Friday, August 13, 2021
It's Friday, August 13th, 2021.
I'm Albert Mohler, and this is The Briefing, a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview.
LGBTQ Revolutionaries Wage War Against Biological and Ontological Realities: Two Men, or Two Women, Cannot Procreate — It is Not Just Difficult, but Impossible
Several things for us to talk about today. And then we're going to turn to a new feature of The Briefing every Friday. It's going to be Looking at The Mailbox. We're going to be talking about some of what we've heard from you, people who write in, listeners to The Briefing, and others who write in questions sometimes about something we've discussed on The Briefing, sometimes about what you'd like for me to discuss on The Briefing. In any event, we'll turn to that later today.
But first, we're going to turn to a very interesting headline that comes to us and could only come recently, and it should come to us shockingly. LGBTQ Nation, now just consider the source, nonetheless, is telling us about a commercial that's being made. And the intention of this commercial is to change the minds of Americans toward the Equality Act. We've discussed that before. That is the most radical LGBTQ legislation that could ever be passed by this nation. It has passed the House. Democrats in the Senate pledge that they will pass it as well. It's the greatest threat to religious liberty in our lifetimes, but make no mistake, it is an intentional effort to try to use legislation at the national level to try to push the ambitions of the LGBTQ movement.
This particular advertisement is intended to inform Americans about how difficult it is for two men to have a child or two women to have a child. Now, here's the point I want to make. It is not difficult for two men to make a baby. It is impossible. So when you talk about two men having a baby, you're talking about something other than normal human reproduction, but that's actually, again, a sign of the times. The article tells us that even as this advertisement is being prepared, the headline is, "Two dads try to explain to their son where babies come from." Now, you can understand that a gay male couple would indeed have a rather difficult time telling a child where babies come from, because if they tell the story right the way human beings throughout time would have told the story, it will involve a man and a woman.
Furthermore, it would involve the institution of marriage. It would involve the institution of the family. It would involve a mother and a father identified as such, but the point that's actually made or intended to be made by this commercial, this advertisement is that it is more difficult than it should be for same-sex couples to be able by whatever means they may choose surrogate motherhood or adoption, or for that matter, the Wild Wild West of reproductive sales and gametes and all the rest. The argument is it should be easier. It should not be this difficult, but this is where Christians need to respond, again, clarifying the issue. It isn't difficult. It is actually impossible. If you're going to tell anyone truthfully where babies come from, you're going to need not only a sperm and an egg in some real sense, you're going to need a mother and a father.
Evidently offering something of a complaint about the situation as it is today, the two dads we are told "decide that it's time to explain the process of having a baby." One of the two dads says, "Well, when two daddies love each other and they want to have a baby, first, they talk to a lawyer about their options." Now, again, we're supposed to have sympathy for the fact that this shouldn't involve a lawyer, but the point is it is actually biologically impossible. What we are witnessing in our lifetimes is outright war on biology. Now, at a deeper theological level, this is a war on ontology. It's a war on being as God has created it. It's a war on the very notions of male and female, mother and father, brother and sister, husband and wife, go down the list. Even the notions of man and woman, and boy and girl.
Yesterday morning listening to National Public Radio just to try to get the tempo of the culture, it was very interesting that one of the lead stories on Morning Edition yesterday on National Public Radio had to do with the advisory coming from medical authorities that pregnant women ought to be vaccinated. Now, the point in this case is this. Repeatedly, the phrase was used pregnant people. Now, when you hear the phrase pregnant people, that should go off like an explosion in your ears because people don't get pregnant, women do. But of course, given the demands of the transgender revolutionaries, we're supposed to think now that that language is transphobic. It is outdated. It is immoral. It is to be done away with. It is a form of denying the existence, we are told, of transgender people. That's a very interesting language. You play that language game, you're doomed from the beginning.
