The Humpfest Masquerade

Those Christian activists who are laboring — God bless them — for some kind of “equal time for Jesus” arrangement are not on a fool’s errand. It is worse than that. They are in a fool’s war.

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; That put darkness for light, and light for darkness; That put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Is. 5:20)

The governor of Californicate has just signed into law a provision that allows kids who self-identify as having been born into the wrong kind of body to use the rest rooms and locker rooms of the gender they would have been born into, had God not been such an incompetent. Those of us who have been sitting on the edge of our seats, waiting for that magic moment when common sense will kick in and the legislators of that formerly grand state will all be defenestrated, are going to be disappointed yet again. It appears that common sense has no salvific powers. Common sense is no savior — but rest assured that common sense can be forgiven and saved, along with the rest of us.

Incidentally, by appearing to urge the defenestration of that august body, I want to hasten to add that I want it done from the first floor only, on the side with the bouncy bushes. The last thing I want, for it would not fit into my schedule at present, is to find myself in some kind of mandatory sensitivity training for rodeo clowns.

In the passage from Isaiah, notice that it is not just that evil is called good, but also that good is called evil. Secular tolerance does not want evil to come alongside good, and be given an honored place alongside good on the shelf of ethical options. No, this is a binary world, and you cannot declare evil good without also declaring good evil. You cannot confound darkness and light without also confounding light and darkness. When you cannot distinguish bitter and sweet, then depend upon it, your taste buds are shot, and you cannot distinguish sweet and bitter.

You also will be unable to remember all the grand tolerance promises you made to us along the way. “All we want . . .” When the crackdown comes, and the haters are all rounded up or cowed into silence, a sweet amnesia will descend, and harmony will reign. Harmony will reign because different notes are now prohibited. Harmony will reign because chords are outlawed. A glorious concord will . . . shut up, you.

No, if it is not principled tolerance, explicitly grounded in the lordship of Jesus Christ, then it is a transitional and very temporary tolerance, a ruse to allay the concerns of those whose value system is in the process of being entirely replaced. Secular tolerance has no structure or framework that can bear the weight of our collective lusts. Any resemblance to the older forms of Christian tolerance (that early rounds of secular tolerance took parasitic credit for) will begin to fade, and when the last band kicks in, the lights will go down, and our orgiastic enlightenment will spiral down into darkness.  Some people want to bonk the world, and they want anybody who thinks they perhaps oughtn’t do so shipped off with that rodeo clown. What we are facing is a humpfest masquerading as political theory.

But there is good news. Some might wonder how I can think this way, and remain cheerful. Oh, there are countless reasons for remaining cheerful. We live in the world God made, not the world they think they have re-imagined. In the long run, blind stupidity is never a good policy. The downside of blind stupidity is that it doesn’t work. Sooner or later, as Lady Thatcher put it, you run out of other people’s money. Then there is Herbert Stein’s Law, which is, “Trends that can’t continue, won’t.” And we can always cheer ourselves up by reflecting on how wet King Canute’s toes got.

How would I feel if Congress mandated that from henceforth all nuts must be threaded onto bolts with a counterclockwise motion, and that all products made with said nuts and bolts were mandated to stay together as firmly as they ever did in the olden days of hate. In addition, the manufacturers of said bolts were prohibited, upon pain of hefty fines, from adjusting in any way the way the threads ran. They further decreed that consumers be allowed, if they so chose, to assemble their purchased products entirely with bolts, or entirely with nuts. In California, nuts would be allowed to self-identify as bolts, and vice versa.

How would I feel? Always in the mood for a crash and a spectacle, positively giddy.

Theology That Bites Back



Opt-in here and you'll receive a weekly digest of the thoughts and musings from yours truly that wend their way into blog posts. In addition, from time to time, you should also receive notices of new book releases, upcoming events, and continent-sized cyclones on Jupiter.

Congratulations. You did it.

  • David Douglas

    Well….if your blogstalker(s?) can take issue with your recent column about giving, this column will be quite the blog-whistle.

