Do Biological Facts No Longer Matter?
...The Darwinian worldview implies that the cosmos is merely a vast amoral machine. It reduces the human body to a lump of matter, a collection of atoms and molecules, not intrinsically different from any other chance configuration of matter. There can be no natural law ethic because humanity has no purpose to fulfill. Philosopher Charles Taylor explains, “The cosmos is no longer seen as the embodiment of meaningful order which can define the good for us.”
The implication is that our biological identity as male and female is a cosmic accident after all. The sexual differentiation of male and female has no special dignity or meaning. The body is reduced to raw material to be manipulated and controlled to serve human needs and preferences – like any other natural resource.
These are the assumptions lurking behind the language of the transgender movement. The Obama administration’s letter, sent out jointly by the Departments of Justice and Education, asserts, “A person’s gender identity may be different from ... the person’s sex assigned at birth.” What's the key word here? “Assigned” – as though a person’s sex at birth were purely arbitrary instead of a scientific, biological fact.
What does that language imply? That biological facts do not matter...
The most dangerous, and underreported, part of Obama’s transgender edict
...The most offensive part of the new policy is that, under the Obama administration's federal guidance:
•School districts must allow biological males and females to spend the night together in the same hotel room on field trips;
•Colleges must let men who say they are transgender be roommates with one or more women; and
•School officials cannot even tell those young women or their parents in advance that their new roommate is a man, without risking a federal lawsuit.
The plain wording of the Obama administration's diktat is clear enough, yet it has not been reported, even by conservative news outlets....
Sweden's Holy War on Children's Books
Taken to its extremes, the urge to cleanse a culture of elements that do not live up to the politically correct orthodoxy currently in political vogue unsettlingly echoes the Taliban and ISIS credos of destroying everything that does not accord with their Quranic views. The desire "not to offend," taken to its logical conclusion, is a totalitarian impulse, which threatens to destroy everything that disagrees with its doctrines. Crucially, who gets to decide what is offensive...
NYC Hits Peak Gender Idiocy
...Oh for freak’s sake. Volokh is not having it:
So people can basically force us — on pain of massive legal liability — to say what they want us to say, whether or not we want to endorse the political message associated with that term, and whether or not we think it’s a lie.
Facebook’s Troubling One-Way Mirror
We have to use “ze,” a made-up word that carries an obvious political connotation (endorsement of the “non-binary” view of gender). We have to call people “him” and “her” even if we believe that people’s genders are determined by their biological sex and not by their self-perceptions — perceptions that, by the way, can rapidly change, for those who are “gender-fluid” — and that using terms tied to self-perception is basically a lie. (I myself am not sure whether people who are anatomically male, for example, but perceive themselves as female should be viewed as men or women; perhaps one day I’ll be persuaded that they should be viewed as women; my objection is to being forced to express that view.) We can’t be required to even display a license plate that says “Live Free or Die” on our car, if we object to the message; that’s what the court held in Wooley v. Maynard (1978). But New York is requiring people to actually say words that convey a message of approval of the view that gender is a matter of self-perception rather than anatomy, and that, as to “ze,” were deliberately created to convey that a message.
...Throughout the media, a regular guessing game takes place in which editors seek to divine how the Facebook formula may have changed, and what it might mean for them. Facebook will often give general guidance, such as announcing last month
that it had adjusted its programming to favor news articles that readers engage with deeply — rather than shallow quick hits — or saying
that it would give priority to live Facebook Live videos, which it is also paying media companies, including The New York Times, to experiment with.
This gives Facebook enormous influence over how newsrooms, almost universally eager for Facebook exposure, make decisions and money. Alan Rusbridger, a former editor of The Guardian, called this a “profound and alarming” development in a column
in The New Statesman last week.
For all that sway, Facebook declines to talk in great detail about its algorithms, noting that it does not want to make it easy to game its system. That system, don’t forget, is devised to keep people on Facebook by giving them what they want, not necessarily what the politicos or news organizations may want them to see. There can be a mismatch in priorities.
Europe: Allah Takes over Churches, Synagogues
In the Dutch province of Friesland, 250 of 720 existing churches have been transformed or closed. The Fatih Camii Mosque in Amsterdam once was the Saint Ignatius Church. A synagogue in The Hague was turned into the Al Aqsa Mosque. In Flanders, in place of a famous church, a luxury hotel now stands. Catholic arches, columns and windows still soar between menus and tables for customers...
Clergywoman from Diocese of Oxford conducts high profile same sex marriage in Cape Town
...Questions are now being asked about the participants in this story. A licensed clergywoman in the Church of England has conducted a same sex marriage, even though it is in a different Province. Many clergy travel overseas to conduct the increasingly lavish weddings of their parishioners or relatives – when they do so, are they bound by the canons of the Church of England? Were Revd Bannister-Parker’s actions approved by her parish Rector and by the Diocese of Oxford, given the high profile nature of the ceremony? Is there any connection between the Tutu Foundation funds and the Diocese of Oxford’s “Special Projects”?...
Church of Scotland votes to allow ministers to be in same-sex marriages
The Church of Scotland’s highest law-making body has voted to allow its ministers to be in same-sex marriages.
The church’s general assembly, which opened in Edinburgh on Saturday, voted in favour of extending a law passed last May
that permits ministers to be in same-sex civil partnerships.