Institute on the Constitution, God and Government, and Christian Reconstructionism

Yesterday, the Institute on the Constitution dropped a press release about their God and Government program. From the Christian Newswire release:

The “Institute on the Constitution” has launched “The God And Government Project” the purpose of which is to remind elected officials, and those who seek civil government offices, that government is from God and their first duty must be to obey God and His Word (Romans 13.)

The folks at IOTC want citizens to use open mic time before city council meetings to tell officials that they need to use the Bible as the basis for civil law. IOTC encourages followers to use IOTC-prepared scripts.  See an earlier post on the subject and this article for more on what IOTC encourages their followers to do.

The GaG (appropriate) program is consistent with IOTC’s Christian reconstructionist worldview. During his course on the Constitution, Peroutka twists history to make it appear that the founders deliberately created a biblical form of government in line with IOTC views. In a current commentary on his IOTC website, Michael Peroutka makes a case that civil government officials are obligated to govern in accord with his view of the Bible.

Since civil government is ordained by God in order to protect God-given rights, then the function of civil government is to obey God and to enforce God’s law – PERIOD.

It is not the role of civil government to house, feed, clothe, educate or give heath care to…ANYBODY! (Or to operate a Panda-cam at the National Zoo.)

According to Peroutka, government can only do what he thinks God says government can do.

The IOTC website enshrines Rousas Rushdoony, the father of Christian reconstructionism. IOTC’s Director of Communications, John Lofton, calls Rushdoony his “theological mentor” on more than one occasion.  Rushdoony’s articles on theocracy and dominionism, politics, taxation, and religion in law are available along with many others. Mark Rushdoony’s (son of Rousas) speech on Christian reconstructionism is cited approvingly as well.

According to Mark Rushdoony, Christian reconstructionism sees the church as Israel.

In 1987 Ross House Books (which is now part of Chalcedon) published a book on covenant theology by Charles D. Provan called The Church Is Israel Now.That title sums up the heart of covenant theology, that the Christian church is heir of the promises to and the responsibility of the Hebrew nation of old.

Thus the proper society is ruled by an Old Testament style regime where the Christian reconstructionist’s understanding of the Bible is the basis for civil law. This is exactly what IOTC’s God and Government program promotes as the message followers should tell elected officials.

Even after his death, Rushdoony’s views are controversial. IOTC does not back away from this. On the IOTC website, readers are directed to an interview given to Bill Moyers in 1988 by Rousas Rushdoony.  In this interview, Rushdoony affirms that civil government should be based on the Bible, including injuctions that would lead to the death penalty for 15 crimes, including adulterers, homosexuals, and truly incorrigible sons.  Roll the tape:

Listen to the entire segment to get the context. The section on the death penalty is as follows:

Moyers: You’ve written that the Bible calls for the death penalty, and I’m just running down a variety of things as you can see. You’ve written that the Bible calls for the death penalty of some 15 crimes: rape, sodomy, adultery.

Rushdoony: Adultery because in the Bible the basic institution is the family. There’s no law of treason against the state. The Bible doesn’t even imagine anything remotely like that. But the basic institution is the family. And so, several of the death penalties are associated with the family and its life.

Moyers: So adultery was considered a theft of the family.

Rushdoony: It was, yes, it was treason to the family.

Moyers: Homosexuality.

Rushdoony: Yes, it was treason to the family.

Moyers: Worthy of the death sentence?

Rushdoony: What?

Moyers: Worthy of the death sentence?

Rushdoony: Yes.

Moyers: Deserving of the death sentence?

Rushdoony: Yes, that’s what Paul says.

Moyers: But you would re-instate the death penalty for some of these or all of these Biblical crimes?

Rushdoony: I wouldn’t—

Moyers: But the reconstructive society–

Rushdoony: I’m saying that this is what God requires. I’m not saying that everything in the Bible, I like. Some of it rubs me the wrong way. But I’m simply saying, this is what God requires. This is what God says is justice. Therefore, I don’t feel I have a choice.

Moyers: And the agents of God would carry out the laws.

