Over the past year — and the distribution of the dates below will demonstrate that beyond any reasonable question — I’ve been sporadically and unsystematically bookmarking articles related to the subject of transgenderism. I’m cleaning out my files, and I thought that at least a few of you might be interested in one or more of these links. Some, of course, will come at me like torrents of molten lava. This is not a topic that brings out the best of sunny reason and kindness in everybody:
18 March 2022: “Lia Thomas Shows Us It’s Time to End the Charade”
Multiple Dates: “What Is A Woman? The answer to such a simple question used to be self-evident for all, but that is no longer so in the gender-obsessed times we are living in. This collection of articles will arm you with a compelling rebuttal to the radical gender ideology sweeping the nation.
15 August 2022: “The Transgender Movement Rediscovers Gender Roles: One doctor argues that children engaging in ‘opposite gender’ activities is proof of their identity. This flies in the face of what feminists have told us for decades.”
15 August 2022: “The U.K. Turns Its Back on Transgender Ideology”
8 January 2023: “How Transgenderism Stretched the Rights Movement to Its Breaking Point: Its lack of intellectual or moral credibility makes the ideology a much tougher sell than the rights-based activism of the past.”
17 January 2023: “It’s a Social Contagion”
27 January 2023: “Here Comes ‘Transableism’”
14 February 2023: “Horrific Accounts from a Youth Transgender Clinic in Missouri”
15 February 2023: “Perspective: How societies can step back from the precipice: It takes brave people on both sides of the political aisle, but pushback in Missouri and Scotland over transgender care show it can be done” (Perhaps not entirely unrelated: “Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon resigns unexpectedly”)
On a wholly different subject:
I realize that my use of the term may jar some just a bit — both professed humanists and some theists — but I’ve always thought of the Restored Gospel as a form of religious humanism.
Please don’t think of the common modern use of the word humanism as shorthand for the more precise term secular humanism. That’s not what I have in mind at all. What I do have in mind is probably something more like the exuberant, newly confident Renaissance humanism of European history, when most humanists were still Christians. (Erasmus of Rotterdam, for example, was a very serious Christian.) It had its own problems, of course, but it had also caught sight of something very important.
Why do I use the word humanism with regard to my religious faith? Because it seems to me so deeply opposed to many alternative forms of Christian and non-Christian religion that denigrate humanity. Because it offers what to me seems, by many light years, the most spectacular vision of human destiny that can possibly be imagined. Because — and, as I’ve said before, I regard this as the central heresy of “Mormonism” — it sees divinity and humanity as fundamentally akin, not opposed, and as points on a continuum rather than opposite sides of a dividing chasm. Granted that we mortals are very far, in innumerable ways, from God, still, nevertheless, we have the innate potential to be like our Father — and that is precisely what he wants for us.
“If within the short space of mortal life there are men who rise up out of infancy and become masters of the elements of fire and water and earth and air, so that they well-nigh rule them as Gods, what may it not be possible for them to do in a few hundreds or thousands of millions of years?” (B. H. Roberts, The Mormon Doctrine of Deity, 35)
I’m reminded, yet again, of a passage from the great thirteenth-century Persian Sufi poet and mystic Jalal al-Din Rumi, as translated by the great A. J. Arberry. I think that there is, in it a clear suggestion of something like a doctrine of theosis or human deification in it:
I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar
With angels blest; but even from angelhood
I must pass on: all except God doth perish.
When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,
I shall become what no mind e’er conceived.
Oh, let me not exist! for Non-existence
Proclaims in organ tones, ‘To Him we shall return.’