Exciting news from England:

Nursery school toddlers are getting lessons from drag queens to teach them about “gender fluidity”.

Children as young as two are taught specially adap­ted songs by performers including Donna La Mode.

Among ditties suggested for the London sessions is a version of Wheels on the Bus, which goes: “The skirt on the drag queen goes swish, swish, swish.”

Men in women’s clothes are teaching kids as young as two — including one who dressed as Alice in Wonderland — at seven Gov­ernment-funded nurseries to stop them committing hate crimes in later life.

Youngsters learn specially-adapted trans songs at the sessions and are told stories — one about a teddy bear which realises it is a girl and not a boy.

The Drag Queen Story Time classes are held by Bristol University law graduate Thomas Canham, 26. He hopes they will soon be rolled out across all 37 centres run by the London Early Years Foundation.

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth saying again. Two years ago, in the wake of Obergefell, I heard a Christian academic social scientist say that yes, same-sex marriage is a blow to Christianity, in that it reveals that the Christian model of marriage has been displaced by something radically different. But save your sky-is-falling reaction, he warned, for transgenderism. If that ever takes off, he said, we are in very, very big trouble. Same-sex marriage still depends on the gender binary, but transgenderism destroys it — and that strikes at the root of what it means to be a human being.

UK commentator Melanie Philips has the same view about transgenderism. Excerpts:

The knee-jerk bullying, victim-group sectarianism and repudiation of reason itself over transgenderism defy belief. The Times (£) reports that a lesbian Labour party women’s officer was allegedly subjected to months of harassment as a “Terf” — a derogatory term for “trans exclusionary radical feminist” – because she took issue with aspects of transgenderism.

Intimidation by transgender activists, in the laughable cause of promoting greater tolerance and inclusivity, has suddenly become the new norm. Examples – such as the Christian maths teacher who was suspended for addressing as a girl a female pupil who identifies as a boy – are coming thick and fast.

As has been noted elswhere, however, the really extraordinary aspect of all this is the way in which the establishment – Conservative government ministers, schools, universities, the Church of England – are meekly falling into line with the hallucinatory requirement, enforced by coercion, character assassination and social ostracism against anyone who dares resist, that we deny the fact that we belong to the sex into which we were born.

The reason for this existential collapse is that the relativist west has so heavily bought into the belief that reality is merely what we decide it to be. Ours has become a culture of radical subjectivity in which there is no such thing as objective truth. Everything is instead a matter of opinion and individual perception.

More:

The ostensible aim of all this is to end discrimination, prejudice and social exclusion. This is untrue. The aim is unilaterally to change the entire basis of society from one governed by external moral rules and duties to one in which the only rule that has any authority is the duty to actualise our own inner potential and fulfil our own desires.

People declared themselves answerable to no moral authority beyond themselves. Human beings would now make it all up as they went along. Since sexual procreation is the way in which a society replicates itself, in order to change the society the rules governing sexual procreation had to be junked.

Normative rules of sexual constraint, marriage, heterosexuality and so on were all dismissed as harmful social constructs. Now human biology is also being turned into a social construct so that it can be deconstructed and reconstructed at will. Humanity itself has to become fluid.

Read the whole thing. Humanity itself has to become fluid. This is the ultimate goal of liquid modernity: to dissolve everything in nature, and to make it subject to the human will. We will have become as gods.

It is hard to overstate the importance of understanding what is happening, and indeed what is being done to us. The constant propagandizing from the mainstream media, from schools, and of course from the LGBT movement, is having an effect. We are very quickly getting to our own Galileo “And yet, it moves” moment, where we have to insist upon the truth of reality despite what punishments come our way.

Did you ever imagine that you would live in a world in which you would have to teach your children the difference between male and female, and why that is important? Did you ever think you would live in a world in which you could lose your job for believing that? Welcome to liquid modernity.