What you're looking at here is just how powerful the movement is and just how much progress it is making. You have medical societies. You have doctors and others in medical facilities beginning to use language like pregnant people, people with ovaries, people with testes, people with this and people with that. That is indeed throughout all of human history something that could be rightly summarized with the phrase male or female. Now, it's interesting that we also understand we are at a moment of confusion when even National Public Radio, which is very sold out to the LGBTQ agenda, it can't keep the language straight. So at times even NPR will use the phrase pregnant women rather than pregnant people, but no doubt there will be complaints. And it is likely to be a short period of transition until all you hear is about pregnant people, and brace yourselves for this one, chest feeding.
In recent months there have been reports from doctors in the United Kingdom saying that they are already moving towards this language and enforcing it in hospitals and in medical training. You can't talk about pregnant women, only pregnant people. Again, you're talking about people with ovaries, people with this, people with that, people with prostates. And of course, that just points to the obvious, by the way, which is that if you have a problematic prostate, you are actually biologically male. Similarly, just to make the most graphic case, if you are pregnant, you are a female. You are not just a pregnant person. Your body is crying out. Indeed, that unborn baby is crying out. You are a female. Now, these days this is considered transgressive language. The transgressive language used to be on the side of the LGBTQ revolutionaries. They were transgressing against societal norms. Well, now they are shaping those societal norms, but guess what? They can't reshape biology. At least they can't yet.
Argentina Will Now Recognize ‘X’ as a Gender: The Blending of Sexual Identity with Identity Politics is Nothing Short than an Attempt at Redefining What It Means to Be Human
But as we're thinking about this, it's very important that we look not just at the United States. One of the most interesting nations on planet Earth regarding these issues right now is the nation of Argentina. The Argentine president is doing his best to press as hard and as fast as possible the entire LGBTQ array of issues. President Alberto Fernandez is well-known, by the way, for his moral progressivism. That's how he'd like to style himself on these issues. But it goes back to an interesting question. We're going to be looking at what's going on in this issue in Argentina, but we also need to back up and understand that as you look at cultures, you look at different kinds of moral reputations or moral barometers that they put in place.
Argentina, at least in a city such as Buenos Aires, has been basically doing its best throughout decades, indeed, well more than a century, to identify with the more liberal cities and with the liberal morality of cities in Europe such as Paris and Berlin in the 20th century. So it's not an accident. Buenos Aires is, by the way, not replicated throughout the entirety of rural Argentina, but the same thing's true in the United States. You have rural America. That's a different moral context increasingly these days than urban America. But nonetheless, Argentina is now going to recognize another option on official government papers. That is another option than male or female. And it is by presidential decree, that decree from President Alberto Fernandez.
Daniel Politi reports from Buenos Aires for the New York Times, "Argentina has become the first country in Latin America to officially recognize gender non-binary people who can now choose to have their gender marked as X on their national identity documents and passports if they do not identify as either male or female." No great surprise there given the direction these things are going. There may be a surprise to some that this is coming from Argentina. But again, that's probably because you haven't been watching Argentina of late. But what you're looking at here is the fact that this is an unstable position in itself. You have male, female and X for other. Well, the point is X isn't going to last for long. This is just a way of destabilizing male and female. There will likely be many, many, many options eventually available on these documents because given the sad conflation of this kind of moral revolution and identity politics, the permutations, the possible combinations of sexual identity and identity politics, well, they are endless. Trust me on this. That's why there's a "+" at the end of LGBTQ+.
President Fernandez making his statement about his decree said, and I quote, "We have the need to expand our minds and realize that there are other ways to love and be loved. And there are other identities besides the identity of man and the identity of woman." Now, I just want to back up for a moment. Let's just back up. Let's just bracket his statement for a moment. Let's just imagine that we could rewind history 10 years. Would a head of state say this? Very unlikely. Go back 20 years. Would a head of state say this? Almost impossible to imagine. Just go back 30 years. Would a head of state say it then? No, it would not have been morally understandable at the time. Here's the point. You can go back as far as you want in human history. And this argument is nonsensical.
