The Briefing, Albert Mohler

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

It’s Tuesday, April 25th, 2023.

I’m Albert Mohler, and this is The Briefing, a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview.

Part I

A Bet on the Transgressive Trajectory of the Culture: Bud Light, Ulta, and Nike Go Public with Sponsorship of the Transgender Revolution

These days are so much coming at us, at times it’s hard to know what is salacious, what’s controversial, what’s a media focus that isn’t longstandingly important, in the great scheme of things will not turn out to be important, as contrasted with the things that really do present themselves as clearly important.

We’re also living in a time in which moral change is coming to us with such velocity that, frankly, it’s very difficult to get your bearings in the middle of all of this. But I think that’s actually part of the point. I think that those who are trying to bring about a comprehensive change in our society are counting on the fact that velocity is on their side in such a way that all objections, indeed all common sense, will just be swept away in the inevitability of what they believe is this revolution in morality, even in human biology, evidently.

And so, we now have the big story about Bud Light and Dylan Mulvaney. At first glance, that might not appear to be such a big issue in worldview perspective because it’s just another salacious headline, except in this case it’s not just another headline. This one turns out to have lasting power.

It came up just in the last couple of days, because in the midst of this controversy about Bud Light and its advertising and use of Dylan Mulvaney, it turns out that that has at least cost two major executives their jobs for now, at least put on suspension. If you have a major American brand like Bud Light and the Anheuser-Busch Corporation taking this step, that indicates that something is going on here. Now, just as we look at this, let’s remind ourselves of what got us to this point.

First of all, we have the name Dylan Mulvaney, a reminder of the fact that in this social media age, your name is often a brand, and it’s a big brand when it comes to Dylan Mulvaney, but it’s a very strange brand. You’re talking about someone who really emerged on TikTok as a major artist and, after that, has gone on to a much wider cultural platform.

But Dylan Mulvaney is basically famous right now for being a biological male, which, let’s just remind ourselves, means a man who is posing as a woman, claiming a woman’s identity, claiming a transgender identity, but keeping the name Dylan Mulvaney because, after all, this is a brand, and it’s such an effective brand that you have other major brands, big corporate brands, including Nike and Anheuser-Busch saying if we want to reach out to millennials, we want to reach to younger Americans. They’re very socially progressive on these issues. We need to have advertising that features people like Dylan Mulvaney. But guess what? This came with a lot of backlash.

So the immediate context here is that the big corporate entity is Anheuser-Busch, for its brand known as Bud Light, began a process of collaboration, that’s the word that was used, with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney. The big story was backlash. It didn’t go well for Bud Light, it didn’t go well for Anheuser-Busch, and, as we know now in the last couple of days, it has not gone well for the executives in the company who came up with this.

But what’s going on here? Why did it not go over in a big way? Well, several things for us to think about, but for one thing, you do have a constituency for a product such as Bud Light. Here you have a Baptist talking about a beer commercial, but it’s because it is culturally important in this case.

Bud Light is, you might say, something of a blue-collar, all-American brand when it comes to beer companies, and not exactly the kind of brand that you would think that would adopt a biological male, who is known right now for 365 Days of Girlhood in terms of a non-binary transgender identity, as a spokesperson and collaborator for building the brand known as Bud Light. Evidently, the people who actually consume and buy Bud Light aren’t consuming and buying 365 Days of Girlhood.

Now behind the ambition of this brand is the fact that many of these major American corporations and big commercial brands are in absolute panic right now. They’re in panic because they have an aging constituency, an aging market, and they want to reach out to younger Americans. They’re being told…. And this is a part of the entire revolution and morality around us. They’re being told, if you want young consumers, then you’re going to have to change your advertising. By the way, one of the ways to get their attention, since so many of these younger Americans are so socially progressive, particularly on LGBTQ issues, is find spokespeople or, to use again the word that was the advertising term here, use collaborators who will send a signal.

Now Dylan Mulvaney sent a signal, no doubt, but it was not a signal that went over well for Bud Light, and that tells us a couple of things. Let’s just think about that for a moment.

