So a marginal football player got drafted into the NFL, kissed his boyfriend smack on the lips, and then another football player tweeted something that expressed the sentiment ick gross, and so the second player was hustled into sensitivity training. Got that?
As the revolution is established, there will be no heckling. Kirsten Powers got it right. I have as much of an expectation of broad-minded tolerance from the left these days as I do of somebody hoisting up a John 3:16 sign at a North Korean missile parade. These people are coercion junkies.
How will they stop the heckling? Vee haff vays. Notice that I did that obliquely because I didn’t want to violate Godwin’s Law — the first person in a debate to invoke Nazi parallels loses. This is because it is a well known principle of political science that political coercion and tyranny was only possible in the 1940s. All claims about oppressive coercion in our day are therefore bogus by definition, and one begins to suspect that the person who won’t stop expressing his views when the establishment wishes for him to express theirs is cruising for a sensitivity seminar. I also brought up Godwin’s Law because Nazi analogies are not the only negative examples that we should take into account.
Look. If you use language in ways they disapprove of, they will show the world what thorough-going malice looks like. That is why I make a point of doing it. They will send you off to the Gaylag Archipelago — there’s an example of what I do — where they will upbraid you for your intolerance until you come to realize that love is the answer. Love is all you need. Love is the best. Love is what Big Br . . . love is a good thing. Who could be against love except for the haters?
All right. Now it is time to bring a number of threads together.
The great American classicist Basil Gildersleeve once said that the American Civil War was fought over a point of grammar. He said that it was over whether we should say “the United States is” or “the United States are.” Other great and complicated issues can be reduced to a simple question as well. When it comes to culture wars, same sex mirage, natural law, and so on, we are really asking this: “What is the universe actually like?”
There are two basic options confronting us today. Either the cosmos was created, made, fashioned . . . or it was not. Either God spoke everything into existence from nothing, or there is no God. Eternality is an attribute of something — either the living God, or time and chance acting on matter and energy. If the former, we must do what He says. If the latter, we may do what we want.
But as it is, we are a rebellious house, and want to do what we want to do. We are a conclusion in search of a premise, and so it turns out that all respectable science testifies that Genesis is not a textbook of science, anything but that. The materialists say that Genesis is bogus, and the Christian abandoners of Genesis say that the book is crammed full of spiritual truths for your faith to believe, but you have to take care what you believe. You can’t believe everything you read. But the whole thing is a power play, seeking to drive from the field the only real alternative to their hellish vision for mankind.
Following Foucault, what these men want to do is hump the world, and they want the authority to make anything they want into an object for their lust. The first questions in their sexual catechism always have to do with sodomy, and this is why America now finds herself fiddling “with the lock on this cage of demons” (Swanson, Apostate, p. 24). Sodomy is simply perversion for beginners — anyone who thinks that we are anywhere close to being done with this foolishness is trying to make his peace with the foolishness himself. “Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man” (Prov. 27:20, ESV).
Unbelievers live in the world, and this is why we must continue to insist on the authority of nature. They also live in the world defined by Scripture, but they are more inclined to deny this than to deny they live in the world. Not only so, but whenever they deny that they live in the world defined by the enscripturated Word, Christians are more inclined to let them get away with it. This is because Christians accept the Bible, and non-Christians don’t. Everybody lives in the world, like it or not.
Right, and this is why we must continue to insist that the world has a nature, and that this nature is teleologically structured. There is an entelechy to all things, and this purpose, this telos, this intention, this embodiment, was determined by the God who made the world. The world has a nature. Whenever we speak of Nature, we are simply expressing this truth in a shorthand way.
But we are currently living in the midst of a large-scale revolt against nature and nature’s God, and this revolt wants to say that “nature” is a blank, that it has no nature, and that man can therefore impose whatever he wants on it. The godly man wants his dominion to be the result of an obedient conforming to the way things are, while the ungodly man wants his dominion to be the result of whatever he wills, and what he wills is almost always wired up to his lusts somehow.
According to the theorists of this revolt, the world is a lump of dough, to be shaped into whatever forms the masters of the universe in question desire for it. Sarte’s phrase for this was that “existence precedes essence,” and he touted the idea that human beings do not possess any inherent nature or value, and that everything we become is therefore a function of the will. Just as Nixon surrendered economic sanity by allegedly saying “we are all Keynesians now,” so also fickle Christians seem to be readying themselves for the time when they can say “we are all existentialists now.” It turns out the Cities of the Plain have a theological society, and we have a bunch of guys who are desperate not to get kicked out of it.
Let us begin, shall we, with some basic distinctions.
The first has to do with the basic sin issue, with politics not involved. When I was in the Navy, and had evangelistic discussions with whoring drunks, sin was always the issue. I was presenting the gospel to them, and the necessary response to the gospel message is “repent and believe.” I would talk with men who were ashamed of their sin, and also to men who were belligerent about it. I would confront them with their tomcatting ways, and they would confront me for being such a Jesus freak. But, to everyone’s credit, after we would have what the diplomats call a frank exchange of views, nobody ran off to tattle.
