This week’s Talking Points is the text of Dr. Piper’s speech prepared for presentation at the World Congress for Families in Tbilisi, Georgia, on May 17, 2016.
In his 1948 seminal work, Ideas Have Consequences, Richard Weaver told us that ideas have consequences. A few short years earlier, Hitler said, “let me control the textbooks and I will control the State.” Huxley and Orwell followed, warning of dystopias where the educational system would be used as a means of total power and total control. Ideas do matter. Yes, ideas clearly have consequences. Bad ideas lead to bad places. As your grandmother said: “Garbage in garbage out.” She was right. Ideas matter!
Today, many of us feel as if we are watching our culture being deconstructed at every turn by social and political elites who seem more intent on dumbing down deviancy than encouraging decency. We are being led by bad leaders with bad ideas. Those at our podiums and our pulpits have lost their way and, consequently, our culture has lost its soul and its sense.
Western civilization is no longer known for pursuing truth, but rather for celebrating tolerance, and in the name of tolerance, we are proud of finding intolerance intolerable. Academics actually parrot this pabulum: “I can’t tolerate your intolerance;” “I am sure nothing is sure;” “I know nothing can be known;” “I am absolutely confident there are not absolutes.” And they do so with a straight face. It would be humorous if this self-refuting duplicity weren’t so sad.
The result of this nonsense is that the rainbow banner of inclusion has become a dark flag of exclusion almost overnight. What was intellectual freedom just yesterday is ideological fascism today. Rather than championing liberty, liberals now demand conformity. Our campuses and our courthouses are now bastions of speech codes rather than bulwarks of free speech. Students across the land are clearly more interested in “trigger warnings” than they are in pursuing truth.
Everything is upside down. Fulfilling the words of the prophet Isaiah, today’s judges call “evil good and good evil, darkness light and light darkness, bitter sweet and sweet bitter.” We are “wise in our own eyes.” We are so “clever in our own sight” that we call right wrong and wrong right, male female and female male. Love has become hate and hate has become love.
Today, the World Congress for Families (WCF) has brought together thousands of people from around the world of different traditions and different cultures who support something very simple: the idea – the good idea – that it is a good thing for one man and one woman to be committed to one another in marriage as they raise their children. Put simply, the WCF believes in the family. It believes our sons and daughters do best when they have confidence that their mother and father are committed to each other and committed to them. It believes people are healthier, countries are freer, and children are happier when a dad and a mom raise their own kids.
And for this controversial idea, the WCF has been branded a “hate group.”
In the United States, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) leads the the way in proudly proclaiming its hatred for those they find hateful. Showing its penchant for confusion rather than clarity, the SPLC bemoans the World Congress for Families for its belief in—shocking as it sounds—the “natural family.” It seems that the SPLC actually thinks it makes sense to belittle rather than praise a congress for families for promoting the family.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is another organization that joins the SPLC in condemning the WCF. According to the HRC, your love for marriage, love for children, and love for the family makes you guilty of “exporting hate.”
The pro-LGBTQ periodical, The Advocate, piles on in condemning your pro-family agenda. It is completely unacceptable, according to The Advocate, to even suggest that it is best for children to have a married mom and dad raising them. This terrible, idea of promoting the virtues of the traditional family is deemed to be “phobic,” “draconian,” and an example of hate-filled “propaganda.”
In accepting the invitation to speak to this congress I’ve been accused of speaking to a “hate group” and as I stop to think about it, I’ve concluded it’s true – indeed I am. But the hate group I am speaking to is not the WCF but rather all those aforementioned critics such as the SPLC and HRC who are shamelessly guilty of the bold-faced duplicity of hating those who they accuse of hate: of hating traditional marriage and hating the nuclear family; of hating what it means to be a man and hating – perhaps even double measure – what it means to be a woman.
Who can deny the fact that it is the female who is the greatest victim of these hate groups’ intentional deconstruction of the family? It is the woman who is the first to be objectified. It is the woman who is the first to be viewed as a pawn and a product. It is the woman who is the first to be trafficked. It is the woman who is the first to be prostituted. She is the first to be denied her basic freedoms. She is the first to lose her dignity. She is the first to be deprived of privacy.
We see this disregard for the woman running rampant, perhaps most sadly, in the land of Christendom and the West.
Just this past week, in the United States, our federal government once again demonstrated its disdain for women by issuing a letter to all public schools across the country stating that female students no longer have the right to their own sports, their own programs, their own locker rooms, their own restrooms or even their own toilets and that any teenage boy who now feels he is a female must be allowed to play sports with, undress with, and use the shower and toilet with teenage girls who actually are females.
So, just to be clear, under the guise of a Title IX—a U.S. law established some 40 years ago to give girls equal access to athletics in our schools—the Solomon-like sages in our U.S. Department of Education are now telling girls that boys who pretend to be girls can now displace girls from their sports, their bathrooms, their locker rooms, their dormitories, and their showers.
