This is not the right side of history… University of Washington edition

The video above came out last week from The Family Policy Institute of Washington. It began making the rounds over the weekend after David French posted it at National Review. It is a stunning look at the way college kids think (or don’t think) about the moral revolution that is upon us. I offered brief remarks on Twitter, which you can read below.

In short, David French is right. This isn’t moral relativism. It’s a willingness to abandon reason and common sense in order to prop-up fictional identities. To put it in theological terms, it’s “suppressing the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18). It’s evicting God’s revelation about the way things are in order to ensconce an anthropological fiction.

But at the end of the day, water will wet you. Fire will burn. Two plus two still equals four. There are things that do not change no matter how much the sexual revolutionaries might wish them away. The only question is how long our culture will go along with their fictions. If you take the long view, it is not hard to see that what you see above is not the right side of history.

23 Responses to This is not the right side of history… University of Washington edition

  1. Ike Lentz April 18, 2016 at 3:24 pm #

    The students are obviously aware that they’re being confronted with a ridiculous gotcha question, so I wouldn’t take their answers as anything more than polite, civil dismissals of an interviewer who’s trying to provoke them.

    Given the choice between a society that shames and stigmatizes those who don’t fit neatly into gender categories, and a society that defaults to compassion and tolerance- even to a fault- I’d rather live in a world run by these students any day.

    Keep in mind, these kids are probably the first American generation EVER to not respond to transgender people with automatic disgust, discrimination, or even hate and violence. How can that not be seen as a positive?

    • Nate Schlomann April 18, 2016 at 8:28 pm #

      Ike,

      I can think of 3 broad responses to the perversion and blaspheme of transgenderism.

      There’s the righteous response of a kind and gracious but firm rebuke, acknowledging the brokenness and hurt but not affirming the perversion.

      There’s the sinful response you describe of disgust and discrimination, but still an understanding that something is fundamentally broken and perverse.

      And then there’s the sinful response that we see in the video, which reveals a seared conscience and no acknowledgement at all of goodness or God’s authority. This is a fake kindness that leads to damnation.

      So no, I don’t think this is progress. And yes, I’d rather my kids grown up in a sinful world that still acknowledges brokenness (even if that means sinful responses) than a sinful world that celebrates and encourages brokenness.

      • Ike Lentz April 19, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

        Is the students’ response perfect? No. But neither is a response that ostracizes people who are hurting and pushes them away. Your last paragraph reminds me of Matthew 9:13. I think we should err on the side of loving, listening, and accommodating, rather than merely labeling something perversion and blasphemy and legislating it away.

        • Nate Schlomann April 19, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

          This reminds me of this article from last year: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/02/14388/

          Your approach would have likely doomed Jean to her sin and confusion, and that’s sad. You don’t get to call things that lead to people being enterally separated from God “loving.” It’d be better to find a different vocabulary, as that’s not a Christian option.

        • David Powell April 19, 2016 at 4:16 pm #

          Responding with compassion means by default that you see something that is broken or wrong. Culture is not calling us to respond with compassion–that is what the church is doing. Culture is calling us to celebrate the brokenness. And that is a bridge too far for Christians.

      • Christiane Smith April 19, 2016 at 1:26 pm #

        Hi NATE,
        It was good of you to think of offering kindness to the suffering person. There is a saying in the Talmud that ‘kindness is the highest form of wisdom’.

        Your offer of kindness is a reflection of the fruit of the Holy Spirit and brings His light into your encounter with this suffering soul. There is an opportunity for God’s grace to enter through your kindness to this person that can provide him with something greater than a ‘rebuke’.

        We want to ‘rebuke’ the sin. But we don’t understand how to embrace the one we see as ‘sinner’, so we cannot rely on our HUMAN judgement to help or we fail to convey the ‘love’ in our idea of ‘truth in love’
        . . . but when we rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit in HOW we minister to anyone in pain, then there is hope for all kinds of healing, even our own.

    • Gus Nelson April 18, 2016 at 9:13 pm #

      So are you taking the position that people can just dream up and live in any category of reality that suits them? Where then does the line between reality and fantasy begin and end? Moreover, who gets to decide where the lines are drawn if such lines do exist? If it doesn’t matter, then those who desire to live in a world where there is wholesale discrimination, disgust, hate and violence should be able to live in that “reality” just as much as people who don’t believe in it. You don’t get to blur the lines of reality to absurdity then claim someone overstepped. Oh, I forgot, I guess you do get to do that since everyone gets there own reality.

    • Brandon Barnes April 18, 2016 at 9:48 pm #

      It’s not a positive because such a perspective has led these students to engage in rank dishonesty. What used to be called spinelessness is now apparently a virtue. These students would lie to your face in order to keep from offending or to avoid being labelled a bigot. Its motivation is fear, and it’s not right.