Rushdoony: The civil government would, on these things.

Moyers: So you would have a civil government, based upon–

Rushdoony: Oh yes. I’m not an anarchist. I’m close to being a libertarian. But–

Moyers: But the civil law would be based on the biblical law. And so you’d have a civil government carrying out a religious mandate.

Rushdoony: Oh yes.

Given their reverence for Rushdoony and the link to this interview, I think it is a fair assumption that IOTC is in sympathy with these views. Since they won’t answer my requests for information, I will ask here publicly – IOTC leaders (Peroutka, Lofton), do you agree with Rushdoony here? Would you, in the government you are calling for, put people to death for adultery, homosexuality and the other crimes delineated by Rushdoony?

One thing I don’t need to ask about is the IOTC view of public schools. In the citation above, Peroutka says civil government has no role in education. Historically, reconstructionists have been strong supporters of Christian schools as alternatives to public education. One of the leading reconstructionists, and Rushdoony’s son-in-law Gary North, said this about the relationship between Christian schools and religious liberty (for a longer quote and commentary, see this article).

The major churches of any society are all maneuvering for power, so that their idea of lawful legislation will become predominant. They are all perfectly willing to use the ideal of religious liberty as a device to gain power, until the day comes that abortion is legalized (denying the right of life to infants) or prohibited (denying the “right of control over her own body,” after conception, to each woman). Everyone talks about religious liberty, but no one believes it.

So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political, and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God. Murder, abortion, and pornography will be illegal. God’s law will be enforced. It will take time. A minority religion cannot do this. Theocracy must flow  from the hearts of a majority of citizens, just as compulsory education came only after most people had their children in schools of some sort. But religious anarchy, like “democratic freedom” in ancient Greece, is a temporary phenomenon; it lasts only as long as no single group gets sufficient power and accepted authority to abandon the principle. Religious anarchy, as a long-term legal framework for organizing a society, is as mythical as neutrality is. Both views assume that the institutions of civil government can create and enforce neutral law. They are cousins, and people believe in them only temporarily, until they make up their minds concerning which God they will serve.

While I doubt this will ever happen, it seems clear that the IOTC and like-minded reconstructionists will keep on trying to make it a reality. For IOTC supporters who love the First Amendment, you have a rude awakening coming. As Peroutka and Lofton proclaim, civil law should obey and enforce God’s law, and by that they mean their interpretation of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. Someone’s religion must be obeyed according to Rushdoony, and the folks at IOTC want to make sure it is their religion. For now, they will use freedom of speech and religion at city council meetings to get their voices heard but if ever they get their way, one cannot count on these rights remaining. If you really believe in freedom of conscience and religious liberty, then you cannot fully embrace IOTC’s GaG program. While the folks at IOTC want freedom of religion to speak at public meetings, they very openly proclaim that they want civil government to obey their religious views to the exclusion of all others.

In contrast, I want the reconstructionists to be able to speak their mind, but I don’t want civil officials to use one religion as the basis for their governing. In contrast to Peroutka’s odd construction, using one religion as the basis for civil law is prohibited by the First Amendment. Gary North says no one really believes in religious liberty. He is wrong; the framers most certainly did.

  • Patrocles

    If anyone really thinks that the state should be “neutral” in matters of worldview – then he has to support a minimal state. For example, penal law must then be reshaped on the base of minimal consent: We penalize only those acts which are forbidden in all worldviews, and we allow all acts which are legitimate in any worldview.
    If you don’t want that, you don’t sincerely ask for a “neutral” state.

  • Patrocles

    Also, a “neutral” state must withdraw from all activities in which neutrality isn’t possible. Like, for example, education (insofar it transcends the schooling in formal skills). Or healthcare (healthcare must either pay for abortion or not pay for abortion – there’s nothing neutral in it).

    The funny thing is: Most people who ask for a “neutral” state, ask at the same time for a big government. I don’t quite understand the logic behind that. Perhaps those people think that governments act “neutrally” as long as they follow those people’s own opinions?

