When Evil Is Called Good

Published March 3, 2022

First Things

Last week, three news stories threw into sharp relief the ambitions of the sexual revolutionaries who govern the United States. First, there was the predictable outrage from the usual elites concerning Florida’s Parental Right in Education Bill, which would significantly restrict the teaching of LGBTQ+ ideology to schoolchildren. Second, it emerged that Washington State has a policy preventing teachers from revealing a child’s gender transition to parents. And third, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki condemned a directive from Texas governor Greg Abbott that calls on state agencies to protect Texas minors by investigating cases of children receiving “abusive gender-transitioning procedures.” 

Each story reveals a particular aspect of the current sexual revolution. The criticism of Florida shows just how deeply the progressive elites have imbibed the notion of expressive individualism. Actress Kerry Washington condemned the Florida law, declaring that “Children deserve to be who they want to be. To be their true selves.” That such a statement makes sense to her and presumably to many of her 5.5 million Twitter followers testifies to how the notion of authenticity, tied to a sexualized notion of childhood, is now unquestioned orthodoxy in our culture.

Washington State’s policy is a reminder of how deeply government agencies have bought into trans ideology, and how they are using it to drive a wedge between parents and children. By the state’s own philosophy, the child is the gender he or she claims to be. So the state holds that the child defines who he truly is, but that the child’s parents have no right to know. That is disturbing in the extreme.

As to the Biden administration’s attitude toward the Texas directive, the president and his entourage seem to believe it is inappropriate, and indeed morally disgusting, to investigate institutions involved in gender transition to see if they conform to current Texas law. Psaki said that Abbott’s guidance was “designed to target and attack the kids who need support the most.” Our administration believes that loving and caring for trans kids apparently means enabling them to do irreparable damage to their bodies at an age when they have no idea what the consequences will be later in life. The lobbyists have so perverted the narrative, and the current administration has so enabled that perversion, that yes, evil is called good and good is called evil.

In short, there is a clear push to grant LGBTQ+ ideology a favored legal and cultural status that enforces it without compromise. It also labels any and all dissent as morally evil. You don’t have to be an Old Testament prophet to see where this is all heading, or at least where those in power hope it is heading. Taken together, these three news stories point to the comprehensive destabilizing of society at which the revolution aims. The family must be dismantled; biology must fall to gender ideology; dissenters must be discredited and vilified.

None of this is surprising. President Biden, no doubt drawing upon years of careful reading in the field of gender theory, portentously pronounced early in 2020 that “transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time. There is no room for compromise when it comes to basic human rights.” And it would seem that Biden’s administration and its state-level counterparts look set to be as good as their leader’s word. If you are a parent who wishes to stop your young daughter, swept up in the trans craze, from having her breasts removed, you should expect no help from those in power. If you are a legislator who wants to make sure gender transition clinics operate within the law, you should expect to be labeled a vicious bigot. And if you don’t want your elementary-school-aged child learning about sex from a stranger (who has also been given the right to know more about who your child believes he is than you do), then it is not too far-fetched to think that you might find yourself talking to child protective services at some point. 

In light of the moral disaster over which President Biden seems happy to preside, it would be helpful if those evangelical leaders covered favorably in the New York Times were to use their privileged access to expose this evil nonsense in its pages. That might be more useful than dissenting from people who don’t have the cultural cachet to land an interview with the Gray Lady, fretting about who may or may not win the 2024 election, and generally being preoccupied with the pointless work of speaking truth to those without power. Such things really serve no purpose beyond bolstering Biden World and the evil, child-harming, family-destroying sexual revolution it is so vigorously promoting. That’s why such forms of dissent receive positive treatment in the New York Times. Dissenting from our cultural and political elite’s views on top surgery for minors? Well, I have a hunch that that might be quite a different matter.

Carl Trueman is a professor of biblical and religious studies at Grove City College and a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

Carl R. Trueman is a fellow in EPPC’s Evangelicals in Civic Life Program, where his work focuses on helping civic leaders and policy makers better understand the deep roots of our current cultural malaise. In addition to his scholarship on the intellectual foundations of expressive individualism and the sexual revolution, Trueman is also interested in the origins, rise, and current use of critical theory by progressives. He serves as a professor at Grove City College.

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