The Briefing

The Briefing

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Tags: Audio

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

It's Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020. I'm Albert Mohler, and this is The Briefing, a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview.

Part

The Revolt Against Reality—California’s Prison System and the Transgender Revolution

Many people simply observing the news and headlines to some extent think that it's just one thing after another. One headline, story over here, event over there, issue close to us, issue far from us. It's just a matter of issues and headlines and events, but Christians have to understand there's a lot more than that. We're actually watching the transformation of our society and the issues are interconnected. Part of what is required of us is to step back and try to connect the dots. Sometimes that's hard to do, sometimes it's frighteningly easy to do. Just consider a series of headlines that have come in recent days, and these headlines help us to connect the dots.

Now, just think about the fact that if you take the row of letters, LGBTQ, and then add the plus sign, well, we can figure out pretty quickly what LGBTQ means. And the plus sign is a warning of what is to come. But as you actually think about many of the headlines, it's about a lot more than just morality. It's now about defining basic reality at the most fundamental level. Asking questions, demanding redefinitions that have never even been imaginable in all of human history before us.

Just consider a headline that appeared in recent days in the San Francisco Chronicle, actually two by the same reporter, Dustin Gardiner. Both of them emerged just this week. The first, "California bill would end the policy of putting transgender women in men's prisons." The second, "Transgender women could avoid men's prison under California bill headed to Newsom." That will be California Governor, Gavin Newsom. What's the story all about?

Well, it comes down to the fact that in California, the state still has what one critic calls an obstinately binary prison system. That is to say, prisons are distinguished between prisons for men and prisons for women. Now you just might think about the fact that that makes a lot of sense, especially when the entire background premise of these articles is that women are endangered in spaces like prisons that are confined and are identified as men. Women should not be with men. Well, that creates a huge problem. That's because in a society that accepts to any degree, the irrationality, the transgender movement, well, everything begins to fall apart, including your prison system, including your definitions of who should go to which prison, including your very understanding of the reality that there are men and there are women. These two articles taken together, make these points graphically clear.

The first of these articles came out before final action to approve the bill came in the California Senate. Gardiiner writes about this bill, which would allow transgender, intersex and non-binary people to decide whether they're going to be housed in a men's or women's prison. Now, let's just stop for a minute. That's an enormous issue. That's a very big question that's going to answered by the prisoner. The prisoner is going to be allowed to say, "I want to be in a men's prison or a women's prison." You might think that would be a huge problem. Well, indeed it is, and the articles actually make that clear.

For one thing, you have the problem of definition. Gardiner explains, "Transgender is an umbrella term to refer to people who identify as a gender different from the one assigned at birth." Let me just stop there for a moment. Even in the beginning of the transgender movement, it wasn't a gender that was different from the one assigned at birth. There were only two genders, even in the beginning of the transgender movement, but the logic of the transgender movement led to a denial of what became known as the gender binary.

So now you can't define a transgender person, simply as one who identifies as the gender opposite of the one assigned at birth. Now you have to just say a different gender than the one assigned at birth. Again, the irrationality expands. The quote goes on, "Intersex refers to people whose sex anatomy doesn’t fit typical definitions of female or male. Gender nonbinary describes people who have a gender identity that isn’t exclusively male or female." We are then told, "In most cases, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation now houses transgender and other gender-variant people in prisons according to their sex assigned at birth." The legislature behind the bill said, "Trans women, in particular, are at such extreme risk of brutalization in men’s facilities. We need to treat them with the basic respect and dignity that they deserve."

Fascinating. How exactly would this work?

