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A (Formerly Woke) Pastor’s Awakening

Fourth grade lesson at a Massachusetts public elementary school

Pastor S. Carter McNeese writes:

I’ve emailed you before, but I’m sure you get a lot.

I hear you and understand your absolute (totally justifiable) outrage at what is being done to that poor child in Texas. But in some ways, it gives me a little hope.

I was, as you may recall, raised in a fairly liberal family in the US South. Grew up in an evangelical mainline church (United Methodist Church) and definitely got the message early on that the Democrats and liberals in general were the “right” folks. Part of this was a New Deal hangover (when FDR gives you electricity, you don’t forget it), but much of it was the result of the Civil Rights movement and the actions of Nixon &Co. to play the “Southern Strategy” and, you know, undermine the Republic.

Over the years, as the Overton window in the Democratic Party has shifted to the left on social issues, the family, myself included for a time, shifted with it. If the party said that it was good to allow abortions, then it was good. If support of LGBTQQIA+ nonsense was the way to go, then gosh golly the UMC book of discipline must be wrong.

Even as recently as 2-3 years ago, I was pretty agnostic on many of these social issues. “I may not support it, but who am I to try and stop it, speak out against it, etc.” I was trying to hold that middle ground that Gushee talks about (hate to see what has happened to him. He was such a good ethicist until he all the sudden wasn’t).

What shifted me, fully and finally, was this Trans non-sense. It is, after all, just Gnosticism in a new guise: “my flesh and spirit are separate, my flesh is false, and must be brought into line with my spirit.”

Seeing where this was going, seeing that we were seeking to help these folks that suffer from what is clearly a mental illness that should be met with compassion and care, not support for their delusions, I knew that I had to rethink, from top to bottom, my assumptions about things. I read heavily, sought the Truth, and found it in the Reformed tradition. Reading folks like Rosaria Butterfield and Sam Allberry showed me that there was a side to this that I’d never considered.

But how, you may ask, does this give me hope?

Because even now my parents are seeing the extreme of all of this. Even they are seeing that what these children are being subjected to is too far — is, to be frank, abuse.

Like I said above, I’ve written to you before, as I’ve experienced this shift, and in fact you’ve used my emails before but I’ve always asked you to not use my real name. I no longer care. If you wish to use this, feel free to attach my name.


S. Carter McNeese
Pastor, Fairmont First Baptist Church
Fairmont, NC

Thank you, Pastor McNeese. Readers, this is an important shift: not only has the pastor changed his mind, but significantly, he is willing to use his name in public to speak out against this madness. Let this be an example. If we are not afraid to stand up and be counted, and to not be afraid of being attacked in the public square, we might be able to turn this around.

The propaganda is everywhere. Look at this, from a Lexington, Mass., public elementary school:

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Fourth graders. The trans-skeptical parents’ website 4thWaveNow tweeted:

Strange how we somehow didn’t need teachers to peddle this nonsense to kids until about 5 years ago…

An entire generation taught to think like this. Imagine where we are going to be as a society after 20 more years of this. Many of us are shocked that a jury in Dallas awarded sole parenting authority to a woman who wants to transition her seven-year-old to a female identity, over her ex-husband’s objections. At the rate we’re going, in another couple of decades, this isn’t even going to be an issue in most places. Resisting gender ideology is going to be seen by most people as a form of child abuse. The teachers and administrators at schools — the same places that are the source of  this propagandizing today — will take sides with your gender-questioning child, and report you to authorities if you resist. You will lose your kids — and few if any people will be opposed to it, because they will have been instructed in gender ideology since early childhood.

This is all happening very, very fast. Do you know if your child’s school teaches gender ideology? If you don’t know, you had better make it your business to find out. And you need to organize with other parents and community leaders to fight it. 4th Wave Now is a good resource. So is the Kelsey Coalition. Mrs. DK, one of this blog’s regular readers, is part of a network of parents of trans and genderfluid kids who believe their children were used and abused by a system that exploited their dysphoria, and pushed them into making permanent changes to their body. She has said on this blog, and in private conversations with me, that her group includes religious people and atheists, liberals and conservatives, gay folks and straights. What unites them is anger over what the system — including schools — did to their kids, and how powerless it left them as parents.

From the Kelsey Coalition webpage in which people tell stories about things that are happening not in the future, but right now:

Parental rights are violated. In an attempt foster acceptance of differences, some schools teach young students about being transgender. This can lead vulnerable children to conclude that they were born in the wrong body. Many of our sons and daughters learned about this for the first time at school where transgender identities are common. When our children “came out”and requested name changes, we were not notified.

“Although the school knew our daughter was struggling with serious mental health issues, they changed her name and pronouns without our knowledge.”

“Behind our backs, the faculty and staff referred to her by her new name. We were told that their ‘hands were tied’ and that it was a law that they had to follow. Meanwhile, the school guidance counselor was advising our daughter about half-way houses because her parents did not support her.”

The propaganda machine in the media, the schools, and increasingly in the law is powerful and well-funded. It can be frightening to stand up to it. But what is the alternative? I have a lot of respect for Pastor McNeese for being willing to take a stand, and use his name. Why not you too? On its front page, the Kelsey Coalition has this quote:

“Our lives begin to end the day we stay silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King

 

 

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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