  • Moor

    A crass high-school cheer (for when a referee made a particularly bad call) comes to mind in response to your nuts and bolts paragraph, and while you may feel inclined to moderate it, I believe it is apropos. It went like this:__________________________________________________________________________Nuts and Bolts, Nuts and Bolts, We Got Screwed!

  • Robert

    Ladies in California, it is time to file a sexual harassment lawsuit aginast the State of California

  • DCHammer

    This represents yet another case of individual’s rights run amuck over the rights and benefit of the commonwealth. Somewhat similar, but to the right of the political spectrum, is the error of individual’s proprety rights run amuck over the rights and benefit of the commonwealth. (See DW “Honoring His Stuff”, 8/12/13.) Neither of these are compatable with biblical teaching of not thinking more highly of yourself than you should and deferring your rights to those of others.

  • Doug Shuffield

    All this talk of nuts and bolts…And here I thought California was the land of fruits and nuts…

    Learn something new from this blog everyday!

    – Doug

  • Rob

    Well, based on the post title, I know what I’m calling my new band. If I start a band. Or have any musical talent.

  • Eric the Red

    There is, however, a fairly significant difference between a fact of engineering, such as what kind of building materials to use, versus a cultural construct, such as the conditions under which people should relieve themselves. There are parts of the world in which all public bathrooms are co-ed; I know this because I’ve traveled there. The first time I used a co-ed bathroom I was uncomfortable; by the end of the first day it was as if I’d been using co-ed bathrooms all my life. If no one makes a big deal about it, it’s not a big deal.

    But all of this is beside the point. The real point is your consistent refusal to apply the Golden Rule to people who aren’t like you. If you were a six year old who believed you were a girl trapped in a boy’s body, even if you were flat out wrong, how would you want to be treated? It’s amazing how un-Christlike some Christians become when the subject is sexual minorities.

  • Charles C

    “If you were a six year old who believed you were a girl trapped in a boy’s body, even if you were flat out wrong, how would you want to be treated?” Eric, if you were a six year old who believed you were a great fighter jet pilot, even if you were flat out wrong, how would you want to be treated?

  • RFB

    Or if you were a six year old who believed you were impervious to gravity, while standing on the edge of a cliff, even if you were flat out wrong, how would you want to be treated?

  • Eric the Red

    Charles and RFB, you are again confusing physical laws with cultural constructs, which is why the entire premise of this conversation is mistaken. If there were a law of biology or physics that said that gender identity always matches anatomy — which there is not — then you’d have a point. Some people are born with both sets of genitals; what do you say to them?

  • Gregory C. Dickison

    I predict that every high school boy in California is going self-identify as a girl by the end of the day.

  • Eric the Red

    Here’s the bottom line: There are a great many things that seem intuitively obvious — like, for example, that the sun revolves around the earth — but that also turn out to be dead wrong upon closer analysis. And that’s why science demands that ideas actually be examined and evidence deduced, even for stuff that looks patently obvious to the casual observer.

    Gender identity is one area in which the actual scientific data pretty thoroughly refutes the intuitively obvious idea that anatomy is determinative. And scientific data trumps cultural constructs.

  • J. Clark

    I love it when Eric the red handed shows up. You can’t make this stuff up.

  • Don Smith

    My thoughts are: what if you were a 16 year old boy who thought he was really a female. I would not open the door to the ladies’ room for you if my wife or daughter was inside. Common sense has become uncommon.

  • Christopher Casey

    Eric the Red:

    Gender identity is one area in which the actual scientific data pretty thoroughly refutes the intuitively obvious idea that anatomy is determinative. And scientific data trumps cultural constructs.

    So what does determine gender Identity?

  • bethyada

    Eric, to lose an arm of an eye in an accident is a tragedy. But the result is still broken. We may teach the one armed man how to eat with one hand, or design for him another limb. For him to legislate that all people eat with one hand would be both laughable and ridiculous; especially if he stated that his anatomy represented optimal design or an alternative design.