By the way, Alberto Fernandez is really trying hard to press the LGBTQ agenda beyond where it's pressed in many other countries by many other political leaders. Just a matter of weeks ago, he signed into law a measure there in Argentina that will set aside 1% of the public sector jobs in Argentina for those who are identified as transgender. Now, let's just think about this for a moment again. It's not just the percent, in this case 1%. It's the fact that 1% of public sector jobs will now be set aside for those who identify as transgender. Now, one of the things you have to think about when it comes to this kind of economic incentive is that you get what you pay for. So Argentina is likely now to be in a situation in which people, if they want a job, have an incentive to identify as transgender. It's insane at the level of quota. It's immoral at the level of morality, but it's also nonsensical. It is politics here presenting itself as legislation. It is an attempt to try to make clear just how morally liberal this president and his nation will be in light of the LGBTQ revolution.
And here's what you also need to understand. How many people, especially, say, those in Hollywood and elsewhere, are now going to say, "Look at Argentina. That's where the United States should be?" We are so out of step. We are so far behind. We're behind Argentina for crying out loud. We got to catch up with history. Well, just in case you're inclined to go out on the balcony and cry, don't change my gender card, Argentina. You need to understand that there is more to this story. And that includes the fact that as the Washington Post reports, President Fernandez is known for pushing liberal social reforms. As the article by Sammy Westfall says, "From siting with a bill that would legalize and guarantee free access to abortion for up to 14 weeks of pregnancy to advocating for a coronavirus wealth tax bill," listen to this line carefully, "Fernandez has supported his son, a popular drag queen who goes by Dyhzy, against conservative attacks."
The president with a son who is a drag queen named Dyhzy, you have a recipe for a very liberal president. And by the way, just in case you're interested in more about Dyhzy, you need to know that Dyhzy spells his name D-Y-H-Z-Y. And why wouldn't he? But as Christians know, there is always more to this story, and that more is always theological. And to the credit of The Economist, one of the most influential European news sources, well, the article gets right to religion, speaking of Argentina's social liberalism, "Another factor is religions we grow in politics. Although much of the countryside," says The Economist, "remains God fearing, religion has lost clout in the cities. Argentina does not have strong political parties that cater to socially conservative evangelical church goers. So a difference from Brazil and the countries of Central America where many more people resist the idea of expanding trans people's rights."
I'd like to unpack there, but I want you to notice that language. So what Argentina is contrasted to are nations in Central and South America. In particular, we're talking here about Brazil and some Central American countries where there are political parties that have actually identified with the concerns of religious conservatives. And that would include evangelicals and Roman Catholics. But here's the point. That's what you're going to get blamed for. If indeed you have any public significance as a conservative Christian, you're going to be blamed for the fact that there's some political party that is going to pick up on the argument. But what I want to do is to turn that on its head and recognize that if some political party doesn't pick up on the argument, what you get is a president with a drag queen son named Dyhzy.
It is also in worldview analysis very important to recognize that right there in The Economist looking not at the United States, red and blue America, but looking at Argentina, you might say red and blue Argentina. Again, the fact is that the closer you get to a city, the more socially liberal the culture becomes, the more democratic or liberal in terms of politics the culture becomes and the more secular the culture becomes. That's just a matter of reality. And it really doesn't matter where you live. That in general terms is a sociological dynamic with ideological significance and political significance as well. I'm not going to let the Argentina story go for a moment because I want to go back to a statement made by the president that is maybe more important than anything at least as far he has done.
As the New York Times reports, speaking of this executive decree that he's given about the non-gender binary identity on government documents, he says, and this is what's most important, "This is a step that I hope will end the day when IDs don't say if someone is a man or woman or whatever. That is what we really have to achieve." As the New York Times says, the president, "Noted that a non-binary marker was not an ideal solution. He expressed hope that someday it may not be necessary and that everyone would be referred to in gender neutral terms." Everyone. That means that it is the president of Argentina's hope that such a thing would become unnecessary because not only would those who want a non-binary designation have one, but you and I would too. And that's where this revolution has to go. It can't go with this is an option. It has to go with this is the new redefinition of humanity: X.
Welcome to the Brave New World of History — Now a 1,000 Year Old Grave in Finland Becomes a “Non-Binary” Headline
Okay, next we'll go from the United States to Argentina to Finland. And we're going back in time. We're talking about archeological remains. The Guardian, a newspaper in London, reported the headline 1000-year-old remains in Finland may be non-binary iron age leader. Well, buck your seat belts for this one. I read from the article by Jon Henley, "Modern analysis of a 1000-year-old grave and Finland challenges long-held beliefs about gender roles in ancient societies and may suggest non-binary people were not only accepted, but respected members of their communities, researchers have said." One of the things I point to regularly is that when you see experts say, researchers say, well, it's really important to know who in the world the so-called experts and the researchers are. And are they actually saying what's being represented here?
