Thursday, Mar. 29, 2018
Tags: Audio, Childhood, Cross Dressing, Parenting, Preschool
This is a rush transcript. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
It's Thursday, March 29, 2018. I'm Albert Mohler and this is The Briefing, a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview.
What the media coverage of a 10-year-old drag performer reveals about efforts to transform moral instincts
I can remember back in the 1990s management theory in the United States concentrating on the question of how to communicate effectively as a major corporation or institution. The answer was in the terminology of that age, a massive, multiphasic communication plan. Massive multiphasic communication plan.
Now that was really before the digital age but in the digital age, let's just say there are more phases to multiphasic, but the point was this, the effort was being made by corporations and institutions, political parties and others back in the 1990s to concentrate every available communication means on their message, on their slogan, on their product, on their consumer choice. Now what we need to note is that morally speaking, we are experiencing the very same thing, a massive multiphasic communication strategy that is directed towards changing the basic worldview. The most basic moral instincts of our society.
We also need to keep in mind that this is indeed a strategy. It's not happening by accident. We are receiving all of these multiple messages that are trying to push us in one moral direction and the ultimate result of all of this is that what those who are pushing this kind of movement want is a complete reset of natural, a complete reset of normal. They're not just trying to change moral beliefs and moral convictions, they are trying to transform moral instincts at an even more basic level.
Now one of the ways we recognize this is how stories are now coming, how articles and issues are now being presented in ways that are considered today to be not so shocking as they might have been just a few years ago, but the question for Christians thinking from a biblical worldview is this, how can such a story be anything other than shocking? One of the most noteworthy examples of this kind of communication strategy comes from a recent edition of New York Magazine.
New York Magazine is one of those periodicals of the cultural elite. They pride themselves on that. They really focus on Manhattan and on those who care a great deal about what's happening in Manhattan. They're so much of the nation's culture, so much of its news, so much of its entertainment, so much of its business leadership, so much of its cultural formation and advertising, that's where it's concentrated. That's the audience of New York Magazine.
The headline of this article is 180 Minutes with Desmond is Amazing. He's a ten year old drag performer and he's cooler than you. Now sometimes reality means we just have to sit back for a moment and recognize that you could not even communicate this kind of headline until very, very recent times. It wouldn't make any sense. The next shock of recognition comes with the full page color photograph of this ten year old known as Desmond is Amazing dressed out in drag. A photograph that under any other circumstance would likely be identified by law enforcement as a photograph that is skirting right up to the limit of child pornography.
Lauren Levy reporting for New York Magazine writes, "So far in his ten years of life, Desmond has cultivated one defining talent and it's his ability to work a runway. It's the thing that inspired his drag name, Desmond is Amazing, and it's the reason he's visiting the Phluid Project." By the way, that is spelled Phluid, amazingly enough. It's defined, "A gender neutral clothing store near NYU the week before the store opens. The 'Ph' in Phluid, the owner explains, stands for the balance of masculine and feminine "where we find perfection and harmony."
Now as much as that might be tempting for your next shopping trip to New York City, the story continues, "So it takes about two minutes for Desmond to notice the platform in the center of the store built to display mannequins. He heads straight to it, turns to his mom and says in a high pitched squeak, "Look mommy, I'm walking the runway," and takes off." The article continues, "When he's standing still, Desmond looks like an anthropomorphized baby tree, tiny and twiggy, 4'3" but in his walk, the pipsqueak becomes the height of performed femininity. His face settles into a soft fierceness, jaw taught, lips pouty beneath big red heart shaped glasses. His shoulders roll and his arms hang light and loose as his hips swing. All this in platform boots covered in rhinestones that must weigh at least a quarter of his 51 pounds. This morning he did all of his own makeup, apart from the fake eyelashes that his mom, for now, has to help apply."
Now the story goes on and on telling more of the tale of this ten year old boy who goes by the stage name Desmond is Amazing, but just think about what we know already. Here we are being told about a ten year old boy who is being presented as a drag entertainer and is being featured by his parents and now publicized in New York Magazine celebrated as being, well, there's the headline, "Cooler than you."
