By Samuel M. Frost, Th.M.
Recently, there was a local controversy concerning the public postings of one of the Council Members in our community of New Castle, Henry County, Indiana. It appears that Council Member Kenon Gray posted some statement that conjured the image of “racism” in the minds of some and that was enough (interpretational opinion does not matter, if it appears racist, then it is racist, right?). What doesn’t these days? Gray, of course, is a Republican and a Christian. And he is white. Three intolerable sins of the “Right”.
Most of my material is taken from our local paper, The Courier Times. Staff Writer, Darrel Radford covered the stories. Well, certain citizens of our fine town took great issue with Gray’s posts and wanted him removed from the Council. He doesn’t represent New Castle well enough I guess. Well, maybe not all New Castle folks. At a meeting a couple of weeks ago, he had to sit through hours of listening to the “outraged”. A vote was taken. Gray gets to stay.
But, this was not the end of the matter. The Henry County Commissioners, The New Castle City Council, and the Henry County Council were petitioned to vote for an “inclusiveness” document that would appear on the official County/City website for all to see. The Henry County Commissioners voted 2-0 for a “revision” of the ordinance (which I will quote below). The NCCC voted 6-1 in favor, and 4-3 in favor for the HCCouncil group. The “inclusiveness” statement was crafted by HCCouncil member Betsy Mills and NCCC member, Aaron Dicken. This comes on the reasoning of Dicken who stated, “I cannot relate to what some in our community have experienced because I come from a life of privilege” (from here). There is a veiled hint here about so called, “White Privilege” – a furor raised from the article by Peggy McIntosh, a feminist scholar, who in 1989 wrote, ‘White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack’ where she starts by saying, “I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group.” Individuals acts are racist, yes, but it’s because of the “system”. That is, the White European System. This doesn’t end. Mathematics is oppressive and racist, so says Educator, Rochelle Gutierrez. Don’t believe me? Google it.
Recently, the Boss Hog of Liberty podcast show had Dicken and Mills on their program . It is an interesting discussion with Zach Lee, an avowed Roman Catholic, and the hosts, Jeremiah Morrell and Dakota Davis. Lee supported the inclusive resolution, but not without reserve. “Everyone should be treated with respect. My concern is that while the authors of this resolution clearly have good intentions and I trust them, others who may come along later on and use it … to silence the reasonable voices of people like me who are pro-Christianity, pro-traditional family, pro-life and pro-America. I realize that I am taking a risk in publicizing my conservative Christian views and I realize that putting myself on the line like this could cost me friendships, opportunities and – hopefully never but maybe one day – even my job.”
Now, why would such a potential “fear” exist? How in the world did it come to the point that Conservative, Bible-believing Christians would have any concern or anxiety about backlash? Well, that’s easy to answer if you have been paying attention to the culture. And, it is at this point that “conspiracy theory” is used. Dicken stated, “This should be an actionable first step toward progress and needs, to be followed by many more actionable steps to show we mean what we say.” What these “many more actionable steps” are remains open. However, there is no shortage of articles and papers on the side of the Left that have their ideas, and no, I am not implying that Mills or Dicken support radical Leftist ideology.
Now, what is the Resolution in question? It is this: “Foster an atmosphere of inclusiveness that respects the dignity and worth of every person without regard to race, skin color, ancestry, national origin, citizenship status, sex,
gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, familial status, age, disability, education, socioeconomic class, religion, ideology or political affiliation; and Encourage understanding and mutual respect among the diverse members of their communities.” What does this “look like”? Let me cut to the chase here and spare you, the readers, the political gobbledy gook. What if I do not believe the arguments put forward that “gender identity” is “real” are persuasive? What if I think “gender expression” is sinful and against God? And, notice how these inclusions are simply assumed as “just as legit” as someone’s skin color or “marital status”. Since when did “gender expression” become equal to “national origin”?
If I were to look in my rather large, personal library for what “gender expression” and “gender identity” means, I find, In Our Time: Memoir of A Revolution by Susan Brownmiller, who states, “Militance evaporates for a variety of reasons” (p. 326, The Dial Press, 1999 – and I happen to agree with her radical anti-porn views). True. It does. And we are living in a resurgence of militance concerning “inclusiveness” and “intersectionality” (to use Kimberle Williams Crenshaw’s meaning). It’s not quite like the late sixties or seventies, but its getting there. “Tipping point”, anyone? Then I see, Fenway Guide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health (Makadon, Mayer, Potter, Goldhammer, American College of Physicians, 2008). Surely I can find a definition there. Gender Identity is “the internal sense of being male or female, regardless of biology” (p. 332). This is, of course, against the “two-sex, two-gender model” of male and female physiology based on genitalia (p.332). You know, “God made them male and female” kind of stuff. A literal reading of the Genesis account (which is attacked on a constant basis in the media, schools, universities, and even so called, “churches”) settles that issue. So, how am I to “accept” a “man” (whatever that is) who carries with them the idea that, “today I feel like a woman”? Is it discrimination to have “gender” signs on bathrooms based on anatomy? Yes. So it has been determined. Maybe the New Castle Trojans can be rid of “women’s volleyball” once and for all. Or, at least stop calling it, “women’s”. Just call it, “gender identity accepting volleyball”.