    Unisex toilets are not the issue, most houses have them. The man who thinks he is a girl is broken. His insistence that we accept his desire as correct is the problem. He has no problem using the men’s toilets, in fact he even has the equipment to use the urinal on the wall. But to legislate that we allow him to use the other toilet is a demand for me to say his brokenness is normal—or more usually, a demand to say that his sin is not sin.

  • Kimberley

    Post a comment

  • Kimberley

    oops! I agree with Robert. The ladies in CA ought to sue.

  • Eric the Red

    Christopher, much as I usually deplore wikipedia, their article on gender identity is actually pretty good. Here’s a quote from it:

    “Basic gender identity is usually formed by age three and is extremely difficult to change after that.[7][8][9] Although the formation of gender identity is not completely understood, many factors have been suggested as influencing its development. Biological factors that may influence gender identity include pre- and post-natal hormone levels and genetic makeup.”

  • Eric the Red

    Bethyada, even if I agree with you that a six year old boy who thinks he’s a girl is “broken” in the same sense that being born with only one arm is “broken”, the point is, you encourage that child (both the one with the gender identity issue and the one with only one arm) to live as full and as rich a life as they are able, given their disabilities and society’s reaction to them. You’re right that you don’t tell everyone else to cut an arm off, but neither do you berate the one armed child for only having one arm and insist he act as if he has two.

    Trying to turn a boy who thinks he’s a girl into a boy who thinks he’s a boy will accomplish nothing except make him miserable; we have years of studies and case histories that show this. Just spend a few minutes thinking about how miserable you would have been if, as a child, your parents and teachers had forced you into the opposite gender role of the one you felt comfortable with. If you wouldn’t have wanted that misery for yourself, why would you wish it on him?

  • RFB

    Eric, he was not born with one arm, he was born with two perfectly functioning arms but he wants to believe that he has only one.

  • Epeius

    Some of the commentary here on gender is plainly false. Gender may indeed lie on a spectrum. In this sense, in rare cases (nature dictates that for survival of a species these cases must by definition be rare) genitalia may not be deterministic in terms of the gender one “feels” they possess. But to claim gender is merely a “cultural construct”, as though there are no biological determinants, is as unscientific as one can get. Laughably so.

    The idea that Christianity somehow advocates letting six year-olds do as they see fit in the name of the golden rule is equally laughable, whether dealing with a physical law or a falsely labeled “social construct”.

    Here are a few other social constructs we may need to start keeping in mind to meet certain commenters’ ideas of ‘good Christians’: six year old wants to arm himself and fight in the front lines of war? Fine–a cutoff of 18 is quite arbitrary and merely a social construct, after all. Does your child feel like a heroin addict on the inside? Our societal rejection of such drugs is, after all, hardly based on natural law. Why not get your six year-old breast implants and a nose job? Our general reluctance (bad Christians that we are) is only due to an artificial social bias against silicon-enhanced DD 6 year-olds, after all.

    Perhaps most arbitrary, if a 42 year old male would like to get frisky with a 12 year-old, menstruating female… why let the social construct of minimum legal age stand in the way? Clearly science shows that the female is capable of reproducing at that age, and we would be loath to claim that nature simply didn’t understand that 12 year-olds aren’t actually ready for what their bodies are telling them to do…and science trumps social constructs, right? Don’t bother with arguments about “mental maturity”, for surely there are some 12 year olds who are quite mature and understand the implications of a sexual relationship at least as well as a six year old boy understands the implications of being a woman on the inside. There is ample historical precedent for such relationships, too! If ever there were a “social construct” involving sex, surely it is the taboo around child molestation? But do unto others…and who am I to judge? Cultural constructs are not to be respected as physical laws, after all.

    It would be far more genuine for those critical of acknowledging real, biologically based gender norms to just come straight out and admit that they simply don’t like the fact that nature doesn’t agree with them. Far from supporting them, sometimes pesky science just won’t get out of the way. I would respect to a much higher degree, and engage in much more serious discussion with, someone who simply said, “Forget the genes, the science, the biology–I just don’t want gender to be real!” But don’t co-opt, slander, and soil the scientific method in your desperate attempt to add a semblance of reason to your pursuit of an irrational argument with societal ramifications none of us can begin to comprehend (or are you arguing that the abolition of gender would have no unintended consequences? Good luck with that one, though I’m sure many like you believe it.).