Levy goes on to report, it all started when Desmond was about two, "watching the first season of Ru Paul's Drag Race with his mom. Soon he was rummaging through her closet to dress up and one day he ran off in Century 21, heading straight for the high heels. At 7, he danced on a bar in drag race winner Jinkx Monsoon's The Bake and Shake music video. His dad, Andrew, tells me that Desmond listens to the Club Kids designer Richie Rich's I Love You A Million at least once a day.
At Phluid, remember that's P-H-L-U-I-D, to indicate the harmony of the masculine and the feminine," the owner introduces Desmond to Richie via Facetime as he clutches his mom's arm paralyzingly starstruck. In all seriousness, in New York Magazine, Lauren Levy goes on to report, "A couple of years ago, his supportive but admittedly concerned parents saw a therapist. The doctor said, "You realize you're raising a gay kid, right?," Andrew recalls. They responded, "Yup," and moved on."
"He told his parents he was gay in kindergarten." We are then told that Desmond was born in the village and the readers of New York Magazine would know immediately that that points to the alternative culture of the neighborhood known as Greenwich Village and then we are told that Desmond thinks that this birthplace gives him street cred though he doesn't even live in the village any longer.
Well, the story goes on to describe the fact that it is his parents who are actually running their son's career. Remember, we're talking about a ten year old. We're talking about a ten year old boy being marketed as a drag entertainer. We are now being told that this ten year old boy has a career and his parents are actually running the career. That tells you a whole lot.
At just about the same time, a London newspaper, The Daily Mail, did a story on Desmond pointing to the fact that Desmond, and remember, he wants to be known as Desmond is Amazing, is now opening a drag club for children. According to the newspaper, Desmond is convinced that there are more kids out there just like him so now the precocious youngster is launching Haus, that's spelled H-A-U-S, Haus of Amazing, the first and only drag club for kids where no adults are allowed.
You put these articles together and it becomes clear that this has been going on for some time. The articles tells us that Desmond had his big break in 2014. Well, he's just ten in 2018, so that means for at least part of the year he was only six in 2014. The London article also says that he wants to be known as a drag kid rather than as a drag queen because he is not an adult and in the most amazing, and we might say tragic, part of the story, his mother has to point out that at this point, he is not sexually active.
The words are shocking but they are very important to understand as the reporter tells us, "Though he is an active member of the LGBTQ community where he is involved in anti-bullying and suicide prevention, his parents are emphatic that their son is not yet sexually active and although he is an advocate for LGBTQ rights, he has not," and these are the words of the parents, "reached the age where sexual relations are appropriate or discussed explicitly."
Now wait just a minute. If you were to see the photographs in this magazine, you would be nothing less than shocked and offended and what can you be in response other than shocked and offended? In terms of statements by a parent that they are parading their ten year old beginning when he was at least a six year old as a drag performer and furthermore, they are using him in a way that is sexually explicit all the way through, and then they say he is not old enough even for a discussion about sex.
If you're looking for a classic definition of insanity, there it is. But I want to be honest and affirm very clearly that the reason we are discussing this story on The Briefing is not because some tabloid way out there somewhere found an article in which they were able to make this case and provide some photographs in order to bring about the kind of salacious interests that some of those periodicals exist to inculcate.
Rather it is because this article and its photographs appeared in New York Magazine, a magazine that supposedly at the very same is emphatic about joining the #MeToo movement. A magazine that would decidedly make clear that it stands against the sexual use or abuse of children, but at the very same time, in service to the moral revolution for the LGBTQ community will turn around and use this child as a poster child and as a catalyst for moral change in a way that is nothing less than pornographic and highly sexualized.
Then we have to ask the question why would those behind this article think that the article could possible serve their own moral and political purposes? The answer to that question is this: it does. It does serve their political and moral purposes because the more this kind of article appears in magazines, such as New York, the more the elite culture decides that the idea of a ten year old or a six year old drag kid makes sense and is to be celebrated, the more likely it is to show up on a television screen near you in a sitcom or in a drama or in another form of moral messaging packaged as so-called entertainment.
