All outrage, all the time.

I began this post more than a week ago, but found it too dry and boring to publish. Ah, said I, let’s wait for something juicy to come along to gobsmack my readers with real world relevancy. I didn’t have long to wait, because the usual suspects, the perfectionist progressive outrage makers uncovered no less than two scandals of the sort that used to be called tempests in a teapot, but these days are fodder for the outrage machine, that huge mental illness diagnosis of being outraged all the time, of which Trump Derangement Syndrome–TDS–is a symptom. Who’s outraged? The elites of the Mediated Reality Establishment: CNN, MSNBC, N.Y. Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, them. What about them? What is their endgame?

Manufactured outrage of the week: Some public demonstrations in D.C. going on simultaneously, the March For Life, and Indigenous Peoples March, January 18, 2019. Google the latter, and what pops up are videos of outrage from, in order, MSNBC, CNN, NBC news, MSN, purportedly showing a “confrontation” between Nathan Phillips, a “Omaha Tribe elder” and Vietnam veteran (I am also a Vietnam veteran, and the only time the Mediated Reality Establishment-MRE-brings that up or pretends to care is to enhance the outrage against their shibboleths), and a “smirking” teenager from Covington Catholic High School, an all male–gasp!–prep school in Park Hills, Kentucky (“backwoods baboon” alert) near Cincinnati. The narrative, of course, was the students, wearing MAGA hats–double gasp!!–started the confrontation by surrounding and mocking Phillips, as a screen shot from a partial clip of a video seemed to show, generating an orgasm of outrage from the national MRE. Turns out that Phillips lied, the whole video shows the opposite of the narrative.

Second major manufactured outrage of the week: Karen Pence, wife of vice president Mike Pence, teaches art at a Christian Private Elementary School and agrees to abide by the school’s code of conduct, which includes a clause that the school will have no LGBTQ+ faculty or students–triple gasp!!! I was on the board for years of a similar school, and there are actually thousands of them around the country, which uphold biblical principles and teachings. So what is the outrage about? CNN is outraged by the “hypocrisy” of her husband being the Vice President under the immoral you know who, while she works for a school which upholds a moral code of the type that CNN hates….I know, I’m having trouble following the “logic” too, but don’t quibble, it’s the outrage generated that counts!

“The elites who have helped fray the social fabric, who have argued that self-expression) is more important than self-discipline, that religion is for suckers, that morality is situational but judgmentalism is immoral, that instant personal authenticity is the only ethical lodestar….” says Jonah Goldberg in National Review? “By their outrage you shall know them.” I am quoting….myself!


Fraying Social Fabric is more than just a sentence in an opinion piece by a conservative contributor to the major conservative National publication. Perhaps it is more accurate to call it this “social fabric” a consensus, or a foundation for long held beliefs and understandings, or perhaps the idea that such a consensus ever existed is just wishful thinking. Except the physical existence of the founding documents of this nation called the United States–the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution–is evidence there was once enough of a consensus to found a nation unlike any other in history. Refugees from tyranny and seekers of opportunity who made the often perilous journey here came waving the Stars and Stripes, not the flags of where they left. Assimilation–becoming American–was a goal for most of them, aside from the desire for freedom and a better life.

And now? The refugees and seekers often wave the flags of the places they are escaping from rather than escaping to. Al Gore, failed presidential candidate, justified this reversal of gratitude in famously interpreting E Pluribus Unum as “from the one, many”. What is that phrase? It’s on our currency, it’s the closest thing to a national motto. What it really means is “from the many, one”. “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” We haven’t often lived up to that ideal. As an ideal, something to strive for, most of us would still want to. Or would we? Doesn’t that sound too much like Make America Great Again? We can’t have that, that’s Trump’s slogan. Outrageous! Is the election of Donald Trump a consequence of the desire of many to M.A.G.A., an acknowledgement that we have become less great over time, or a reaction to the elites’ endless stream of criticism of our traditional values, or antagonism towards the MRE and their lies, distortions and omissions in pursuit of controversy, or all of these?

Cancer starts with a single rebellious cell, and by the time any symptoms manifest, that single cell has been joined by thousands more. What about cancer of the body politic, the society in which we are invested, what are the rebellious cells? When I say rebellious, I am not talking about rebellion against the laws of the land, no, something much worse: Rebellion against the whole truth, as demonstrated by the mad, pell-mell rush to judge based on a screen shot of a clip of video WHICH VALIDATED THE NARRATIVE OF THE OUTRAGED. 

Courtesy of the BabylonBee, the following flowchart.

T

The heart is a tinderbox and sparks are flying everywhere.