Those who are tempted with same sex attractions — both those who are ashamed of it and try to resist it and those who are given over to it — are gaywalkers. God built the road, and it is straight road, and he told us to cross at the intersection. Refusing to do so, or wavering on the point, is a sin issue, not a political issue. Let’s talk about it. As we address this kind of thing, the faithful Christian is dealing with the homosexual on exactly the terms as he deals with adulterers, gamblers, liars, drunks, and so on. Sin is sin, and Jesus is the only way out of that death trap. So let’s talk about it.
Facebook recently decided to let people configure their profile with an available list of any number of genders. For them to publish a master list of the available options would obviously be way too confining, but one estimate puts the available options at 58 or so. One example is cisgender, a word for someone who, for the most part, identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth. And they also have genderqueer, for example, but they don’t have demiguy, and one only wonders when the hatred will stop.
If your inclination is to think the world has gone crazy, you are right. But it is crazy with a logic to it. There are reasons for the pomosexual revolt. There are hidden drivers, and if you understand them, you will understand the central features of what is happening. Here are some of the key principles.
1. You become like what you worship. There are many places in Scripture where this principle is laid down, but I will cite only two. The first is negative, having to do with idolatry. “Their idols are silver and gold, The work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: Eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: Noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: Feet have they, but they walk not: Neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; So is every one that trusteth in them” (Psalm 115:4–8). If you give yourself to the manufacture of idols that cannot see, cannot hear, cannot smell, cannot handle, cannot walk, and cannot speak, you are actually engaged in the process of becoming like a block of wood yourself. Adam’s rebellion wrecked our humanity, but there was still some of the image of God left. Idolatry is corrosive of that remaining humanity, perpetuating and accelerating the downward spiral. But the same principle applies to the restoration of the gospel, applying to those who have been brought by the Spirit into the worship of God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ. “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18, ESV).
Let’s clear a few things out in the first paragraph. Nature is nature, which seems obvious enough, but less obvious is that nature has a nature. The grain of the natural order runs in a particular way. It is not amorphous goo that can be shaped by any volunteer demiurge that happens by. It is not an inert substance that can successfully be altered by an act of Congress, or runaway judges. I just read in the news this week that a federal judge determined that in Michigan water must now run uphill.
This why sex change operations are such a fine example of pomosexual confusion. If nature does not have a nature, then subsets of nature (that would be us) would not have a nature either. If we do not have a nature, then it cannot be possible to contradict or violate it. But if we do have a nature, as established by nature’s God, then one of the first things that rebels against that God will want to do is declare war on it.
Not only does nature have a nature, nature also has a way of instructing us about herself. We see this in the realm of sexual customs. For example, nature teaches us that long hair is a disgrace for a man, but is a woman’s glory. But this creates an interesting set of questions.
We alter nature when we comb our hair, brush our teeth, take a bath, get braces for our teeth, or get a haircut. Now — and I am serious in asking the question — why are all these things lawful, and a sex change operation is not lawful? Why are the former examples of cultivating nature, and the latter an example of insulting her?
This is happening in lots of different areas, so I don’t want to pick on Rand Paul. But for the sake of convenience, let us start with him. He recently called for a “truce” within the Republican Party on “social issues,” but what such a truce would actually amount to is total capitulation on the part of social conservatives.
To agree to a truce on such issues is to acknowledge in some fundamental way that the issue is not what you have been claiming for it all these years. Principled incrementalism would never use the word truce. Face-saving surrenders do. If abortion is murder, you don’t go halvsies on it. If you had been fighting the Nazi genocide for years, and they suddenly offered you a truce, wherein they agreed to stop killing the Feingolds and so on through the end of the alphabet, and you agreed to such a deal, would this not reveal that you had no earthly clue what position you had actually been advocating?
Also, it should be said, to agree to a truce on these issues, in this political climate, argues an intelligence that might be competitive with a somewhat backward oyster. Are you kidding me? When have the secularists ever honored a truce like this? Pro-lifers would be like the Ukraine, abandoning nukes in exchanges for guaranteed borders. Didn’t happen? Oops. Well, that was years ago anyways.
Now that the new pomosexual order is moving into a full court press, and given the fact that a lot of Christians haven’t found their epistemological backbones yet (which would be admittedly a difficult task for them), what this means that is that numerous Christians whose conservatism was on auto-pilot are going to be looking for a face-saving way out. Back when they could raise money on the homosexual threat with underlined screechings, they would do so. But now that doing this might actually take some courage, and such money might actually be well-spent, they will move on to another cash cow. Look for them to start raising money to fight the threat of child brides under twelve in Dearborn. Child brides who are thirteen and over were covered by the truce.
Let us abandon for a moment the idea of culture war, and shift the image over to a game or a sport. Many conservative believers think we are in a straightforward contest of strength, something like sumo wrestling, when we are actually in a chess game with a master who is consistently five moves ahead of us.
I bring this up because of this piece by Michael Hannon over at First Things, warning us off the false ideal of heterosexuality. And if you read that, I would then recommend this response over at Mere Orthodoxy. In this response of mine, I would want to go even farther than Matt Anderson did in registering concern. By “registering concern” I refer of course to the fact that I will be dancing in place, with my hair on fire, and waving my hands over the top of my head.
There are three problems that have each contributed to setting my head ablaze. Let me outline them for you, although concentration might be a problem.