    The real problem has nothing to do with honoring the golden rule and being Christian by letting little Johnny change in the girls’ locker room. The real problem is that Reality can be so politically incorrect, and it just isn’t fair. When scientific inquiry into things like gender, race, the environment, genetics, and the like is no longer silenced by political correctness, then we can talk about “scientific data trump[ing] social constructs”. Until then, be honest about your real motives and your real reasons for having them if you want a real and honest discussion.

  • James Bradshaw

    Never mind that Europe has had unisex bathrooms and even public spas/baths for both genders for years.

    Personally, I don’t like public restrooms at all. Every bathroom should be single-user only, but that’s just me.

    This isn’t about morality, necessarily. It’s about American culture and our own prudishness.

    I respect the latter and feel we should accommodate it at times, but let’s not over-react and insist this is the end of the world.

  • Doane

    I cant wait until some kid feels like he’s an elephant trapped inside a human and wants to cut his penis off and have it stapled to his face. Transspecism. Who are we to tell that child he is wrong? Whats a boy? Whats a girl? Whats an elephant? Thats not a penis on his face, thats a trunk! Oh wait, nobody thinks that would ever happen. That would be absurd. Thankfully we have caring Christians(unlike Doug) who will sit with that child and stroke his trunk telling him thats its OK and will help them live a full and rich life.

  • Doane

    Seriously people, this is not about unisex bathrooms. Europe is not unisex because they cant tell the difference between men and woman and identity gender choosing.

  • Doane

    Can you tell me what a “girl” is and what a “boy” is. Then tell me what “scientific data that trumps cultural constructs” prove this and show us how to distinguish between the two. Then tell me how to go about proving this? Or do we just take someones word for it?

  • Doane

    “Gender identity is one area in which the actual scientific data pretty thoroughly refutes the intuitively obvious idea that anatomy is determinative.” Where did you get this data?

  • Jonathan Baird

    Can you imagine all the 15 year old boys who will begin claiming they are girls trapped in boy’s body to have access to the girl’s locker room? No more need for peep holes…

  • David

    Seems to me that a simple picture of male or female genitalia on the door of each bathroom would solve the problem without words!

  • Moor

    For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

  • Moor

    We have yet, it seems, to resist the sweet words and the sweet-looking fruit. Who, after all, can resist the lure of such words: …and ye shall be as gods…?

  • Alonzo “Zo” Thomas

    Foolish people who hate God’s ways, still serve His sovereign purposes. In that I take comfort.

  • Nat Carswell

    Those great reformed theological commentators Monty Python summed it up many years ago.

  • Christopher Casey

    Erik The Red quoted wikipedia saying

    Although the formation of gender identity is not completely understood, many factors have been suggested as influencing its development. Biological factors that may influence gender identity include pre- and post-natal hormone levels and genetic makeup.

    Also from the wiki: ‘Gender identity is a person’s private sense of, and subjective experience of, their own gender.’ So all we know is that people subjectivity experience their own gender? Bringing this back to the laws in California, I don’t think a persons subjective experience is a good basis for lawmaking, it would be more sensible to make all public restrooms unisex than to legally validate a confusing gender identity.

  • Tim Bushong

    Rob–GREAT name for a band!
    Nat–I had to post the vid on my Facebook page.
    Doug Wilson–thank you for another excellent post, full of godly wit and sarcasm, and optimistically postmillenial.

  • Matt Robison

    Forget gender. I feel that I’m really a black man in a white man’s body. Maybe I can apply for some of those special scholarships or grants? If someone looks at me funny, can I claim racism?

  • Jane Dunsworth

    “If you were a six year old who believed you were a girl trapped in a boy’s body, even if you were flat out wrong, how would you want to be treated?”

