Plastic People

Exchanging Beauty for Ashes

By Scott Masson / April 2, 2013

Series Jubilee 2013 Spring - Sexuality

Topic Sexuality

Scripture Deuteronomy 6:4-7

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We quickly distance ourselves from the idolatrous worship of inanimate objects we encounter in the Old Testament but have little trouble bowing to the same impulse so long as it is presents under a different name.

We scoff at their idolatry’s connection to fertility gods – to sex – as evidence of the ancients’ primitivism and confirmation of our superiority but in so doing overlook the fact that the metaphor the Bible uses for true, godly worship has sexual connotations also: the covenant bond of marriage between God and his people and between husband and wife.

Homo Adorans

As the Westminster Shorter Catechism states ‘The chief end of man is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.’ That this applies to the marital relationship is evident in the words of the marriage ceremony in the old Book of Common Prayer (1162): ‘with my body I thee worship.’

The best definition of human nature, then, is not the homo sapiens of the Enlightenment scientist, but homo adorans; our distinctive characteristic is not to know, but to worship.

The ‘worshipers of the true God reflect his image in blessing’, whereas idolaters receive ‘a curse by becoming as spiritually inanimate, empty, rebellious or shameful as the idol is depicted to be.’[1] We come to resemble what we revere.

In Imago Dei

As we know, the image Christians reflect is that of Jesus Christ. ‘He is the image of the invisible God.’[2] In the Trinity, we comprehend the mutual ‘cleaving together’ and indwelling of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit through all eternity – unity in diversity - perfect love before the creation of the universe. And God created man in his image,[3] an image likewise differentiated, male and female, in permanent relationship.

If we act against God-ordained differentiation there is no blessing, no procreation and, consequently, no dominion.  Instead we suffer the ’wrath of God against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.’

Idolatry in ‘gender identity’ and ‘sexual orientation’

With the deep compatibility established between 1) the identity of men and women ‘in imago Dei’; 2) the blessing of lifelong fidelity between a husband and wife in the covenant of marriage and 3) the true worship of God, we need to consider the development of two neologisms widely accepted in recent decades: gender identity and sexual orientation.

Inclusiveness: The discrimination against differentiation

Not long ago, people thought of themselves in biblical categories, either as male or female, single or married. Even among gay activists there was no hint of the injustice of the exclusivity of the institution of marriage, let alone a cry of oppression - it was something reserved for ‘breeders’. Neither was one’s sexual activity considered a function of one’s ontological identity.

Now it is difficult not to be conscious of ‘gender identity’ or ‘sexual orientation’[4] - everyone identifies as gay, straight, or bi-sexual – and the formal designations of singleness and marriage are disappearing as people speak of being in ‘partnerships’.[5]

Gay marriage is no longer an oxymoron or category mistake: it symbolizes not only how plastic the terms of human identity have become in the past two decades, but how rapidly a political and societal blessing has been demanded for something that neither God nor our biological nature can bless.  We are like a cyborg people, still rooted in a natural identity of male and female but often defining ourselves in terms at odds with this identity.

The fact that laws have been enacted to inculcate and enforce the new terms; that mandatory educational policies have been crafted to transmit them;[6] and that academic and governmental policies have been brought in to professionalize them, should not confuse us as to their rootedness in reality.

Queer theory

Michel Foucault, perhaps the most cited scholar in the humanities today, questioned the basic comprehensibility of the past even to those who lived at that time, and charged them with simply preserving the power structure of an arbitrary worldview as if it were foundational (i.e. as if it were true).

For Foucault, the mindset of the past was the pre-eminent source of injustice, so he sought to emancipate the present from the past by deracinating all the accumulated cultural and religious understandings that had come to form Western consciousness from our language. He targeted our foundational understandings of human identity since all notions of truth, beauty, goodness, justice and morality are rooted in our understanding of human nature.

The policies of political correctness which began in the 1980s are inseparable from Foucault’s project. Political correctness seeks the inversion, the queering, of established Christian foundations of human identity.

Freedom

This new legalism announced itself in terms of a ‘creative endeavor’ characterized above all by freedom, in particular the freedom to define oneself.

This may sound like a wholly personal enterprise but, as Peter Sanlon notes:

Queer theorists seek for a freedom from the limitations of gender itself. Only when humanity understands itself as construed not by biological realities, but malleable sociological relations, will homosexuality be able to be enjoyed without heterosexual oppression. The assumptions latent in a presupposed biological bias towards heterosexuality must be Queered sufficiently that they may be discarded.[7]

…for this freedom to be truly free universal affirmation is mandatory.

The ‘Web of Oppression’

Although irrational and absurd, Foucault’s ideas attained the status of truth in the academy through a constant appeal to victimization.

The ‘web of oppression’ underlies the contemporary thrust of social policies amongst progressives, and under the auspices of ‘social justice’ is fast becoming the raison d’être of our schools, social agencies and legal system.[8]  It inculcates the belief that, if one is a white, male, heterosexual, able-bodied, wealthy, U.S. born English speaker, one is ipso facto a structural oppressor.  One’s membership in the ‘oppressor’ group is sufficient to confirm one’s guilt; personal conduct is irrelevant. Whites are racist.[9]

The injustice of ‘social justice’

Whereas English common law held everyone equal under the law, group rights unjustly empower some against others.  In the name of defending the rights of oppressed minority groups individual rights are annihilated. 

