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The Tyranny Of Tech & Trans

Prof. Robert A.J. Gagnon is now a political prisoner in Facebook jail for objecting to trans ideology (From Illinois Family Institute interview)

Robert A.J. Gagnon is a prominent Biblical scholar, and a social conservative. On Facebook recently, he wrote something opposed to gender ideology. This is what he wrote:

My friend Laurie Higgins has been suspended for 7 days, for making an accurate and witty satirical post, by left-wing FB overlords who seek to squash all dissent on the issue of transgenderism, no doubt emboldened by the Biden/Harris administration. There’s nothing inaccurate about this post.

  1. Biden’s lifting of Trump’s transgender military ban will indeed put women military personnel in the awful position of having to shower with biological males.

  2. Trans-promoters aren’t content with having men invade the domain of women’s sports and shelters.

  3. “Transgender” ideology is indeed a pseudo-science, compelling people to reject basic biological facts.

  4. Promoters of “transgenderism” do indeed exhibit traits of a religious cult in their mind-numbing, science-denying conformity. The censoring and suspending of Laurie Higgins rather proves the point, doesn’t it?

And this, according to a story about it on PJ Media, is what happened to him:

 

You get that? Simply dissenting against transgender ideology is “violence and incitement.” You must conform. As I wrote in this space yesterday, a mob of woke students at Baylor University is trying to get an instructor cancelled because she tweeted something critical of trans ideology.

I don’t think most Americans have any real understanding of how vicious these wokesters are, and how much their ideology stands to change American life. They have conquered corporate America, and the Democratic Party. Joe Biden has said that passing the Equality Act will be a priority for his administration. It passed the Democratic House, but was not taken up by the GOP-controlled Senate. Now, thanks in large part to Trump’s post-election tantrum, the Democrats will control the Senate. The only thing stopping passage of the Equality Act now is Biden’s whim.

Kenneth Craycraft explains what the Equality Act would mean. Excerpts:

The Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act to forbid discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, but it would also fulfill the abortion industry’s long-fought desire to establish abortion as “health care” officially and legally by outlawing “pregnancy discrimination.” It requires that access to “treatment” for pregnancy must not be any different from access to any other kind of health care treatment for any other “physical condition.” But this is all code language for implementation of a vigorous national policy of abortion on demand for any or no reason.

By making abortion health care and declaring that no person shall be discriminated against in access to such care, the Equality Act would make opposing abortion access morally equivalent to opposing dialysis, chemotherapy, stitching a wound, or setting a fractured arm; if there is no morally serious argument to be made against setting fractures, neither can there be a morally serious argument against providing an abortion. On the anniversary of Roe v. WadePresident Biden called abortion “health care” and repeated that he intends to make Roe v. Wade the law of the land, removing any doubt about his commitment to the Equality Act.

The Equality Act would also outlaw certain kinds of psychological or psychiatric treatment, including any treatment for gender dysphoria that does not conform chapter and verse to extreme gender-identity ideology. Gender “confirmation” hormone therapy and mutilating surgery will also be protected “health care,” under the same analysis as abortion above. And the Act would force schools and athletic conferences to allow biological males to compete against biological females in athletic competitions. On the first day of his presidency, Biden issued an executive order instructing all applicable administrative agencies to enforce just such an agenda.

While even the Obama-era Affordable Care Act contained conscience or refusal provisions for religious believers (albeit largely inadequate ones), the Equality Act expressly denies such exceptions. It explicitly provides that the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act shall not provide a claim concerning, or a defense to a claim under” the Act, nor “provide a basis for challenging the application or enforcement” of the Act.

Craycraft says the companion Do No Harm Act, of which Sen. Kamala Harris was a vigorous sponsor, would complete the coup against religious liberty by effectively negating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. If — more like when — these bills pass, the only hope for religious and social conservatives, and for women who, religious or not, do not want male-to-female transgenders invading women’s athletics and women-only spaces, is the US Supreme Court.

Read it all. You need to know what’s coming.

Leaving aside the laws, there is nothing that can prevent Facebook from enforcing whatever standards it wishes to on its platform. Seventy percent of Americans use Facebook. If Facebook regards resistance to gender ideology — not abuse of transgendered people, but merely dissenting from gender ideology — as an incitement to violence, and therefore worthy of a ban from its public square, that is a very big deal.

Sen. Josh Hawley is in the doghouse with a lot of people now for his role in objecting to election certification, and its connection to the January 6 violence. I think his move was ill-considered, but that he is being unfairly dogpiled over it. He lost his Simon & Schuster book deal over it (his book, The Tyranny Of Big Tech, will be published instead by Regnery). Losing a book deal is not tyranny — all publishers have an opt-out in contracts — but it’s not nothing either. Whatever we think of the prudence of Sen. Hawley’s move prior to January 6, we need to hear him when he talks about the tyranny of tech. Here’s something he wrote in a NY Post op-ed this week:

The alliance of leftists and woke capitalists hopes to regulate the innermost thoughts of every American, from school age to retirement. And they’ve trained enforcers of the woke orthodoxy to monitor dissent or misbehavior. A “Karen” who cuts the wrong person off in traffic gets followed home on a livestream and shamed into crying for mercy as her license plate is broadcast to an online horde eager to hound her out of a job.

