I’ve been very active lately on my blot blog, where I mostly link to things with minimal comment, and it has been four days, I guess, since I found anything (other than fulminating about Donald Trump) that might involve enough original input to be worth writing here.
But now the first item in Andrew Sullivan’s weekly column for September 20 (metered paywall), When the Ideologues Come for The Kids, sounds all the right notes on a topic I’ve been fretting about a lot, right down to his retreat from previously endorsing Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH).
I am relatively disinterested in the identity politics and the picking on White boys (capitalization is from the Minnesota Teacher of the Year Sullivan dismantles), but this is a solid observation:
The forces involved — “white supremacy,” “patriarchy,” “heterosexism” — are all invisible to the naked eye, like the Holy Spirit. Their philosophical origins — an attempt by structuralist French philosophers to rescue what was left of Marxism in the 1960s and 1970s — are generally obscured in any practical context. Like religion, you cannot prove any of its doctrines empirically, but children are being forced into believing them anyway … Having taken one form of religion out of the public schools, the social-justice left is now replacing it with the doctrines of intersectionality.
I have come to the conclusion that it’s impossible to eradicate “religion,” broadly construed, from education. Again and again, I’ve seen crypto-religious ideologies slip into public schools. Intersectionality is just the latest crypto-religious fad.
Religious neutrality is a myth, though delusions about it abound. The best thing I can say for public educators who profess it is that that few of them are perceptive enough to be cynical rather than credulous in that profession.
When Sullivan starts with his retreat from DQSH, he enters territory I’m familiar and very, very frustrated with: the mad destructiveness of gender ideology. If he missed a major point, it doesn’t come readily to mind:
- Drag Queen Story Hour is a conscious effort to indoctrinate kids into the glories of queerness, “not campy encouragement for reading and fun.”
- Kids who defy sex stereotypes are being told that they’re probably the opposite sex trapped in the wrong body. Consequences, in the form of hideous medical malpractice, may follow.
- Claims of transgender identity are skyrocketing. This is neither a natural phenomenon nor a mere matter of closeted people finally coming out. In kids, it’s a combination of adult suggestion and social contagion.
- Girls have proven more susceptible than boys to adult suggestion and social contagion, and virtually their only defenders are “a few ornery feminists.”
- Most gender dysphoric kids, if not forced to “transition,” will grow up gay.
- Don’t like #5? Move to Iran, where homosexuality is so loathed that the Mullahs pay for a world-leading rate of sex-reassignment surgeries: gay boys must be turned into girls, lesbian girls into boys.
Sullivan takes this last point personally:
I remember being taunted by some other kids when I was young — they suggested that because I was mildly gender-nonconforming, I must be a girl. If my teachers and parents and doctors had adopted this new ideology, I might never have found the happiness of being gay and comfort in being male. How many gay kids, I wonder, are now being led into permanent physical damage or surgery that may be life-saving for many, but catastrophic for others, who come to realize they made a mistake. And what are gay adults doing to protect them? Nothing.
Read it. Chew on it. Speak up. Get over your sex stereotypes: a “tomboy” isn’t a boy and a “sissy” isn’t a girl.
Don’t let them bully you into silence with charges of “homophobia” or “transphobia” as they take children and commit “transitioning” atrocities on them or merely screw them over over psychologically. In Sullivan’s words, “this is not progressive; it’s deeply regressive.”
UPDATE: I should have known better than to say he had hit all the major points. He missed the extent to which observant parents are fighting back alongside ornery feminists, and how the ideologues are savaging both.
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I sought to understand, but it was too hard for me, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.
(Psalm 72:15-17, Adapted from the Miles Coverdale Translation, from A Psalter for Prayer)
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