Well, the bill, which by the way later that day on Monday was actually approved by the state Senate and is now going to move to the governor for approval. It would again give the prisoner the deciding voice. The prisoner identifying as non-binary or transsexual will be able to say, "I want to go to the women's prison. I want to go to the men's prison." The argument behind this is that it is unjust and unfair to force those who identify as women, but who are biologically male to be confined within the space of a prison designated for men. And again, the word violence is used here, and there's no reason to dispute the fact that there's a higher incidence of violence against those who identify as transgender women in men's prisons. Sadly, that's not a particularly shocking development, but let's just understand how you have to buy into the transgender ideology to get this far. But trust me, the logic is going to have to take us a lot further. Getting this far, you would have to accept the transgender ideology that says that there is indeed a distinction between gender identity and biological sex, and they can be so independent that gender identity has to trump biological sex so that a person who is biologically male, that's that gender assigned at birth, or biologically female, can claim to be and must be recognized to be by society, whatever gender he or she, or yes, here's the new pronoun, they, will insist upon.

But you just think about this and you go, "Well, okay, maybe this can be accommodated. Maybe we can just say, 'Yes, we're going to buy into the ideology this far, but we're not going to go any further. We're going to say yes, if there is indeed a transgender woman.'" Again, you've got to buy into the idea that there is a transgender woman, but you've decided to do that already in this thought experiment. You decide to do that. You say, "Well, there can't be that many. And thus, if they are vulnerable, then by their own designation, they should be able to choose to be in a women's prison," because here's the premise: it is unsafe for a woman to be confined in the same situation as men. But here's where the problem gets a lot more complicated because you've decided to buy into the ideology thus far, and the background premise is that it is unfair, that persons would be made vulnerable as women being in the presence of men. You decide you're going to define transgender women as a reality deserving of being identified as women and having a right to demand to be in a woman's prison. But do you see where we're going here?

That will mean however that the women, the biological females who are identified as women and are in a women's prison will now effectively have a biological male or actually plural biological males inside the space that has been designated for women. So even as over here, you say, "Well, we have a problem. Let's solve it." You just created another problem over here.

Now here's where Christians have to say, well, if you're going to try to unravel all of creation right down to the fact that human beings are made in male and female, it's not just going to be an issue over here. It is going to be an issue over there. You try to solve that one. You're going to create this one, and the list will be endless. So watch what's happening here. Who's demanding this bill. Well, we're told, "A large coalition of transgender groups co-wrote the bill, including the Transgender Law Center, TransLatin@ Coalition and Equality California, an LGBTQ advocacy group."

But there are also groups against this proposal, that is against allowing those who identify as transgender women to be housed in a woman's prison. Who would be against that? Well, the article tells us this would include groups such as Feminists in Struggle. Here we see again, the inevitable collision between feminism and the transgender movement. You can have one, but you can't have both.

Sam Esther, identified as a spokeswoman for Feminists in Struggle, said the group opposes, "housing transgender women in female prisons, regardless of whether they have undergone surgery, because they were born and socialized male. Women are still suffering from violence from males. People born female have rights here, too, and they are completely lost in the discussion." Well, yes they are. Because if you buy into the transgender revolution, you just decided that women aren't women, rather, you have biological males identifying as women who must now also be included in women.

But here's another big lesson. This bill was passed by the authorities in the Senate in California and will now go to the California governor who after all is so far on the left on these issues. There's virtually no question that he will sign the bill, but the reality comes down to the fact that the feminists lost, and that's what we need to see.

Every time, these days you have two leftist movements that come into inevitable collision. The one further on the left wins. The reason for that is actually easy to understand. And that is the fact that you have a revolution that came in the form of second wave feminism from the 1960s and forward. Then it does not accept the logic of the transgender movement, but whatever movement on the left is an ascendancy. It has the power to trump. Indeed, almost silence, any kind of criticism coming from what had been the left previously. And you need to watch how this works out in politics, because the politicians who are looking for votes and support from the left have to stay as far on the left as the left demands at any given time. And that means right now, LGBTQ, but don't leave out the plus.

