I came upon a piece of propaganda at work last week during a
fascist re-education seminar. I present it here, inherent contradictions and anti-realist statements and all:
There are apparently an infinite variety of positions to take on the various slider bars. This is especially strange given that biological sex is, by definition, a binary choice: either male or female. The alternative to sexual creatures are asexual creatures, and human beings are not asexual. This is a universally accepted biological fact, and an inconvenient thing to ignore if you are a gender theorist, so there are plenty of pseudoscientific reports that say nothing but try to compel people to doubt this easily observed fact.
I’m sure more revisions of this are in store, given that “sexual attracted to” seems like it should have a number of sliders equal, at least, to the number of all other sliders multiplied together. It gets a measly two. And the more sliders the better, right? This image is unknowingly a perfect reflection of the postmodern West, where reality is subject to consumerist choice. What better expression of infinite consumerist choice than a buffet?
Instead of pointing out the absurdities inherent in this image bit by bit, I thought a nice comparison image might be nice. So, for the first time, I present the Gingerbody Man:
Note that a person who “identifies” as too fat but is actually too thin and so doesn’t eat is called an anorexic, and is extremely unhealthy. But a person who “identifies” as a woman but is actually a man and so takes testosterone-blockers is considered sacred, and not to be questioned, even though testosterone is required for health in a male body and deficiencies are considered a medical condition.
Essential in both of these images is the idea that the human body is subservient, in every way, to the human mind. The body is considered a mere shell that hides a person’s true self from getting out. As a well-timed article put it, this whole thing has its roots in therapy culture and the cult of Freud.
This sort of thing is not entirely new, however. Treating one’s body with contempt is nothing more or less than Gnosticism. In demanding that Christians follow the orders of gender theorists, the US Government and businesses that join in are demanding that Christians adopt not only an insane and anti-scientific view of the world, but a heretical one.
A person with short, combed hair, and no makeup walks up to you wearing a suit. What gender is this person.
The person’s sex cannot be in doubt. There are two sexes; it is in the nature of sexual reproduction to have two sexes. One is male, and the other is female.
No, my question is to which gender a person is. The answer is that it is impossible to tell, given the fact that the term, when not used in linguistics, is for all practical purposes the greatest example of intellectual fuzziness and ambiguity available.
The person could identify as a man and be a biological male. The person could identify as a female and be a biological male and wear male clothes and act like a male. In fact, a man could simply be living a normal and say “I identify as a woman” without changing in a single way, and it would fall within the category of transgendered.
One would suspect that it would be difficult to build a punitive framework around this concept for anyone who did not find purchase in it. After all, how can someone be penalized for not fully understanding something that, by its own nature, cannot be understood? But one would be wrong. Utterly wrong.
Not only are there penalties for those who do not adhere to a philosophy grounded on ambiguous nothingness, the penalties themselves are severe. Social ostracism, losing a job, and dealing with financial penalties are not uncommon. Simply not being enthusiastic enough about the anti-philosophy of Gender Theory is sufficient in many cases.
Large companies across the United States are, in order to cater to the sexual radicals that make up the bulk of the cultural elite, increasingly enforcing the proclamations of Gender Theorists on anyone and everyone. Within a year of the first efforts to allow biological men into the biological women’s restroom (and mind you, the restrooms are divided by biological sex and not gender, else there would be urinals in both or neither), there are now boycotts of entire states who do not comply with the newly enhanced Gender Theory proclamation that requires it be permitted.
The United States is treading some familiar territory to those who lived in the fascist pits of despair popularized in the 20th century. Freedom of speech and conscience are not only limited, but are limited precisely where they ought to be most free: in the expression of true statements. “Men are men and cannot conceivably feel like women” is anathema. Despite the fact that no human being can ever feel like another in total, because we are ourselves and not someone else, it is taken for granted that a man can know what a woman feels like so thoroughly that he himself becomes one. In a sane society, this might be seen as a severe mental illness, but in an insane society, it is normalized just as one would expect. In order for a civilization to go insane, it must normalize insanity and institutionalize sanity.
At a rehearsal this week for the church band – of which I am a member – there was a discussion about a few churchgoers who, having seen the new acoustic devices mounted along the walls of the sanctuary, are concerned with the volume of the band. When this information reached the ears of the various musicians that make up the band, the reaction was nearly in unison: these complainers need to stop complaining; louder music is here, it’s good, and it’s here for good.