As regular readers know, this is a concept invented by the late sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, to describe our time. From the Wikipedia entry:

Zygmunt Bauman, who introduced the idea of liquid modernity, wrote that its characteristics are about the individual, namely increasing feelings of uncertainty and the privatization of ambivalence. It is a kind of chaotic continuation of modernity, where a person can shift from one social position to another in a fluid manner. Nomadism becomes a general trait of the ‘liquid modern’ man as he flows through his own life like a tourist, changing places, jobs, spouses, values and sometimes more—such as political or sexual orientation—excluding himself from traditional networks of support, while also freeing himself from the restrictions or requirements those networks impose.

Bauman stressed the new burden of responsibility that fluid modernism placed on the individual—traditional patterns would be replaced by self-chosen ones. Entry into the globalized society was open to anyone with their own stance and the ability to fund it, in a similar way as was the reception of travellers at the old-fashioned caravanseraiThe result is a normative mindset with emphasis on shifting rather than on staying—on provisional in lieu of permanent (or ‘solid’) commitment—which (the new style) can lead a person astray towards a prison of their own existential creation.

And next comes transhumanism, the abolition of man.

If social conservatives and religious believers are to make sense of what is happening, and happening quite fast, in the West, they must understand the concept of liquid modernity. The collapse of sex and gender is not happening in a vacuum. It is connected to a much deeper and broader cultural revolution. I feel urgently about this, readers. Please read the introduction to Philip Rieff’s great and prophetic 1966 book The Triumph Of The Therapeutic.  It can be heavy going at times, but stick with it. Note well towards the end of the essay in which he says the cultural revolution underway in the West — this was 1966, remember — was more profound, more radical, than the communist revolutions, which would not be able to withstand it.

Again: you cannot understand the transgender phenomenon, or the cultural normalization of homosexuality, outside of the wider and deeper currents of history. The reason the traditional marriage model collapsed so quickly and definitively in the face of gay activism is because it had already collapsed in the previous decades. Why? Because of the Sexual Revolution, which, as Rieff observes, was arguably the leading edge of the destruction of all norms, and the final enthronement of the Self. In The Benedict Option, I attempt to explain how this didn’t all happen at once, but rather is the culmination of a small but decisive break in the deeps of Western Christianity seven centuries ago, like an earthquake in the middle of the ocean. As the wave has moved across the sea of time, it is now reaching shore with the force of a tsunami.

We have to fight it when and however we can, certainly, but we also have to understand how extremely high the odds are of defeating this thing, given the overwhelming force of the tide. A minor but telling example: conservative parents may think they are preparing their children to hold on to the faith in the face of this nihilistic maelstrom, but when they give their kids smartphones with no restrictions, they are handing them a device through which they are constantly propagandized for and acculturated to liquid modernity.

Remember that professor with whom I began this entry? After his lecture, transgenderism had entered the main arena of popular culture in a bold way. It was so swift and so powerful that it left religious liberty activists I know reeling. They thought maybe we would have a couple of years to get ready for it. They barely had six months. I looked up that professor and called him to get his take on how radically the scene had shifted virtually overnight. I reminded him of his warning to the audience that night: about how gay marriage was tolerable, but transgenderism would be apocalyptic, because it would destroy our ability to recognize male and female, and therefore our understanding of what it is to be human.

Know what he said to me? “It’s time to take the Benedict Option.” He was serious. From the book:

We are not trying to save the West. We are only trying to build a Christian way of life that stands as an island of sanctity and stability amid the high tide of liquid modernity. We are not looking to create heaven on earth; we are simply looking for a way to be strong in faith through a time of great testing. The Rule, with its vision of an ordered life centered around Christ and the practices it prescribes to deepen our conversion, can help us achieve that goal.

None of us will escape the trial to come; the best we can do is to build ourselves up spiritually, morally, and communally to endure it faithfully. I remind you of what Father Cassian Folsom of the Norcia monastery told me, about the Benedict Option: “Those who don’t do some form of what you’re talking about, they’re not going to make it through what’s coming.”

Lately, I’ve been thinking about what Orthodox Christianity has to offer the West uniquely, with regard to building resistance to and resilience in the face of liquid modernity. I’m thinking about that being my next book.