But two other issues related to this. USA Today ran a headline, and it's in the column known as The 19th. That is a temporary series celebrating the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution. That was the women's suffrage amendment. The amendment that gave women the right to vote. Kate Sosin is the reporter, the headline: "Transgender voters face hurdles." Now, wait just a minute. This was about the 19th Amendment, which was about women, but now the subject shifts to transgender. But again, the logic means that it has to.

The article is absolutely massive. It is an entire full page in the print edition of USA Today dated last Friday, August the 28th. The thrust of the article is that transgender persons looking at the 2020 national election in the United States, they're going to have complications. They will face barriers to voting that others will not have. What is the primary barrier? The primary barrier is that their voting identification just might be that of the sex assigned at birth or given the transgender revolution and the absolute elimination of the gender binary. It could be that they face a challenge because their voter ID might not even correspond to the gender assigned at birth or whatever their gender was when they filled out the forms for their last voter identification or their last driver's license.

USA Today actually tells us, "Hundreds of thousands of transgender voters will face similar hurdles this election season." And then it says, "advocates said." Now here's something else we need to watch again and again in the media. You have major news stories like this, making a very small story, a giant story. And then they source their evidence and arguments to advocates for the transgender movement. That's a very effective strategy and the LGBTQ movement has been using it winningly for years now. The major media in the United States appeared to be all to absolutely ready to take whatever claim with whatever numbers comes from anyone that's in an LGBTQ advocacy group, even to the point of being told here, now just consider this is absolutely ludicrous that there will be hundreds of thousands of transgender voters who will face hurdles in voting.

One of the issues that becomes very clear in this article is that even the most liberal states are having a hard time figuring out how to keep up with this revolution. For one thing, how does sex or gender become an issue in identification for anything such as a driver's license? Already, there is confusion being spread around because even as you're looking at trying to report a crime and say, an investigative officer says, "Was the perpetrator a man or a woman?" Well, it's not so easy anymore, is it? But in this case, even the most liberal states have a responsibility to determine who is a voter qualified to vote and that requires certain identifying characteristics. One of those characteristics, commonsensically throughout the American experiment has been whether the voter is a male or a female.

But the argument of this article is that it is unfair to require those voters who identify as transgender or non-binary to have to have an identification that will be justification for the right to vote and will even match their voting records or their voting registration. A part of the reason here, and again, I say even the most liberal states are having a hard time keeping up, is that those states are having a hard time coming up with a rubric that says, "Here's how you change your driver's license. Here's how you have to go through this." Does it require formal identification with the gender? Does it require some form of surgery?

Again, you go back to the California prison article and you'll notice that the legislation says whether or not one's had surgery really shouldn't matter. That's implicit in this argument as well, but again, it covers a full page in the print edition. And I've said just about all I'm going to say about it because the main purpose of my raising this article is to say, this just adds to the nonsense. Even in states that want to join this revolution, it's not at all clear how you can do it at the voting booth or in prison. But the other thing to note is that the moral, progressive impulse in this country suggest that this is something we're going to have to resolve because the rightness, the justice, the moral energy in this is towards the rejection of the gender binary. You're going to have to find a way to deal with this.

Part

Gender Confusion—Election 2020 Just Gets More Interesting by the Day

But two other issues related to this. USA Today ran a headline, and it's in the column known as The 19th. That is a temporary series celebrating the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution. That was the women's suffrage amendment. The amendment that gave women the right to vote. Kate Sosin is the reporter, the headline: "Transgender voters face hurdles." Now, wait just a minute. This was about the 19th Amendment, which was about women, but now the subject shifts to transgender. But again, the logic means that it has to.

The article is absolutely massive. It is an entire full page in the print edition of USA Today dated last Friday, August the 28th. The thrust of the article is that transgender persons looking at the 2020 national election in the United States, they're going to have complications. They will face barriers to voting that others will not have. What is the primary barrier? The primary barrier is that their voting identification just might be that of the sex assigned at birth or given the transgender revolution and the absolute elimination of the gender binary. It could be that they face a challenge because their voter ID might not even correspond to the gender assigned at birth or whatever their gender was when they filled out the forms for their last voter identification or their last driver's license.