The new Gillette commercial and the new APA “guidelines” on harmful masculinity might suggest that men should become more like women, or ought to manifest more “feminine” traits. But what if women are becoming more like men as well? A new survey reported on by The Independent found that more than a third of women watch pornography at least once a week. 90% of the 3,000 female respondents said they watched it online and 2/3 said they watched it on their smartphones. In the survey, 31% of the women said they watched porn every week and another 30% said they did so a few times a month. Another recent study found that about half of young adult women agree that viewing pornography is acceptable and 1/3 of young women reported watching porn.

If that’s not enough to convince someone that this gap between men and women succumbing to the scourge of porn is narrowing, one of the world’s largest porn sites released data from their site showing that women are 113% more likely to search the term “hardcore” than men, and are over 105% more likely to seek out genres of porn like “gangbang” and “rough sex.” So, what does this mean? Lots of people have bought the lie that porn is okay as long as it’s not harming someone else. Does that include the user? Before I explain how porn makes slaves, I want to address the greater lie about something being okay as long as we don’t see the visible harm. I know people who think value judgements are “intolerant”, who are perfectly okay with anyone doing almost anything as long as they don’t harm someone else. That phrase in bold should read, as long as I don’t see the harm that is being done.

Remember the expression Defining Deviancy Down, coined by the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 1993. Moynihan based his phrase on the theory of Emile Durkheim that there is a limit to the bad behavior that a society can tolerate before it has to start lowering its standards. In ’93, the senator applied his slogan to the “moral deregulation” that had eroded families, increased crime, and produced the mentally ill “homeless” population. That same year columnist Charles Krauthammer expanded Moynihan’s point by proposing the reverse — that not only were we “normalizing what was once considered deviant,” but we were also “finding deviant what was once considered normal.” In time, the inevitable lower standards and moral relativism brought us the movies, TV shows, fashions, sex norms and web pages we have today. Deviant and normal swapped places. I define deviant as behavior which departs or deviates from societal norms, and which by its nature generates shame internally.

No doubt the hardcore “toleristas” (tolerance is the highest value) will dismiss my views as judgmental–the lowest value–but those who are less doctrinaire will acknowledge that more has been lost than gained by elevating tolerance to the throne. I am still glad that our society as a whole no longer simply condemns and dismisses people who are enslaved to deviant desires or sexual confusion. The fact is, many people who appear normal and moral on the surface are also captive to desires they are ashamed of and want to be liberated from. Which brings me to the subject of pornography. There is no better example of Defining Deviancy Down than the widespread availability and viewing of pornography. My title, The heart is a tinderbox and sparks are flying everywhere, refers to the inescapability of porn. It also refers to the latent addiction waiting to be kindled. Like drugs, alcohol and other mood and mind altering substances, pornography can shock the nervous system into creating an instant addiction pathway.

This will take more explanation. Some people are particularly susceptible to becoming addicted to something that has no effect on someone else. I have used cigarettes once, LSD twice, cocaine once, peyote once, marijuana a few dozen times and alcohol moderately, with no desire to continue once I decided to stop. Other people can find that just a few uses lead to inability to stop. I don’t know why those differences exist. Pornography is the same phenomenon. It is pointless to describe all the harm done by the pornography industry, from the users to exploited women and children, to victims of crimes committed by users who need a greater and greater fix of sensation. It certainly isn’t victimless. Less obvious is the harm done by transgender ideology.

What could be more deviant, in the sense I described, than disgust with your own natural sex? In my post called What Is Mental Health I go into detail about what so-called gender dysphoria is. Do you think that the propaganda that is put out by the trans activists, that gender and/or sex is a social construct, and is really “non binary”, and the “toxic masculinity” propaganda are unrelated? Really? Both forms of propaganda are pushing the agenda of compressing or collapsing the differences between men and women, both physically–trans–and behaviorally. Both represent a hatred of those inborn differences, which is automatically a hatred of God’s design for humanity, which is therefore hatred of God. Both harbor enmity for the Bible and any preaching from it, because the real enmity is for any standard greater than the feelings of the ultra sensitive.

There is no tolerance for disagreement either, and no reticence to use the coercive power of the state to bring the “intolerant” to heel. In the United States, cities and local governments have been passing “non-discrimination” ordinances, forbidding “public accommodations” to discriminate against gender identity and sexual orientation. Sounds good right, discrimination is bad. If a church is considered a “public accommodation”, then preaching from the Bible anything about gender identity and sexual orientation could be forbidden, their hiring practices restricted and they could be forced to host homosexual weddings and similar events. So far, the only test of such an ordinance, in De Pere, Wisconsin, was struck down by a judge as unconstitutional. So far…. I predict more of this is coming. Tolerance is a one way street it seems. Ask Jack Phillips, the baker who has been persecuted by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

Your emotional slider.

