Saturday, April 16, 2016

Facing Who and What We Are

I am baking bread today.  Baking bread is an act of love, and it can not be rushed, can not be hurried along, it takes the time it takes, which varies according to the season, the weather, the humidity, and other factors.  I bake sourdough bread, form a formula I have worked out over time.  Bread baking takes patience, precision, but most of all, the entire process is bound up in the reality of the materials, the yeast, water, and salt.  Human will cannot cannot make a bread, one can only manipulate things to produce a specific result.

So why am I telling you this?  Why should you care, gentle reader?  It is a somewhat convoluted story.  I am baking bread today to share with those I love.  Baking bread is a very human thing to do.  We must, after all, eat to survive.  And bread has been a staple of cultures going back as far as history takes us, and maybe into prehistory as well.  But bread baking is not the the theme here, it is the question: what does it mean to be human?

Fay Voshell, in a piece for the American Thinker asks the question:How Can a Gender Free Society Square with Being Human?  I recommend you read the whole thing. I keep thinking that the world around me seems to be going mad (in the sense of going insane, losing its mind) and Voshell shoots an arrow directly into the heart of the problem:
There are inherent, deeply flawed assumptions behind this latest leftist gimcrackery posturing as a human rights issue. It's time to consider what is really going behind the "bathroom" bills.
It is past time to evaluate the campaigns against the religious freedoms of Christians and other people of faith who believe – as all civilizations of the past have that there is a clear and innate differentiation between men and women that cannot be erased by an act of will. The correlating belief is that there is a moral code of sexual behavior that cannot be abrogated or entirely discarded without disastrous consequences to any given society. 
For one thing, behind the push for passing the "bathroom" bills is the utopian belief that this Earth must be made be a safe place for everyone, no matter what the identity of choice or the resultant behavior. The belief that no one should have his or her beliefs or actions controverted or challenged by anyone else, the idea that my real self is what I proclaim it to be, is derived from a utopianism that at heart is completely divorced from reality.
Most people are to some degree or another in flight from reality. The alcoholic seeks to drown the realities of life in booze, the drug addict seeks to numb the pain with drugs, but even people who exercise excessively are often fleeing from the fact of their own aging bodies, and the fact that they will eventually give out and they will die.  Jim Fixx, an early proponent of running was literally running away from his family history of heart disease, as he spelled out in his book The Complete Book of Running. He may, or may not have lived longer through running, but tragically, he died of a massive heart attack while out on one of his daily 10 mile jogs. The Pharohs of ancient Egypt believed that an important part of their job was to recite the incantations that made the Sun rise each day.  What delusions!

I hear people say all the time "Well, in a perfect world...such and such would happen"  But we do not live in a perfect world.  Voshell uses the word "utopianism" which refers to Utopia, a place that never was, and in which everything is perfect.  The word was first used by Sir Thomas More in his book by that name in 1516.  But your idea of a paradise, and mine may be two very different things.  In a single world, all 300 million of us can not have our own perfect world without conflict.

And indeed:
Such utopianism also requires us all to believe in the infallible and incontrovertible goodness of the individual inner voice, a voice that, because it is the divine discernment of one's true self, cannot be contradicted. It is to believe that that voice is always perfectly good and harmless to others.
But the blockade of inquiring or contradictory voices means the silencing of voices of protesters. It means profound intolerance bordering on tyranny, as no one is supposed to say anything contradictory to your voice. Let the whole Earth be silent so that never is heard a discouraging word.
We have seen this mad utopianism – demanding that each individual must be provided a perfectly safe place free from even another human being's opposing thoughts, thoughts that might contradict one's chosen identity – being avidly promoted on the campuses of our most prestigious universities. The result is that places formerly known for rigorous scholarly inquiry are rapidly becoming ideological hellholes devoid of the strenuous intellectual and spiritual endeavors necessary for the full development of the human being.
That inner voice can be deceptive. We know that God is not out there, he is in us, but sometimes that inner voice may not be God's. I imagine that Eve, when thinking of eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, was listening to just such a deceptive voice. "Wouldn't it be great to be like God himself, and to know good and evil? What could go wrong?" We must always check our motives, check the Word of God, that are written down for you and me  to study and reflect, and of course pray. This world, that God created, has one set of realities. One of those is that you were born either a man or woman. Neither is complete without the other. I have been told that God doesn't make mistakes, and if that is true, then it is the person who believes him or her self to actually be the opposite who is mistaken. That is reality. Surgery can not change who and what you are. But God's undying love can make you the best person you can be.

But most of all, the current fixation on transforming society through the transgender or gender-free society means that the chief focus is on externals rather than on the inner spirit of mankind. The fact is that the arduous process of becoming a good human being will never be accomplished by "safe" places or by relativizing or abolishing of the differences between the sexes. Who could live as a real human being in such a world?
There is no struggle more worthwhile than the intellectual, mental, spiritual struggle entailed in becoming a good human being. It is long past time to realize that there are some parts of that fight that are predetermined, and one of them is sex. The real struggle is not in determining whether or not you are a man or a woman. That is a given. The real struggle is the fight to be a truly beautiful human soul: do we want to be and are we continually striving after the good, the true, and the beautiful? Are we willing to take the risk to become brave, kind, compassionate, just, and merciful men and women?

No comments:

Post a Comment