Nearly in unison, because I dissented, although I didn’t make my opinion known. Since I had not thought through what precisely had led me to disagree, I felt it best to refrain from saying what would have been an enjoyable thing to say: I’m the band’s lone and proud curmudgeon.
Aside from the obvious critique of “louder is better”, which is simply that such a statement is not an argument, there seems to be a deeper response available.
Beauty is objective, but our experience of it is subjective. Put into more common language, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder, if and only if the beholder is a neophyte”. Just as with good food, good art becomes easier to distinguish as one learns how to do the work of making the right distinctions. This is not a popular opinion today. In fact, the idea of purely subjective art is ubiquitous in art schools. Such art schools seem to be blinded to the contradiction of teaching a topic that is purely subjective. What can be learned if a person already possesses the fullest possible extent of understanding?
We seem to have no problem of objectivity when it comes to food. Children want McDonalds because McDonalds tastes good to their unrefined taste buds. This is not to say that McDonalds should never be consumed by adults. However, an adult should be able to tell the difference between a Big Mac with Coke and a $50 cut of steak with a $20 glass of wine.
This is not to say that good art is impossible to tell from bad art for a novice. In fact, just the opposite is true for those who study in modern art schools. As they grow in subjective nonsense, they become unable to make distinctions that are obvious to novices. If art schools taught beauty instead of ugliness, then students of such schools would be able to see beauty in ever more profound ways. Instead, it is the average person walking through an art museum on a day of free admission that is better equipped to tell the difference between beauty and ugliness. A trained artist will see an empty canvas and marvel, while a tourist will laugh. The artist will see the tourist as uncultured; the tourist will see the artist as an idiot. Neither is far off from the truth, but the culture the artist prides himself in is a dead and dying culture, and the tourist is all the better having never been inculcated with the same nonsense.
But all of this is a little off-topic. To summarize: Beauty is objective, primarily, and an understanding of beauty can be increased over time, just as an appreciation for good food can.
What does all of this have to do with a church band and loud music?
Loud music, especially with a driving beat, is the very definition of modern pop music. It’s also what most of the members of the band prefer. The volume and driving beat combine to produce a powerful reaction which seems irresistible. It leaves me bored.
In the past year, I’ve listened to more Bach than any other Christian music combined. Eine Feste Burg (A Mighty Fortress) has been my favorite cantata. Yet, if any of the other members of the band were to listen to the Chorale, it would sound a bit like a cacophony. It isn’t a cacophony, but with so many independent musical forces moving together, it is a little difficult to put things into the right acoustic places. It would leave the rest of the band bored.
How could two completely different styles of music leave people bored if beauty is objective?
It takes work – lots of work – to appreciate older forms of music. It takes time to acquire the taste, and faith along the way to know that a deep appreciation is in store. Despite growing up encouraged to listen to classical music, it was a boring chore for me to listen to Bach consistently for the first time. The immediate gratification of loud, driving rhythms simply doesn’t exist in anything he wrote, but this gratification in modern popular music is like eating a McDonalds combo: it satisfies, but only barely.
I think that what is boring for the rest of the band, and for most people in the West today, is working towards seeing greater beauty in more fundamentally beautiful music. I think what is boring for me is repetitive loudness.
Perhaps thinking of things this way makes me come across as an elitist, but it isn’t intended to. Instead, my goal is to show how people – Christians who believe in a Beautiful God in particular – ought not to settle for cheap, instant gratification. It takes work to appreciate beauty if you are expecting something quickly, but that work pays off.
I encountered an unfortunate article on MereOrthodoxy this afternoon that had me remove the website from my subscription list. I have a big enough list as it is, so poorly thought and poorly written articles cause me to prune it down.
The article was about how bad Trump and Cruz are, and why the author would abstain from voting if Cruz were the nominee. I’m not sure why Trump was even brought up in the article, since the headline was about Cruz specifically. The author says, in essence, that a vote for Cruz is mere desperation of a dead “Religious Right” movement.
It had me thinking, though not about what it was supposed to have me think about. I thought instead about how today, Christians demand perfection in areas they will never get it (politics), while tolerating evil where they should never have it (in churches, accepting the sexual revolution, anti-intellectualism, etc).
