Today I talked with Professor Robert Oscar Lopez, about how the Orlando tragedy is being shamelessly manipulated by the LGBT lobby. Its propagandists immediately shifted the blame for the massacre from the murderer and his stated motives to the claim that “homophobia” among Christians caused it. Such a wild fabrication amounts to the cultivation of hatred, pure and simple. It was obviously calculated, and an act of war. Demonizing Christians — and the attempt to institutionalize that demonization — is alarming. It serves only to polarize society further. It’s a dangerous path which, in the end, only serves power elites. You can listen to the podcast here:
Following up on my post the other day in which I wrote about my Federalist piece “The Trans-Aged Deserve Equal Rights, too” I see that the idea is starting to get a bit more circulation. Last week, Newsday ran an essay by J Peder Zane, titled “If Gender is Fluid, What about Race and Age?” This sounds a bit like my headline a couple of years ago asking , “If We Can Pick Our Gender, Can We Pick Our Age? Our Race?” I do not understand why so few pundits and virtually no legislators are exposing the parallels here. We’re talking about self-definition, self-identification becoming a protected category in law, without regard to physical reality.
The premise of transgender law — that sex is not real, but simply “assigned at birth” — is a false premise intended to apply universally to everybody. As wild as that presumption is, I believe it’s actually a lot easier to accept the premise of being “age fluid.” I know I’m age fluid — in my mind. Isn’t everybody? Some days I’m 75, other days 16, and still others 32. The fact that age-identity non-discrimination would mess with our concept of time and the calendar should be irrelevant as long as our Administration is in the process of de-sexing all of society anyway. Right?
We ought to press this point while we still can. Seriously.
A few months ago I wrote a tongue-in-cheek article for the Federalist entitled “The Trans-Aged Deserve Equal Rights, Too.” I’ve made this point before, a few years ago: here and here. But don’t you agree it’s high time we take this seriously now that the Obama Administration’s directive on “gender identity” puts the social engineering of our humanity in high gear?
I say that if gender identity is a protected category for non-discrimination, age identity should be as well. Why not? Those who call for age identity non-discrimination have a parallel grievance with those who call for gender identity non-discrimination: their identity does not match the age they were “assigned at birth.”
In fact, I can say with all honesty that I do not identify with my age “assigned at birth.” Do you? I imagine the percentage of the population who feel this way are far greater than those who feel dysphoria over their gender identity. And yet a 52-year old who identifies as 71 can be turned down for medicare. A 12-year-old who identifies as 20 is forced to stay in a middle school classroom. And so on.
There is nothing to lose by pressing legislators (and judges) today to add age identity as a new category to non-discrimination law. We should be asking presidential candidates if they would support laws to halt age identity discrimination, especially if they support the social engineering that comes with the transgender thing.
Here are some excerpts from my piece:
Just as transgender activists will tell you not to conflate gender with sex, so no one should conflate age with time. Trans-aged individuals are just as entitled to anti-discrimination protection as transgender individuals.
Obama and his allies in Congress fully accept the idea that gender identity is a person’s self-perception of their gender whether or not it “aligns” with the sex they were “assigned at birth.” But they brazenly ignore a far more common source of inequality: total lack of equal protection for those whose self-perception of their age does not match up with the socially constructed date they were assigned at birth.
Discrimination on the basis of age identity is rampant in education, medicine, and employment, just for starters. I dare say it is orders of magnitude more common than discrimination on the basis of gender identity.
Think of the 12-year-old who self-identifies as 19, but is stuck in a middle-school classroom. Think also of the 58-year-old who knows she is 75 but is ineligible for Social Security, and must suffer loss of benefits in silence. Let’s have some compassion for the 22-year-old (not to mention the 72-year-old) who knows he is 18 but is nevertheless not permitted to become an Eagle Scout, or even a Boy Scout. And what about the 69-year-old teacher who is forced into retirement even though she knows she is but 49—and is thereby deprived of living an authentic life?
