Well, it’ been a long time since my home state of California has been the epicenter of free speech. In fact, the free-wheelin’ 1960s and 1970s are such a distant memory that it’s hard to remember a time when California wasn’t almost entirely composed of policy makers who are willing to squelch it entirely.
National Review has a disturbing story out of Sacramento:
The California state legislature is set to vote on a bill that would actually — among other things — ban the sale of books expressing orthodox Christian beliefs about sexual morality.
Yes, ban the sale of books.
Remember when the culture used to stereotype “book burners” as backwards, fundamentalist homeschooling evangelicals who don’t want their precious families exposed to evil? Well, it’s time to retire that old trope. The most fundamentalist people in America today are leftist radicals who are so afraid of having their feelings hurt, that they can’t stand to be confronted with mere (gasp!) disagreement. Here’s more from NRO:
Assembly Bill 2943 would make it an “unlawful business practice” to engage in “a transaction intended to result or that results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer” that advertise, offer to engage in, or do engage in “sexual orientation change efforts with an individual.”
The bill then defines “sexual orientations change efforts” as “any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.” (Emphasis added.)
This is extraordinarily radical. Christian orthodoxy is simple — regardless of a person’s desires (their “orientation”), the standard of right conduct is crystal clear. Sex is reserved for marriage between a man and a woman. When it comes to “gender expression,” there is no difference between “sex” and “gender,” and the Christian response to gender dysphoria is compassion and treatment, not indulgence and surgical mutilation.
Put another way, there is a fundamental difference between temptation and sin. California law would intrude directly on this teaching by prohibiting even the argument that regardless of sexual desire, a person’s sexual behavior should conform to Biblical standards.
This is absolute lunacy. Ryan T. Anderson’s cleverly titled book, “When Harry Became Sally,” for example, would violate this policy:
I haven’t read this yet, but Harvard professor Mary Ann Glendon described it this way, “When Harry Became Sally is an eminently readable and insightful guide for all who find themselves perplexed by today’s debates on gender identity. Ryan Anderson’s analysis of the ideas that are fueling the transgender movement, their human costs and their political implications will be a valuable resource for parents, educators and policy makers.”
Wait, policy makers? Like those scaredy-cats in Sacramento? But their feelings! What if they’re challenged to — pass the smelling salts! — think outside their leftist bubble?
Anderson’s book discusses a hot cultural topic in an even handed way… and California policy makers believe people in their state have such a weak constitution that they literally can’t handle having this book on their shelves. Hey, what about the Bible? Are Christian missionaries going to have to start smuggling them through LAX like they currently are doing in China?
This is possibly the dumbest thing I’ve seen happen in my home state… and — after all these years — that’s saying a lot.
Hat Tip: National Review
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