Who is pulling the levers of opinion?

Chad Felix Greene, writing for TheFederalist website, says “the stigma against my conservative politics is worse than the stigma of being gay.” That’s the headline. It’s worth reprinting here some of his thoughts. “Why would a person choose a life where they will be hated, judged, and rejected by society?”

“This was one of the first arguments I learned to defend myself against in arguments about my sexuality. In the late 1990’s, it was perceived as a powerful call to the humanity of those who opposed gay rights under the notion that it was merely a lifestyle choice. The idea was that if we could appeal to others’ sense of compassion for our social plight, perhaps they could understand the effects of their intolerance. I often fantasized about breaking through the walls of prejudice and somehow speaking to the heart of someone who did not yet realize I was just a person like them.”

He says it was easier to do that with his homosexuality than with conservative politics. To be a conservative means to be forced to choose when to speak and when to remain silent, since offending someone on the left, even mildly or by accident, is a social battle you may not be able to win. Even to bring up the subject is to invite taunting and disdain from the very people we attempt, in vain, to reach out to. While I always hoped that I could break through to a person who saw me as a sinner, I find today that it is impossible to even hold a conversation with someone who sees me as a bigot. Our concerns are mocked and our moments of frustration are viewed as weakness. We find no compassion from our adversaries. In fact, we see them champion silencing us permanently. I never truly experienced hate until I came out as a conservative.”

A similar perspective was presented by law professor F. H. Buckley, writing for the NY Post: “My walks with my dog take me to a quiet off-street, with middle-class houses made expensive because they’re inside the Beltway. Two of the homes feature ‘No Hate Here’ signs. What’s up with that, you might wonder. This is a peaceful, upscale, decidedly un-diverse neighborhood. There’s nothing to suggest that anyone is a racist or bigot. Someone came up with the label “virtue signaling” to describe the psychological impulse behind these signs. The idea is that people who put them up want to tell you how noble they are. But that doesn’t sound right. Virtue-signalers aren’t in any way in doubt about their own virtue. What they really want to do is signal how depraved others are. It’s about vice signaling, not virtue signaling.

“A couple of people on the block are Trump supporters. Those signs are likely meant for them. There’s no interaction between the two groups, and the signs are meant to keep it that way. Vice signaling is a defense mechanism, meant to displace liberal guilt.  There was a moment, shortly after the 2016 election, when liberals realized that ordinary Americans had turned against them, and that they had reason to do so. Allied to the teachers unions, the liberals had permitted our schools to descend to Third World standards. They supported an immigration system that imported economic immobility. They welcomed a regulatory morass that gave elites jobs but that placed a stumbling block in the path of those who sought to get ahead.

Liberals saw all that — and then they forgot it. Rather than blame themselves, it was much easier to transfer the guilt to conservatives. That’s how vice signaling became the language of liberal politics. When the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, there were no great protests from social conservatives. What is curious, however, is how social liberals turned on a dime to take up transgender rights. After their victory, they immediately took up the cause of a tiny number of Americans, the better to blame their opponents. In the permanent cultural wars against conservatives, there’s always one more river to cross.

If you have read even a few posts on my blog, and if they are correct, the lynch mob should be coming for me any day. My blog has some followers, and I’ve experienced a tiny bit of minor disagreement, though mostly it is “likes”. Perhaps the reasons my experience is so different than Mr. Greene’s, are that I don’t have a wide or well known platform, and blogs have more freedom of expression by their nature than other forms of media, or perhaps my arguments are so cogent that I’ve scared off the opposition. Whatever the reason, Mr. Greene comes off to me as whining, though I will concede he’s probably right.

That brings up an important question: Who cares? President Trump is more outrageous than me, but somehow he got elected President. He is endlessly bombarded with slurs, threats, pure vitriol on national television and news media. He still does what he does. I dislike his tweetstorms, but on balance I favor most of his actual policies. He is living proof that you can get worthwhile stuff done if you don’t heed the “nattering nabobs of negativism”, an expression coined by William Safire but frequently attributed to Spiro Agnew. Then there’s Rush Limbaugh. It takes courage to refuse to back down. I don’t fear the critics. Teddy Roosevelt is famous for saying this, and living it: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”  AFTER ALL, CRITICISM IS HARDLY “DUST, SWEAT AND BLOOD!’

”Love is love”, unless it’s really hatred.

Proverbs 13:24 says “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” So discipline, even if painful, can be love, and sparing discipline can be hate. Exploitation of a sufferer is hatred, no matter whether the exploitation masquerades as love. If someone is afflicted with a painful and disfiguring skin condition, and wants only relief, is parading them on tour to garner sympathy, love, or a form of hatred? What if that skin condition might be melanoma, and you delayed informing the sufferer or gave them false hope by calling it a wart? Love, or hatred? You know your teenager is hanging around with druggies and drinking heavily, but you don’t want to be unpopular with him or her, so you smile and say nothing. Love, or hatred?

I hope it’s obvious from these examples that often what looks like love is motivated by cowardice or greed or misguided sympathy, while truth and discipline, though painful at the time, is motivated by true love.

The ruling, removing gender identity from the list of “sex discrimination”, represents the views of more than 30,000 physicians who all understand that gender identity is a very real threat to modern health care, according to Dr. Michelle Cretella, head of the American College of Pediatricians. “Transgenders are saying, ‘I think and feel this way, therefore, I am.’ And it’s one thing for us to, as physicians, [to] treat the person with respect and honor their name change, but it would be a complete malpractice to treat them as the opposite sex.” As she explains, there is nothing any of us can do to change our binary, biologically-determined-at-conception sex. “A man on estrogen is not a woman. He is a man with a male physiology on estrogen, and that’s how a physician must approach him.” The very serious problem, she points out, is that people are so ideologically-driven that they want to ignore the medical research.

