Guest Commentary / June 29, 2022

The Absence of Light

We are besieged by an elite that values being au courant rather than being correct.

By Mark W. Fowler

“In absentia lucis, tenebrae vincunt.” In the absence of light, darkness prevails.

A society led by a movement that throws a tantrum every time it does not get its way is living in darkness. A movement that deliberately overstates its case while lamenting a perceived injustice is living in darkness. The recent reversal of Roe vs. Wade, shifting the locus of decision-making to the state legislatures and away from the unelected Supreme Court, is neither the end of the world nor a justification for altering the Supreme Court. Only nine-year-olds threaten to take their toys home when things do not go their way.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will replace Stephen Breyer when he retires. A Harvard Law graduate, she is presumably qualified and seems personable. Her nomination and qualifications are beclouded by two things: Too much emphasis was placed on her being the “first Black woman nominated to the Supreme Court,” and she lamentably claimed that she could not define a woman. How utterly absurd. Notwithstanding her apparent ability to self-identify as a woman, select the appropriate restroom, and marry a person who happens to be a male, she cannot identify what a woman is. In any other context she would be laughed out of the room. But this is a perfect example of living in darkness. We are besieged by an elite that values being au courant rather than being correct.

To whatever extent all humans ought to be afforded dignity and respect, consistent with the golden rule, we could all agree that individuals of whatever sexual orientation ought to be afforded that dignity. However, living in a society means that all must surrender some autonomy in favor of the whole. I may not insist on driving 100 miles an hour in a school zone just because I wish to as a result of my firmly held belief that I am a race car driver. A 20-year-old may not play little league baseball simply because he genuinely identifies as an eight-year-old. To argue that a person born male must be allowed to compete against women in sports is to live in darkness disguised as enlightenment. In boxing, this is punching below your weight.

Individuals with body dysmorphic disorder claim a body part is dysfunctional or that it is ugly and therefore must have surgery. Patients with bulimia or anorexia nervosa mistakenly believe that they are overweight and starve themselves to the point of malnutrition. No capable physician encourages that mistaken belief, and yet we have elevated gender issues to a civil religion. There are those among us who have embraced this line of reasoning to a point where it is sacrosanct and may not be challenged in any form by anyone for any reason. Those who do seek to discuss the issue in a critical manner are canceled.

In Florida recently, a bill passed by the legislature prohibits the discussion of sexual content in the presence of young children at school. Disney leadership as a whole resisted this measure via a false narrative: “Don’t say gay.” It was never about “Don’t say gay.” It was not anti-gay. It was a simply a measure to prevent the discussion of certain behaviors in the presence of small children. That such a law need be passed speaks to the extreme to which we have become hypersexualized. A human being is more than his/her genitalia. Sex education is best done at home, and teachers have no business discussing such matters with children who ought to be free in their naïveté.

Coach Joseph Kennedy engaged in a practice of praying briefly while kneeling after a football game. He prayed silently and was occasionally joined by players from his team, other coaches, and opposing players, as well as members of the public. He did not encourage or expect players to participate with him. The school district ordered him to stop, fearing litigation from those who opposed this practice. He refused and was fired. The U.S. Supreme Court held in his favor and hopefully the coach will be reinstated. Bearing in mind that Coach Kennedy was not mandating student participation and did not connect his behavior to his job as a coach other than temporally, why was it necessary to censure him for this behavior? Engaging in coercive religious behavior or tying grades or permission to participate in school activities to coerced religious behavior would be wrong. But it is a sign of religious intolerance to forbid a coach from praying privately after a game.

And this is the heart of the problem. We have excluded any reference to Judeo-Christian ethical teaching from the public sphere. In its place we have substituted many forms of progressive humanism, including sex education, the details of which are best left undiscussed. At one point, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville had a sex week that included discussions of fetishism, bondage, and related practices. College students need assistance figuring this out?

A sign of the times is the popularity of Drag Queen Story Hour where men dressed as hypersexualized women read stories to little children. Do the parents in attendance wish their children to view women as hypersexual beings? Do they want their sons to emulate this practice?

Those with gender confusion are entitled to our courtesy and to be left in peace. They are seeking our approbation. Society is best served withholding that. Tolerance should not become approval, and prurience is best ignored.

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