The other day Public Discourse ran my piece entitled “A De-Sexed Society is a De-Humanized Society.” It was my analysis of President Obama’s directive to enforce a transgender policy on all K-12 bathroom and locker room facilities throughout the nation. We need to understand that this project has nothing to do with “gender identity” or civil rights for anybody. That’s the pretext, sure. But the endgame is to abolish all sex distinctions in law. That’s definitely the trajectory we’re on. We can already see the telltale signs with government documents such as passport applications no longer allowing for the identification of mother and father, but only the more generic term “parent.” In Canada, nine plaintiffs to the high court have sought to have sex distinctions removed from all birth certificates.
So obviously, this agenda applies universally. We need to get that through our heads. It’s not about transgender individuals. They are merely the vehicles, the pawns that the administration is using to push this project through. But in the end, it’s about every single one of us. It means we are all in the de-humanizing process of being legally “de-sexed.” And like sheep to the slaughter, so many of us just don’t seem to get it.
This “gender identity” nonsense is the cornerstone of probably the biggest social engineering project in human history. That’s because it will allow the mass state to treat us only as isolated individuals, separated from our familial relationships. When the State no longer has to recognize the existence of “male” or “female,” would it have to recognize the existence of a husband and wife or a mother and father? I don’t think so. Nor any other biological relationship. And therefore, no relationships at all. This would eventually wipe out spousal immunity, which means the state can force spouses to testify against one another in court. It puts the State in a stronger position to regulate personal relationships. As you know, my theme on this blog is that personal relationships are the source of all real power. So if you go along with this transgender project, I believe you are ceding that power to the state (for everybody) whether you know it or not.
Of course, no law can make reality go away. But the force of law can manipulate you to behave as though reality has gone away. Here’s an excerpt from my article, which I hope you’ll read:
What will happen when all of society is sexless in both language and law? If the law does not recognize your body as physically male or female—applying only the word “gender” to your internal, self-reported self-perception—does the law even recognize your body? Every single cell of you has either “male” or “female” written into its DNA, but the law refuses to recognize such categories. Such laws will only recognize an infinite, immeasurable “gender spectrum,” your place on which is determined only by your mind. So what exactly are you after the law has de-sexed you? In what sense is your body a legal entity?
And what happens to your familial relationships after the law has de-sexed you? Are they legally recognized? I don’t see how they could be. Certainly not by default, certainly not by the recognition that each child comes through the union of two opposite-sex parents.
In the end, there is nothing “brave” about this new world chaos. Just sheer insanity.
Happy Mother’s Day. For me this is a time to contemplate the difference devoted mothers make in our lives. And the difference is much more seismic than it is sentimental. That’s the subject of my lengthy essay at The Federalist this past week. Of all the things we take for granted in this life, the sacrificial love of a mother is at the top of that list. We forget how that bonding has a such a stabilizing and humanizing effect on people — until we are confronted with the depth and breadth of today’s cultural rot.
And the gifts of devoted motherhood are magnified countless times over in the context of an intact family, when the child gains the positive effects of strong and healthy mother-child-father bonds. Unfortunately, broken families and dysfunctional motherhood and fatherhood are epidemic today. So, we ought to ask ourselves: Whom does that brokenness serve? There’s no question in my mind that it serves the bureaucratic, authoritarian State, the source of so many policies that serve to break up families. In a word, the Orwellian monster known as Big Brother. He’s all about separating people and trying to extinguish real love and real beauty.
You can read my article at this link: “A Little Mother Prevents Big Brother.” The 19th century philosopher Edmond Burke wrote about the “little platoons” of society being the ultimate source of all other affections: friendship, community, love of country, love of one’s fellow man. Erase the little platoons, and you’ve erased the source of all human affections. Here’s the relevant Burke quote that I include in my article:
“To be attached to the subdivision, to love the little platoon we belong to in society, is the first principle (the germ as it were) of public affections. It is the first link in the series by which we proceed towards a love to our country, and to mankind. The interest of that portion of social arrangement is a trust in the hands of all those who compose it; and as none but bad men would justify it in abuse, none but traitors would barter it away for their own personal advantage.”
Without those bonds to our “little platoons” — which begin in the family, and specifically through the instinctive mother-child bond — there can be no real inter-connectedness. Just a fake and forced “collectivism” that takes the place of love. The instinctive maternal bond has been meddled with, abused and broken through a variety of forces. The sexual revolution plays a huge role, along with the false doctrine of gender ideology and the siren call of government dependency. And when we see how coalitions of big government and big corporations are bullying small businesses and families to bend to the dictates of transgenderism — which has the end effect of abolishing motherhood and fatherhood — we can’t help but see traitors bartering away the family life of others for their own personal advantage, their own power.