  • MyPetSlug

    Sorry Pat, but this is pretty much total BS. You don’t base law on what’s “forbidden” in all worldviews for the very practical reason that there are an infinite number of possible worldviews. It shouldn’t matter what anyone’s worldview is. Instead, as a society, you come together and decide what rights are important. To make a neutral government, neutral rights like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are a good start. Freedom of religion is great too. Then, you construct laws to protect people’s rights. And generally, no one should have the right to force others to live by the rules of their “worldview”.

    And I’m sorry you don’t understand “big government”, a thing no one in the entire world is actually for and is usually just an epithet used against “liberals”. The real question is how best to use this tool we call government to make society better and as always, people will have differences about where the line is drawn.

  • Tom Van Dyke

    Sorry Pat, but this is pretty much total BS. You don’t base law on what’s “forbidden” in all worldviews for the very practical reason that there are an infinite number of possible worldviews.

    Not atall. We legislate morality all the time. You can’t screw on the sidewalk, you can’t torture your dog. You can’t marry your sister. [Well, so far, anyway.]

    The defective meme out there is that all things are relative. But that’s moral anarchy, not freedom.

  • MyPetSlug

    We legislate morality to the extent that it makes society a better place to live. Even though you might give up some personal freedom by not being allowed to screw on the sidewalk, it’s really better for everyone else. IOWs, individuals’ competing rights are being balanced and a reasonable and neutral restriction is being put on this “right”. Adultery which is immoral in most religions is not, nor should not be, illegal because it’s an act between two consenting adults. No one’s rights are violated.

    And anyway, my point is that when you, to continue the example, ban public indecency, it’s not based on what is “forbidden” in all worldviews. If I can name a worldview with a million followers who think screwing on the street is just fine thank you, would you suddenly agree that it is wrong to ban it? I think not.

    As to the “all things are relative” defective meme. If this is your way of saying morality is unchanging, I would argue it is not. Sure, we can agree on some big things, but we used to think slavery was ok and now it’s not. If that’s not relative, I don’t know what is?

  • tom van dyke

    No, we always knew slavery was wrong, we just lacked the will and the means to end it. A common and misused example. And you skipped the cruelty to animals example, which is quite strong. Cruelty to animals violates nobody’s rights, but we ban it anyway.

    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/08/some-thoughts-on-prop-8-decision.html

    Judge Walker’s decision, he tells us, is based on the principle that the state ought not to “enforce ‘profound and deep convictions accepted as ethical and moral principles’” or to “mandate [its] own moral code.” But that is, of course, precisely what Walker himself has done. His position rests on the question-begging assumption that “same-sex marriages” are no less true marriages than heterosexual ones are, and that the only remaining question is whether to allow them legally. But of course, whether “same-sex marriages” really can even in principle be “marriages” in the first place is part of what is at issue in the dispute. The traditional, natural law view is that marriage is heterosexual of metaphysical necessity. Rather than staying neutral between competing moral views, then, Walker has simply declared that the state should stop imposing one moral view – the one he doesn’t like – and should instead impose another, rival moral view – the one he does like.

    What we’re seeing here is just one more application of the fraudulent principle of “liberal neutrality,” by which the conceit that liberal policy is neutral between the moral and metaphysical views competing within a pluralistic society provides a smokescreen for the imposition of a substantive liberal moral worldview, on all citizens, by force. (Of course, liberals typically qualify their position by saying that their conception of justice only claims to be neutral between “reasonable” competing moral and metaphysical views, but “reasonable” always ends up meaning something like “willing to submit to a liberal conception of justice.”)

    &c.

  • ken

    tom van dyke# ~ Oct 11, 2013 at 1:02 am

    “No, we always knew slavery was wrong, we just lacked the will and the means to end it. ”

    Nonsense. During the days of slavery, many had no moral problems with it at all, because they didn’t view slaves as fully human. A fact written into the US constitution.

    When you base laws on “morals” then the problem becomes “whose morals?” the people who believe slavery to be moral? or maybe the morals of vegetarians, who think eating meat is immoral?

