bryant and her husband were being interviewed at a press conference in Des Moines Iowa in 1977. Let me preface this by saying that in the documentary I watched Mrs Bryant emphasize that she does not hate homosexuals. She said in the clip that she loves them as people because like all people, they are made in the image of God. Their sin of homosexuality, like any sin such as thievery, adultery, or any other sin, can be forgiven if the sinner repents. They can then be an ex-homosexual just like a thief can be an ex-thief and an adulterer can be an ex-adulterer. This is a clip I searched high and low for online but have been unable to find. I only saw it on the documentary. I did read in several archived newspaper interviews that Mrs Bryant said her toughest job is to convince people that she loves all sinners and just urges homosexuals and all sinners to repent.

The intolerance of the homosexual lobby is potent. They set out to destroy reputations and crush businesses by any means they deem necessary. They are an intolerant group that bullies with impunity, and seeks to squash the rights of those with opposing views to express them. This is where the famous incident comes in. A man named Thom Higgins from Minneapolis drove to where Mrs Bryant was going to be, which was Des Moines Iowa, and as she was politely answering questions of a reporter, Higgins smashed a pie in Mrs Bryant’s face. Mrs Bryant asked that security not take the man out and she and her husband prayed on the spot for the Lord to deliver Higgins from his deviant lifestyle. Imagine such intolerance. Thom Higgins drove 243 miles, from Minneapolis to Des Moines, just to throw a strawberry-rhubarb pie in her face and humiliate her. That’s a powerful bunch of anger and hatred.

Mrs Bryant continued throughout the decade to work toward legislative change through proper channels. However, her stand against homosexuality took its toll on both her career and her marriage. The intolerant homosexual lobby boycotted Florida Orange Juice (gay bars took the drink the screwdriver off the menu and swapped it for the “Anita Bryant”, made with vodka and apple juice.

The Orange Juice commission declined to renew her contract. Her music career fizzled as the Homosexual Lobby poisoned the well for her name, so the music industry was increasingly reluctant to touch her. And sadly, her Christian witness suffered also. She divorced her husband for unbiblical reasons, and the Moral Majority began to decline inviting her for speaking invitations. Bryant later went bankrupt.

Would you be willing to suffer national humiliation, career destruction, a toll on your marriage, and a name that is synonymous with hate and bigotry (according to today’s culture) just for taking a stand for biblical sexuality? Anita Bryant did. I applaud her for it and I consider her to be an American Christian heroine.


But the homosexuals sure do hate Anita Bryant.



6 comments :

  1. Everyone INSISTS this sin is in the same category as all other sins, yet if you lecture about the sin of gambling, the sin of adultery, the sin of drug use, you don't get this kind of reaction...although now sins are celebrated and encouraged more openly so you do get some ridiculous backlash when you condemn anything. But can you imagine, say, a thief throwing pie in someone's face and then a coalition of thieves plotting to destroy that person's life because she talked about the sin of stealing? I haven't seen many Thievery Pride parades around here. Adulterers still haven't banded together to insist on special privileges and celebrations. Is there a special flag, like the rainbow pride flag, to symbolize murder, arson, or assault? There's something especially degrading about this perverse sin. It destroys something of their human-ness.

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    1. Hi RObyn,

      I agree totally. Homosexuality IS worse. As a matter of fact, Phil Johnson recently preached on that fact, from his sermon "You are Not Your Own" text from 1 Cor 6. http://www.thegracelifepulpit.com/Sermons.aspx?code=2016-05-01-PJ

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  2. I question whether the demise of her marriage should be considered a result of her courageous stand. That said, I agree that she risked an enormous amount for the sake of God's Word. I'm not sure present-day evangelicals have that sort of courage.

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    1. From what I read, the toll it took on her marriage was due to the targeting of the homosexual lobby & resulting national pressure and combined with the demise of her career...she had suicidal thoughts she is quoted as saying. Such pressure is bound to take a toll on any person or marriage. However, the tarnish to her Christian witness was that she handled it wrongly, in divorcing unbiblically, instead of leaning ever MORE on her husband and her Savior. Her husband is quoted as saying he did not want the marriage to end and because it happened unbiblically, and in the eyes of God they were still married. He is right.

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  3. Thanks for that great history lesson. Bryant was dead on as to the homosexual agenda, and many before and after her gave the same warnings. We are now suffering because the majority of the populace ignored the warnings.

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  4. I'm always amazed when the homosexual rights lobby is linked with tolerance. They are easily the most intolerant and bigoted group of people in our sad society. Well done to Anita Bryant. A very brave woman and a far-sighted one too.

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