Which style is your emotional control? Is it like a dial, requiring you to turn quite a few revolutions to dial up progressively more intense emotions? Or is it like a slider, allowing you to immediately flip it all the way up to maximum volume? A dial is usually considerably more nuanced than a slider. Turning it requires coordination of, generally, thumb and forefinger. Right now, pretend you’re tuning a dial. Notice how your thumb and forefinger work together, and how many times they have to coordinate just to turn the dial one revolution. As you turn the imaginary dial, hear the volume getting louder as you turn clockwise. Now imagine a slide control. You can easily flip the slider all the way from barely audible to deafening.

Think about how you react to situations, facial expressions, tones of voice, or things people say. Taking my analogy further, what emotional state corresponds to off, or perhaps the lowest setting of volume? I would say that’s apathy–feeling nothing, what psychologists call “flatness of affect”. What about depression? Shouldn’t that be a negative setting? Depression, and other long term chronic emotional disturbances, don’t belong in this analogy, since I am talking about the strength of emotional reactivity here, not chronic conditions. If apathy is the lowest setting on the emotional volume switch, what would be the highest? What emotions engage bodily activity the most? Specifically, what emotional reaction gets your heart and lungs moving fastest, your temperature going higher and your muscles clenching most? You might say, anger or fear.

But anger and fear have gradations. I am going to say, somewhat arbitrarily, that outrage and terror each have the strongest emotional charge. Of the two, terror is far more likely to be the result of a realistic and appropriate stimulus, and is less subject to self control. For example, imagine that you are sitting on a sandy beach at the bend of a scenic river, just enjoying the sun and the soothing sounds of the water, (really get into it) when you notice an odd ripple in the water. Suddenly, a huge crocodile comes charging out of the water, just a few feet from you. I doubt you would feel anger. Your instant terror would be overwhelming, even paralyzing. Terror, unlike anger, generally has no slow burn, no volume switch. It’s more of an off-on switch. Since my purpose in this essay is to encourage self control, let’s concentrate on outrage.

Recently, a correspondent from Prager U interviewed various tribe members on the Navajo reservation in Arizona. The subject was how native Americans feel about “cultural appropriation”, one of the favorite shibboleths of the Perfectionist Progressives. All of the interviewees liked the idea of Native American names for sports teams, especially the Washington Redskins. A couple of the respondents named themselves fans. They felt it was a way of bestowing honor on their toughness and warrior spirit. One respondent, more perceptive and intelligent than most Harvard grads, said “outrage has become a national pastime”. It was that observation that prompted this essay.

Outrage is not only a controllable reaction, it is often just a “self important” indulgence, and usually something taken up on behalf of others who don’t even feel any outrage about the issue, like the Washington Redskins brouhaha. It has become a national pastime among those who can’t wait to signal their virtue, those whose emotional volume control is definitely a slider, with a very short throw from apathy to outrage. Try putting the emotional volume on a dial instead. Even that little thing will make a difference.

An interesting aside: One of the amusing things I do to test how far political correctness has infiltrated is by listing words that my Apple iPad refuses to complete after I have typed most of the letters. For instance, it won’t complete spanking (it turns it into sparkling, spinning, sparking but even when I type in every letter, it still suggests other words). Same with Redskins. I noticed that I had to type in every letter of Redskins after I typed Washington, but with every other NFL team, I could type the city and the first letter or two of the team name, and the iPad would complete the whole name with the first letter capitalized! Another example of the elite–tech firms–schooling the rest of us hillbillies (which it spelled in full after I typed hill).

The idolatry of tolerance.

Tolerance, to tolerate, is good, right? Athletes and soldiers learn to tolerate greater levels of pain and suffering in order to accomplish their goals. Couples who stay together have learned to tolerate each other’s foibles and irritating habits and still find reasons to love. Successful inventors and business owners have learned to tolerate many failures before finding the right solution or formula. When I stayed in Japan for a month, I learned to tolerate hotter water so I could enjoy the O-furo, the traditional Japanese bath. In all these cases, individuals decided their goals were more important than their comfort, and achieving those goals was worth the sacrifice of comfort. Tolerance itself was never the goal. If you had no desire to compete in an Olympics mile race, but were forced to train as if you were, what would you call that? If I had no desire to spend time in a scalding hot bath, but were forced to endure it anyway, I would call it torture.