More than ever, Cretella says, “Medicine is at the point now where we understand that men and women have—at a minimum—6,500 genetic differences between us. And this impacts every cell of our bodies—our organ systems, how diseases manifest, how we diagnose, and even treat in some cases.”Treating a person differently based on their feelings isn’t just harmful, she argues, but deadly. In cases like heart disease, certain drugs can endanger women and not men. Even diagnoses present differently in men and women. The symptoms for certain diseases, she explains, can manifest themselves in completely opposite ways. “And these are nuances that medicine is finally studying and bringing to light. And it’s actually ironic that the transgender movement [is] so anti-science.”

“There is absolutely no rigorous science that has found a trait called ‘gender identity’ in the brain, body, or DNA. Now sex—I can show you that. It’s in our chromosomes. It’s in the body. It’s in the reproductive organs. Over 99.98 percent of the times, our sexual development is clearly and unambiguously either male or female.” The sex differences, she explains, are real and consequential.

Perhaps the point I was sliding towards in my first paragraph is now obvious. But I want to go further. I assert that the real agenda of promoting trans pronouns, trans lexicon and trans surgery, while trying to punish any transgressions of the agenda, and silence any criticism, is this: POWER! If the trans express can foist such an unhealthy, destructive, and perverse set of expectations on the 99.98%, THAT my friends, is power. All it takes to succeed is cowardice from the rest of us. Telling impressionable and confused kids that they can choose their sex is NOT love, it is HATE!

Who’s in charge of the lexicon?

I just read a piece on the Desiring God website called Homophobia has no place in the church, by Nick Roen. His definition follows: “Simply put, homophobia means a fear of homosexuality and, more specifically, homosexual people. And while it is not the same as loving, biblical opposition to certain behaviors or beliefs, this fear-based attitude often leads to unhelpful stereotypes, prejudice, and even cruel mistreatment.” As long as we are Simply putting Nick, I will say that the word homophobia is thrice damned: the word was created by homosexual activists in order to try to shame those who oppose it, thus your definition buys into the deception; the word treats phobias inaccurately and too casually, as if they are mere distaste or prejudice, rather than incapacitating fears; since we all know that phobias are irrational, use of the word in that context tacitly accuses opponents of homosexual sex of being irrational. So Nick’s definition is wrong, wrong, wrong.

He goes on: “we love this way because this is exactly how Jesus first loved us. He wasn’t threatened or repelled by us; he wasn’t afraid to enter a relationship with us, sinners that we were (and still are), and to even graciously speak the truth about our sin. Instead, he loved us so lavishly that he died for us to present us clean and whole before his Father. When we love in this manner, we expose homophobia for what it really is: pride. It is an attitude that puts beneath us others whose sins and temptations we deem ‘more depraved’ than our own…” I disagree. Distaste for homosexual sex and lust is not about pride, it’s about honesty in describing the actual actions. Nick admires Jesus for speaking the truth about our sin, and that’s exactly what homosexual activists never do. If homosexuality is not more depraved, then why is the sexual aspect NEVER addressed by activists? Their marketing pitch is always about love, or equality, or their persecution, but never mentions the sex part.

Speaking for myself, what I object to is the pridefulness of homosexuality. Nick says “homophobia” in the church is about pride. Pride, as in “I am better than you”, is number one on Jesus’ whip list. What are “Gay Pride” parades? Have you ever seen what goes on during them, especially in cities like San Francisco where anything goes. Nick says “sin is sin”, and while I agree in theory, pridefully sinning is worse than shamedly sinning. The title of my post bespeaks one of the biggest underlying issues: Who will control the lexicon? Had Nick called his piece, Why the church should find ways to love homosexuals, I would have had no objections. We Christians should love everyone, if possible just the way Jesus Christ did. He saved an adulteress from being stoned, pardoned her, but finished with “go and sin no more.” He drove out the moneychangers from the temple with a whip he made from cords. I’ll bet that hurt! He called the Pharisees hypocrites, but ate with sinners. Basically, Jesus’ example to us was to hate hypocrisy and love repentance. The biggest problem I have with the lexicon of LGBTQ is that repentance is missing and pride takes center stage.

Speaking of which, is there a statute of limitations in the LGBTQ Hall of Shame(ful) tweets? Kyler Murray, the transcendent sports talent at Oklahoma, just won the Heisman trophy, and what should miraculously surface but a “homophobic” tweet from him at age 15, six years ago! What did it say? “Cole is getting salty he’s a queer.” That’s it. Age 15, we don’t even know if he’s joking, but as noted pundit Jon Gabriel puts it: “The new secular religion has mortal sins and eternal punishment, but no means of forgiveness.” The homosexual supporters are calling the use of the word queer “homophobic tweets.”

Jim Treacher from PJ Media: “Hey, wait a second. LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and… queer. The very word that got Kyler Murray in trouble. Well, I guess that’s how identity politics works. The same word can be either a slur or a badge of honor, depending on who’s saying it. N-word, c-word, q-word, whatever. It’s all about the identity of the speaker.” Aren’t you tired of being lectured and hectored by these self righteous hypocrites who feel free to either invent (homophobic) or co-opt (gay) words to intimidate or guilt trip the rest of us into silence about their lusts they pursue with pride, while claiming victim status? Since Kyler Murray is black, but he used a verboten word years ago so now he’s a target, methinks that homosexuality has been elevated over race in the victimization sweepstakes!

I can be friend and colleague of anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, as long as they have a sense of humor about themselves, are truthful and willing to rationally work out any differences we have. I can forgive a transgression like Jesus said to Peter, 70 times 7, as long as that person repents. But if that person thinks they can silence or intimidate me with invented slurs and threats, I know how to make a whip of cords!