Everyone knows it can happen to them, so everyone shuts down. The circle of trust narrows. Conversations — too easily recorded — shift to encrypted messaging apps. For now. Until those get banned too for interfering in efficient social credit markets.

For some time, conservatives, recognizing that we’re now the counterculture, indulged in the delusion that we could opt out of all this. We’d send our kids to schools that don’t teach all the woke stuff. We’d make our friends at church, not at work, and take comfort that trust and openness were still possible in communities of shared purpose. We’d vote our conscience, because the ballot box was something no election could take from us.

And if ever our political organizing were impeded by censorship — say, by the big tech giants — we could build our own platforms.

But the left and the corporations are challenging all of this now. Your “conservative” social platform isn’t worth much when Amazon can shut it down. Your vote may still be yours, but if your party is denied the means to effectively organize by corporate monopolies, it’s not going to win. Your church, well, you can still attend for now, but go to the wrong church and you may not have a job in a few years.

He’s 100 percent right about that. Contrary to the beliefs of people who have never read The Benedict Option, I advise readers in the book to stay involved in politics, if only to protect religious liberty and other basic freedoms under assault from the Left. The problem is that simply protecting those freedoms in law isn’t enough. People who are taught by Facebook and other culture-forming institutions that objecting to the trans juggernaut marks one out as evil may choose to leave church, either because they are truly convinced that their communities are wicked, or they just do not want to be hassled for their membership in such communities. We need to fight politically and build up resilient communities of resistance. Retaining the legal right to have these communities doesn’t mean much when people leave them because they have been stigmatized.

Finally, Miranda Newsom offers stunning visual evidence of the injustice of transwomen (= male-to-female transsexuals) in women’s sport. Here’s how her thread starts:

Read the whole thread — while Twitter still allows it to be seen.

UPDATE: Robert A.J. Gagnon emails to say he’s out of Facebook jail now, and to share with me his latest comment (published on FB):

I am now out of Facebook’s unjust 24-hour suspension, where FB overlords used the absurd pretext that I was “inciting to violence” when I defended the accuracy of FB friend Laurie Higgins’ comment regarding Biden’s imposition of Transgender Tyranny on the military, for which Laurie received (and is still under) a 7-day suspension.
If critique is an incitement to violence, then FB’s own censoring as “hateful” those people who hold positions that the Lord Jesus Christ himself held (and holds) are inciting people to violence. Every critique by the Left of the orthodox Christian stance on transgenderism would be inciting to violence. This is absurd.
Censorious, left-wing FB administrators, emboldened by the hard left-wing Biden-Harris administration are using the false charge of incitement to violence as a pretext for canceling anyone who doesn’t celebrate transgenderism. They are the book-burners of the present day. Lacking a defensible argument (apparently) they cannot allow a full public discussion of the controversial promotion of other-sex pseudo-transformation.
I abhor violence against any person (of course), including those who suffer from gender dysphoria delusion. I also recognize the fact that claiming a sex other than one’s biological sex is a delusion for which people need compassionate therapeutic help (and Christ).
I have shown from a careful reading of Scripture that Jesus and the Scriptures generally view(ed) identifications with the opposite sex, and any mutilation of the body that goes with such an identification, as an abhorrent rebellion against the Creator. This is the one and only orthodox perspective of the true Church, since any deviation from Jesus’ understanding of the foundation of sexual ethics is by definition not orthodox.
It is also clear that there is a trans-cult that denies the scientific reality and logic of body-based sex (gender), seeks to punish all who dissent from their unreality, and promotes invading opposite-sex private spaces and sports that does harm against women. As I noted in the original post for which I was suspended, heavy-handed censorship by FB administrators confirms, rather than denies, this point. They are cyber-bullies.
I thank many friends for posting on my behalf. I make special mention of Tyler O’Neil of PJ Media for writing up and publishing my situation (see article link in comments below and prior postings by others); to Rod Dreher who just now posted an article on this for The American Conservative; and to Princeton’s Robert George for posting on my behalf early on. Please forgive me for not mentioning everyone by name for whom I am grateful. I know who you are and, most importantly, the Lord knows who you are.
As with the early church, let us pray to the Lord for greater boldness of speech, recognizing God’s sovereign rule over the “principalities and powers” that stand behind those who would abuse our civil liberties through coercive imposition of immorality against our conscience, religion, and reason.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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