USA Today actually tells us, "Hundreds of thousands of transgender voters will face similar hurdles this election season." And then it says, "advocates said." Now here's something else we need to watch again and again in the media. You have major news stories like this, making a very small story, a giant story. And then they source their evidence and arguments to advocates for the transgender movement. That's a very effective strategy and the LGBTQ movement has been using it winningly for years now. The major media in the United States appeared to be all to absolutely ready to take whatever claim with whatever numbers comes from anyone that's in an LGBTQ advocacy group, even to the point of being told here, now just consider this is absolutely ludicrous that there will be hundreds of thousands of transgender voters who will face hurdles in voting.

One of the issues that becomes very clear in this article is that even the most liberal states are having a hard time figuring out how to keep up with this revolution. For one thing, how does sex or gender become an issue in identification for anything such as a driver's license? Already, there is confusion being spread around because even as you're looking at trying to report a crime and say, an investigative officer says, "Was the perpetrator a man or a woman?" Well, it's not so easy anymore, is it? But in this case, even the most liberal states have a responsibility to determine who is a voter qualified to vote and that requires certain identifying characteristics. One of those characteristics, commonsensically throughout the American experiment has been whether the voter is a male or a female.

But the argument of this article is that it is unfair to require those voters who identify as transgender or non-binary to have to have an identification that will be justification for the right to vote and will even match their voting records or their voting registration. A part of the reason here, and again, I say even the most liberal states are having a hard time keeping up, is that those states are having a hard time coming up with a rubric that says, "Here's how you change your driver's license. Here's how you have to go through this." Does it require formal identification with the gender? Does it require some form of surgery?

Again, you go back to the California prison article and you'll notice that the legislation says whether or not one's had surgery really shouldn't matter. That's implicit in this argument as well, but again, it covers a full page in the print edition. And I've said just about all I'm going to say about it because the main purpose of my raising this article is to say, this just adds to the nonsense. Even in states that want to join this revolution, it's not at all clear how you can do it at the voting booth or in prison. But the other thing to note is that the moral, progressive impulse in this country suggest that this is something we're going to have to resolve because the rightness, the justice, the moral energy in this is towards the rejection of the gender binary. You're going to have to find a way to deal with this.

Part

What Happens When You Can’t Keep Pace with Your Own Revolution?

But then we shift to the nation of Canada. In Toronto, the National Post ran an article in recent days with a headline: "Top Canadian sex researcher quits scientific group after being blasted for views on transgender issues."

Now, one of the things we talk about repeatedly on The Briefing is that many people have turned the transgender ideology, the ideology of the larger sexual revolution, LGBTQ, into what can only be described in objective terms as a religion. And there is an ever evolving orthodoxy. And those outside of the orthodoxy are heretics and heretics have to be removed from the movement. The National Post reports, "The prickly politics around transgender issues have boiled over again, prompting a leading Canadian sex researcher to quit an international research organization after being pilloried for his views on the topic. James Cantor resigned his 27-year-long membership in the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality recently following a heated exchange on the group’s listserv over the nature of gender-identity problems. Administrators had temporarily banned him from the online forum after the email argument, citing a 'pattern' of allegedly bullying behaviour."

How has James Cantor found himself on the wrong side of the movement he has helped to lead for 27 years? He dared to ask a question about the orthodoxy of the transgender ideology, insisting that children even 12 and under ought to be given medical attention and intervention to match their newly declared gender identity even before and during puberty.

Now again, note, this is a man who for almost 30 years has helped to lead the transgender revolution. He believes in the transgender ideology. He's been promoting it. He actually believes in almost all of the transgender ideology, but he has concerns about how many children and preteens and teenagers appear to be being rushed into even medical intervention in the name of the transgender ideology. Because of that, "Some of those who commented on Cantor’s essay accused him of encouraging hatred or even violence toward trans people."

