Bartleby The Bigot
To the surprise of exactly no one who pays attention to the totalitarianism of the LGBT movement, and of diversity culture in general, it is no longer enough to dissent from public orthodoxy. You must affirm it — or be destroyed.
Ask Isabella Chow. She’s a student senator at UC Berkeley. Recently a bill came before the Senate that would put the body on record supporting transgender rights. The resolution was entirely symbolic. Here’s what happened next:
Senator Isabella Chow, 20, abstained.
Reading a five-paragraph statement explaining her decision, Chow told her 18 fellow senators, who all voted for the bill (another was absent), that discrimination “is never, ever OK.” She condemned bullies and bigots. She said she abhorred stereotypes. And she called the LGBTQ+ community valid and loved.
“That said,” Chow continued, voting for the bill would compromise her values and force her to promote groups and identities she disagreed with.
“As a Christian, I personally do believe that certain acts and lifestyles conflict with what is good, right and true,” she said. “I believe that God created male and female at the beginning of time, and designed sex for marriage between one man and one woman. For me, to love another person does not mean that I silently concur when, at the bottom of my heart, I do not believe that your choices are right or the best for you as an individual.”
Well. She’s now an Enemy Of The People. Over 1,000 people have signed a petition calling for her removal. The campus newspaper condemned her editorially, and refused to publish her self-defense:
Within hours, Chow’s political party, Student Action, cut ties with her. So did CalTV and her publications constituents. A Daily Cal editorial called her statements offensive and declared: “UC Berkeley students cannot allow and accept leaders like Chow to make decisions on their behalf.”
The paper also rebuffed Chow’s attempt to further explain her views in its pages. In her rejection letter, opinion editor Shayann Hendricks said the paper wouldn’t run Chow’s comments because her submission reflected her earlier statements, “which utilized rhetoric that is homophobic and transphobic by the Daily Cal’s standards.”
Chow, a junior majoring in business administration and music, said she feels “frustrated and sad that Berkeley students are forced to live in a bubble, and we have to protect ourselves from anything that a vocal population deems to be offensive.”
Read the whole thing. There’s more, and it’s all ugly.That’s one brave woman, Isabella Chow.
Mind you, this is on a campus where the so-called Free Speech Movement began in the 1960s. Now, it’s clear that orthodox Christians are unwelcome there. Polish philosopher Ryszard Legutko, in his great book The Demon In Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations In Free Societies, discusses how the Sexual Revolution combined with liberal democratic ideology is creating a totalitarian ethos. Political correctness, he writes, illustrates
what is absolutely crucial for the entire logic of liberal democracy. Because the logic of this system turns on “dialogue,” “respect,” “equal rights,” “openness,” and “tolerance,” everything is by definition political, and nothing that relates, however remotely, to these notions is trivial, minor, or irrelevant. A slight offensive remark must always be regarded as a manifestation of mortal sin. What seems a barely visible mark on the surface conceals underneath swirling currents of hatred, intolerance, racism, and hegemony. The body responsible for ensuring that these terrible things do not surface is the state, with all the instruments at its disposal. It is the state that should incessantly work to impose and improve cooperation policies by removing all real and potential barriers, creating a favorable legal environment, and reshaping public space and education in such a way that the people’s minds internalize the rules of politically correct thinking.
Such undertaking carries a high price. When the state takes over responsibility for the rules of cooperation and their enforcement on all layers of society, there will be no limits to its interference in people’s lives. The laws it enacts must of necessity be increasingly more detailed and intrusive because what threatens those rules and has to be curtailed is believed to be hidden deeply in social practices and human consciousness. The slippery-slope argument, so often used by liberals, is particularly pertinent here. The logic of liberalism is that whatever seems to be the most obviously nonpolitical, sooner or later will become political.
This young Christian, Isabella Chow, is now thought to be so dangerous that students (and others?) at Berkeley believe she should be driven from public life, and cannot be allowed to say what she believes on the pages of the campus newspaper. Here is the statement Sen. Chow made at the public meeting:
Yeah, she’s Triple Hitler, for sure.
The title character of Herman Melville’s short story “Bartleby The Scrivener” famously says, “I would prefer not to.” He’s an enigmatic icon of passive resistance. Sen. Chow cannot be allowed simply to withhold her approval, not in the eyes of these UC Berkeley fanatics. She must approve, or stand condemned. If you would prefer not to affirm LGBT ideology, then you are Bartleby the Bigot.
UC Berkeley is a major public university, in the most populous state in America. This is not a minor thing. This is what I mean when I tell you that American life under late liberalism is becoming more and more totalitarian. If you are a Christian, or any kind of religious conservative, and you are not preparing yourself and your children to hold on to your, and their, faith, and indeed their sanity, in this new world, you are failing to read the signs of the times.