Let’s unpack how this concept–tolerance–is used today in the social context. When someone is told to tolerate something that they perceive, or believe, is harmful to either themselves or their families, and they derive no benefits from such tolerance, what are the consequences? If my daughter was in kindergarten, and story time featured a man in a scary witch drag costume reading stories (which could have been about how different kids broke free of their parents’ narrow mindedness by choosing their own sex and were miraculously transformed to a different sex–content was never mentioned), I would consider that harmful. Yet this has happened in a library during a story time for kindergarten-age kids, and protesting parents were lectured on tolerance. When is “tolerance” an excuse for silencing disagreement? These days, very often.

Take Tim Gill, tech millionaire and extremely liberal LGBT activist, spoke with Rolling Stone in a June interview, and called for the punishment of Christians who refuse to take part in same-sex weddings. In the interview, the 63-year-old Colorado resident — who’s funneled over $400 million into pro-LGBT social reform causes over the last 20 years — claimed that it’s time to “punish the wicked,” in his opinion. Gill set his sights on President Donald Trump’s election, and his perception of paradigm shift within the country as a result. An excerpt from Rolling Stone read: “The election of Donald Trump, who claims to support gay rights but stocked his administration with anti-LGBTQ extremists, has only emboldened those looking to erase the gains of the past decade. Gill refuses to go on the defense. ‘We’re going into the hardest states in the country,’ he says. ‘We’re going to punish the wicked.’”

A very representative example of coercion under the guise of “tolerance” is that of Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop in Colorado, who looks like a test case for Gill’s anti-Christian crusade, via the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In 2012, he was asked to design and bake a cake celebrating the wedding of Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins, who were long term customers of his shop. However, the message they wanted on the wedding cake was a direct challenge to Jack’s religious beliefs. Even after explaining to the commission that it wasn’t the people he objected to, it was the message such a cake would send about marriage, an administrative law judge ruled against Jack in December 2013, saying that designing and creating cakes for same-sex weddings is not speech protected by the First Amendment. The commission ordered Jack and his staff to either violate Jack’s faith by designing custom wedding cakes that celebrate same-sex marriages or stop designing all wedding cakes, which was approximately 40% of Jack’s business. In addition, Jack was ordered to “reeducate” his staff by teaching them that he was wrong to operate his business consistently with his faith. The state also required Jack to file quarterly “compliance” reports telling the government every time that he declines a custom cake request and explaining the reasons why. Doesn’t this sound more like a communist country than the United States?

His attorneys petitioned the United States Supreme Court to take up Jack’s case. After the Supreme Court granted review, it ruled 7 to 2 in favor of Jack on June 4, 2018. The ruling reversed the state’s decision to punish Jack for living and working consistently with his religious beliefs about marriage. On June 26, 2017, the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Denver attorney Autumn Scandina asked cake artist Jack Phillips to create a cake designed to celebrate a gender transition from male to female. Of course, the timing and this request is entirely coincidental, right? Phillips declined the request because the custom cake would have expressed messages about sex and gender identity that conflict with his religious beliefs. Less than a month after the Supreme Court ruled for Phillips in his first case, the state surprised him by finding probable cause to believe that Colorado law requires him to create the requested gender-transition cake. Over his years as a cake artist, Phillips has declined to create cakes with diverse messages that violate his faith, including messages that demean LGBT people, express racism, celebrate Halloween, promote marijuana use, and celebrate or support Satan.

Tolerance works both ways, if tolerance is really the issue. Jack Phillips has as much right to decline a request to do something that violates his beliefs as the requesters have to make the request. One of the CCRC commissioners refers to Jack publicly as “the cake hater”. Am I expected to believe there’s no relationship between this state’s government hostility to Mr. Phillips’ Christianity and Gill’s crusade (and his millions) to “punish the wicked.” Tolerance, the word, not the practice, has become an idol, and even intelligent people bow down and worship this idol, often ignoring the evident coercion that has become almost standard practice.

Real tolerance is a decision by an individual to forebear condemnation of people or practices that they disagree with for their own reasons. Enforced tolerance is not tolerance at all, it’s coercion. Is it paradoxical that those who are the most vociferous in calling for separation of church and state are the quickest to demand that the machinery of the state be used to coerce an appearance of tolerance? No, it isn’t paradoxical at all…..it’s evidence of the degree of hypocrisy of those who worship at the altar of tolerance, while really wanting approbation!