Now notice. What he did was to ask about the appropriateness of insisting that children, even very young children, ought to be included within the transgender revolution. Cantor understands that he has been declared a heretic. He said, "No compromise, no in-between is allowed. They’re not even thought crimes. It’s ‘Oh, clearly you’re on the other team. If you don’t belong to my religion, your religion is not allowed to speak.’" Well, there it is. Here's a man who now knows that the transgender ideology is a religion and that he has just been declared a heretic.

One of the things we also need to note is that violence in this case is often a word that is chosen by people to say that they are offended by the fact that someone would raise such an issue. For example, the article tells us, "Wayne State University PhD student Jami Pittman said 'I would just like to express a great sense of violence that I feel from being exposed to this conversation.'" That is the logic that is leading to an entire shutdown, even of the ability of those who are for the transgender revolution to ask any question about how it might be applied to children and teenagers. You ask any question, you're out, you're a heretic, you're out of the church of transgender.

I also have to tell you that I learned something in this article, a term I did not know before. It's a term of the espetionally emotionally laden who are committed to the moral revolution. The term is "sea-lioning." Yes. That is a participle made out of a mammal, a sea lion. What does it mean? Well, let me read it to you in context. One of Cantor's critics "accused him of sea-lioning', an online trolling tactic that involves "pursuing people with persistent requests for evidence or repeated questions while maintaining a pretense of civility and sincerity." There he goes, sea-lioning again.

But notice how one becomes guilty of sea-lioning. It's by asking whether or not a statement is actually true and demanding evidence. This is a very important process of reason operating on the basis of publicly accessible evidence. But if you do that these days, if you demand evidence and you question any of the newly evolving orthodoxy of the moral revolutionaries, well, then you're a heretic. You have to be thrown out of the church. You are actually bullying people. You're creating violence by demanding evidence or questioning any kind of assertion and you might just be guilty as well of sea-lioning. But wait, just a minute. Where's the animal rights activist to tell us that that is cultural appropriation from the sea lion?

I don't know about you, but I'm just going to guess that the best argument is that it is sea lions who do the sealioning by being.... Oh, I don't know. Sea lions.

Part

Chasten Buttigieg's Memoir Is Out-of-Date Before It Hit the Bookstores

But then fourth, I want to take us to another headline. This one also from USA Today and it has a similar revelation in it. This one's by David Oliver. It's a big article. This is half of a page in the print edition. The headline: "Chasten Buttigieg opens up a new memoir." Well, just about right on time. The husband, as he's identified, of Pete Buttigieg, the former Democratic candidate for the presidential nomination of that party and the former mayor of South Bend Indiana. You have Chasten Buttigieg writing a memoir about what it's like to be married to Pete and what it was like to be married to Pete during the 2020 presidential campaign.

Now, one of the ironies here is that you have a 31 year old writing a memoir. Only in this generation would a 31-year old write anything called a memoir. The book is entitled I Have Something to Tell You, and Chasten Buttigieg does have a lot to tell us. He tells us about being married to Mayor Pete and what it means to come to know him on an online dating service. He tells us other things about his life before Mayor Pete, and then their life together and announces they're now considering having a family.

The article in USA today tells us that this book belongs in the genre of queer memoir. But then, and this is what's most important, the article tells us this, "Democrats and the LGBTQ community obviously are not all fans of Mayor Pete from a policy perspective, but one criticism that some people lobbed at him is that he was not queer enough. And that did not sit well with his husband who had been actively talking with queer youth."

