Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A Compelling Argument

Compelled speech is the new line in the sand some believers (and a few unbelievers) are not prepared to cross.

Jordan Peterson’s refusal-in-principle to use invented pronouns made him a household name. Taking a page from that manual, a Christian music teacher from Brownsburg, Indiana declined to address transgender students by their preferred names. Doing so “would go against my Christian beliefs,” John Kluge told an NBC affiliate. Another, Madeline Kirksey of Katy, Texas, could not bring herself to call a six-year-old girl in her care by her preferred (male) name.

No points for correctly guessing that Kluge and Kirksey are currently unemployed. Even Peterson has not taught a class in some time, though he does quite well with the combination of YouTube and Patreon. (The bestseller probably didn’t hurt either.)

Expect plenty more of this.

An Issue That Won’t Go Away

As usual with these things, there is some fuzziness around the reporting. The NY Daily News seems unclear whether Kluge was dismissed or quit. Both the terms “forced to resign” and “voluntarily submitted a resignation” appear in their article. And with a lawsuit already filed against them, Kirksey’s former employers prudently claim her dismissal was unrelated to the transgender child. But it seems likely the issue is not going away anytime soon.

So what is really so terrible about compelled speech? Why is it wrong to call a boy a girl or a girl a boy if that’s what they prefer? We’d better figure that out now. That not-so-distant sound you hear is the clatter of Christian accommodationists building their case for complete capitulation. “Live peaceably with all,” and “Let none of you suffer as a meddler” and who-know-what-else from the New Testament will shortly be trotted out (mostly out of context) as evidence that the denial of reality on demand is not really an anti-Christian principle.

Kindness or Enabling?

But it kind of is. It is no kindness to a child — or to anyone of any age — to call him or her something they are not. It reinforces delusional, self-destructive behavior. As one writer for The Federalist put it in 2016, “Individuals who believe they are a different sex than that of their biology are psychologically ill.” Their suicide rate is “somewhere north of 40 percent by reliable estimates.” And contrary to the myths propagated by LGBT-whatever enablers, this is not at all related to being a victim of discrimination, but rather is a product of mental illness.

You can advance the argument that capitulating to social pressure is prudent, necessary or inevitable if you wish. You cannot make the argument that it is either kind or Christian.

Puncturing the Delusion Bubble

Now the case may also be made that puncturing a delusion bubble is a job for qualified professionals rather than the average faith-inspired yahoo on the street. I haven’t heard that one yet, but I’m sure we will, along with the logical rejoinder: it is impossible to protect people from hearing things they don’t want to hear. The list of potential triggers and microaggressions grows daily, and will never end because it is not a list of actual problems that need fixing but rather a list of the reasons we must agree to cede control of our lives to the Left, including how we think.

Most Christians are not willing to go there. Indeed, we can’t.

In view of the ongoing convergence of all our major institutions toward both compelled speech and compelled behavior — medicine, teaching, law and business, just for starters — this may be a good decade for Christian kids graduating from high school to think long and hard about learning a trade.

I mean come on, who could get offended by a carpenter?

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