One of the things I want us to recognize as conservatives is that this tells us something. As Christians, we need to understand that both of these things are actually explained by the Christian worldview.

Number one, there are natural limits to what you can get away with at any time. There are natural moral limits to what you can get away with at any time. Even as you’re looking at a society that is changing its moral code at such velocity, there are limits to just how fast a lot of Americans can go.

Now there are certain brands in the United States where you could probably get away with an incredibly progressive collaborator in this case. It might be that if you are working for one of those brands, frankly, you’re hard-pressed right now to come up with something that will be even a little more transgressive than what you had last year. If you’re on the far, far left, it is very hard to keep up.

So on the one hand, that comes to us as good news. There are some limits. But here’s the bad news that comes with that recognition. The Christian worldview also tells us that the goalposts keep moving in a society. And so, one of the things we need to recognize is that societies come to terms with what they consider to be their own moral boundaries, and on the other side of that boundary, transgression, and those boundaries just keep moving outward.

And so, even as right now, the year 2023, Bud Light didn’t get away right now with using Dylan Mulvaney as a collaborator, a spokesperson, a brand enhancer. The fact is that in fairly short order, we might find out that someone even more transgressive than Dylan Mulvaney is representing a very similar kind of brand.

And so, even as we recognize as Christians there are natural limits, creation limits that keeps showing themselves, we also have to understand that, as Paul tells us in Romans 1, the creature goes on in sinfulness, denying both the Creator and the pattern of creation.

But when it comes to Dillon Mulvaney, we just have to pause here for a moment and say when we talk about transgression…. And that’s a word that I think a lot of people really hadn’t thought about except in a biblical frame. In a biblical understanding, the word transgression is often a synonym for sins. And so, even as you look at historic forms of the Lord’s Prayer, you see the word transgression used as a synonym for sin.

But that’s not what’s going on here. Instead, what’s going on right here is a post-modern move. In the post-modern ideologies of the late 20th century, the idea was that moral change comes by intentionally provoking or transgressing established moral limits that you want to break down. And so, these transgressions became the way that you draw attention to your movement and you drive energy.

But the transgression ideology goes further than that, because the idea is, again, you just keep moving the goalposts. And so, even if it looks like you lose, you actually win, because even as you were going for 10 yards, you settled for two. But guess what? Two yards is moving down the field.

This is one of the reasons why when you look at, for example, Hollywood at work, it’s an ethic of transgression, and you see people who just can’t keep up. So one of the interesting things, if you have the time, and I’m not suggesting it, you watch something like the parade into an Oscar ceremony, you see some of the most freakish things you could imagine.

But they’re intentionally shocking. That’s what they are intended to do. They are to tear down established barriers. They’re to be shocking until you tell yourself, or at least the left tells itself, “No, this is absolutely normal. There’s no problem here. This is good,” and it will lead, of course, to the next thing. But if your mode is transgression, again, eventually you get out transgressed, which is one of the big problems on the left right now.

Several things that we also just need to think about here. Dylan Mulvaney, let’s just remind ourselves again and again, born December 29, 1996, identified, by the way, often as an American celebrity actress, comedian, TikTok personality. Dylan Mulvaney is actually not an actress. Dylan Mulvaney is an actor. We’re talking about a biological male.

And so, one of the things to recognize is that even as actor comes so quickly in the pedigree here, you do have to wonder how much of this is actually something which is a clear LGBTQ identity and how much of this is acting? I know you can’t say that in public because that itself is a transgression these days, because we’re supposed to say everything is exactly what it’s claimed to be. Everyone is exactly who they say they are. This is something Christians have to understand. It’s a game we can’t play.

But we also have to understand there’s a very clear sexualization going on here right down to cosmetic surgery. You’ll recall the program that has made this individual so famous is 365 Days of Girlhood. Now, by the way, the number kept going up, but eventually it reached a year. 365 Days of Girlhood.