Wait just a minute, Mayor Pete was entirely for the moral revolution, but here we're told that obviously he wasn't the choice of many who identify in the LGBTQ movement because he wasn't queer enough. What is behind that? Well, it's the accusation that when you have a gay man married to a gay man and they live in otherwise conventional life, it's almost impossible to imagine what otherwise conventional life means, but that's what they mean that is not queer enough. And one of the things we have to see is that in the new ideology of the queer movement, the LGBTQ movement and its ideological expression, Just like "sea lion" has become a verb, so has the word "queer," which by the way, had become an unutterable word as a word that was slandering gays, as it was then said, slandering the LGBTQ movement. It has now been entirely owned by the ideology of the moral revolution and it's been turned also into a verb. To queer something is to destabilize any kind of existing morality.

And here's where we need to note that even as Christians rightly see same-sex marriage as (A), an impossibility and (B), a massively revolutionary concept. The reality is that for many in the LGBTQ movement, it's all too conventional. The problem with Mayor Pete and Chasten is that they're just not queer enough. And that language has become so normalized now that it's the entire language structure of this big article in USA Today, even down to the genre of the book that they are reviewing and actually just featuring here, the queer memoir. So you tie all this together and it tells us that when you buy into this ideology a little bit, that's not going to be enough. You're going to have to buy into the ideology, even as the ideology is an unfinished project that is going to continue to unfold. Oh, and by the way, when it does unfold, even though who led the revolution, just a matter of a couple of years ago, are going to be declared to be heretics who have to be outside the church because yes, this becomes a new religion.

But then we also have to see that the pace of this revolution will eventually unravel the entire civilization from voting registration to prisons. Yes, we're seeing that today and just about everything else. It also has to be recognized that the velocity of this revolution is such now that even as say at some time in the barely distant memory like.... Oh, I don't know. Two or three years ago, Mayor Pete and Chasten Buttigieg would have been seen as revolutionary. Now they're being dismissed by many in the LGBTQ movement as not queer enough.

The final quote I'm going to share with you is actually from Chasten Buttigieg complaining about this criticism, but ending his own statement with this, "And then I see people policing the boundaries of queerness deciding there's a right way and a wrong way to exist and to present as if queerness was performative." That's critical theory and ideology all wrapped into a statement using a vocabulary that basically says that Chasten Buttigieg is using the language even as the language and the logic are now consuming him. When it comes to the LGBTQ revolution, Chasten Buttigieg's queer memoir was out of date even before it hit the bookstores.

Thanks for listening to The Briefing.

I want to tell you about Boyce College's Preview Day, that's coming up on October 9th. It's going to be a virtual event. It's going to feature an exclusive, ask anything live that I'm going to do with those prospective students. It will include a virtual campus tour and information fair with faculty and staff and a lot of interaction. We're going to tell you the story of Boyce College. We're going to talk about why it is trusted for truth and why it is singularly important for the raising up of a generation of young Christians to go out into the world, faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

To register and learn more about the Christian Worldview education at Boyce College, just visit boycecollege.com/preview. That's boycecollege.com/preview.

For more information and resources, go to 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, just go to boycecollege.com.

I'll meet you again tomorrow for The Briefing.

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

I am always glad to hear from readers. Write me using the contact form. Follow regular updates on Twitter at @albertmohler.

Subscribe via email for daily Briefings and more (unsubscribe at any time).

Topics

Abortion Adultery Anglicanism Animals Art & Culture Ask Anything Atheism Bible Birth Control Books Childhood Church & Ministry Church History College & University Coronavirus Court Decisions Death Divorce Economy & Work Education Embryos & Stem Cells Environment Ethics Euthanasia Evangelicalism Evolutionism Family Film Gambling Heaven and Hell History Homosexuality Islam Jesus & the Gospel Law & Justice Leadership Manhood Marriage Mormonism Obituaries Parental Rights Pluralism Politics Population Control Pornography Preaching Publishing Race Religious Freedom Roman Catholicism SBC Science Secularism Sex Education Sexual Revolution Singleness Social Media & Internet Spirituality Sports Technology The Apostles' Creed The Gathering Storm The Mailbox The Prayer That Turns the World Upside Down Theology Tragedy Trends United States Womanhood