The more an article and the photographs with the article appear in a magazine like New York Magazine, the more likely it is that the elite academic institutions in this country decide to commemorate this moral revolution with yet another symbolic sign of inclusion showing how supposedly broadminded they are. The more this happens, the more academics join the bandwagon writing about Desmond is Amazing and other children indicating that it is now the moral responsibility of parents and of the larger society to celebrate when their child decides to become an elementary school aged drag kid.
Ten year old Desmond wants to change the world as Desmond is Amazing. Well, here's the reality: Desmond is a ten year old made in the image of God. An image that is distorted not only by the gender confusion and by the drag kid act that is celebrated here, but a confusion that goes to the very heart of what it means to be a child. A distortion not only of gender but because gender is so central to our identity, a distortion of basic biblical humanity.
New York Magazine wants us to celebrate and be happy about this ten year old drag performer and New York Magazine wants to know that as a ten year old drag performer, Desmond is Amazing is cooler than you, but in this context amazing and cool are two words that show the complete moral insanity of a society. But next you ask the question how could we possibly get there? In what world would that kind of messaging, this massive multiphasic communication strategy be able to reach just about everyone?
Under mandate from government, preschools in Sweden aim to ‘counteract traditional gender roles’
One of the basic answers to that is through the schools and evidence of that comes this week on the front page of The New York Times. The headline of the article, "In Sweden, Preschools Teach Boys to Dance and Girls to Yell." Ellen Berry reports from Stockholm, "Something was wrong with the penguins, the incoming class of toddlers at the Seafarer's Preschool in a wooded suburb south of Stockholm. The boys were clamorous and physical, they shouted and hit. The girls held up their arms and whimpered to be picked up. The group of one and two year olds had, in other words, split along traditional gender lines and at this school that is not okay."
Now before we even go further in the article, remember the ages of the children indicated here? They are babies, toddlers aged one and two. Buried in reports, again on the front page of The New York Times, "Their teachers cleared the room of cars and dolls. They put the boys in charge of the play kitchen, they made the girls practice shouting 'no', then they decided to open a proper investigation erecting video cameras in the classroom."
The Times goes on to tell us science may still be divided over whether gender differences are rooted in biology or culture, but many of Sweden's government funded preschools are doing what they can to deconstruct them. "State curriculum urges teachers and principals to embrace their role as social engineers requiring them to counteract traditional gender roles and gender patterns." By the way, that's a direct quote from the government mandate to "counteract traditional gender roles and gender patterns."
The Times goes on, "It is normal in many Swedish preschools for teachers to avoid referring to their students' gender. Instead of boys and girls, they say 'friends' or call children by name." "Play," says The Times, "is organized to prevent children from sorting themselves by gender. A gender neutral pronoun 'hen'," that's H-E-N, "was introduced in 2012 and was swiftly absorbed into mainstream Swedish culture something that linguists say has never happened in another country."
But then in a single sentence paragraph that I think by accident actually gets to the heart of the issue, the reporter writes, "Exactly how this teaching method affects children is still unclear." Now behind all of this is the naturalistic and materialistic worldview of contemporary secularism that insists that everything that is has to be explained in purely naturalistic and material terms. That means that everything's got to be explained either by social or cultural conditioning or by genetics or biology or some interplay or connection between the two.
Then in a blazingly honest paragraph, The Times tells us that the children at these schools do not show a strong preference for playmates of the same gender and are less likely to make assumptions based on stereotypes yet. Now when there's a statement like this in which you find the word 'yet', pay close attention to what follows the yet. "Yet the scientists found no difference at all in the children's tendency to notice gender suggesting that may be under a genetic influence."
Get this, here you have The Times on the front page acknowledging that over against all the intentional social engineering of these preschool teachers and of the schools themselves, under a mandate to social engineering from the government, it turns out that one and two year olds and also their older brothers and sisters, are rather resistance to the social engineering and to the messaging that gender doesn't matter, and to the frustration of the Swedish government and to the frustration of these teachers, children still, boys and girls, think that being a boy or being a girl is important.