But nonetheless, we're told, "According to a peer reviewed study in the European Journal of Archeology, DNA analysis of remains in a late iron age grave at Suontaka Vesitorninmäki in Hattula, Southern Finland, may have belonged to a high status non-binary person, a high status non-binary person may be a thousand years ago. "First discovered in 1968 during building work, the grave contained jewelry in the form of oval brooches as well as fragments of woolen clothing, suggesting the dead person was dressed in a typical feminine costume of the era. But unusually, the grave also held a helpless sword placed on the person's left side with another sword, perhaps deposited at a later date, buried above the original grave, accoutrements more often associated with masculinity."
After doing some genetic study and with a diagnosis a thousand years later that the inhabitant of the grave had Klinefelter syndrome, the bottom line is this, "The overall context of the grave indicates that it was a respected person whose gender identity may well have been non-binary." Later, we are told that the study was, "Convincing." That's put in quotation marks, the word convincing. "And showing the person buried was likely to have been non-binary." Well, this poor person was buried a thousand years ago only to have the gender identity of the inhabitant of this grave questioned a thousand years later by so-called researchers who were reporting in peer reviewed journal articles that also show up in the mass media, such as The Guardian.
So what's really going on here? This is the way scholarship's going. That's what you need to recognize. And the argument is being made that non-binary people were, because of political and moral prejudice, invisible. That's going to be the argument in ancient times and in previous epics of history. And you're going to have to go back and find them, even if you have to make arguments based upon the fact that both swords and jewelry were found in a 1000-year-old grave in Finland. If you want to get tenure in one of these disciplines in a major academic setting these days, you better be writing these kinds of articles based upon this kind of research. And you better be looking for transgressive individuals of LGBTQ+. And remember that plus sign going backwards in history.
The other thing you have to know is that people jump from this kind of supposed research right to making the point of contemporary application. The Guardian article ends with this, "Archeologists and historians also back the findings saying it was 'exciting'," the word exciting is put in quotation marks, "to see new work engaging with questions of gender and identity." Leszek Gardela of the National Museum of Denmark said the study showed early medieval societies, "had very nuanced approaches to and understandings of gender identities." Well, welcome to the brave new world of history, because that's the way it's going to be taught in many places by many people serving this agenda. You're going to have generations to come told about all those marauding Vikings, non-binary Vikings who came in their long boats to sack England.
The Mailbox -- Dr. Mohler Responds to Letters from Listeners on This New Segment of Friday Editions of The Briefing
But next, let's turn to The Mailbox. Christian wrote in saying that he's concerned about environmentalism as a Christian and wants to understand how best that he should act. And he goes to the point of saying that he has been concerned because of the warnings from ecologist about driving his car, flying on a plane or doing many things, including the fulfillment of the great commission. Now, he raises a very interesting issue, but Christian, I just want to assure you that what Christians are called to is the fulfillment of the commands of Christ. And that will require at times that you get on a plane or require you get in a car, and there is no escape from this, by the way. What Christians are called to is stewardship. When it comes to ecological issues, we certainly don't want to do things that would cause harm to the Earth, but we also have to understand that we are not, as human beings, the problem, and normal human activities are not the problem.
And when it comes to things such as, say, driving a car or riding in an airplane, the fact is that just living in a house, using electricity, having refrigeration, having air conditioning, all of these things come with consequences, but the very people who are warning about climate change and global warming they're speaking at conferences in air conditioned facilities. They're flying on planes to get to their meetings. They're riding in cars in order to get to the airport. There's no way to function in society without some kind of environmental footprint, and Christians understand it comes down to a matter of common sense. We hope consecrated common sense as Christians are thinking biblically. But the fact is we must not be immobilized nor scared in the midst of all of this conversation in the culture about the climate into failing to do what God has positively commanded us to do. Christian kindly ended his email, "Thank you, and have a blessed day, brother." And back to you, Christian. God bless you!
