Archive | Culture

“I Got Gay Married. I Got Gay Divorced. I Regret Both.”

Meredith Maran had an interesting essay in The New York Times over the weekend: “I Got Gay Married. I Got Gay Divorced. I Regret Both.” In it, she describes her “marriage” to her lesbian partner in 2008 and the subsequent dissolution of their relationship in 2013. She regrets her gay marriage and divorce, but it is not because she is against gay marriage in principle. Rather she says this: Continue Reading →

Celebrities and Citizens share their “Obama moment”

The White House produced a video of celebrites and citizens sharing their most memorable moment of President Obama’s presidency. Each one relates their “Obama moment” as a final farewell in these last days of his administration.

I won’t offer much commentary on this. It is precisely what we would all expect. Still, I can’t help but notice that about half the country would mourn some of the things being celebrated as “progress” in this video. It’s a striking reminder of how divided our country remains over fundamental issues of justice and truth. And that is not likely to change anytime soon.

When the “gender revolution” claims the children

Many of you have likely seen the special issue of National Geographic dealing with transgenderism. The entire issue—and indeed the feature article—is a case study in one-sided propaganda. It celebrates transgender identities as healthy expressions of human diversity. And it shows little to no familiarity with the contested nature of their claims or with scientific evidence that contradicts transgender ideology. The entire issue simply assumes the truthfulness of claims made by some of the most ardent transgender ideologues.

Andrew Walker and I have written a response to this at The Public Discourse, and you can read our entire argument there. I simply want to highlight one item for your consideration. National Geographic makes the case that children with transgender identities might consider medical interventions to transform their bodies to the opposite sex. This might start with hormone blockers that delay puberty, and it might end with so-called sex-change surgeries to reshape genital anatomy and reproductive structures to those of the opposite sex. And they argue that such surgeries are not merely for transgender adults, but also for transgender children.

And then, in one of the most obscene items I’ve ever seen in a major news publication, there is a picture of a 17-year old girl displaying her bare chest still bearing the scars of her recent double mastectomy. Think about this. National Geographic publishes a groundless propaganda piece and exploits the naked body of a minor child to help make their tendentious point. In response to this, we write:

The final page of Henig’s article celebrates the mutilation of minor children with a full-page picture of a shirtless 17-year old girl who recently underwent a double mastectomy in order to “transition” to being a boy. Why do transgender ideologues consider it harmful to attempt to change such a child’s mind but consider it progress to display her bare, mutilated chest for a cover story? Transgender ideologues like Henig never address this ethical contradiction at the heart of their paradigm. Why is it acceptable to surgically alter a child’s body to match his sense of self but bigoted to try to change his sense of self to match his body? If it is wrong to attempt to change a child’s gender identity (because it is fixed and meddling with it is harmful), then why is it morally acceptable to alter something as fixed as the reproductive anatomy of a minor? The moral inconsistency here is plain.

Transgender activists often act as if traditionalists are mistreating transgender persons by failing to acknowledge their identity. But I would simply ask them this question. Who’s mistreating whom in this scenario? Those who mutilate and display that naked chest of female child? Or those who try to help confused children to understand who God made them to be. These questions answer themselves.

Another chance to catch a glimpse of what is coming true

As we begin 2017, it is good to think about what has been and what is to come. There were many people who started 2016 not knowing that it would be their last. I’ve known them. And so have you. We are not so different from them, are we?

When I look in the rearview mirror, I see the years gathering up behind me, and I can hardly believe how quickly they’ve piled up. As life rattles forward, it seems the earth makes its annual journey a little quicker than the year before. Where have the years gone?

Continue Reading →

“Nonjudgmental affirmation” is not a parenting strategy

National Geographic has released a special issue titled “Gender Revolution,” and it includes one article offering advice for parents of transgender children. Here is the bottom line:

Your most important role as a parent is to offer understanding, respect, and support to your child. A nonjudgmental approach will gain your child’s trust and put you in a better position to help your child through difficult times.

When your child discloses an identity to you, respond in an affirming, supportive way…

In short, parents must affirm whatever identity a child embraces or risk “harming” their child. But there are some obvious questions that never get asked and answered in this article. Are children really helped when parents decline to make judgments about what is best for their child? Must parents accept and affirm any identity that a child might assume? What kind of child-rearing strategy is it that disallows moral discernment and mandates unconditional affirmation? Continue Reading →

The remarkable woman behind “In the Bleak Midwinter”

Last year, Karen Swallow Prior had a fascinating piece at TGC about the author of “In the Bleak Mid-Winter.” Her name is Christina Rossetti (1830–1894), and Prior writes that she was a woman of “deep Christian conviction.” Prior concludes:

The paradox of Rossetti’s life is that her “spirit of self-postponement” produced some of the finest Christian poetry written—the gift of herself, given to her Savior and received by the world.