And so, you’ll notice this is not an adult man who’s really claiming the identity of an adult woman with all that goes with it. No, this is a sexualization that points younger as girlhood. If that doesn’t trouble you, frankly, I don’t know what would.

But this also intersects with politics. Just a matter of months ago on The Briefing, I talked about the same individual, Dylan Mulvaney, interviewing the President of the United States there in the White House. So there you see how politicians on the left, they also want to join in this brand collaboration. It didn’t work so well for Bud Light. It’ll be interesting to see if it works so well for Joe Biden.

In the engagement with President Biden, they’re in the White House. Remember, this means the President of the United States gave time deliberately to this person in order to gain the advantage of this kind of publicity.

The interview began with Dylan Mulvaney turning to the President of the United States while claiming to be a girl. He said, “Mr. President, this is my 221st day of publicly transitioning.” Now look out the history of the United States of America and look at the entire roster of presidents. How would a President of the United States respond to that? How did Joe Biden respond to that? He said, “God love you.”

But just to follow along in this farce, the American cosmetic chain known as Ulta actually put out a podcast with Dylan Mulvaney that was about how to express femininity. You say, “Well, nothing could exceed that.” But just wait a minute, along comes Nike.

I’m not going to go into any anatomical detail because you can figure this out yourself, but Nike got into it. But a controversy, controversy, Nike’s a left company. And so, it probably actually saw this to its advantage, unlike Bud Light, in terms of the immediate pushback. But Nike used Dylan Mulvaney in order to advertise a sports bra. That’s right. A biological male advertising a sports bra.

Now at this point we have simply left all rationality, but the point I want to make and I want Christians to think about is these companies are doing what they see as in their own brand interest. They’re doing what they believe will further their own commercial prospects. They’re doing what they think will win them friends, not enemies, in the marketplace, consumers, not former consumers.

They are betting that this is the direction of the culture. They are betting that this is the direction of the generations to come. They are betting that this transgression … Which formally would’ve been so far on the periphery of society that no major brand would’ve allowed itself to become in any way associated with this kind of thing, now the brands appear to be lining up.

Now there is one final analysis on this, because let’s just remind ourselves, we’re looking at manifest nonsense. We’re looking at a massive cultural lie. We’re looking at a man who claims to be celebrating multiple hundred days of girlhood. Let me just remind you that you don’t have to be an expert in the Bible to know that that’s impossible. You do have to look with concern to a society that increasingly says, “Oh, yeah, it’s going to be a different program tomorrow. It’s going to be a different celebrity tomorrow. It’s going to be more of this tomorrow.” This is the inevitable march of moral progress. It should tell us a great deal that many of our neighbors actually believe. To some extent it is.

Now it’s true that we should at least be encouraged, to some extent, that there is some pushback. But, as I said, the problem with the pushback is they go for 10 yards. They actually gain just two. But those are two real yards. That’s how they move this moral revolution down the field.

Part II

A Vote for Sanity and Honesty to Save Women’s Sports: GOP House Votes That Restrictions of Biological Males from Competing as Females Falls Under Title IX Regulations

Now just a couple of other related issues, the Republican majority in the House, just days ago, passed legislation that would revise Title IX. That covers sports, higher education, so many other issues in the funding. The proposal is that Title IX would actually be used in order to say that a biological male cannot compete as a female on these kinds of programs and teams, in particular in schools that receive federal tax monies. That would cover just about all K-12 in terms of the public schools and the vast majority, with very few exceptions, of colleges and universities in the United States.

Now, politically, let’s understand this isn’t going to get anywhere, not with Joe Biden in the White House and not with a Democratic majority in the United States Senate. But it is not nothing that the United States House of Representatives has passed this legislation. It does at least send a signal, it draws a certain line in the sand, and it does tell us that this is going to be a big issue in the 2024 election, no doubt about it.

Something else to note here, Nancy Armour, very liberal columnist writing for the sports section of USA Today, just yesterday put out an article in which she goes after the House action. Here’s the headline, House bill to “protect” women’s sports would do anything but. Now there’s a slight of hand in this article, and this is just one of the things I want us to note from time-to-time.