Many people wrote in response to my summer reading list article or just on the general issue of reading. Alexander is a high school student, and he wrote, "Do you use any particular method of speed reading so you're able to get through faster? Does it just comes through practice?"" He went on to say, "I'm trying to improve my reading skills, but as a high school student, I'm finding that I want to read more than I'm actually able to sit down and read. The worst thing that can happen is that you won't answer, so I thought I'd give it a try." Well, Alexander, thanks for giving it a try. And here's the answer. I do not use any speed reading method. I read all the words. I read the paragraph. I read the sentence. I read the page. I have my own system. I almost always read with a pen in my hand. I'm making notes, I'm making marks, even if I'm simply holding it, and sometimes just following along with the writing instrument as I read.
I do read very fast, Alexander. I'll tell you that. And some people can't read as fast, and that's all right. I comprehend things. I remember a lot of things from what I read. I don't remember as much as I wish I remember, but the point is that I've been doing this a very long time, and I've been reading a lot and I've been reading a lot for a very long time. I love reading. It's necessary for what I do. It's the fuel in many ways for the fire I'm trying to burn, and I enjoy it. There are very few things I don't enjoy reading, but Alexander, I want you to know that I'm in the same position as you when it comes to the fact that I will never read as much as I want to read.
And so if you're frustrated with that now, I just want to give you the bad news. You're going to be frustrated with that the rest of your life, but it is like a marathon. You longer, you run faster, you run leaner. You will read better. You will read longer. You'll retain more. You'll enjoy it even more. And if you're starting out by being as interested in reading as you are right now, I want to tell you, I believe the stewardship of reading in your lifetime will be enormous. And I just want to encourage you. God bless you. Thanks for writing. Keep reading.
Finally, I received a letter, and I'm not going to use the name on this one, but I want to thank the writer for sending it to me, asking about the unpardonable sin, the sin against the holy spirit. Now, the most important biblical reference to that is found in Mark 3:28–29. And it is clear that the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit is committed to sin for which there is no forgiveness. And this person who is a Christian is writing wondering about and worrying about whether or not he has committed the unpardonable sin. And let me just get to the point. The unpardonable sin, as best understood from looking at the New Testament as a whole and understanding biblical theology and the gospel and just taking the text of Scripture on its own, the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the unpardonable sin that is referenced in the New Testament has to be resisting the Holy Spirit and slandering the Holy Spirit's work.
If you have come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, if you have repented of your sin, if there's a work of contrition in your heart about sin, then by definition, you have not committed the unpardonable sin. To blaspheme against the Holy Spirit would be to deny the Holy Spirit's sovereign work in the heart. And you have not done that as you are a believer to the contrary. You have praised the Holy Spirit for opening your heart to call you to Christ. And the call was continually to repentance, taking us to Christ who has told us that if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. It is impossible for the Christian, I believe, to commit the unpardonable sin because that would mean that the Holy Spirit would be blasphemed and the Christian would not be a Christian if the Holy Spirit's work were not perfect and saving.
So let me tell you the bad news about the unpardonable sin. And that is that hell will be filled with people who committed the unpardonable sin, but there will be no one in heaven who did, and all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved and understood in this light. The essence of the unpardonable sin is hardening your heart against the Holy Spirit, which by the very sensitive nature of your question, it certainly appears you have not done. If you, as a Christian, struggle with blasphemous thoughts, then read the Bible, read it out loud, sing a hymn, go to church, do something for the glory of God, get busy and get active. Jesus said to the devil, "Get thee behind me, Satan." And Martin Luther through an ink pot at him. But if you are convicted in your heart, even to the point of wondering about these things, then you have not committed the unpardonable sin. At the end of the day, I believe this is what separates Christians from non-Christians, even heaven from hell. And that just makes the gospel more precious.
Thanks for your letters, and thanks for listening to The Briefing.
You can write me at email@example.com or just hit the mail function at the website. 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, just go to boycecollege.com.
I'll meet you again on Monday for The Briefing.