How refugees at ground level describe socialism’s latest failure. Will young Americans listen?
A WORLD reader told me last week, with frustration interrupting every sentence, how her teenage granddaughter, playing on the volleyball team of her public high school, had been paired on one of the team’s road trips to room with a teammate known as a lesbian. “It was like it was a test,” the grandmother told me. “The coach is also a lesbian, and she knew [our granddaughter] was a professing Christian. Yes, she knew exactly what she was doing. She wanted to see how she would react.”
I’m not sure whether social conservatives really meant it a generation or so ago—or if we knew what we were saying—when we warned that the legal affirmation of homosexual behavior in its various expressions might change our society forever in ways we could not imagine.
We used to wonder whether someone like the woman coach would be exonerated in her claim to serve in a place of special influence over adolescents. Now the question has moved with exponential speed to whether a student like our reader’s granddaughter has any rights to claim in a scenario like this one. But don’t be silly. Of course the granddaughter has no rights. Even to suggest the possibility is to display not just her insensitivity but her actual hatred of her homosexual teammate.
All that took place not in a liberal urban or metropolitan setting, but in a rural agricultural community.
So did it happen fast? Was it only yesterday that many of us were claiming that same-sex marriage would never gain approval if we only allowed the general public to vote on the issue? We were wrong. We may not have been wrong then—but we didn’t allow for the profound influence of the mainstream entertainment and news media, the secular educational establishment, the courts and political elite, and mainstream religious spokesmen. In the blink of an eye, policies we were so sure could never win general approval were clobbering us by growing majorities.
Having been emboldened by their victories, those with the mindsets that have brought us gay rights in employment and same-sex marriage will not be satisfied by any means.
All of which prompts us to look warily ahead—and not to kid ourselves this time about how far off the new round of issues is likely to be. For having been emboldened by their victories, those with the mindsets that have brought us gay rights in employment and same-sex marriage will not be satisfied by any means. Here are three examples of other tests we should prepare for.
First is the threat to evangelical institutions, including those involved in education, media, and social welfare. Their very existence will be challenged on the basis of their refusal to hire or to accept as clients/customers practicing homosexuals. The clout of the state, or of professional bodies (think “accrediting associations”) will have quick and devastating effects. Be watching what happens this year at Gordon College in Massachusetts and Erskine College in South Carolina. Neither has a history as a fundamentalist, right-wing institution. But both face ominous challenges in the immediate future.
Second, even in the general public, be ready to find a reshaping of many traditional patterns. Study the progress in Minnesota of lobbying groups trying to eliminate all gender distinctions in high-school sports. The prohibition would apply both to team lineups and access to facilities like lockers and showers. Although temporarily stalled, the proposal has by no means gone away. If adopted by the Minnesota State High School League, it will reportedly apply not just to public schools but to all private, religious, and even home schools.
And third, pay careful attention to the hubbub over the transgender movement. Don’t mistake transgenderism merely as a minority within the wider homosexual world; there, you might possibly sympathize with many who are confused or unhappy, for whatever reason, about their sexual identity. See transgenderism, though—and properly fear it—first as an ever so much sharper rejection of that identity, and then a determination to take extreme measures to change it. It is (much too simply, for sure) an expression of rebellion against God’s order of things carried to new levels. And the media love to celebrate it.
Will those same media, educators, courts, political elite, and mainstream religious leaders continue to join that rebellion? Will you, like the granddaughter of WORLD’s reader, be challenged to pass their tests? Do you know yet how well prepared you might be to respond?