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02/08/2023 08:06 AM

Deliberately Provocative

It is fair to ask, "What was the thinking here?" Is the answer "Men dressed as women and behaving flirtatiously would get us the most moolah for our worthy project"? So, "We made a lot more money with drag queens than with a pancake breakfast" justifies the decision? Surely there were other and more considerate means. If no one on the Madison First Congregational Church (FCC) leadership team insisted, "Uh, people, maybe this isn't such a great idea; let's find another way to get the bucks," that means the decision was, in large part, deliberately provocative.

I cannot avoid the thought that some portion of the FCC choice was a positive will to nudge Madison a little further in the direction of toleration. I know, drag queen events have lately become a hot fad: campus beer hall parties, story hour in the tiny tot section of your local library, and now fundraisers in churches. But 10 years ago, five even, would the FCC or any house of family worship in town have conceived of such an event so easily?

To some, our late entertainment indicated progress toward diversity and inclusion. I write only to ask that others be forgiven for regarding it as a regression: a further coarsening of manners and language, a further corrosion of community culture, a further confusion in young minds of the nature and meaning of sex.

Peter Cohee