  • Jim Guinnessey

    More religious right insidious nutjobs like Peroutka, Rushdoony and Gary North.! It would be totally laughable were it not for the fact that these crazies have legions of ignorant followers(who also pick up the tab!).

  • MyPetSlug

    We always knew slavery was wrong? That’s a bit strong. I would agree with you insofar as some people probably always knew slavery was wrong. Many others defended slavery as just and moral and some, mostly Southern apologists, still do today. Perhaps others thought, using that same arguments as Rushdoony above, that they didn’t like slavery personally, but the Bible allowed it. Listen, if everybody knew slavery was so wrong, but just lacked the will and means to end it, there would have been no segregation and jim crow after the war, which was nearly as wrong.

    As for animal cruelty. Is this “immoral” in that the Bible or other religions say it’s wrong? I don’t think I’ve ever heard that argument. In fact, usually it’s the opposite that I’ve heard. God gave man dominion over the animals so we can do what we want with them. And usually it’s people on the left who object the most to animal cruelty. So, I don’t think it qualifies as being banned because we are legislating morality. Instead, we ban animal cruelty because most people love their animals and have extended the idea of rights to animals having some too.

    I take it, you agree with the quoted passage? Perhaps you’d like to explain how some religion XYZ marrying two people who your church wouldn’t allow affects you in any way?

  • Scotty G.

    “Rather than staying neutral between competing moral views, then, Walker has simply declared that the state should stop imposing one moral view – the one he doesn’t like – and should instead impose another, rival moral view – the one he does like.”

    Horse pucky!

    There is an overdeveloped victim mentality in that statement and a woefully poor understanding at best as to what it means to be imposed upon.

    By that reasoning if a host coordinates a dinner party for 10 and serves peas knowing that 8 of his guest detest peas and the other 2 love them; then the ‘neutral’ thing to do is not serve peas. Walker basically just said the peas have been prepared, let those who wish to take a helping do so, especially considering that ALL the guest have pitched in their money for the meal. But in this faulty logic of imposition, the other 8 cry and moan that they are now not only being ‘forced’ to eat the peas, but also have to say they are ‘yummy’ too.

    Spare me.

    The entire thought process is convoluted and ridiculous, and most people can see right through it, which is why it’s a loosing argument.

    The fact is that same-sex marriage recognition does not in any way say that “gay is good” anymore than the 1964 Civil Rights Act said that “black is beautiful.” One does not need to approve of same-sex marriage recognition in order to see that, as patriotic Americans, it’s wrong to bar people from the protective structures of civil marriage already in place. One need not approve of the drinking of alcohol in order to see that as a patriotic American, it is wrong to restrict a neighborhood to teetotalers only. One need not subscribe to the Hindu religion to recognize, that it was wrong for Christians to discriminate against Indians in South Africa. So far as proposed gay rights legislation is concerned, as former New York City Mayor Edward Koch said in his testimony on behalf of a public accommodations bill for gays, it “in no way endorses a lifestyle,” and that is true. There may be those who disapprove, or even abhor, forms of religion different from their own. However, defending freedom of religion in our country does not necessarily mean that you approve of someone else’s religion.

  • Patrocles

    “We legislate morality to the extent that it makes society a better place to live.”

    “My pet slug” seems to be the perfect example of what I spoke about: someone who thinks that, yes, a lot of other people (right-wing Christians etc.) are influenced by worldviews – but his (his own, personal) idea about “a better place to live” is evident, neutral and not influenced by his worldview. So, the neutral state proclaimed above is the state which realizes just his own, personal idea of “a better place to live”.

  • tom van dyke

    MyPetSlug# ~ Oct 11, 2013 at 9:45 am
    We always knew slavery was wrong? That’s a bit strong. I would agree with you insofar as some people probably always knew slavery was wrong. Many others defended slavery as just and moral and some, mostly Southern apologists, still do today. Perhaps others thought, using that same arguments as Rushdoony above, that they didn’t like slavery personally, but the Bible allowed it. Listen, if everybody knew slavery was so wrong, but just lacked the will and means to end it, there would have been no segregation and jim crow after the war, which was nearly as wrong.

