State of the Culture: What liberty?

By Jonathon Van Maren

I suppose that those who follow professional sporting events will not find this nearly as hilarious as I do, but this story is truly rich. From the Daily Mail:

Two British athletes born male are on the verge of making history by competing in women’s events at next month’s Olympic Games, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

If selected, the unnamed pair will become the world’s first transgender Olympians at Rio.

But worryingly for British sports fans, they have revealed they are so fearful of being exposed and ridiculed under the Olympic spotlight, they would ‘probably drop back’ if they found themselves in a medal-winning position.

Their inclusion in Team GB will be hailed as a remarkable human rights victory – but it will also ignite controversy, with critics arguing that male-to-female competitors have an unfair biological advantage in terms of size, muscle mass and lung capacity.

It is incredibly hard to read this type of thing with a straight face, but as J.R.R. Tolkien always warned, “Never laugh at live dragons.” It’s quite humorous that the gender ideologues take themselves so seriously. The problem is that they want to use the force of the state to ensure that we take them seriously, too.

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It’s not just the Olympic Games and other largely meaningless sporting events, either. Gender ideology is creeping fast, too—and there is no institution too noble to be unaffected. From the Daily Signal:

On Thursday, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that the U.S. military is dropping its policy of treating male and female troops according to their biology—to be replaced by a policy based on a radical new gender ideology.

This change was not precipitated by military needs but by political correctness. After all, the military is not stretched so thin that it must make special accommodations to help attract the estimated 0.6 percent of Americans who self-identify as transgender in order to effectively fight and win our wars.

Moreover, people with gender dysphoria are allowed to serve, and many have served honorably, so long as their condition or treatments do not interfere with combat readiness.

What the military did not allow before today was the disruption to morale, privacy, and readiness that results from a male serviceman demanding the “right” to dress as a female, have others address him as a female, and be granted unfettered access to showers, lockers, bathrooms, and barracks designated for females. That commonsense policy, which has served our country well, was jettisoned today.

So there’s that. That’s a lot less funny than the sports thing.

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Even online dating, the butt of thousands of jokes, is not free from the demands of the fascist drag queens. From the Washington Times:

ChristianMingle.com, an online dating service for Christian singles, must start allowing people to seek out same-sex relationships under a judge-approved settlement.

ChristianMingle only required new users to specify whether they’re a man seeking a woman or a woman seeking a man. Two gay men filed class-actions claims against the site’s owner, California-based Spark Networks Inc., claiming that the site’s limited options violated California’s anti-discrimination law, The Wall Street Journal reported.

State law requires businesses to offer “full and equal” accommodations and services to people regardless of their sexual orientation.

For now, ChristianMingle will only ask a user whether he or she is a man or woman. Spark Networks agreed that within two years, it would adjust other features to give gay singles a more tailored experience, the Journal reported.

The terms approved by a state judge Monday also applied to other Spark-owned sites that had operated in the same fashion, including CatholicMingle.com, AdventistSinglesConnection.com and BlackSingles.com, the Journal reported.

So just as with pharmacies in Washington being forced to provide Plan B, and Canadian doctors ordered to refer for euthanasia, and Trinity Western University being told by yet another court that they cannot have a law school because they are too Christian, we again have a crystal clear message being sounded from the Left: If you are Christian, you will get in line, or you will get out of the way.

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The brilliant Douglas Wilson over at Mablog offers some Fourth of July thoughts on how Christians should respond to the erosion of religious liberty:

So the ultimate cause of religious liberty is the will of God. But the proximate, intermediate cause of religious liberty in history has been the firm and cheerful disobedience of Christians. The idolatrous state requires certain things, and Christians, because they know what the will of God is as outlined above, say no.

They do not bow before the statue of Nebuchadnezzar. They do not kill the Hebrew children as Pharaoh required. They hide their crops from the Midianites. They ignore the arrest warrant issued by Saul the tyrant. They refuse to bow to Haman. They pray facing Jerusalem with their windows open. King Aretas sets up a roadblock and they run that roadblock. They preach in the name of Jesus. They just say no.

Let me cut to the chase. There can be no religious liberty unless and until certain Christians are hard enough and tough enough simply to disobey. And they will not exhibit that kind of hardness toward tyrants unless and until they are soft toward God. When men recognize the sovereignty of God, they simultaneously realize that man does not possess that sovereignty. Resistance to tyrants is therefore submission to God. And without that submission to God, resistance to tyrants is futile. With it, liberty is inevitable.

Given the nature of the encroachments being made by the secular state, the clash between Christians and the secular state will not be a narrow one. It will extend across the board, touching on every area of life. Of course, when they say we must not preach the gospel, we must continue to preach the gospel. But this is an all-encompassing collision. It involves everything. It is a clash of worlds.

