Remember the song history books say played when British Gen. Lord Cornwallis surrendered to American and French forces in Yorktown in 1781, “The World Turn’d Upside Down”? Reading the news this last month has that song title flashing in my head.
The world, indeed, seems upside down.
Let’s start with the ridiculous “partial government shutdown”—the game of political chicken which affected 800,000 federal employees and untold numbers of businesses, some quite severely.
Watching President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi flash their feathers and squawk at each other does little to imbue confidence in our government. To our elected officials I have three words: Do. Your. Job. Compromise, negotiate, find a way to work together like the rest of us do.
With the drone of the senseless shutdown playing in the background, things just got worse. The American Psychological Association declared “traditional masculinity,” including “anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk, and violence” to be toxic. Without any nod to the biological roots of some of these characteristics, the APA seemed to be saying that simply being male is a condition that needs treatment. Which is ridiculous.
Men have from the beginning of time been willing to use their drive for “adventure, risk, and violence” to explore new worlds, advance their tribes, and defend their families. They are the vast majority of first responders, military members, and the overwhelming casualties of war.
Is there “toxic male behavior”? Yes, for sure—and there’s “toxic female behavior” as well. But the APA paints men with an overly broad brush.
After the APA told us men should not act like men, we were informed that Christians should not act like Christians.
The news media reported the shocking story that Karen Pence, the wife of the vice president, was taking a part-time job teaching art at a Springfield Christian school that “openly discriminates against LGBT adults and children,” according to CNN.
“How can this happen in America in 2019?” tweeted Washington Post editor Lois Romano. (Ironically, her Twitter profile picture is a rendering of the First Amendment—including that pesky part about freedom of religion.)
The critics’ outrage ignored the details of Immanuel Christian School’s code of conduct, which does not “target LGBT adults and children,” but instead is a broad statement of orthodox Christian beliefs, including beliefs about sexual conduct—beliefs which, until very recently, have been consistently held for 2,000 years.
Not only do these journalists express a profound ignorance of historical Christianity, they also engage in the “liberal” practice of tolerating everything as long as it agrees with, well, liberals. Freedom of religion? Fine, as long as you don’t believe anything of which I disapprove.
Moving on, we experienced another example of social-media stoning when a group of Kentucky Catholic school kids came to town for the March for Life. They were wearing MAGA hats and got mixed up in a kerfuffle near the Lincoln Memorial.
Twitter videos at first portrayed the kids as mocking a Native American, and the critics (including many journalists) jumped all over it.
“Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid’s?” tweeted author Reza Aslan.“I just want these people to die,” wrote Erik Abriss of New York magazine.
Nice. Except longer videos then came out, and it appears the kids were not mocking the Native American, and that they themselves may have been victims of taunting.
And on and on it goes. The rush to judgment by the media? It’s real.
Now all these stories were enough to keep my blood pressure up. But then came the most head-spinning of all. On Jan. 22, the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill legalizing abortion right up until birth.
The “Reproductive Health Act” removes any hindrance to abortion during the entire pregnancy, defining the procedure as a “fundamental right” and allowing a woman to obtain one for any “health” reason. (Her life need not be at risk, just her “health.”)
Health is loosely defined to include “emotional health” or “sense of well-being.” So any woman who asserts, for example, that having the baby would make her depressed can choose to terminate her child.
To rationalize this, New Yorkers had to change the definition of what they are killing. The new law defines “person” as “a human being who has been born and is alive.” Thus, an unborn baby is a non-person and has no legal protection.
This tactic is not new: It’s used whenever a people decide there’s a subgroup (Jews, blacks, babies, handicapped, the elderly) they want to repress or exterminate. Just define them as subhuman.
There’s only one word to describe this law: Evil. No rational human being can observe the sonogram of a full-term baby in a mother’s womb and say that baby is not a person. To legally allow that baby to be killed is anything but progressive—it is barbaric. But this past week, Del. Kathy Tran, D-Fairfax, proposed the same measure in our General Assembly—abortion up to the moment of birth. That’s shocking.
In Old Testament days, inconvenient children were sacrificed to Molech by being thrown alive into the fire. In Roman times, they were left outside to die of exposure or to be eaten by animals.
Today, we use sterile instruments to administer lethal injections in brightly lit procedure rooms to kill our children. It’s no less cruel—and no less an offense to God.
I hope that this month the world isn’t so upside down.
Linda J. White, a former assistant editorial page editor, lives in Fauquier County. She can be reached via her website: lindajwhite.net.