    The point being that America-style chattel slavery was called out from the first. Yes, certainly some [those who benefited from it] made excuses for it. But even Thomas Jefferson admitted

    Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest.

    http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/jefferson/ch18.html

    Thx for conceding the point. As you see, some won’t. Slavery is a reliable cliched argument in these contexts, but seldom stands up to actual inspection.

    As for animal cruelty. Is this “immoral” in that the Bible or other religions say it’s wrong? I don’t think I’ve ever heard that argument. In fact, usually it’s the opposite that I’ve heard. God gave man dominion over the animals so we can do what we want with them. And usually it’s people on the left who object the most to animal cruelty. So, I don’t think it qualifies as being banned because we are legislating morality. Instead, we ban animal cruelty because most people love their animals and have extended the idea of rights to animals having some too.

    Of course it’s morality. The libertarian would say the animals are a man’s property to do with as he wishes. Neither would I argue exclusively from religion. The point is that we routinely legislate morality.

    I take it, you agree with the quoted passage? Perhaps you’d like to explain how some religion XYZ marrying two people who your church wouldn’t allow affects you in any way?

    Again, a cliched argument–cliched arguments built on faulty premises being what I’m pointing out here. People torturing animals doesn’t affect me in any way either, but I favor banning animal cruelty.

    What I agree with in the linked passage is that “neutrality” on these issues is a fraud–we simply substitute one set of values for another. Let’s be honest about it.

  • Zoe Brain

    “So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Muslim schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Koran-based social, political, and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of Allah.”

    Now you know why so many atheists see religion as evil. Which brand doesn’t matter.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe_Brain

    “So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Madrassas until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Koran-based social, political, and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of Allah. Murder, abortion, and pornography will be illegal. Sharia law will be enforced. It will take time. A minority religion cannot do this. Theocracy must flow from the hearts of a majority of citizens, just as compulsory education came only after most people had their children in schools of some sort. But religious anarchy, like “democratic freedom” in ancient Greece, is a temporary phenomenon; it lasts only as long as no single group gets sufficient power and accepted authority to abandon the principle.
    Religious anarchy, as a long-term legal framework for organizing a society, is as mythical as neutrality is. Both views assume that the institutions of civil government can create and enforce neutral law. They are cousins, and people believe in them only temporarily, until they make up their minds concerning which God they will serve.”

    This is where religion leads. We’ve seen the results.

    The question still not answered is – is this inevitable? Do all religions become evil like this, is it inherent? I think it is. Those who aren’t sufficiently arrogant, cruel and irrational, eventually leave, either explicitly or by diluting the faith till it’s a pale shadow of the malignant original. Such benign offshoots though eventually wither and fade. Is this too inevitable?

    I don’t know. Sites like this one provide evidence that it may not be.

  • Patrocles

    Zoe,

    you’ve perhaps forgotten that we have already had atheist schools, schools which taught the “scientific worldview” (in Eastern Europe) and they were no more “neutral” than Christian or Muslim Schools?
    Atheism isn’t the way out of this problem.
    The right way is (a) looking how far we all can agree (minimal consent) and (b) giving each other freedom to separate and to form different communities in matters where we cannot agree.

  • ken

    Patrocles# ~ Oct 12, 2013 at 8:06 am

    “we have already had atheist schools, schools which taught the “scientific worldview” (in Eastern Europe) and they were no more “neutral” than Christian or Muslim Schools?”

    You seem to be confusing a lot of terms here Patrocles. Secular does not mean atheist. Nor does scientific mean atheist.

  • Throbert McGee

    As for animal cruelty. Is this “immoral” in that the Bible or other religions say it’s wrong?

    For what it’s worth, certain aspects of Jewish kosher law were very much about avoiding real or perceived cruelty to animals (as opposed to being merely about “ritual purity.”)