These are not “extremes” that I am making at this point. These are realities that are occurring in the good, ole US of A. It’s not enough to “treat people” with mutual, or cordial mannerisms. I don’t have to tell a homosexual at the counter of a gas station what “the Bible says” when I am getting my gas. I pay my money, ask about the weather, say, “thank you” and “have a nice day”. Neither do I have to go to the extreme of “I am not shopping there” because I know of the owners’ sexual “orientation”. I could. It’s America. “The term transgender is used in so many ways that it is not possible to define precisely” (ibid., p. 333). Well, now. That’s a problem. Definitions. From where, or who do we get our definitions?
In The Less Noble Sex: Scientific, Religious, and Philosophical Conception of Woman’s Nature (Indiana University Press, 1993), feminist scholar Nancy Tuana heads straight into the matter: “Creation myths have always been central to human understanding. They delineate our role in a universe of mysteries. They embody a culture’s beliefs about the nature of humankind and the purpose of existence” (p. 3). Whether focusing on women’s “role” or seeking the definition of the “nature” of things (like, sexuality), one’s worldview understanding of the purpose of existence (if there is one) is sure to “inform”. These cultural issues always run smack dab into religious discussions, and Conservative Christians have been having them for nearly three decades now. Same-sex unions, gay clergy, women pastors, etc. Laws get passed after much lobbying, and through media dumbing-down bombardments and sloganeering, minds are changed. Well, some minds are changed. It matters not to me, nor am I shocked, that culture (what the Scriptures call, “the world”) is more or less evil with a smile and hand extended. As culture “progresses” (Hegelian progression, or Marxist progression, take your pick) it tends to become more “bullying” to those who are not. And, for me, that’s where things become problematic. The City Council can vote however they want, but when members of the same community, let’s say, those who take the Bible as the word of God, written, are not “accepting” in their congregations certain ideas, let alone certain sinful behaviors, as “normal”, that they are seen as “racists,” “homophobes”, and “genderphobes.” That is, the language of inclusion for the State, City, or County is that all are to be treated equally, and this has already been in place (last I checked). But what is to be done on that level does not mean it is to be done on all levels of societal groupings. See, if “accepting” means that you are “fostering an atmosphere” that is “inclusive” of what’s listed above, what does it say of a congregation that does not foster such behavior or identities? It says this: they are not fostering, but discriminatory, and divisive. And that just can’t be good. Eventually, such congregations will have to be roped in if things continue to blur the lines of secular and religious. It’s already being done in few instances. The idea has already been floated that even preaching about homosexuality should be considered, “hate speech.”
The Left – many of them, but not yet quite enough – does not stop. They have effectively infiltrated the Roman Catholic Church, and many once traditional mainline denominations have bowed the knee to the inclusiveness rhetoric. I have several books to this end, Defrocked: How A Father’s Love Shook the United Methodist Church; A Christian Lesbian Journey; Is It Time? Helping Laity and Clergy Discuss Homosexuality One Question at A Time; and several, several others. The Presbyterian Church of America is currently debating the issues. The Presbyterian Church of the USA has already folded. Why is that? How did that happen? Who started it?
Betsy Mills stated, ““When the Constitution was ratified in 1888, there was only a very specific type of person guaranteed equal rights – and they didn’t look like us,” Mills said. “We still didn’t have equal standing under the law. The Supreme Court is still broadening what equal rights looks like. They did it a month ago.” As Times reporter Radford added, “Mills was referring to the June 15 Supreme Court ruling protecting LGBTQ workers from job discrimination.” Yes. The Supreme Court. Want to hear the impact of that ruling? Read the New York Times to start. In the 6-3 decision, the Civil Rights Code Title VII was cited and defined to include “sexual orientation and gender identity” – which I just read from the American College of Physicians was “difficult to define” concerning the latter term! Thanks, Supreme Court, for defining it for me without my consent. Hey, but wear that mask! You cannot enter a public place of commerce without it. Discrimination? You bet (see my blog article, ‘Liberty of Conscience’, where I use the same Civil Rights argument).
Now, I am quite aware, having read the Decision, Bostock v. Clayton County, that, “As a result of its deliberations in adopting the law, Congress included an express statutory exception for religious organizations…This Court has also recognized that the First Amendment can bar the application of employment discrimination laws “to claims concerning the employment relationship between a religious institution and its ministers.” ” Whew. Not at the Tipping Point…yet. But, the Point does come from the ground up, not the top down. Cutlure (the people) decides culture, and culture eventually may become law. The Left, intellectuals that they are, are smart people (they have taken the Universities and most major media outlets). They don’t stop. As Jordan Peterson remarked, they have no boundaries. It’s all or nothing. And so they chip slowly away over time, little by little, softening the culture, softening the mind, inch by inch until some say, “what the heck happened?” But, it’s too late by then. “This is not a cultural war. You must be one of those conspiracy nuts”. Well, no, I am not a conspiracy nut. We landed on the moon, the earth is round (well, an imperfect oblate spheroid), and Oswald shot Kennedy. And, yes we are in a war. See, I believe in the Scriptures, every jot and tittle, and it says, there is a war with the saints – maybe not orchestrated knowingly by some elitist group of billionaires funded by George Soros, Bill Gates and Dr. Fauci – three individuals that couldn’t pull that off even if they wanted to, and maybe they want to, who cares? No, this war is “spiritual” as my Apostle, Paul, said. It’s been going on since Genesis chapter 3. The enemy comes at you with a smile, a hand extended, and a Jack’s doughnut and says, “can’t we all work together and find some compromise?” No. We can’t. And, right now, I still am grateful that I am allowed to say that freely without fear of retaliation. For now.