Hubris and Nemesis

As time goes by, there will be more fallout from the Administration’s decision to issue a regulation requiring coverage for contraception under Obamacare. (And that was done by regulation. It’s not part of the Affordable Care Act.) That overreach in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was famously smacked down by the Supreme Court this week.

It looks like the next big religious freedom brouhaha will be over LGBT employment “rights” created by executive fiat. The Atlantic reports:

Last week, the administration announced it would issue an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, a reform long sought by gay-rights groups. Such an order would essentially impose on contractors the provisions of the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which passed the Senate but hasn’t been taken up by the House.

But the text of the order has not yet been released, so it is not known whether it will include a religious exemption.

Not many people practice the idolatrous religion of the ancient Greeks, but after multiple losses in the Supreme Court, it’s almost as if Nemesis is spending a lot of time at the White House.

If It Quacks Like a Duck

Now that everyone else (it seems) has had a say, here’s my two-cents worth on Phil Robertson and A&E. I support Phil and believe A&E acted stupidly.

First, Phil Robertson’s statement is about what he believes, and he expressed no desire to compel others to be bound by his belief. Why would anyone be threatened because someone peacefully offered an invitation to share a belief?

Second, I believe he correct in one of his beliefs. If you look at what he said about the mechanics of human reproduction, he simply noted that we are evolved to have intercourse in a particular way. Trying to assemble the parts incorrectly may be fun for someone, but a continual desire for infertile sexual encounters is an evolutionary disadvantage that removes one’s genes from the pool.

Third, I believe that he is correct in the core belief underlying his point-of-view. We all are sinners in need of redemption.

Let me add this on my own behalf: I don’t believe LGBT people should be the objects of hatred. I have had and continue to have friends and business associates from at least the LGB contingent. I think they’ve made some terribly unfortunate choices, but they’re sinners—just like me. Our sets of sins don’t completely overlap. I pray for them. I hope they pray for me.

Paul writes in Romans that we shouldn’t continue in our sins so that God’s grace can abound. Rather, we should let His grace lead us toward more holy living. Phil Robertson, LGBT people, and I all have a way to go.

I’m Not Making This Up, You Know

Because a “transgendered woman” (i.e., a man masquerading as a woman) in Colorado has been denied a free (i.e., taxpayer paid) mammogram, a couple of advocacy groups are petitioning to have such mammograms covered under Obamacare.

Currently, taxpayer funded mammograms are only available to persons lacking a Y chromosome. They are not available to biological males. This is viewed as “irrational discrimination” by the advocacy groups.

I’m reminded of a phrase coined by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan: “Defining deviancy down.”

Separate and Different

Mrs. Hoge does not have a Y chromosome, but I do. She is female. I am male. One’s genetic make up establishes one’s sex.

When I was a kid, gender was a subclass within a grammatical class (noun, pronoun, adjective, or verb) of a language based on distinguishable characteristics (as shape, social rank, manner of existence, or sex) and that determines agreement with and selection of other words or grammatical forms. These days the word has taken on an additional meaning—the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with a sex. Thus, we now have a new term for a person whose behavior is not in line with his genetic make up: transgendered.

[Aside: Notice the use of the pronoun his. This does not mean that I am only discussing males. Rather, it means that I am using the grammatically correct form in English where the indefinite and masculine are the same.]

Adam Winkler has a piece over at The New Republic about a case in Maine of a transgendered high school student suing because he can’t use the girls’ restroom. The boy has a Y chromosome and male genitalia, but dresses and acts as if he were a girl. Winkler writes:

Maine’s Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear her (sic) case, the latest evidence that the next frontier of the civil-rights movement is transgender and transsexual equality.

Separate restrooms for men and women are one of the last vestiges of modesty left in our society. So some questions arise: Do men and women have a civil right to modesty? Does someone whose behavior is not congruent with his sex have the right to violate the modesty of others? For example, should it be OK for any male in a dress go to the ladies locker room to enjoy the view? Given that a shirt and jeans are now common attire for either sex, would the guy even have to wear a dress?

The sexes are separate and equal in the sense of intrinsic human value, but we are separate and different biologically and psychologically. The social/moral concept of modesty has served us well for generations. Do we really want to throw it away to grant “equality” to people who refuse to deal with the reality of their own genetics?

UPDATE—It’s symbolic of his struggle against reality.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFBOQzSk14c]

UPDATE 2—Link to a discussion of Gender Dysphoria added.

Sexual Rights … and Wrongs

Stacy McCain has a thought provoking piece up entitled The Problem With Sexual “Rights”. He discusses how behaviors that were not too long ago universally viewed as perversions are now seen as protected “rights.” It’s provoked me to have several thoughts on the subject, and I’ll share one of them after you’ve read his essay. Go read it. Now. I’ll wait …

To begin, let me say that I have religious-based objections to the sorts of behaviors that Mr. McCain writes about, but, putting those objections aside, I have thoroughly secular objections as well. I’ll stick to one of them for this post.

There are four basic functions of biological organisms. These are replication (they have offspring), heritability (they pass on genetic material to their offspring), catalysis (they have a common set of chemical processes), and energy use or metabolism (they all burn carbon through similar processes).

It seems to me that, of all the perverse behaviors which sexual oddballs claim to be allowed by their “rights,” not one leads to replication of the species. Members of a species that don’t engage in reproductive activity remove themselves from the gene pool. If a sufficient percentage of the members of a species refuse to reproduce, the species will die out. To argue that one was “born that way” is to argue that one is genetically defective. If that’s the case, such a person should be treated with the same dignity and respect that we have for others who have a genetic disorder. OTOH, if the person is simply engaging in non-benefical behaviors for reasons of self-gratification, I don’t understand why such behavior should be socially acceptable. Perhaps a few of these behaviors shouldn’t be illegal, but not every thing that is legal is honorable.

The case of the convict in Massachusetts who wants a “sex-change” operation brings up the point that all the cosmetic surgery in the world will not eliminate the Y-chromosome in his genome. He won’t have ovaries. He won’t be a woman. Ever. He’ll be living a falsehood, a lie.

Popeye got it right. “I yam what I yam, and tha’s all what I yam.”

One of these days, the real world will tire of the liberal push for wrongheaded rights, and folks may start remembering some other words of Popeye’s. “That’s all I can stands, cuz I can’t stands n’more!”

UPDATE—It’s symbolic of his struggle against reality.