“All I know is what I read in the papers,” Will Rogers used to say when opening his vaudeville act. In that spirit, here are two items in the news that shed light on our current culture.
In a full-page newspaper ad that ran during the Winter Olympics, Edward W. Stack, chairman of DICK’s Sporting Goods, basically paraphrased Rodney King’s admonition to the Los Angeles rioters in 1992: "Can we all get along?”
Headlined “United in Sport,” the ad deplores that “our world, our country, even our communities are as divided as they have ever been.” Yes, but we did get through the Civil War, World Wars I and II and the Cold War.
Anyway, Mr. Stack is spot on when he laments that, “no one seems to have time or tolerance for anyone with an opinion differing from their own. Turn on the news or flip through your phone and it seems as though someone or something is trying to drive us apart.”
He goes on more hopefully: “Those forces will not succeed because you can’t break the human spirit, which at its core is indivisible.” Given human nature, I never thought of the human spirit as indivisible. But the oddest part of this well-meant ad came below, and it shows the power of political correctness:
“Sport shows us that the similarities that bind us are infinitely stronger than the differences that divide us. It is the diversity of race, religion and gender that truly moves us forward together.”
Well, which is it? Unity or diversity? Are we E pluribus unum (“out of many, one”) or, as Al Gore once misspoke, “out of one, many?”
The second sentence of Mr. Stack’s statement directly contradicts the first. But we know what he means. When calling for unity, you’d better wave the diversity flag or face charges of racism, homophobia, xenophobia or transphobia. Look what happened to Bernie Sanders when he said “all lives matter.”
By the way, transphobia, in my book, is the fear of being found out that you’re somewhat skeptical when a man insists he’s really a woman or vice versa. It has nothing do with the fear of being stranded in Dracula’s castle in Transylvania. I’ve had that fear since watching a Bela Lugosi movie on TV at a tender age.
Speaking of the afterlife and the trans issue, here’s the second item, which reveals the new cultural imperatives. A federal appeals court sided last Wednesday with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in its lawsuit against a Detroit area funeral home for firing in 2013 a male funeral director who was transitioning to female.
A U.S. district court judge had dismissed the suit against the R.G. & G.R. Funeral Home in Garden City, but the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the funeral home had discriminated and ordered the case sent back to the district court. The judges opined that, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, “discrimination against employees, either because of their failure to conform to sex stereotypes or their transgender and transitioning status, is illegal.”
So, guys dressing as guys is no longer normal, expected behavior. Instead, it’s conforming to “sex stereotypes,” which sounds oppressive.The judges’ expansion of Title VII is yet another court-created “right” that was not even a glimmer in the imaginations of legislators who crafted the law in 1964 to cover “race, color, religion, sex and national origin.”
If this ruling stands, every business in America will be at the mercy of employees who switch sexual identities after being hired.
While kindness toward all is a good thing, it’s not compassionate to encourage delusional behavior, especially among minors. Studies cited by the American College of Pediatricians show that the vast majority of kids with gender dysphoria or same-sex attraction eventually grow into a normal birth sex identity – if no one tampers with them. But get this: the state of Delaware Education Department’s proposed Regulation 225 would allow educators to steer gender-dysphoric children to trans counseling and even puberty-delaying hormones – without telling their parents. As an exasperated Tucker Carlson said the other night on Fox, where is the outrage?
The American public is pretty much “live and let live.” Most people don’t want to know what floats someone else’s boat. And our hearts should go out to people who reject their birth sex. God loves them like He loves the rest of us, with all our flaws. But God wants the best for everyone, and it has everything to do with His incomparable design for sex and marriage.
Finally, in the name of diversity, how about we stop rigging the law to punish folks who just want to go about their lives as if reality matters?
Robert Knight is a Townhall contributor. His most recent book is Confronting Lies and Hate: Responding with Truth and Grace (D. James Kennedy Ministries, 2018).