What is “mental health”? If

Let’s see, this is a huge question, so I propose a modest starting point, which I hope we can all agree on: Birth! When you are born, you are naked, you get your first look at the world, and whoever is watching you be born is getting their first look at you. What is immediately noticeable, assuming they know nothing of your background? You have a certain skin and eye color, and you are visibly male or female. That’s pretty much it. Social pressure and constructs have not begun to mold you, you have no opinions, at least none that can be expressed. Depending on the culture into which you have been born, others will begin treating you in certain ways, and that treatment will relate to your visible characteristics, especially sex. Your parents, or your mother, if father has already disappeared, will name you based on cultural considerations, and the given name is almost always based on your visible sex. While many names in our country are used for both boys and girls–Kelly, Leslie, Taylor, Jordan as examples–many are not. If your given name is not culturally appropriate for your sex, you may have many embarrassing moments to look forward to.

In fact, all of us will, no matter what our name, skin or eye color or anything else. I can pretty much guarantee that no one will avoid embarrassing, painful, potentially traumatic experiences in their life. Those adjectives all describe emotional reactions. Now, we have to understand that emotional reactions are a combination of two elements: physical sensations, which we call feelings, and our interpretation of those sensations. Physical sensations that are unpleasant in one context might be part of pleasure in another. Sexual arousal can raise the heart rate, body temperature, sweat gland activity and induce a kind of dizziness, but so can a threat, and fear. Context determines interpretation of feelings. When someone says, “I feel __________”, they are really saying “my interpretation of these unpleasant sensations is _________.”

How does this apply to “mental health”? I would be inclined to define mental health as, first of all, acceptance of your most basic, visible and biological physical characteristics. If you were born, like me, in 1946, with blue eyes, brown hair, male sex, Caucasian skin tone, then we can say we are 72 years old, a white, blue-eyed male, whose formerly brown hair has mostly fallen out, and the remainder is silver. That’s the basic mental health example. If you say, “according to my feelings, I am female, or my eyes are brown, or I am 27 years old, and I have thick luxurious hair”, and that’s your story and you’re sticking to it, I would say you are not mentally healthy, therefore mentally ill. These days, there’s another name for basing your sex on your interpretation of your feelings–gender dysphoria.

Before I retired to my blog, I spent many years as a therapist seeing patients with dubious mental health. I dealt with lots of different issues, but never saw or heard about anyone who didn’t accept that they were one sex or the other. The official manual of mental disorder is called the DSM, now in its fifth edition, published by the American Psychiatric Association. The diagnostic label gender identity disorder (GID) was used by the DSM until its reclassification as gender dysphoria in 2013, with the release of the DSM-5. The diagnosis was reclassified to better align it with medical understanding of the condition and to remove the stigma associated with the term disorder.” There it is folks, the crucial word, stigma. Can’t have that! I certainly don’t believe that people suffering delusions or other departures from mental health should be stigmatized, but if something is a disorder and it’s reclassified as merely another viewpoint, they cannot be helped either.

The DSM-5 stated that gender nonconformity is not the same thing as gender dysphoria, and that “gender nonconformity is not in itself a mental disorder. The critical element of gender dysphoria is the presence of clinically significant distress associated with the condition.” Some transgender people and researchers support declassification of the condition because they say the diagnosis pathologizes gender variance and reinforces the binary model of gender. Well, as Steve Martin used to say, “excuuuse mee”, binary genders aren’t a “model”, unless there’s no standard at all for reality vs. fantasy.

Yet this same old DSM-5 says “The main psychiatric approaches to treatment for persons diagnosed with gender dysphoria are psychotherapy or supporting the individual’s preferred gender through hormone therapy, gender expression and role, or surgery.” So let me get this straight, gender nonconformity is not a mental illness unless it’s accompanied by clinically significant distress. But the distress itself is caused by the person’s interpretation of their symptoms. What symptoms? DSM-5: Symptoms of GD in children may include any of the following: disgust at their own genitalia, social isolation from their peers, anxiety, loneliness and depression.

Wait a second, other than the first one, which could be considered pretty rational because genitalia are not very attractive body parts, these symptoms are garden-variety neuroses, all of which anybody in school is likely to experience. If you’re a nerd, like I was, you will probably wallow in them. Yet, they somehow become evidence of gender dysphoria when you don’t like your genitals. To make matters worse, if such feelings are confessed, and your parents seek treatment for you, you might get anything from “psychotherapy to supporting the individual’s preferred gender through hormone therapy, gender expression and role, or surgery.”

My blog title is “what is mental health?” If I had asked “what is mental illness?”, the last two paragraphs would answer “It’s the DSM-5 and the psychiatric establishment!

