Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

The Ignominious Timing of Trans Visibility Day

State of the Union: The government conveys the message it doesn’t think about religious Christians at all.
(Ink Drop/Shutterstock)

Mary Harrington once wrote that America is a satanic theocracy. Not in the literal sense, of course, but more in the literary sense of the word. “Perhaps Milton is to blame,” Harrington wrote, “Cromwell’s chief propagandist is famous for creating the most sympathetic Satan in literary history. In Milton’s 1663 Biblical epic Paradise Lost, Satan both longs for the Heaven he’s renounced, but stubbornly refuses to be ruled, declaring: ‘Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.’”

To simplify, the central thesis is that America is a society that is primed to ideologically worship radical self-love to the point that it is a perpetual rebellion against any natural authority and hierarchy. 


A plausible realist qualifier to that is that America is a revolutionary (and ideologically Protestant) society from its foundation; that means, unlike dispositionally satiated status quo powers, it needs a sense of providential destiny and a sense of rebellion in relation to other powers and authorities. That is perhaps all there is to it. America stood against empires when imperialism was the global norm. It then co-opted proto-imperialism to push back against other empires in its own hemisphere. 

Imperial priorities dictated that America have an industrial base and expand from coast to coast. Imperial priorities dictated a (Teddy) Rooseveltian educational system for a republican citizenry. Imperial priorities decided asset prioritizations, railways, different English spellings, and alliance with Britain, pre-world war. The special relationship was purely imperial elite choice from both sides, most Americans (and Britons) were ambivalent about it. The Cold War was a conflict between ideological modernist cousins of liberalism and communism. The secular liberals made peace with the religious fellow citizens, to defeat the more fanatically secular and authoritarian fascism and communism. Hollywood churned out pro-faith and pro-family propaganda until the alliance of convenience was over. 

Today there is no competition to the elite liberals from the authoritarian left across the globe. Naturally their Sauron-like gaze is towards the faithful. That's why they see a Christian Russia to be far more a threat than the brutal authoritarian and secular China. If tomorrow China truly threatens American power, Hollywood will pivot towards worshiping faith, flag, and family again. Unipolarity explains foreign and domestic policy. 

Of course, hierarchy is the natural state of affairs. The argument that hierarchical disparity is not natural but material is the root justification for any totalitarianism. To balance that, the American liberal elite needs state power to actively discriminate or pressure one or other side. By that logic you can justify unlimited external intervention and control to fix that always everywhere, even things which are unfixable, like culture in Afghanistan, or educational and material disparity within our own country.

All that is to say that, unlike the notion that America itself is a liberal “satanic” theocracy, it is easier to see that America, like the rest of the Anglosphere, is under the thumb of a secular liberal priestly class. A farmer in Idaho or a small businessman in Ohio has more in common with one in Mansfield, UK, or on the shores of the Volga than the sociology department at Yale or the gender studies faculty at Rutgers. 


And that explains more than anything why the liberal priest class celebrates Easter as the new “Transgender Day of Visibility.” The presidential “day of visibility” edict wasn’t a  random event. It was a deliberate, targeted powerplay by those who know their core support group across the country and the globe. Presidential edicts are always like royal charters, every single word thought out and planned. If you don’t get that, you don’t get politics. 

The question here therefore isn’t about state neutrality. The American state has never been “neutral” or even aspired to be neutral. That is a myth. The current elite and the state is actively undermining one side, and promoting the other. The idea that elegiacs to neutrality can and will defend against this elite ideology is a ludicrous concept. It is at the end of the day, like all conflicts, hot or cold, a theological war. Of course, one can refuse to have a theocracy and that’s fine. The chances of having a Protestant Franco are near zero. 

But the Dawkinsian idea that the American state can be truly secular, without a worldview dictated by a specific religion is also absurd and ahistorical. There will always be a faith, some sort of a faith. Even the Jacobins—a movement qualitatively similar to modern American liberal internationalists—worshipped “reason” in a temple. It is pretty much that. To change that, change the ruling class and install a counter elite. Restructuring the modes of propaganda, reforming the universities, the bureaucracy, and state theology is the way to change the country. It won’t happen in one day—and neutrality won’t win a theological conflict. 

In Edward Watts’s fascinating book, The Final Pagan Generation, the cultural shift that engulfed Europe took over a period of four hundred years. Romans, who were used to old gods and older ways, continued with their traditions, but that got mixed with new symbols. People were buried with both wooden gods and crucifixes as a new faith slowly engulfed the old. But the two most important factors were state powers, and time of change. Romans only changed when the state symbolism changed; the revolution was top-down, and one set of elites replaced the other set. It took centuries to transform society. 

There is a tendency among the commentariat to cherry pick holy books and scriptures that justify one's ideology, the liberals focusing on eliminating poverty, and the conservatives focusing more on virtue and sexuality. But as a military historian, the most important lesson one can draw about implementing political power from the rise and establishment of Christianity is the necessity of steady martial resolve. The changes will be elite-driven and come from the top. It will be stable, subtle and resolute, without verging on fanatical, idiotic, and overtly preachy. And it will take time.