But as C.S. Lewis noted in his essay “The Abolition of Man,” we owe a great debt to the “beneficent obstinacy of real mothers, real nurses, and (above all) real children for preserving the human race in such sanity as it still possesses.”
Let’s try to shore up the remaining sanity by shoring up the strength of our little platoons and injecting them with a fresh and heavy dose of such obstinacy. Let’s celebrate and encourage the devoted and sacrificial love of our mothers to help them deliver that antidote against the poisons of Big Brother.
Students at Stanford University voted last week on a ballot proposal to reinstate the study of Western Civilization. Whatever the outcome of the vote — and the results have been delayed, ostensibly because of a senate election that was “too close to call” — the fact that this question is being entertained at all is astonishing. It’s a bold move. And a victory for independent thought.
I wrote about it in my recent Federalist article “Stanford Students Fight Campus Group Think.” After the study of Western Civilization was trashed about 30 years ago, group think was able to put down deep roots on our college campuses. Political correctness created new enemies of thinking in the form of “trigger warnings” and “micro-aggressions.” I don’t think this is a coincidence. No way.
When tyrants aim to erase collective memory — by hiding or destroying the literature, arts, and history that bind a civilization together — they aim to create the conditions for conformity of thought. All totalitarians know this. ISIS militants, for example, are making a big point of destroying ancient artifacts, as the video below shows.
Obviously, ISIS takes a more direct approach than the cultural Marxists in the West. But the goals are the same: cultivate ignorance, promote group think, and destroy independent thought. It’s all about obtaining raw power.
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“. . . learning about Western culture isn’t simply about undertaking a cohesive study of the history, philosophy, literature, and arts that have enormously influenced the world in which we all live. It is also about learning how to express ideas effectively, how to separate fact from propaganda through specific tools of learningdeveloped in the West. Taking those tools away—such as the Socratic method, civil discourse, and rules of order and civil debate—hinders clarity, independent thought, and the powers of observation. It makes students far less able to resist conformity and group think.”
“Privilege theory” claims that the “haves” are basically endowed with “privilege” that comes from being white or male or heterosexual or any number of other things. And that such people should engage in self-criticism and privilege awareness for being responsible for inequality and the suffering of “have-nots” in society.
But it’s more likely that what these self-appointed “diversity and equality” experts see as privilege actually has its source in something else: the gift of sacrificial love to a child from his or her parents. Such sacrifice by parents gives a child an immense sense of security and happiness that allows him or her to explore the world with gusto and joy. The child isn’t aware that this is “privilege,” nor should he or she be. Because, when you think about it, it is more likely every child’s right – to feel connected and loved by his or her own parents whenever possible. This is the thesis I presented in my Federalist article last week: “Privilege Theory is a War on Happy Childhoods.”
To illustrate, you can watch NFL Hall of Famer Marcus Allen explain how his success is due to having attentive and loving parents. This is yet another testimonial to the fact that true power ultimately comes from having strong personal relationships.
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Herein lies the real root of “privilege”—its deepest root, in fact. Having loving family bonds is the foundation for success. The good news is that a society need only have an ethos that recognizes and supports such family bonds to make them accessible to virtually all children.
Obviously, there’s nothing “white” about valuing family and personal relationships. Likewise for good habits, such as thrift, common courtesy, or diligence. What about attitudes of kindness and generosity? Good attitudes are equal-opportunity decisions. They don’t belong to an ethnic “ideology” that causes inequality. Quite the contrary. Everyone is capable of good habits, and such habits are worth praising and instilling in everyone.
If we all promoted these attitudes, we’d be a lot happier. We’d have much better things to do than constantly inspect the proverbial grass on the other side. We’d learn more and prosper more. But of course, not every child today is blessed (“privileged”) with a mother and father together willing to nurture and sacrifice for their child.