    So, the requirement to kill a meat-animal by slicing open the jugular veins and carotid arteries with one quick knife stroke was thought to be more humane than shooting the animal with arrows or bashing it over the head with a club. And, likewise, the idea of cooking a baby animal in its own mother’s milk was perceived as “symbolically cruel,” and not just “symbolically unclean.”

    Today, we can argue that firing a projectile through the animal’s brain is actually quicker and more humane than the recommended Biblical method of cutting its throat. We can also argue (without much fear of contradiction) that once the creature has been killed, it doesn’t — and can’t possibly — add to the animal’s suffering if you choose to eat it with a nice cheese or yogurt sauce!

    But whether or not these aspects of kosher law still make sense from a modern logical/scientific standpoint, lessening the suffering of animals was part of the ancient rationale.

  • James Estrada-Scaminaci III

    Congratulations on the move to Patheos. The Framers certainly did, but why do we allow as a matter of law for the Christian Right to use “report cards” of votes on public policy based on biblical principles? They are, in fact, directly challenging the prohibition on religious tests for public office by making religious tests for public office.

  • Zoe Brain

    Patrocles –

    (b) giving each other freedom to separate and to form different communities in matters where we cannot agree.

    We’ve tried that. The result was 9/11.

    We have two groups – both utterly convinced of their own moral rectitude. One believes they have the moral and ethical duty to stop other people’s children from being tortured with branding-irons to drive out evil spirits. The other believes that God has commanded them to kill any girl who learns to read.

    Such differences are irreconcilable. One side or the other will always attempt to intervene in the others’ area. Both see it as a moral duty.

    A less extreme example :

    http://www.charismanews.com/us/41346-transgender-boy-harassing-girls-in-the-bathroom-gets-no-punishment

    “A male student at Florence High School who claims to be a transgender has been harassing girls in the bathroom. When parents complained, school officials said the boy’s rights as a transgender trumped their daughters’ privacy rights.

    As the controversy grew, some students were threatened with being kicked off athletic teams or charged with hate crimes if they continued to voice concerns.”

    This is reported as fact by both Charisma and the CBN.

    Here’s what an eyewitness said:

    “As a Christian girl who attends FHS, I’d just like to say that I’ve never been harassed by this individual not have I ever seen him harass anyone else. He’s actually shy and a nice person. Do I think he should be able to use the girls bathroom? I’m torn. He either uses our bathroom and makes MAYBE 30% of the girls uncomfortable, or he uses the boy’s restroom and gets beat up. I don’t feel uncomfortable by him. Also, there are a lot of holes in this story. No parents initially complained. There was a mass Facebook message that included 150+ students and parents, outing him publicly. It was such a big deal, all electronic devises were confiscated if seen that day. THEN it was a problem and parents complained. This boy wasn’t treated fairly. As a Christian, I had to put the truth out there. He didn’t hurt or harass anyone.”

    This illustrates both the best and the worst in Christianity as it is practiced in the USA today. Those involved in political christianity are

    “Full of … strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers,.. arrogant and boastful;;… they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.”

    They won’t leave us alone. Very well, let battle commence. Our weapons are… surprise, fear and a ruthless efficiency… DOH. Our weapons are objective evidence, goodwill, publicity, and above all, the fact that many who profess Christianity actually try to follow His teachings,

  • Richard Willmer

    Ah, a rather clever use of Romans 1 there! ;-)

    To be fair to some on the ‘religious right’, it may be that “they know not what they do.”

    The problem for Christians in the political arena is that the kingdom they seek “is not of this world.” God’s ends (such as we understand them) cannot be achieved by the Devil’s means; when Christians resort to lies (or half-truths) or threats or coercion or repression in an attempt to ‘impose’ a pattern of society they believe is right, they take their leave of Christ.

  • Richard Willmer

    (Of course, I must point out that all of us who try to be ‘Followers of the Way’ – the epithet accorded to the earliest Christians – do fall far short of the ideals revealed to us. But when we do, we should always be prepared to admit that our behaviour is not ‘of God’ – rather it is, at the very best, something we are doing because we’ve run out of better ideas!)