    Leaving aside the lack of evidence that such things exist…

    If you were an actual six year old girl and you were forced to share a bathroom with a six-year-old boy in a society where you are consistently taught that such things are at best embarrassing, how would you feel?

    The Golden Rule doesn’t solve things here, at least not in the way you’re applying it. You have to look elsewhere for the principles, like asking whether we should be teaching kids that there are such things as people trapped in the wrong body.

  • RFB
  • Joel

    And just why does anyone think that Europe – that vast habitation of every fowl bird, leading the way to the death of Western Christian civilization – that Europe should be our role model?

  • Ianopolis

    Epeius wins.

  • Keely Emerine-Mix

    It’s laughably predictable. Eric the Red makes some well-reasoned points that contradict Herr Wilson’s. Eric is made fun of. Eric’s evident humility, sensitivity, intelligence, and capacity for analytical thoght prompt other men of chest to chime in with things like, “If I feel like a black man in a white man’s body, can I cry ‘racism’ if someone looks at me funny?” Those comments are stupid. They are insensitive. They reveal an unattractive smugness. They will be applauded, while Eric’s reasoned discussion will continue to be the focus of derision. Stop, rewind, play again — it’s the same old, same old, in Wilson’s neighborhood. And, by the way, I’m Keely Emerine-Mix, the “everlasting blogstalker” — a term I coined for Dale Courtney — referred to in the first post. Pleased to meet you all, and thankful for Eric. The rest of you should learn the masculine art of thinking for yourselves and not reacting like nasty third-graders when someone else does. Good day, gentlemen.

  • Doane

    The only thing worse than “nasty third graders” are “nasty gender confused third graders”. Or, “nasty third graders trapped inside an adults body”. But lets not be judgmental. Good day!

  • John Brigham

    In order not to offend MsMix or RedEric, it really is quite simple: if someone is truly confused just have them take a DNA test, so they can be settled in their minds.

    A few dozen tests are way cheaper than third-gender restrooms.

  • Jane Dunsworth

    My goodness, Ms. Mix, let us not have derision! Next thing you know, people will be calling one another insensitive, unattractively smug, nasty third-graders, accusing people of engaging in the same-old, same-old, or reflecting negatively on their masculinity.

  • Matt Robison

    Did someone just call my comment stupid? Excellent! Does that mean we have some sort of admission that it is completely absurd to even think that reality can be shaped by our mere feelings? More progress!

  • Matthias

    Eric’s version of “well-reasoned” is basically, “you’ll get over it.” Indeed this is because he has no basis to stand anywhere firm with respect to gender identity (not even science itself does, by its own admission), and so he himself has no choice but to get over it. This, of course, does not apply to people who do in fact have a concrete basis for gender identity, and it’s amazing to me (though it probably shouldn’t be) that Eric still does not see the abject antithesis between the two positions. But, for some reason 3-yr-olds know exactly what’s right for themselves when it comes to something so scientifically questionable as “gender identity” and we should affirm what they think is right (even if we call it a “disability” as Eric does). And you’ll get hurt if you stick your fork into the electrical outlet, but the science is still out on that. Some people want to be hurt, so it’s not quite “harm,” is it?

  • CPS

    …and, predictably, neither Keely nor Eric appear to have the wherewithal to engage any of Epeius’ excellent points.

  • Jordan

    In unrelated news, experts across the state of California are dumfounded by an extreme rise in middle and high school boys self-identifying as girls. “I just realized I wasn’t supposed to have this thing,” says Gabriella Jackson, the captain of the football team. “Gabe Jackson is my past, it’s time for me to move on,” she says just before ducking into the women’s locker room following her teams big win against their cross-town rivals. “I didn’t want my guys to hurt a girl,” the opposing defensive coordinator confesses, “it just wouldn’t be right.”

  • Joe Francis

    why can’t we have a third bathroom that just says “other”?

  • Kimberley

    “Forget gender. I feel that I’m really a black man in a white man’s body. Maybe I can apply for some of those special scholarships or grants? If someone looks at me funny, can I claim racism?”