In her article, early on, she says this, “Transgender athletes are not overrunning women’s sports at any age or any level. They’re not depriving cisgender women of roster spots or scholarships or any of the other hysteria the GOP would have you believe.” So in other words, this is not happening. Categorically, this is not happening. There is no one who’s lost a position. There’s no one who’s lost a scholarship. No girl or a woman who’s lost a position, lost standing, lost competition because of a transgender athlete competing, except we know that just isn’t true.

That becomes clear just a matter of a few lines later, when the very same author says this, “The number of transgender girls and women who have won titles or claimed spots on a podium is even smaller.” Well, smaller than what? That’s not the point. It’s larger than zero, which is what she implied earlier in the very same article. Zero is zero. Zero is not any number above zero, and we know that’s exactly what is going on. So there’s just duplicity here. There’s just massive dishonesty in all of this.

Later in the article, Nancy Armour writes, “While the GOP likes to express outrage over the Ivy League records swimmer Lia Thomas broke and the national title she won.” Now let’s just remind ourselves she’s a he. We’re talking about a biological male, a man standing there in a woman’s swimsuit. Armour goes on to say, They conveniently failed to mention that Thomas got “smoked” in other races at last year’s NCAA championships, or that Lia Thomas’s “winning time in the 500-yard freestyle at the national championships was more than nine seconds off Katie Ledecky’s NCAA record and three seconds slower than the pool record”.

That’s just a lot of verbal fog, but the fact is that a biological male doesn’t necessarily win every competition, but there is no doubt that this biological male won several of those competitions precisely because that body had gone through male puberty and had an athletic advantage.

And so, you see how all this is obfuscated. First, it begins by saying this doesn’t affect anyone. Well, it does affect a few, but it doesn’t affect them much, and, after all, the transgender athletes don’t always win. But the point is they don’t have to always win for this to be a huge problem. It is a giant exercise in irrationality and dishonesty, and everyone involved in this really does know it.

It’s also interesting that later in the article, Nancy Armour writes, “But Republicans don’t really care about women’s sports. They care about scoring points with their base, and demonizing the trans community has become a convenient way to do that.” Now that’s just another form of demonizing. When you say, no, this person isn’t making a legitimate complaint, they’re demonizing, and then you demonize, well, you’re just playing the very same game.

But here’s the other point. When you look at Nancy Armour and then you look at Bud Light, you look at Dylan Mulvaney, it is not just the GOP members of the House who are upset about this. It turns out that Bud Light found out the hard way it is a lot of average Americans who, looking at the screen, just go, “I don’t think so,” when it comes to 365 Days of Girlhood.

Part III

The Real Enemy is the Cisgender Majority and the Affirmation of Normativity: The Transgender Revolution’s Great Enemy

But before leaving this issue, I want to point to something else which has appeared in recent days, and it really tells us a great deal. Sometimes you just get a statement, and in this statement, just about everything is revealed. Without this statement, it might have been a little bit harder to say this is what’s going on. But since this statement has now been made, we have evidence coming right from the source that this is exactly what’s going on.

In this case, the source is an article that appeared not in a conservative Christian site, but rather in an absolutely out of the closet LGBTQ advocacy site known as Outsports. Karleigh Webb is the writer of this article. Here’s the headline, Sports need to discuss cisgender discomfort over transgender athletes winning.

Now remember Nancy Armour said it doesn’t happen or it happens so rarely, you don’t need to worry about it. But here you have the website Outsports saying it needs to happen more often in order to make the point to conservatives and others, cisgender people who won’t get over their discomfort with transgender identity. We need to put it right before the public. We need to make the public look at it. We need to make the public like it.

Karleigh Webb begins by saying, “Lia Thomas hit the water and won an NCAA swimming championship a little more than a year ago. Since then, the world governing bodies for swimming and track and field have banned transgender women from competing.”