As if further evidence for my contention is necessary, the American Psychology association–the big difference between psychological and psychiatric is the latter can prescribe drugs–now features guidelines for acceptable masculinity. “Traditional masculinity — marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance, and aggression — is, on the whole, harmful.” Harmful to whom? Harmful how? Those questions alone are worth their own blog post, or two or three. Even as cynical as I am, I would not have expected commercial exploitation of this arbitrary redefinition of “acceptable masculinity,” but within weeks of this definition being published, the most male-oriented large company in the United States, Gillette, put out a new commercial exploiting it. The company slogan has been, The Best A Man Can Get, referring to good grooming, and the new commercial changes “get” to “be”, and adapts that slogan to lecture men on restraining their aggression, as if getting into fights and forcing themselves on unwilling women are simply typical male behaviors. The commercialization of morality and its use to make money is pretty cynical. Are we really now taking our morality from the multi-nationals? Gillette are not being brave by their woke virtue signalling  – they have been granted millions of dollars worth of free advertising because the name Gillette was on every news presenters lips.  Controversy sells.  So does virtue signalling.

Gillette is owned by Proctor and Gamble, famous for their animal testing and their use of child labor.  They exploit people and then exploit our emotions in order to make money.  The fact that they are now exploiting the #MeToo movement should not be a cause of celebration.  Greed is more of a problem in society than ‘toxic masculinity’. I note that of the 43 bad examples of male behaviour, 42 are by white men and one black (where are the Asians and Arabs?) . There are seven examples of good behaviour, five of whom are black and two are white. Imagine if it was the other way round! The ad would be banned for racist stereotyping. The unholy trinity of modern Western society is white, working class and male. Not only that, but the bad behavior examples go by so fast, you can’t view it and count how many instances of bad behavior there are, nor count which race is committing them. I had to rely on an independent website to do the counting. This is called subliminal perception, and a long time ago it was all the rage (no, not outrage, but a fad) in advertising, then all but banned due to the manipulation of the subconscious. It’s baaack! I guess this message is acceptable for subliminal manipulation.

I would certainly be considered a “traditional male”, by the APA definition. But after 72 years on this earth, I have been in one fight, at age 14, have never hit, pushed, yelled at, or cursed a woman or child in my life, and never forced my sexual attentions on any woman. Most of the men I have been friends with could probably say the same. If “toxic masculinity” is the cause of most violent crime and rape, where does “servant masculinity” fit? That’s invisible to the counterculture elites’ in their hostility towards the traditional values I grew up with: putting duty before pleasure, protecting the weaker, men leading by self sacrifice, personal responsibility, standing up for principles? Those are masculine traits, which the APA chooses to label as harmful–stoicism, competitiveness, dominance, and aggression–reframed as positive applications.

I started this post by asking “what is mental health?” I could have asked “what is mental illness”, but the reality of this world is you get more of what you focus on. Therefore, why not focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want? Regarding mental health, the largest part of that desirable state is YOU accepting who you really are, and what drives you, NOT trying to force others to embrace your behaviors and conform society to your preferences.

Consistent with that subject, let’s consider LGBT dogma. The T is for transsexual, whose dogma is that there are more than two sexes (non binary), and sex itself is malleable. The B is for bi-sexual, which by inference, is accepting the idea of binary, i.e. two sexes. Otherwise, it would be M, for multisexual. The L and G, lesbian and gay (homosexual), dogma is that you are born a certain sex, with a certain sexual preference, and you can’t change it! Isn’t it time to ask, “what doesn’t belong  in LGBT, or is all of their dogma just so much bullshit?A post is soon coming to address what lies beneath the push to normalize transsexual/transgender ideology.

Demystifying woke buzzwords.

Here it is, the blog you’ve been waiting for. It’s time to be woke, especially if, through no fault of your own, you were born melanin-deprived and therefore, NOT COOL! Part of George Carlin’s comedy routine is a slap at white men who wear caps with the brim facing rear and try complicated handshakes in an effort to be cool. Black men can rock the backward caps and “slapping clapping” handshakes naturally and it’s cool, white men imitating is not cool. In my opinion, using the word “woke” to denote waking up the social consciousness is another lame attempt to be cool, especially since this kind of waking up purports is to demonstrate awareness of injustice against “marginalized groups”, primarily racial minorities and sexual minorities. Woke is self congratulatory, signaling their virtue, and solidarity with the “oppressed”, while implying that those who don’t agree with their crusades are still asleep.

The overall pattern of creating buzzwords and cliches requires one or more of these ingredients: euphemisms, presumption of motives (mindreading), inventing words or changing the meaning of existing words. The euphemism is a special kind of art and the most common device for creating buzzwords. Euphemism: neutral or “soft” sounding words to describe negative or harsh practices, though sometimes they can be positive, to spare a child fear, for example. George Orwell’s novel 1984 contains a veritable bounty of euphemisms. But even a novel can’t match real life. The Final Solution, Joseph Goebbel’s euphemism for trying to kill every Jewish person in Europe, along with a plenty of Slavs, gypsies, homosexuals and the disabled, provided cover for the killing of about 6 million Jews and another 12 million or so of other groups. Mao Tse-Tung’s Great Leap Forward was responsible for around 45 million Chinese deaths. Euphemisms are powerful!