I commend to you the rest of Prior’s essay, which you can read here. I also recommend two versions of the song that are staples around my house during this time of year. My favorite version is Shawn Colvin’s, and a close second is from the Indigo Girls. The audio and lyrics are below. Enjoy. Continue Reading →

Why all the excitement about the movie “Dunkirk”?

Today, Warner Brothers released the first full-length trailer for the forthcoming movie Dunkirk (see above). I assume that most of you reading this know why this film is so highly anticipated. But I am writing for those of you who may not. The story of the evacuation from Dunkirk during World War 2 is one of the most riveting true stories that you will ever hear. It is a story of heroes, common and uncommon. It is a story of national valor and courage, and for that reason the story is beloved and cherished. What happened at this little fishing village in the north of France in 1940? Continue Reading →

The child was sick so they killed him. And it’s legal.

The stakes couldn’t be any higher or more grave than they are in this report:

A terminally ill minor has become the first child to be euthanized in Belgium since age restrictions were lifted in the country two years ago, according to several sources.

A Belgian lawmaker told CNN affiliate VTM that the physician-assisted suicide happened within the past week.

The child, who was suffering from an incurable disease, had asked for euthanasia, Sen. Jean-Jacques De Gucht told VTM. The identity of the child and age are unknown.

“I think it’s very important that we, as a society, have given the opportunity to those people to decide for themselves in what manner they cope with that situation,” said Gucht, a supporter of euthanasia legislation.

According to the BBC, the child was 17-years old. Lest you think this is far removed from us, just remember that physician-assisted suicide is already legal in the states of Washington, Oregon, California, and Vermont. We are not so far behind.

What does this precedent mean? Like in the United States, a child cannot decide by himself that he wants to die. According to the report, the child must understand what euthanasia is and the parents must also give consent to let it happen.

But what does it mean for a child to know what euthanasia is? Does he really understand death and mortality? Do his parents who must give consent even understand? Do they understand that every life is sacred because it is created in the image of God? Do they understand that “consent” does not nullify the dignity that God has given to that precious life? Do they understand that if we only value lives that meet a minimum threshold of “quality,” then none of us are safe? As a society, do Belgians (and we) understand that just because consent is required today does not mean that it will be required tomorrow?

If life is only reckoned as valuable based on utility or quality of life, then when society deems such lives unworthy of living consent may no longer be required. Utilitarianism can be a conscience-crushing, life-destroying moral argument. And we must oppose it wherever it raises itself up against the image of God (2 Corinthians 10:5). This is a slippery slope that we must not go down, but it appears we are already on the move.

Lord have mercy.

How trigger warnings shut down Christian speech

Alan Levinovitz is a professor at James Madison University, and he argues in The Atlantic that “trigger warnings” in university syllabi have the effect of shutting out Christian viewpoints. He explains:

According to anonymous in-class surveys, about one-third of my students believe in the exclusive salvific truth of Christianity. But rarely do these students defend their beliefs in class. In private, they have told me that they believe doing so could be construed as hateful, hostile, intolerant, and disrespectful; after all, they’re saying that if others don’t believe what they do, they’ll go to hell…

The unpleasant truth is that historically marginalized groups, including racial minorities and members of the LGBT community, are not the only people whose beliefs and identities are marginalized on many college campuses. Those who believe in the exclusive truth of a single revealed religion or those who believe that all religions are nonsensical are silenced by the culture of trigger warnings and safe spaces. I know this is true because I know these students are in my classroom, but I rarely hear their opinions expressed in class.

Read the rest here.

A sober warning about “The Transgender Contagion”

If you haven’t read David French’s article “The Transgender Contagion” yet, let me encourage you to do so. One paragraph in particular is worth highlighting. French writes,

We’re not far from the day when a child will be taken from a loving home simply because the parents refuse to believe that their little girl is actually a little boy. We’re already living in the days when telling your girl child that she shouldn’t undergo treatments that will render her infertile and painfully mutilated is deemed to be intolerant. And we refuse to believe that such behaviors are at all influenced by peer groups or social trends. Instead, your daughter is simply “trans,” just as she is either black or white.

If you think this is an overstatement, you are not paying attention. The medical community has embraced the transgender revolution, and dissent from its ideology is no longer allowed. Continue Reading →

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