Invasive Gnosticism

Invasive Gnosticism February 26, 2016

David Gelernter claims that Trump has identified the elephant plopped on our national coffee table – political correctness. He doesn’t think the label is very descriptive, preferring to call it “invasive leftism or thought-police liberalism or metastasized progressivism.” It is, he says, “the biggest issue facing America today.”

Its attitude is captured by the motto that Gelernter says is “mounted . . . above the main door at the White House, the IRS, and the DOJ: We know what’s best; you shut up.” It’s evident in the blithe attitude toward Christians and our convictions – in Obama’s indifference to the slaughter of Christians in the Middle East and the administration’s demand that Catholics pay for contraceptives. “Political correctness,” Gelernter says, “holds that Christians are a bygone force, reactionary, naive, and irrelevant.”

If you think he’s exaggerating, consider what has been quietly happening for the past several months in Washington State.

Shortly after Christmas last year, the Washington state Human Right Commission “illegal for business owners to limit sex-specific facilities such as bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms to persons with the anatomical parts of one sex,” according to a report in the Daily Signal.

The regulations state: “All covered entities shall allow individuals the use of gender segregated facilities, such as restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, and homeless or emergency shelters, that are consistent with that individual’s gender expression or gender identity. In such facilities where undressing in the presence of others occurs, covered entities shall allow access to and use of a facility consistent with that individual’s gender expression or gender identity.” The rules prohibit any “covered entity” from requiring ” an individual to use a gender-segregated facility that is inconsistent with that individual’s gender expression or gender identity, or request or require an individual to use a separate or gender-neutral facility.”

“Invasive” hardly begins to describe what’s happening when the state redefines gender and takes control of public access bathrooms.

“This is the next step in this war on gender,” said Joseph Backholm of the Family Policy Institute of Washington. “To my knowledge, this is the first time in the country that there’s been a statewide effort to mandate all public accommodations cooperate with the gender identity concept that somebody declares.”

Ancient Gnostics never dreamed of being able to manipulate stubborn matter so easily to our whims. We can wish away the shameful bits of our bodies with a wave of the will.

According to the Daily Signal report, the rules “apply to businesses with eight or more employees” and require “that schools should ‘allow students to use the restroom that is consistent with their gender identity’ and in most cases, give transgender students ‘access to the locker room that corresponds to their gender identity.’” Washington Representative Graham Hunt raised questions about the secrecy of the procedure: “it’s really been done quasi-private.”

A legislative effort to reverse the Commission’s regulations was narrowly defeated on February 11. It didn’t take long for Washingtonians to take advantage of the rules. In early February, a Seattle man undressed in a woman’s locker room at a community pool. Because of the new rules, police refused to arrest him.

The rules are published here, and include prohibitions against “unwelcome personal questions about an individual’s sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity, transgender status, or sex assigned at birth.”

It’s another of those “I can’t believe we’re talking about this” moments that have become so common over the past few years, a stunning illustration of what Gelernter means by “invasive leftism.” It’s an effort to use the blunt power of the state to to make Gnostics of us all.

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