Also, the government’s authority broadens as it takes on the role of Lord and judge: firstly in establishing a hierarchy of victim groups, and secondly in the arbitration of their disputes.

Many Christians have been deceived by the social justice movement, believing it to be following the precedent set by Christians who fought against social injustices in the past. But the difficulty with indiscriminate appeal to equality is that the broad categories it includes (race, gender and sex, spirituality and religion, sexual orientation, ability, national origin/ language, socioeconomic status) are not comparable and neither are the practices within them equal.  Sexual acts are not synonymous with ontological states, but instances of actions, moral or immoral. Opposition to ‘equality’ cannot be likened to racism and sexual discrimination both of which violate the principle of equality before the law.

This new morality, which the Human Rights priesthood and the public education establishment oversees, mandates the blessing of all sexual practices except the one that God has differentiated and blessed.

A new civilization, with a new language, a new law and a new Lord, is being asserted.

To speak of monogamous marriage between a man and a woman as inherently oppressive is simultaneously to dispense with all foregoing notions of sexual exploitation or violation that were defined by the normativity of marriage.

But without God’s ordained sexual norm the curse of human sinfulness must invariably result in sexual exploitation and perversion. The arguments being offered now in support of paedophilia are precisely those advanced in favour of gay marriage – it’s all about love, equality and liberation. The law is forced to abandon any sense of justice that accords with the promotion of the social good, the love of God or of neighbor.

Beauty instead of ashes

Christians need to know that conforming to the dictates of queer theory, accepting the con of ‘gender identity’ or ‘sexual orientation,’ entails departing from treating all people as equal image bearers of God; that these terms stem from a thoroughly anti-Christian framework.

A new form of religious education is being conducted in our schools where sexual initiation[10] is compulsory.[11] But God has charged parents exclusively with the responsibility to educate their children.[12] So I would strongly urge Christian parents to remove their children from the public school system, and demand that their taxes go to the school of their choice. Christians need to speak out for love for God, their neighbor, and for the sake of the children presently being indoctrinated.

We live in a time of great shaking. Let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken and to know that, in the end the whore of Babylon the Great in ashes and the nuptials of the New Jerusalem in beauty, joy and praise is ordained.

 

For a more detailed treatment of this subject please refer to Jubilee 2013 Spring.

 


[1] ibid, 21-22.

[2] Col. 1.15. Cf. Jn. 14.8-11a; Heb. 1.3a.

[3] The grammar is actually plural, ‘Let us create man in our image, after our likeness,’ a reflection of the work of the whole Trinity in creation.

[4] The state of California in fact is henceforth requiring its judges publicly to identify their sexual orientation. Clearly justice is considered to be a function of one’s ‘orientation’. Can there be equality before the law when one’s orientation so disorients justice? http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/california-asks-judges-gay-or-straight_631857.html

[5] The designation ‘mademoiselle’ designating a woman as unmarried is going to be pronounced officially verboten by the government in France henceforth: http://www.france24.com/en/20120222-france-strikes-out-mademoiselle-coup-feminism

[6] New Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has just brought back, as her first act, the Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy that her predecessor abandoned, which would normalize alternative sexualities from the age of 8. For further details: http://www.campaignlifecoalition.com/index.php?p=EIE%20Detail

[7] Peter Sanlon, Plastic People: How Queer Theory is Changing Us (Latimer Studies 73, 2010), 14.

[8] Progressives are not confined to a political party. It is more of a theological movement. As I write, the British Prime Minister David Cameron has just pushed through a motion to legalize gay marriage over the objections of the vast majority of his own party, and the strong objections of the established church in England. He is convinced of the rectitude of his actions, much like the U.S. President, because both men tellingly believe that they will be judged well by ‘history’. There is no such person.

[9] In a package that is given to teachers by the Toronto District School Board called “Teaching about Human Rights: 9/11 and Beyond,” it states that “While people in different contexts can experience prejudice or discrimination, racism, in a North American context, is based on an ideology of the superiority of the white race over other racial groups.” Only two groups would ever admit to such beliefs: white supremacists and disciples of Foucault. The difference is that the one group adopts it sadistically, to oppress and punish their inferiors; the other does so masochistically, to oppress and punish themselves. The primary thrust of the TDSB’s policy is a symptom of a new religion which seeks to propitiate cultural guilt. It constitutes a new form of atonement, a social constructivist scapegoat.

[10] Note the disturbing and thoroughly confusing posters used to promote equity: http://www.tdsb.on.ca/_site/ViewItem.asp?siteid=10471&menuid=34019&pageid=28961

[11] The Toronto District School Board, in its policy document ‘Equitable and Inclusive Schools’, asserts that it alone has authority over the curriculum, for “depending upon parent/guardian/caregiver discretion, shifts this responsibility from the school to the parents/guardians/caregivers and fosters a poisoned environment contrary to the TDSB Human Rights Policy.” No exceptions in the name of religious freedom will be tolerated: “For example, if a parent asks for his or her child to be exempted for any discussions of LGBTQ family issues as a religious accommodation, this request cannot be made because it violates the Human Rights Policy.”

[12] Dt. 6.4-7.