They do not simply say not to preach the gospel. They also say that if we do not take the mark of their beast, wearing it proudly on the forehead or right hand, we cannot buy or sell from any of their federally regulated outlets (Rev. 13:17). What do we do then? Well, we refuse the mark, and head on out to buy and sell from unregulated outlets. We have a religious duty and right to function in the black market.

Christian photographers go underground. They do a wedding “for a friend,” and take a token of gratitude in cash. Wedding cakes are sold out the back door, after hours. Christian colleges become unauthorized study centers, offering online certificates issued from servers located somewhere in the Caribbean. And when I am finally shut down here at Mablog for being an “enemy of mankind,” along with my other bad deeds, you can head on over to the dark web, and try to find me there. Perhaps you might say, “but that’s illegal,” and I would reply by inviting you to ask me if I care. The catacombs were illegal too.

Religious liberty is not something we have to get a permit for. It is not something we possess if they agree to it.

Most Christians like to complain, but don’t like to act. But those times are coming to an end quickly. We won’t have a choice.

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Moving on from the sobering to the humorous again, we turn our attention to the Alphabet Soup Crowd’s War on English. From the National Review:

According to a piece in the Huffington Post, referring “to the QUEER community” as “LGBT” is “not really politically correct anymore” because it’s just not inclusive enough. “You see . . . when you say LGBT now you completely leave out those that are Gender Non-Conforming,” writes Adrian Wu, a Canadian fashion designer and transgender person who prefers the pronouns “they/them,” in a piece titled “You Can’t Really Say LGBT Anymore.” “I know it’s not easy to hear if you’re born before 1995,” Wu continues. “Yes I said it, so prepare to feel old.” (Ageist!) Wu explains that “logically it makes complete sense,” and that “just because someone presents themselves as masculine doesn’t make them a male,” and that “[j]ust because someone’s Gender Expression appears to be masculine you shouldn’t assume their Gender Identity.”

One of the few things I plan to enjoy enormously in the coming years is the Left eating itself over imagined offenses, like Black Lives Matter halting the Toronto Pride Parade with demands on Sunday. Christians may be under attack, but it’s always lovely to watch the snake choke on its own tail.

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Also, remember all of that “evidence” the gay lobby consistently presents, claiming that fathers and mothers are interchangeable—and more than that, that one of them is completely unnecessary? From Public Discourse:

new study released earlier this month in the journal Depression Research and Treatment contributes to mounting evidence against the “no differences” thesis about the children of same-sex households, mere months after media sourcesprematurely—and mistakenly—proclaimed the science settled.

One of the most compelling aspects of this new study is that it is longitudinal, evaluating the same people over a long period of time. Indeed, its data source—the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health—is one of the most impressive, thorough, and expensive survey research efforts still ongoing. This study is not the first to make use of the “Add Health” data to test the “no differences” thesis. But it’s the first to come to different conclusions, for several reasons. One of those is its longitudinal aspect. Some problems only emerge over time.

Professor Paul Sullins, the study’s author, found that during adolescence the children of same-sex parents reported marginally less depression than the children of opposite-sex parents. But by the time the survey was in its fourth wave—when the kids had become young adults between the ages of 24 and 32—their experiences had reversed. Indeed, dramatically so: over half of the young-adult children of same-sex parents report ongoing depression, a surge of 33 percentage points (from 18 to 51 percent of the total). Meanwhile, depression among the young-adult children of opposite-sex parents had declined from 22 percent of them down to just under 20 percent.

A few other findings are worth mentioning as well. Obesity surged among both groups, but the differences became significant over time, with 31 percent obesity among young-adult children of opposite-sex parents, well below the 72 percent of those from same-sex households. While fewer young-adult children of same-sex parents felt “distant from one or both parents” as young adults than they did as teens, the levels are still sky-high at 73 percent (down from 93 percent during adolescence). Feelings of distance among the young-adult children of opposite-sex parents actually increased, but they started at a lower level (from 36 percent in adolescence to 44 percent in young adulthood).

To be fair, life in mom-and-pop households is not simply harmonious bydefinition. It is, however, a recognition that it is not just stability that matters (though it most certainly does). It’s also about biology, love, sexual difference, and modeling.

I don’t think enough attention has been paid to the fundamental radicalism that underlies the position of the gay lobby that a man and a man or a woman and a woman can raise a child as well as a man and a woman: They are fundamentally claiming that either the mother or the father is unnecessary, and that men and women are the same, and that they bring nothing unique to the table. What obviously transparent trash.

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