  • tom van dyke

    “A male student at Florence High School who claims to be a transgender has been harassing girls in the bathroom. When parents complained, school officials said the boy’s rights as a transgender trumped their daughters’ privacy rights.

    A perfect example of imposing one set of values over another, under the fraud of “neutrality.”

    There is no scientifically proven thing as “transgenderism”–there is only a psychological condition more accurately called “gender dysphoria.”

    We are now using law and school social policy to defy reality, in the mistaken belief that we are doing good, but all we’re doing is giving credence to an unscientific fad.

    A male gender dysphoric is not a girl. To pretend that he is a girl is the Emperor’s New Clothes, mass illusion, a lie. Madness.

    “Until 1975, when I became psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, I could usually keep my own counsel on these matters. But once I was given authority over all the practices in the psychiatry department I realized that if I were passive I would be tacitly co-opted in encouraging sex-change surgery in the very department that had originally proposed and still defended it. I decided to challenge what I considered to be a misdirection of psychiatry and to demand more information both before and after their operations.

    Two issues presented themselves as targets for study. First, I wanted to test the claim that men who had undergone sex-change surgery found resolution for their many general psychological problems. Second (and this was more ambitious), I wanted to see whether male infants with ambiguous genitalia who were being surgically transformed into females and raised as girls did, as the theory (again from Hopkins) claimed, settle easily into the sexual identity that was chosen for them. These claims had generated the opinion in psychiatric circles that one’s “sex” and one’s “gender” were distinct matters, sex being genetically and hormonally determined from conception, while gender was culturally shaped by the actions of family and others during childhood.

    The first issue was easier and required only that I encourage the ongoing research of a member of the faculty who was an accomplished student of human sexual behavior. The psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Jon Meyer was already developing a means of following up with adults who received sex-change operations at Hopkins in order to see how much the surgery had helped them. He found that most of the patients he tracked down some years after their surgery were contented with what they had done and that only a few regretted it. But in every other respect, they were little changed in their psychological condition. They had much the same problems with relationships, work, and emotions as before. The hope that they would emerge now from their emotional difficulties to flourish psychologically had not been fulfilled.

    We saw the results as demonstrating that just as these men enjoyed cross-dressing as women before the operation so they enjoyed cross-living after it. But they were no better in their psychological integration or any easier to live with. With these facts in hand I concluded that Hopkins was fundamentally cooperating with a mental illness. We psychiatrists, I thought, would do better to concentrate on trying to fix their minds and not their genitalia.”

    http://www.firstthings.com/article/2009/02/surgical-sex–35

  • Zoe Brain

    Meanwhile.. this is the kind of thing we face outside the US when pentacostalists go wild.

    http://www.thestirrer.com.au/witch-hunters-like-adeboye-must-be-stopped/

  • Richard Willmer

    I suspect, Zoe, that much of this appalling stuff is down to ‘traditional’ superstitions, mixed with bad religion.

    Add in poverty and competition for resources, and one gets a very toxic cocktail indeed. (People will come up with just about any excuse to win a fight over things they want or think they need or actually do need.)

  • Patrocles

    Zoe,

    I understand your point. But I refuse to see this conflict of values as a kind of tragical fatality.
    One of my counter-arguments: This conflict of values is not always pernicious. It becomes most pernicious, when there’s an extreme difference of power between the two parties- it is rarely the weak party, but the strong party, which feels obliged to impose its values on everyone. (For example, Al Quaida was definitely not obsessed with American girls’ schooling, but they were obsessed with American military presence/control in the Middle East.)
    And how often is a conflict of absolute values only a pretext for the pursuit of different interests.
    And how similar are the ways in which the parties act within that conflict, despite all (allegedly) conflicting values.

  • GoodBerean

    The fact remains that civil government is ordained by God and must serve Him, obey His Law, and kiss His Son. Jesus Christ IS the King of kings, Lord of lords. Amen!

    John Lofton, Recovering Republican
    Dir., The God And Government Project
    JLof@aol.com


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