Skipping a bit, the article says, “We’ve seen anti-trans nonsense rear its head because a trans woman won a snooker tournament and another put together a couple wins in disc golf. We’ve seen high school hysteria that went as far as a high school team in a state tournament forfeiting because the other team had a trans girl on it.”

But, as I said, the big issue here is what appears in this article, which tells us so much about what’s really going on here. Remember, this article is coming from the LGBTQ community. It is coming from a website known as Outsports. It is coming from the direction of saying we need to make conservative America get over it when it comes to the transgender revolution.

Outsports is after all about sports, so listen to this: “This mentality is harming sports at every level. This is a prime mover behind 18 states passing laws that would keep transgender kids off their school teams that match their gender, a right of access and opportunity that should be open to every school student.”

Then this, and I quote, “The real monster here is deeper perceptions of a cisgender populace that is largely uncomfortable with transgender people and uncomfortable with impossibly winning in a sport.” Next, “The first flashpoint is the cisgender fixation with bodies, especially in women’s sports. Some bodies are lionized as normative, others are demonized.”

Now that just gets to something of incredible importance. Here you have the rejection of any kind of normativity when it comes to human beings, because that’s actually what’s going on here. This isn’t just about athletes. This is about human beings saying that the very notion that there’s a normative definition of a human being as male or female now has to be overcome in the name of liberation.

I wanted to get to this particular statement because I think it helps to explain what’s really going on here. It’s not being said by some kind of cultural conservative describing what’s behind the LGBTQ revolution. This is a statement made by one of its revolutionaries in a commercial website that is intended to further LGBTQ interests in sports at every level, including childhood, teenage sports, school sports, intercollegiate sports, and professional sports, all of them.

You’ll notice that what it identifies as the great enemy to be overcome is the deeper perceptions of a “cisgender populist that is largely uncomfortable with transgender people and uncomfortable with them possibly winning in a sport”. What’s the evidence of that? These people who are cisgender, that means to say man or woman. As in biological male, biological female, that basically defines normative human experience. But then we are told that the very idea of a normative human experience, or even a normative human body, is now what has to be overcome.

Hugo Gurdon of the Washington Examiner gets it right when responding to this particular argument. He says, “We oppose biological men being allowed into women’s sports because we are civilized people, because we know it’s unfair and often dangerous. We also know that those who push this transformation of our culture are suffering from a psychological disorder that needs treatment, or they are just cynically writing a bandwagon that they hope, often with good reason, will bring them praise, social status, fame, and wealth.”

He then says this, and this is quite important, “There are many more who, perhaps fearing the left’s aggression, are merely weekly unresisting as they are swept along by an extraordinary ideological fashion.”

But he concludes, “They too will eventually find themselves as worn down as the female athletes being forced to give up their trophies in private spaces, because if there is any one thing the left has made clear, it is that they will accept nothing less than total capitulation.”

I wanted to get us to that point today in order to understand that this is where we really stand on the threshold of a major change in our society. It’s also interesting to note that as Christians in a society like this, or, for that matter, in societies increasingly all around the world, Christians actually represent not just a resistance movement to this kind of revolution, but an oasis of sanity where we just have to remind ourselves we’re no smarter than the rest of humanity on these issues. We’re not.

We do not have a superior human wisdom to what is being presented here. We do not. We instead have the word of God, and we have instructions from the Creator who made us in his image and made us male and female as to how we are to understand humanity, how we are to understand each other, how we are to understand male and female, man and woman, boy and girl, how we are to understand these issues that are coming at us so quickly.

But it betrays so much to find out that all of a sudden we’re being told that the very notion of normativity is the problem. If there is any one statement that actually would serve to subvert the entire order of creation, it is that there is nothing normative. It helps to explain the subversion of the family, helps to explain the subversion of marriage, helps to explain the subversion of authority in government, higher education, and everything else, and right now even the subversion of our bodies.

Thanks for listening to The Briefing.

For more information, go to my website at You can find me on Twitter by going to For information on The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, go to For information on Boyce College, just go to

I’ll meet you again tomorrow for The Briefing.

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

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