Superimposition, syncretism, supplanting: this is how Christian festivals triumphed
It is far from certain, but it is thought that Christian Christmas was assigned Dec. 25 to overlap with other pagan holidays - and supplant them. Particularly in vogue on December 25 was the Natalis Solis Invicti, imported to Rome by the Severans, which coincided with the day on which, according to the Roman calendar, the winter solstice fell. The whole period, so important for agricultural civilizations, was rich in celebrations, in the Roman as well as in the Celtic or Germanic cultures. Very ancient in Rome was the celebration of Saturnalia.
The superimposition involved not only dates, but also certain symbols and rituals. The nativity scene perhaps finds its distant ancestry in the lares familiares, the ancestor figurines that the Latins kept in their homes and which precisely on the occasion of Saturnalia were exchanged as gifts. The Christmas tree derives from the pre-Christian practice, widespread especially among Nordic peoples, of associating evergreen plants with the winter solstice. So the custom of kissing under the mistletoe in English-speaking countries.
All this happened perhaps by accident; but (whether it was intended or not) the superimposition on the pagan rites of the Christian ones favored the affirmation of the latter. Practices, gestures and symbols strongly rooted in popular mentality and usage were taken and (to use a term in vogue today) "resignified". The custom remained, but with new meanings. Grafting proved more effective than having to uproot a centuries-old tree to plant a new one.
From Gay Pride to Pride Month
This experience may suggest something about how we should relate to the new holiday of "Pride." Officially it is a secular "commemoration," that of the "Stonewall riots." We are talking about an iconic gay club in late 1960s New York, owned by the powerful Genovese Mafia family and also therefore the subject of frequent police raids. Mainly the purpose was to seize alcohol, for the sale of which the club lacked a license, but at the time transvestism was also prohibited. One such raid, in 1969, resulted in clashes between the patrons and the police that lasted for two nights.
It is since then that the practice has spread - first in New York and then around the world - of holding a "gay pride parade" on June 28, the anniversary of the riots. In the late 1990s, celebrations began to take up the entire month of June, proclaimed "LGBT Pride Month" or, more laconically, "Pride Month." During this month, not only in the U.S. but also in Italy and many other countries, the usual carnival parades are held, corporations sport rainbow-hued logos and produce moralizing commercials, and media and schools propagate Pride themes and "values."
Pride Month is a religious festival
Behind this apparently secular celebration lies, as is now obvious to any attentive observer, a para-religious festival. Pride is that by which a "new man" is celebrated and promoted, a new human type that is only marginally defined by its sexuality. In the age of "gender fluidity" theory, this dimension is disappearing altogether. There is now talk of Pride Month: "Gay" has become a redundant adjective. In fact, more and more non-gay people are participating in Pride Month celebrations. The new human prototype exhibits a range of characters independent of sexuality: hair dyed in odd colors, "gender non-conforming" clothes, a lewd attitude, etc. Associated with the prototype are often political positions - such as immigrationism - that in themselves have nothing to do with being gay, but are integral parts of the new man. Indeed: they are the very heart of it.
During Pride Month, everyone must display outward signs of intimate adherence to the celebrated values. Whether it's a flag or rainbow garment, whether it's the new style of corporate logo, whether it's the LGBT "ally" pin, as long as membership in the sect is blatant. Refraining from displaying this sign of membership/submission automatically exposes one to the accusation of being "homophobic." A behavior absolutely in line with the intolerance typical of religious sects. This one speaks of "homophobia" but one might as well say "unbelief." If we then think of the concrete risk of reprisal (boycott, harassment, firing, etc.) that can affect those who did not wear the Pride colors, another analogy comes to mind: that with Passover. The Jews marked the doors of their homes so that God's angels would pass by them without inflicting punishment. Today Pride believers and subjects display the rainbow so that the horde (online or on the street) will not target them trying to destroy their lives and reputations.
How can Pride be defeated?
As conservatives we can, of course, accept homosexuality or any other sexual practice that an individual performs, with a consenting, adult partner, in his or her bedroom. A conservative can be homosexual - and vice versa. But accepting Pride Month is a far cry from that. Pride Month is the celebration of a progressive crypto-religion that wants to produce a "new human" in its own image: fluid, unrooted, manipulable. An aggressive and intolerant crypto-religion. As conservatives, the only possible choice is to oppose it. For all that has been said so far, we must organize ourselves having in mind that we are opposing a festival with a religious mood.
So what options do we have?
The first would be to ignore it. To pretend that Pride Month does not exist, hoping that once you open your eyes again it will really be gone, like a bad dream. Unfortunately, this cannot work. Pride Month is driven not only by strong and widespread LGBT activism, but also by the entire progressive machinery, generously showered with millions by the elite of world capitalism. If undisturbed, Pride will not stop but will continue to grow, becoming more and more present (and oppressive) in our future Junes. With foresight (luciferous perhaps, but still foresight), its activists are focusing now on the involvement/indoctrination of children: see the supposedly family-friendly drag queen shows that are all the rage in America.
A second option is to directly oppose Pride Month, condemning, obstructing and boycotting it. Even if we were to overlook the moral question (sabotaging other people's spaces in order to cancel them is typical of the intolerant Left: would it be permissible to do the same, albeit in reaction?), here too the disparity of forces would doom us. Faced with a threat to Pride, which would be immediately branded as "hate," activists and donors would react by redoubling their efforts.
The Pride. Our
And here we come to the third option. Let progressives carry out their Pride Month. Which is a choice of moderation, tolerance and liberalism. But counter it with a Pride Month of our own. Certainly not pride for the new fluid and uprooted (trans)human type, nor a mirrored and mindless "heterosexual pride," but pride for our roots. Pride for our history, traditions, ancestors. Pride for the Western civilization to which we belong. Pride for the nation. Not surprisingly, all things that progressives want to cancel or demonize.
In this month, more than in the other 11 of the year, conferences and cultural moments can be held to rediscover and enhance this identity. With a little imagination and skill, one can seek out forms and means of communication aimed at younger people, to convey to them a "healthy" vision of who they are, where they come from and where they can go. People can be stimulated to active and individual participation in the celebration, for example, by sharing the story of an ancestor who has particularly distinguished himself (who among us does not have a grandfather, great-grandfather or great-great-grandfather who served in a war?). And many more are the possibilities.
By grafting on a practice and a watchword already established by opponents, the chances of success will be greater. In this case, the power of Pride Month will not crush our version, but will act as a power multiplier. Like the solstice with Christmas.
Yes: we cannot imagine that this alternative pride month will immediately have the prominence, participation and good press that the "official" one enjoys. It will start quietly and, if it finds resonance, it will be mainly to demonize or ridicule it. Little harm. Do you really believe that the homosexuals and transvestites who clashed with the police that June 28, 1969 to defend a Mafia-owned club enjoyed the sympathies of the general public, the media, and businesses? Certainly not. Probably none of them imagined that they were sowing the seeds for a global religious festival to flourish five decades later. Yet it was exactly that.
Those without faith or courage are defeated at the start. To others the burden of trying - and the privilege of dreaming of success.
Founder and President of Centro Studi Machiavelli. Graduated in Historical Sciences (University of Milan) and PhD in Political Studies (Sapienza University), he is professor of "History and doctrine of jihadism" and "Geopolitics of the Middle East" at Cusano University. From 2018 to 2019 he was Special Advisor on Immigration and Terrorism to the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Guglielmo Picchi. His latest book (as editor) is Topicality of sovereignism. Between pandemic and war.