We have a spineless church, unwilling to be involved in any part of the world unless that involvement is done through perfect ambassadors. We have a church that won’t vote for Cruz because he is imperfect, and will therefore help Hillary, who supports all sorts of evil. It’s the two-story view that separates the world of morals from the world of practicality taken to its most extreme.
Cruz is not a Savior. But he’ll probably fight government-funded abortions. He isn’t an Apostle. But he’ll probably stand up for religious freedom. He isn’t the way to God. But he will probably be a good president. If this isn’t good enough, nothing will ever be, and such Christians ought to just admit that they’d rather retire into a monastic order and just wait this whole pre-heaven thing out. Which, unfortunately, is an insult to monastic orders.
I overheard an unpleasant conversation recently and before I could regret having been close enough to hear it, I came to believe it might be worth thinking about. It was one of those one-sided conversations where one person says all of the nouns and verbs and adjectives while the other person merely confirms that they are still awake with occasional affirmations.
The topic of this dismal monologue was divorce, at least at heart. The guy doing all of the talking was complaining that his ex-wife demanded credentials for a babysitter he had hired to take care of his children. He jokingly suggested just how absurd it would be if his ex-wife asked for similar information about anyone he dated.
But is this really something to joke about? Divorce causes immeasurable damage to children and adults, and it never seems to lack in the ways it does so. Why should the people invited into the lives of one’s children suddenly be outside the realm of discussion just because the parents of the children are divorced? I’m not arguing that anyone is legally obliged to make any effort on this. The legal system treats sacred vows like junk mail and throws them away only when it doesn’t have enough time to shred them, so this isn’t surprising.
The well-being of children should not be compromised even further than the divorce itself by allowing total strangers to have access to children with the consent of only one of their parents, but such access is legally permitted. Any attempt to limit it is met with mockery. “It’s my life, I see who I want and hire whichever babysitter I like”. But the welfare of a child is the responsibility of both the mother and father. Why do we instinctively mock attempts to protect children as nothing more than sticking our nose in other peoples’ business?
There are no easy answers to these problems because there is no easy answer to a severed vow, especially one that has produced children who are tied as much to the vow and relationship of their parents as they are to each individual parent. For children of divorce, the rejection of one parent by the other will always be in part a rejection of the child. Our civilization seems to care so little for children that after dragging them through the hell of divorce, we still show no concern for their well-being.
Divorce, and particularly its Satanic no-fault incarnation, is just a deluge of suffering for children. Every time you think you’ve been able to list all the ways it harms children, you’ll find another waiting. When Christianity is replaced with the Worship of Self, it is no wonder that the least and poorest in spirit are crushed. Whatever children escape the horrors of abortion often find families broken by selfish, pleasure-seeking adults. It is one of those things that makes hell seem lenient.
I encountered this image, courtesy of “FeministsUnited” or some such group on Facebook:
Three problems are obvious after reading it.
First, many pro-life people do adopt children. Some even forgo having children of their own in order to adopt. Pro-lifers also donate millions of their dollars to help care for children who have no parents in their lives.
Second, there is another alternative to abortion and adoption: not getting pregnant in the first place. While leftist feminists will immediately bring up rape when this is pointed out, the fact is that rape accounts for a very small fraction of pregnancies. Enough that, thankfully, it is a rare exception and not a rule. For the vast majority of what feminists might call “unwanted” children, the children were brought into existence by the immature behavior of their parents. Had the parents taken responsibility for their actions, the children would not require adoption.
Third, and most important, this position requires the person who holds it to affirm the following statement: It is better for a child to die than to live in circumstances I find unsatisfactory. This brings to mind the origin of Planned Parenthood and its mission of eugenics.
A person who is pro-life is condemned for focusing on the barbaric slaughter of 60,000,000 unborn and innocent children while not doing enough for orphans, where enough is never defined. A person who is pro-abortion is praised for giving human life value based on the circumstances of birth. Far from being “pro-choice” as the slogan goes, the pro-abortionist denies any choice to the only innocent party involved.
You can tell, based on the existence of images like this, that supporters of abortion know they are defending moral bankruptcy and horrific depravity. Else, they wouldn’t try to stretch so far to find justification. If abortion were not from hell, why act like it needs to be defended? If unborn children are just masses of tissue, why abandon the argument?
As for the girl in the back of the text, the pro-abortionist must be willing to say that she ought to have been murdered before birth. I dare them to do so.