The other day I published an essay at The Federalist about the political significance of South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard’s caving to the mafia-style tactics of the LGBT lobby. He was the latest in a string of GOP governors who are shrinking from laws that protect freedom of conscience as well as children’s privacy. You can read it here: “South Dakota’s Governor Tucks Tail, and Runs from LGBT Mafia.”
After the South Dakota legislature passed a bill to allow schools to maintain separate restroom and locker room facilities for males and females, Gov. Daugaard actually vetoed the bill. His veto was basically the result of the craven cronyism that has saturated the corporate world. Big business has been infused with the LGBT agenda for decades now, and their leaders at Chambers of Commerce everywhere generally do the bidding of the LGBT lobby. In addition to corporate pressure, Daugaard personally met with transgender activists who no doubt played victim while making clear that anything less than a veto would get him publicly tarred and feathered.
That article followed on one I co-authored last week with with Joy Pullmann: “The Transgender War Against Science, Human Rights, and Consent.” In it we investigated legislation – such as that passed by South Dakota’s legislature – that would allow access to school children’s restrooms and locker rooms to continue as it always has: according to anatomical sex. Another South Dakota bill was aptly titled “An Act to Ensure Government Nondiscrimination in Matters of Religious Beliefs and Moral Convictions.” In other words, if you have serious beliefs about sex, marriage, and children, you needn’t be forced to perform acts that violate your conscience or totally gag yourself for fear of being fired. But that bill was tabled, which is a grim sign for the future of freedom of conscience.
We had high hopes that Governor Daugaard of South Dakota would stand strong on principle and sign that legislation into law — or at least take no action and allow it to become law. But between the well-monied LGBT lobby and the business world it controls, it seems a pipe dream to expect any official to stand on principle these days. The irony is that probably 90 percent of the population is on board with the South Dakota legislation to support freedom of conscience and privacy. But the heckler’s veto can be a strong one if good people remain silent in the face of it.
Here are a few excerpts from that article on how the LGBT heckler’s veto works:
Their prescription was to first de-sensitize the public. Then to “jam” or suppress every word of dissent. Finally, everyone must convert. This cultivates a conditioned population. Once we are conditioned in this manner, we end up accepting agendas and programs that we’d at least question if our society respected clear and free thinking. Instead, people either self-censor or conform to the party line out of hope for social acceptance.
Representative government requires the citizens, who are themselves the source of our government’s authority, to be able to openly discuss social questions among themselves and consequently direct their representatives.
If we are afraid or taught not to speak, representative government cannot happen. Tiny factions like the LGBT lobby wield power over an unwilling populace, which breeds resentment against government for not aligning with our priorities. Political correctness therefore eviscerates government by consent; under it, government operates based on brute force, which escalates public disapproval in a constant cycle until the social repression is broken—sometimes with (God forbid) violence.
If you are trying to make sense of the seismic changes going on all around us in society, sociologist Robert Nisbet tied it all together in his classic work “The Quest for Community.” It’s not a light read, but it is a must read for anyone who wants to understand how to maintain a free society. It’s a prescient work, and it helped me understand where so much of the alienation and eerieness of this current election cycle has come from: the brokenness of civil society, the continuing dissolution of strong community ties.
I find it fascinating that Nisbet was writing about the breakdown of community and alienation back in 1953. This was half a century before Robert Putnam wrote “Bowling Alone” and 60 years before Charles Murray examined the devastating effects of family breakdown on community in his 2012 work “Coming Apart.”
As the ties that bind people together fall away — family, church, civic societies and private associations– alienation and loneliness in society grow. But Nisbet noted that as this happens, the strong human impulse for community would remain. We would merely grope around for a substitute. So as social brokenness grows, people turn to the government to replace those ties.
It’s so bleak to consider all of this, because it’s happening with ever greater speed before our very eyes. Worse, too many people cannot comprehend the irony of it all: dependence on the mass state only leads to even greater atomization of the individual. Even greater alienation. Is there anything cuddle-worthy in the mass bureaucratic state? Absolutely nothing. All it can deliver is even greater loneliness.
Here’s an excerpt from Nisbet’s Preface, dated December 1952:
“The real significance of the modern State is inseparable from its successive penetrations of man’s economic, religious, kinship, and local allegiances, and its revolutionary dislocations of established centers of function and authority. These, I believe, are the penetrations and dislocations that form the most illuminating perspective for the twentieth-century’s obsessive quest for moral certainty and social community and that make so difficult present-day problems of freedom and democracy.”
