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Poland’s Anti-Gay Violence

Anti-gay counter protesters in Bialystok (PBS Newshour screengrab)

A couple of readers have pointed out to me that there was serious anti-gay violence at a big LGBT parade in the Polish city of Bialystok recently. The NYT reports:

All along the way, they were met with scorn and derision. One image that has spread around the country showed a man, his small child in a stroller in front of him, confronting the police and shouting at the marchers as he tried to stop them.

An older lady on a balcony waved at the marchers only to be met with shouts from hooligans in the crowd. “We know where you live, you whore!” they chanted.

Videos showed mobs chasing people. One ended with a young boy being stomped on by a group of large men.

Talk of the violence has gripped Poland in the days since, with endless hours of discussion on radio and television.

Even as political leaders and church officials have tried to distance themselves from the violence, the campaign against the L.G.B.T. community has shown no signs of abating.

Przemyslaw Witkowski, a journalist, was riding a bicycle with his girlfriend in the city of Wroclaw on Thursday evening when he spotted anti-gay graffiti and told his girlfriend it was shameful.

Apparently, someone overheard Mr. Witkowski. A short time later, a man confronted him.

“You don’t like this graffiti?” Mr. Witkowski said the man asked him.

“I said I did not,” Mr. Witkowski responded.

The man attacked him.

This is repulsive. Violence is not acceptable, ever. Not only is it cruel and wrong in and of itself, it also only serves to help discredit the Polish opposition to the spread of gender ideology and suchlike. The Times story blames anti-gay “propaganda” for the violence. It is reasonable to assume that there has been hateful propaganda in Poland — and shame on anybody who has broadcast or published it.

We should be skeptical, though, because to many liberals, any pushback at all against LGBT messaging is considered “hate” and “propaganda.” Catholic, conservative Poles have a right and a responsibility to defend their values in the public square. There are plenty of Poles who oppose the LGBT movement, but who would never lift a hand in violence against a gay or transgender person. I met Poles like this earlier this month on my visit to Poland.

Whatever the truth about the state of the debate over gay rights in Poland, people should be free to demonstrate peacefully without having to fear physical assault from hooligans.

UPDATE: Reader Jerry:

Violence of this sort is morally wrong and to be condemned.

On the other hand, some Poles may have been watching the American scene in recent years, where we start with stirring and heartfelt appeals for tolerance and reason — and end with drag queen story hour in libraries, men in women’s bathrooms, pride parades celebrating bizarre perversions, wholesale censorship, and left-wing fascist mobs targeting Christians.

The Law of Merited Impossibility…on steroids.

None of that justifies or makes right what is immoral and violent behavior. But it may in part explain it.

UPDATE.2: Another reader comments, beginning by quoting my post:

“Violence is not acceptable, ever.”

Violence in politics is usually not good, but…. I wonder if you can justify the above quote Rod? Seriously. The Poles know fascism and comunism, and fought brutal fights to get rid of both. It cost them many lives. Were we right to fight WW2 against fascism? Cold War against communism? Both physical fights, though far less open conflict and deaths in the latter.

Seeing the West surrender to gay & liberal fascism (and yes, it is fascist; as seen in the many anecdotes you have posted about peoples losing jobs, being attacked, etc), many Poles may choose to physically fight rather than surrender meekly to the tyranny of LGBT, which demands adherence to tolerating->accepting->affirming.

That is, they are pre-empting the steady and rapid decline in human rights that permitting the LGBT marches heralds. Perhaps the Poles see muslims struggling to stop just one gay teacher at Parkland school in UK imposing his gay agenda on their children (with police/state support), and don’t want to wait until the gay tyranny gets that far.

I don’t like mobs attacking political opponents, but the Poles are just fighting at the start of liberal fascism being imposed on them, instead of waiting until they are cowed and weakened, and fighting a desperate rearguard battle at the end.

You have repeatedly stated you don’t see political or cultural victory, and that we should form BenOpt communities and endure the hard times until humanity regains its senses long term. Fair enough. But others, Poles or whoever, may not want to concede that fight when they are starting from a stronger position.

And your position assumes you will be able to survive in BenOpt community of some form, but that is by no means certain just because faith communities survived in the past. Surveillance is greater now, and business is fully on the liberal/gay side of the woke wars, where business used to be more neutral in most religious/freedom disputes. Which means people are being hounded out of any job that allows them to survive.

What if welfare becomes dependent on affirming the gay ideology? No council or state house, no payments or food stamps, no healthcare or dental unless you burn a pinch of incense? Are we so far off that? And if so, are the Poles so unreasonable to physically fight the (metaphorical) jackboots they see marching down their streets?

I really don’t want to demonise the gay marchers, and don’t know full details of these Polish conflicts, but am reluctant to crtiticise those willing to fight to keep their land, culture and faith.

N.B. None of this is a criticism of individual SSA people posting here or in Poland; I am just trying to posit why Poles may not want to wait until they get in the same state of surrender as we in the West have.

I have to remind you that this is exactly the rationale that Antifa and its fellow travelers use for “punching a Nazi.”

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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