      • Ike Lentz April 19, 2016 at 1:10 pm #

        I can’t speak for all of these students, but I think one of the reasons you’re seeing this unfold is because previous generations had an abysmal response to gay, lesbian, and transgender people.

        You’re right, these students don’t want to be thought of as bigots, but that’s because previous generations were actually bigoted towards transgender people. This response didn’t develop in a vacuum, it’s the result of a younger generation struggling to correct a response that they see as inadequate.

    • steve hays April 19, 2016 at 1:28 am #

      That’s half right, but you have it backwards. Yes, the students were put on the spot. Yes, they were acutely aware of the fact that cameras were rolling. But this is a very blue campus in a very blue city in a very blue state. They’d be shamed and stigmatized for giving politically incorrect answers, not vice versa. Even if they think transgenderism is nonsense, they have a strong disincentive to risk their neck by saying so in public.

      • Ike Lentz April 19, 2016 at 1:13 pm #

        All I was saying, is that this isn’t exactly a scientific survey, and these students aren’t exactly delivering thesis papers on the subject. These kinds of videos are frustrating because they’re commonly used to justify any political position and mainly just preach to a choir that gets their kicks by seeing the other side demonized as hypocritical or intellectually lazy.

        • David Powell April 19, 2016 at 4:22 pm #

          But the point in this is that they begin with asserting their positions with such confidence, as if they have actually thought this all the way through. What comes out of this is that any of them who is being intellectually honest must admit at the end of it that it is an absurd position to hold.

          • Ike Lentz April 19, 2016 at 7:26 pm #

            Like I said, I think videos like this are mainly just entertainment for people who love to watch strawmen look dumb on camera. It’s irrelevant to an important issue that involves the dignity of actual human beings.

            • steve hays April 19, 2016 at 10:57 pm #

              What was the “straw man” The questioner used analogies. What’s wrong with the analogies? How do you draw a principled distinction?

        • Christiane Smith April 19, 2016 at 6:42 pm #

          Hi IKE LENTZ,

          I look at the young man conducting the interviews and I think of this insight from Flannery O’Connor:

          ““When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax and use more normal means of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock — to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures.”

          In the end, the young man’s effort at employing the ‘grotesque’ in this video does seem designed to portray the reactions of those he interviewed in a certain light intended more for viewing by those who share his same beliefs.

    • David Powell April 19, 2016 at 9:23 am #

      The whole point here is that these are not “ridiculous gotcha questions.” These are questions that 6 year olds can answer quickly and cinfidently, ut the ridiculous line of thinking that these people have ben indoctrinated in leads them to sound foolish when they carry that thinking to its logical conclusion. This is just reductio ad absurdum doing its thing, exposing foolishness.

      Notice how confidently each one of the students began, and then by the end of the questions, they even sounded like fools to themselves, but most of them tried to stay consistent to the logic they began with anyway.

    • joshthecartoonguy April 19, 2016 at 10:11 am #

      It’s not a gotcha question if it asks you to define a limiting principle for your beliefs.

  2. bobbistowellbrown April 18, 2016 at 10:04 pm #

    Ephesians 4:14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

    We can tell the truth in love instead of accepting deceitful schemes.

  3. steve hays April 19, 2016 at 2:01 am #

    This is less about the side of history than the slide of history.

  4. Skip Rainbolt April 19, 2016 at 7:00 am #

    “the reason of man is not less blind than his affections are perverse” – John Calvin (CC, Genesis 6:3)

  5. Ian Shaw April 19, 2016 at 9:25 am #

    I think we all need to stop and come to a consensus on what exactly an “injustice” is. Injustice is not synonymous with conflict. Just because you have or are experiencing conflict, that does not mean an injustice is occurring.

    We can thank “participation awards” for this. Sorry, trophy’s should not be given to everyone just for showing up. We’ve created a culture that claims injustice (akin to a black teenager being shot for dating a white girl) for when they don’t get their way or don’t have people approving of what they like to do.

  6. Robert Gates April 20, 2016 at 10:14 am #

    To me, the young man conducting this interview is simply applying the wisdom of Proverbs 26:5…”Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.” (ESV). The folly of refusing to acknowledge biological gender as definitive for gender identification, is seen in the folly of demanding that others see this young man as a six foot five, seven-year old, Chinese woman. The folly of their worldview is exposed.

    The number of responses to this video that immediately pull out “sympathy card” is a bit bewildering. Of course we should have genuine sympathy for anyone who is trapped in sin and the confusion that sin can bring. But that in no way should cause us to retreat from calling something “wrong” because it might make someone uncomfortable. In the end, it’s hard to see how such “sympathy” stands up to Scripture.

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