And in the preface to the 1970 edition, Nisbet noted this about youth and apathy:
“It has become steadily clearer to me that alienation is one of the determining realities of the contemporary age. . . By alienation I mean the state of mind that can find a social order remote, incomprehensible, or fraudulent; beyond real hope or desire; inviting apathy, boredom, or even hostility. The individual not only does not feel a part of the social order; he has lost interest in being a part of it. For a constantly enlarging number of persons, including, significantly, young persons of high school and college age, this state of alienation has become profoundly influential in both behavior and thought.”
Wow. And that was 45 years ago! Think about the mass cluelessness all around us today. Think about students’ utter lack of knowledge of history, of civics, of the humanities. Consider the lack of connection they must be feeling as they grope about, trying on all sorts of personas whether it’s a new gender identity persona or the persona of “social justice warrior.” The divorce culture has rendered more than half of all children in today’s America the wards of broken homes. Sure, children can be resilient. But they so often feel broken and alienated as a result of the disruption in their ties with parents. It takes its toll. Pathologies abound while folks scramble to find safe haven in the State.
And here’s the catch: at the same time that the state gives free stuff to individuals, it takes away from the individual’s personal relationships and associations. As those relationships continue to weaken, State power grows. Let’s not forget that our families, our institutions of faith, our civic and private associations have always served as buffer zones balancing the freedom of the individual against the power of the state. We’ve no choice but to defend and rebuild them.
Few people have considered my thesis which is stated in the title above. Most assume the transgender movement is just a simple matter of protecting from discrimination a tiny demographic — .03 percent of the population who consider themselves transgender. Far from it. When you consider the enormous degree of state-sponsored censorship that is required by the movement — and the punishments meted out to people of conscience by each and every one of the laws its activists seek to pass — a far different story reveals itself.
Last week I spoke about all of this to an audience at the Family Research Council in Washington. You can watch the video by clicking on this link:
My goal was not to discuss the finer points of “gender identity” and what being transgender means for any particular individual. Instead, I focused on the broader and bigger picture of what the transgender ideology means for society at large. Transgenderism is an ideology that is based on the presumption that all human beings have something called a “gender identity that may or may not match the sex they were assigned at birth.” Notice how the word “assigned” is used to hide the reality that your biological sex is based in physical reality. This premise is written into every gender identity non-discrimination law. It basically aims to legally erase male and female sex distinctions. It applies universally — to each and every one of us.
The implications are vast — for our language, for our relationships, for preserving a free society. There can be no question that all of the gender identity anti-discrimination laws amount to little more than censorship laws, intended to modify everybody’s behavior and everybody’s language on pain of punishment.
So, in short, the transgender movement is operating as a vehicle for conformity of thought. And in the end, that means it is a vehicle for dismantling freedom – in the name of freedom – and for building the power of the State. In the end, it puts laws into place that abolish the right to free expression and suppress independent thought. The power of the state enters that vacuum, as it always does under such circumstances.
I’ve identified four features of the transgender movement that serve as indicators of its role as a vehicle for state centralization of power:
- Transgenderism is such an extreme form of individualism that accommodating it in law will only create a vacuum for State power. By its very nature it demands that an individual’s inner sense of reality trump any commonly held understanding of reality. This makes it unsustainable. Its extreme individualism demands the breakdown of society’s mediating institutions – such as family, faith, and private associations — that serve as buffer zones that protect the individual from State meddling.
- Transgenderism sows chaos into the language, requiring us all – universally and without exception – to accept a seismic change in the definition of what it means to be human, and what relationships mean, particularly family relationships. Freedom of speech and association are casualities.
- It requires a very aggressive program of censorship in order to sustain itself and prop up its illusions over any commonly understood reality.
- It depends on a very aggressive campaign of agitation and propaganda to condition people to get with the program.
It thereby sows the conditions for totalitarianism. We have no choice but to speak out in the face of its censorship. For more, see my talk at the link above. And let’s never forget that free speech is a use-it-or-lose-it proposition.