That reminds me of research we talked about months ago on The Briefing in which evolutionary scientists indicated their frustration that the group of human beings most resistant to the idea that there is no creator would be children because children, and again this is explained genetically and biologically according to them, children, they say, appear to be pre-programmed to believe that the world cannot exist on its own terms and that some creator had to be behind it.
Now, again, Christians thinking of the biblical worldview understand that that's what's called the Imago Dei, the image of God, which means that every single one of us as His human creatures cannot not know that there is and will always be a creator. And again, almost immediately, the word indoctrination comes to mind even as the words social engineering came to mind, and in both cases there's absolutely no embarrassment about this on the part of the Swedish government or the government funded teachers.
For example, one teacher said, "We tried to do that to educate boys in what girls already knew and vice versa." But, "they said we were indoctrinating the kids. I say we were always indoctrinating kids. Bringing them up is indoctrination." Now here we need to stand back as Christians and say there's a point to be made here. All education is in one sense indoctrination. At the very heart of the word indoctrination is doctrine, which has to do with teaching and yes, parents are the first indoctrinators of their children. That's inevitable. It's also right. It's also the responsibility and the right and privilege of parents.
What you have here is a government and government funded schools and government supervised teachers who are directly trying to step in into the lives of children as young as one and two and to replace parents as the primary indoctrinators, the primary teachers, and inculcators of doctrine. Again, another teacher explaining exactly how the indoctrination is undertaken said, "This is what we do here and we are not going to stop it."
Oh, and by the way, it's not incidental that that teacher's insistence 'this is what we do here and we're not going to stop' came directly in the face of a complaint from a parent of a very young toddler girl that given this indoctrination, the girl claiming to act like a boy had turned defiant, "cheeky and defiant at home." But what these parents saw as a problem, the teachers saw as social progress. Turning children cheeky and defiant because what they're really trying to overthrow is not just parental authority and an entire moral understanding that would be handed down by parents, but the influence of a society at large, which they see as hopelessly corrupted by patriarchal and prejudicial worldviews.
But finally, we asked the question how would the effort at this kind of social engineering directed at the youngest, how would it become even more successful as a tool or an engine in the control of those who are trying to bring about a social and moral revolution? Well, the answer would come quickly, if you could first make the schools the engines for this kind of moral revolution and secondly, if you could get control of those children as early as possible and furthermore, make the involvement of the children in these schools at the earliest of ages compulsory.
In the name of equality, France announces mandatory school attendance for 3-year-olds
But then, as if right on cue, USA Today reports that on Tuesday of this week, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that school, preschool, will now be mandatory for children aged three years and up instead of the current age of six. USA Today reported Elizabeth Schumacher goes on to tell us that at age three for compulsory school education, France now has the youngest age for required school attendance of any European nation. The Office of the French President said on Tuesday that this move to coercive compulsory preschool education for all French children beginning at age three "reflects the President's desire to make school the place of real equality."
All of this is now to be justified. Compulsory school education for children beginning at age three. All of this is now rationalized, taking children by coercion away from their parents and putting them in state sponsored, state funded, state controlled schools beginning at age three. It is all explained under the simple moral mandate of equality. Behind that is the claim increasingly heard that some children have an unfair advantage because they have more attentive parents or more involved parents or two parents in the household or parents who have an unusual level of attachment to and support for their own children.
Here you have it in the course of just one week. How could it be explained other than massive multiphasic communication strategies coming to us to try to bring about a moral revolution? Telling us that it makes sense that a government would now create compulsory school education for children as young as three. Telling us of a preschool in Sweden where children as young as one and two are now the explicit subjects of social experimentation and furthermore, of social engineering.
Where would it make sense but in a world where you could find in a city like New York a magazine like New York Magazine telling us of a ten year old drag performer named Desmond is Amazing. Don't miss the explicit messaging of the headline in that article with which we began and which we are told that this ten year old drag performer is cooler than you. Get the message, get it loudly, get it clearly, get it plain.
Thanks for listening to The Briefing.
For more information, go to my website at AlbertMohler.com. You can follow me on Twitter by going to Twitter.com/AlbertMohler. For information on the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, go to SBTS.edu. For information on Boyce College, please go to BoyceCollege.com.
I'll meet you again tomorrow for The Briefing.