Now, the buzzwords. The phobias: Do you want to portray a person who has questions or doubts about something, phobic? A phobia is an irrational, debilitating fear of something, often associated with a past trauma. I question the claims of transgenders, homosexuals and the Muslims who embrace violence as a means of advancing their causes. Does that make me phobic? Stupid question, or course not. It does make attaching the suffix of “phobic” stupid.

Gender and sex: transgender and cisgender were created to destroy the historic and biological concept of sexual normalcy. The word transsexual has been around for a long time, and denotes the fact that someone appears to have altered their sex. But because the new RR battlefield is normalization of aberrant sexual desires/identities and the denormalization of sexual attraction between men and women, part of that agenda is invalidating the importance of biology and genetics while insisting that gender is different from sex, and is a social construct. Therefore, transgender has been substituted for transsexual. Cisgender is someone who accepts the binary gender and sex concept, and who identifies as either a male or female. Non binary is someone who doesn’t identify with either sex or even the concept of only two sexes. To further drive home their point that gender is fluid and under our own control, deadnaming is calling someone by their name as it was prior to gender-appearance altering surgery and drugs, instead of the name they christened themselves with after the alterations. The most famous example is calling Bruce Jenner Bruce, rather than Caitlyn. marriage equality is the euphemism that refers to accepting the idea that marriage is no longer between a man and woman, but between any two or more “consenting” parties. Notice I did not say consenting adults. Within this camp, there are those who have “married”– their words–multiple people, dolphins, children and themselves. In the latter case, the “two or more” are personalities.

Emotional supports: hate speech is bolded, because it’s more pernicious than the others. It presumes someone’s emotional state, and is used to brand a different viewpoint with a hateful connotation, like if I say “homosexuality is unhealthy”, that means I hate people who are subject to those desires. Safe space is mainly a college concept, as is triggering. Trigger warnings are written into course syllabi primarily by teachers who are afraid that a student will be triggered, emotionally damaged, by course content, and safe spaces are rooms provided to students who want to be insulated from disagreement and potential emotional triggers. Micro aggression is a made up word similar in concept to hate speech, in which a behavior or viewpoint that could be neutral or rational is branded as the intent to assault someone verbally. It’s another example of mind reading.

Racial/ethnic claims: cultural appropriation, someone using elements of a culture that “isn’t theirs”, assumes that cultural elements belong to certain people, and are original with those people who live in the culture, neither of which are true or valid. An example that caused a huge protest a while back was two white women opening a Mexican restaurant. White privilege is an attempt to induce feelings of guilt due to melanin content of their skin and to put whites on the defensive in their dealings with non whites. undocumented immigrant used to be called illegal aliens, which they are, but their advocates don’t want their legal status mentioned. diversity and affirmative action go hand in hand. While ecological diversity is a good thing, as is diversity of ideas, PP diversity simply refers to the melanin content mix of a group, as if it means something. Well, in the context of affirmative action it does. Affirmative action means processes designed to make the mix darker.

Economic euphemisms: fair share is a truly pernicious euphemism for tax policy that penalizes achievement and wealth. How much a fair share is, is never mentioned, since proponents of using taxes to redistribute wealth really want the tax to be as high as they can get away with. This goes right along with calling tax policy itself shared responsibility. social justice is the high sounding catch all for policies which aim to redistribute wealth to favored groups away from “the rich”, the measurement of whom would have been middle class only a few years ago, before the age of monetization of grievances. That last phrase is why CCs are supposed to be ever guilty, with no chance of forgiveness from PPs for the past. Forgiveness can’t be monetized. To understand woke buzzwords, follow the money, as they say.

This just in: Rebekah Wershbale was wearing a black T-shirt with a message that’s about as literal as it gets. A slogan across the front of her shirt simply read: “Woman – noun – adult human female.” For that she was kicked out of, and banned from the Five Clouds Tap, a pub in Britain. A bar staffer told me that the T-shirt I was wearing was upsetting people because it was transphobic and not inclusive so I was barred,” Wershbale told the news outlet. “What she meant was that I was somehow offending men who say they are women because my T-shirt did not include them in the definition of a woman. There aren’t even any transgender staff or patrons at the pub. It’s crackers.” Wershbale is a supporter of the feminist group Fair Play For Women, which opposes a proposal to change the Gender Recognition Act. The change would allow people to declare the gender of their choosing, without medical verification.

