By Jonathon Van Maren
A few important stories for your consideration:
I was planning to write a long-form essay on the James Younger story, which you might remember was the tragic case of the Texas boy who found himself being treated as a girl by his mother. His father opposed his mother’s “social transitioning,” and a court eventually awarded joint custody of the boy to both parents. A massive outcry from politicians and across social media was a key factor in ensuring that James Younger would not simply be turned over to his mother to be transitioned into a female, and almost immediately thereafter, he chose to begin attending school dressed as a boy rather than a girl. We live in truly insane times. After reading this phenomenal piece by Madeleine Kearns, “The Tragedy of the Transgender Child,” I thought I’d simply refer everyone to her work. It is a truly brilliant and comprehensive analysis not just of the Younger case, but of the situation writ large.
There has been much media moaning about the length of the lineups for sex change surgeries in Western countries, especially as transgenderism has become something of a social contagion (as Dr. Lisa Littman put it.) A recent essay from Wired.com describes how increasing numbers of people are taking the situation into their own hands and flying to places like Thailand and India, where clever entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the latest Western phenomenon to make a bit of money. One group of Indian clinics is now offering all-inclusive packages for your sex-change trip, replete with accommodation, surgery, and sightseeing trips in between. In price, these packages can range up to and over twenty-five thousand dollars, which is apparently substantially cheaper than a medical transition would cost in the West.
According to FOX News, the decades-long tradition of military members being able to put Bible verses on their dog tags is coming to an end. Despite the fact that many service members and their families treasure this practice, Mikey Weinstein, founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, complained to the Department of Defence and stated that this practice “poisons the constitutionally-mandated separation of Church and State.” As a result, military officials have called for a halt to the practice. Combat veterans blasted Weinstein, noting that these Bible verses were often an enormous comfort during their darkest times under fire. Weinstein, of course, doesn’t care about such things. This isn’t about the soldiers.
Andrew Sullivan, a gay rights activist who was for several decades one of the most articulate voices advocating for same-sex marriage (he is himself gay), is an eloquent writer and the author of books such as Virtually Normal: An Argument About Homosexuality. In recent years, he has expressed his growing alarm at the totalitarian tendencies of the LGBT movement and their war on religious liberty. This week, he summed up his view of the situation when he tweeted out an article criticizing Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s history of volunteering with the Salvation Army. “The gay left hates and wants to persecute orthodox Christians, however much good they do,” Sullivan wrote. “And they’ve taken over the movement.”
That’s not a social conservative columnist or a Christian blogger saying that. That is a prominent gay rights activists who spent decades making the case for same-sex marriage.
On that note, this column by Michael Dougherty in the National Review, “Trump is Incidental to the Culture War,” hits the nail right on the head. Dougherty explains that Trump isn’t driving the culture wars, but rather that the support of religious conservatives for his presidency is a product of the fact that, as Ezra Klein wrote recently, that they “believe they’re being routed in the war that matters most: the post-Christian culture war. And they see themselves as woefully unprepared to respond with the ruthlessness that the moment requires.” To put it bluntly, religious conservatives believe that the Left is more of a threat to their communities and the country than any of Trump’s blunderings are, and the Democrats keep doing everything they can to affirm the veracity of this view.
Despite the consistent deterioration of the situation in North America, it is always essential that we keep things in perspective. For example the Christian Post is reporting that 629 Christian women and young girls from Pakistan have been sold as brides to men and China, with many of them suffering abuse and forced prostitution as a result:
To compile the list, investigators looked at Pakistan’s border system which digitally records travel documents at national airports. The list covers the marriages of 629 women and girls that took place between 2018 and April of this year. Investigators believe that all were sold by their families. An unnamed official who spoke with the AP explained that selling women as brides to Chinese men is a “lucrative trade.”
“The Chinese and Pakistani brokers make between 4 million and 10 million rupees ($25,000 and $65,000) from the groom, but only about 200,000 rupees ($1,500), is given to the family,” he said, according to the AP. Another unnamed official spoke of frustration regarding the investigation, noting that antitrafficking efforts have slowed while the trade is believed to be getting worse.
China, of course, is suffering from a huge shortage of females due to their One Child Policy, which has been used to target and kill millions of girls in the womb.