Now I ask you this: what could possibility be more misogynistic? What could be more anti-woman than to ignore the empirically obvious facts of female identity and thereby tell young women they don’t even exist biologically and that if a young man, (despite bearing all the distinct male physiology), says he is a woman, that this makes it so?
Can’t we all agree that this is nonsense? It literally denies our senses. It denies science and denies the evidence. This trans-misogyny literally says, “I want to live in a fairytale. I want to pretend.” It’s a make-believe fantasy where illusion is more important than reality; the trick is more important than the real. It’s a delusion and it demeans a woman as nothing but a subjective construct, for if anyone can just construct female identity out of thin air, then actually being a female means nothing. The woman doesn’t even objectively exist anymore, for the female has become nothing more than a unicorn or leprechaun – a fantasy, a feeling, a fabrication, rather than a fact. Surely any thoughtful person can recognize the absurdity of claiming feminism while denying the objective reality of the female.
This is mindless, thoughtless, illogical, misogynistic pabulum. A male choosing to “identify” as a female makes him no more a woman than a man “identifying” as an amputee makes him armless. Feelings are not the stuff of science nor do fantasies change the facts.
Hopefully, we all have enough respect left for the obvious, for common sense, for natural law, for empirical evidence and for biology, physiology and psychology to understand that if anyone is so disturbed as to pretend he has no arms (when he in fact does) that we should not celebrate his “identity,” but, rather, recognize him as delusional. Such a person does not need affirmation and accommodation, but rather, confrontation and proper care. Imagination does not make a man a woman and it is insulting to every woman to suggest otherwise. Ignoring my genitals makes me no more a woman than ignoring my hair makes me Yul Brynner.
Doubling down on this madness however, The Human Rights Campaign issued a letter this past December to the United States Department of Education, demanding that it publish a “report” of all religious colleges and universities who have asked to be exempt from these new transgender accommodation laws. It seems that the HRC believes that such a public “outing” will embarrass Christian schools into repenting of our sin of disagreement and, thus, force us to abandon our fight for the dignity of all human beings and the corresponding rights of women.
Well, my response, in short, to the Human Rights Campaign was this: I gladly comply and here’s my report:
Yes, Oklahoma Wesleyan University requested an exemption. We recognize the ontological and biological dignity of the female. We believe in science and we believe in facts. Being a female is an objective reality and there is little more empirically obvious than one’s sex. At OKWU, we refuse to participate in the misogynistic insult of women by ignoring such self-evident truths.
Yes, Oklahoma Wesleyan believes women should be granted the dignity of having equal access to athletics, and other programs, as well as their own facilities. Women attending this university will not only have their own basketball and soccer teams, but they, likewise, will have their own restrooms, showers and dorms.
Yes, Oklahoma Wesleyan reserves the right to discriminate between those who are male and those who are female. To do otherwise would seem to contradict the very premise of the law which calls upon us to differentiate female students from male students and to thereby give women the same access to programs as men. If we didn’t “discriminate” in such a way, how in the world would it be possible to comply with the law required of us?
So there’s your report. How much more transparent would you like me to be? At Oklahoma Wesleyan University, we believe that sexual identity is a scientific fact and we refuse to degrade women by suggesting otherwise.
Yes, we were granted an exemption from the government’s mindless march toward trans-misogyny. We are pro-women and proud of it!
By arguing for “identity claims” rather than what is obvious and objectively real, progressives such as those at the SPLC and the HRC have unleashed the Kraken of tyranny on what was, just yesterday, a people that enjoyed more freedom than any other civilization in recorded human history. All hell is breaking loose in our culture and it all goes back to this ontological arrogance described in Genesis 3 that shouts, “I shall be as God! I will decide! I will define good and evil, right and wrong, and even male and female.” With such god-like power, we discredit and purge all who disagree. Dissent is silenced. Compliance is demanded. Force trumps freedom. Liberty is lost.
George MacDonald told us that “the one principle of hell is – ‘I am my own…’ I am the object and the end of my thoughts… My own glory is, and ought to be, my chief care… My judgment is the faultless rule… My right is – what I desire.” The claim that our identity is defined by us and not by God – that our gender is fluid – that there is no such thing as a male or female – that “we are our own” and that our “judgment is the faultless rule” – can lead to nothing but an ugly hell of our own making. Repentance and confession is the only thing that will rescue us from this fate.
C.S. Lewis once told us: “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All who are in hell choose it.” May we be the kind of people that seek God’s will and not our own; the kind of people who choose not hell, but rather stand in its way.
I conclude with a prayer: a prayer that you have the courage of Esther to stand firm for such a time as this; a prayer that you have the confidence of Joseph who knew that what others intended for evil God would use for good; a prayer for women who are being demeaned and degraded; a prayer for children who are being sacrificed on the altar of adult arrogance. I pray that God will forgive a stiff-necked people and heal our land.