Delivering a difficult message, a biblical approach.

In a previous post, I made the point that in any human communication, there is both a sender of the message–speaker or writer–and the receiver of a message–hearer, listener (to hear and listen are not the same), reader, and while both ends of the communication are responsible for accuracy, I want to apply my explanation of accountability. Since verbal communication is more complex, common and misunderstood compared to written, this post will emphasize the verbal. As I said previously, both the speaker and the hearer are responsible for their attitudes about the message, but only one party is accountable for the results. The speaker and the hearer have different goals: the speaker may want to educate, coach, sell or promote, influence, or encourage, for example; the listener may want to be educated, coached, or encouraged, but rarely wants to be influenced or sold to. In the latter case, the hearer is either not listening, or is arguing, or misinterpreting.

My primary argument for why the hearer is more accountable for the result of the communication than the speaker was: If the speaker knows what message he wants to deliver, he is still unlikely to be aware of all the nonverbal cues that the hearer may either be picking up or reacting to. It’s a well known phenomenon that most of what gets communicated is nonverbal. Who can be accountable for being aware of the nonverbal cues? Especially if he actually isn’t sending the cues that the hearer is responding to; after all, more of what we respond to is triggered by past experiences and interpretations, often not even connected to the speaker. If the speaker is trying to encourage, but the hearer is angry at what he thinks the message is, what is more likely, that the speaker really wants to criticize and offend, or that the hearer is getting emotionally plugged into emotional baggage from past interactions or facial expressions or tone of voice? I am speaking as a person who is very impervious to getting offended and very low drama. If you are the opposite, you probably believe that the speaker is more accountable.

The most likely interactions to be successful–both ends of the communication achieving their goals–would start with the speaker responding to a request from the listener for education, coaching, or encouragement. Theoretically, this kind of communication should be successful almost all the time, but even here it’s quite possible that the message the listener thinks they got is different than the speaker intended. Parent to child or husband to wife interactions, for example, are loaded with “emotional baggage” and behavior patterns, no matter how much love there is. Therefore, what hope is there for successful communication between a caring speaker and a reluctant, or resentful, or resistant hearer? There is hope, and to demonstrate, I am going to take as a model various communications in the Bible, specifically the Book of Acts (of the apostles).

After the four gospels presenting the “lifecycle” of Jesus Christ–Matthew, Luke, Mark and John–comes Acts, written by Luke, a physician and the most precise of the apostles. He begins by summarizing “In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.” The rest of the book is a combination of the actions and proclamations of various apostles and the effects of both. It is filled with the most difficult of interactions, mostly preaching by the apostles (speakers) to folks who were hostile or indifferent to, or confused by, their messages. Yet this most difficult of human communications got through to many listeners, since this new religion and the church–it’s congregation–grew exponentially.

Granted, the apostles were able to do significant miracles, and the Holy Spirit softened many hearts, but someone still had to deliver the message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

When Peter met a magician named Simon, who had witnessed miracles done by the apostle Philip, and who believed his message, you might think Peter would be gentle with him, when he offered Peter money to give him the power to baptize with the Holy Spirit. After all, magic was Simon’s living, how could he understand what he was asking for? But Peter said, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” Acts 8:20-24. Did Simon get offended? No. “And Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.” Acts 8:24.

But when Paul, who was generally a more conciliatory apostle than Peter, met a magician named Elymus, he said, You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Acts 13:10-11. Why was he so harsh? “But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.” Acts 13:8. “Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.” Acts 13:12. Two apostles with harsh messages, two magicians with bad motives. Perhaps Paul knew that his demonstration of power would turn the heart of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus to the gospel, but if so, it was not in the text.

When Peter and John were arrested by the Jewish council for preaching, they were admonished to stop mentioning the name of Jesus. “And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened.” Acts 4:21. How did Peter and John react? They prayed for even greater boldness. “And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:29-30.

Paul delivered the same message in the synagogues of Thessalonica and Berea. In the former city, “But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar…” Acts 17:5. “The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”  Acts 17:10-11. I believe that, based on the preceding messages, the Bible is implying that the hearers were more accountable for receiving the messages than the speakers.

In the following instance, Paul initially tried to establish rapport with the audience by complimenting their desire to worship: “So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: ‘Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring’. Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” So Paul went out from their midst. But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.” Acts 17:22-34.

Some still mocked, others believed and others remained interested. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit will call those “appointed to eternal life” and it will be an “effectual call”, that is irresistible. The apostles were speaking, the Holy Spirit was calling, and some hearers became listeners, then believers.