How Can a 'Gender-Free' Society Square with Being Human?

Bruce Springsteen, of "Born in the USA" fame, is boycotting North Carolina because of what he cites as anti-LGBT prejudice.

Springsteen describes North Carolina's "bathroom law" as a human rights violation, and "as an attempt by people who cannot understand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress ... [i]t is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters."

If Mr. Springsteen and others who think like him (like Governor Andrew Cuomo) are fighting for freedom, it might be a good idea for them to know exactly what it is they are fighting for.  It might be a good idea to examine if what they are supporting is a human rights issue actually worth being righteously indignant about. 

It might even be a good idea to take an up close and personal look at one of the "freedom fighters" with whom he and his righteous band of brothers are expressing "solidarity." 

For as it turns out, one of these "freedom fighters" recently bravely invited an up close view of himself by appearing au naturel in a women's locker room in the state of Washington.  According to Christian Today, the man undressed in front of women, asserting the right to do so under the state's transgender bathroom policy law.  The guy was apparently inspired by the example of another valiant freedom fighter, a male who in 2012 paved the way for progress by lounging naked in a women's locker room that was frequented by girls as young as six.

Such are righteous "freedom fighters" in action?  That's the social justice with which the left chooses to stand in solidarity? 

That's a Rosa Parks moment?

No, it isn't.

There are inherent, deeply flawed assumptions behind this latest leftist gimcrackery posturing as a human rights issue.  It's time to consider what is really going behind the "bathroom" bills.

It is past time to evaluate the campaigns against the religious freedoms of Christians and other people of faith who believe – as all civilizations of the past have  that there is a clear and innate differentiation between men and women that cannot be erased by an act of will.  The correlating belief is that there is a moral code of sexual behavior that cannot be abrogated or entirely discarded without disastrous consequences to any given society.

For one thing, behind the push for passing the "bathroom" bills is the utopian belief that this Earth must be made be a safe place for everyone, no matter what the identity of choice or the resultant behavior.  The belief that no one should have his or her beliefs or actions controverted or challenged by anyone else, the idea that my real self is what I proclaim it to be, is derived from a utopianism that at heart is completely divorced from reality. 

To insist you must have complete safety in any place at any time, including the bathroom of your choosing, is to believe that in this world the lion can lie down with the lamb and that you can handle serpents and they will not bite you.  It is to believe the Cinderella fairy tale without the wicked stepmother, the Grimm stories without the grim.  It is to believe you can expunge risk and even evil from this planet.

Such utopianism also requires us all to believe in the infallible and incontrovertible goodness of the individual inner voice, a voice that, because it is the divine discernment of one's true self, cannot be contradicted.  It is to believe that that voice is always perfectly good and harmless to others.

But the blockade of inquiring or contradictory voices means the silencing of voices of protesters.  It means profound intolerance bordering on tyranny, as no one is supposed to say anything contradictory to your voice.  Let the whole Earth be silent so that never is heard a discouraging word.

We have seen this mad utopianism – demanding that each individual must be provided a perfectly safe place free from even another human being's opposing thoughts, thoughts that might contradict one's chosen identity – being avidly promoted on the campuses of our most prestigious universities.  The result is that places formerly known for rigorous scholarly inquiry are rapidly becoming ideological hellholes devoid of the strenuous intellectual and spiritual endeavors necessary for the full development of the human being. 

Therein lies a real problem: the arresting of human development.  If the construction of "safe places" as currently defined and increasingly enforced by the left continues, bathrooms, churches, and universities will be increasing invaded and ruled by children who insist on being like Peter Pan, who never, ever grew up.  Minds will become desiccated deserts, and spirits will atrophy, as they are narrowed into increasingly confined territories.  People in safe and fenced in preserves, whether of their own making or made by others, will never become adults.

Becoming fully grown up means that one acknowledges not only that there are no completely safe places on this Earth, but also that danger and risk and controversy are necessary for growth.  The current "safe" places being constructed are safe only for the few and the privileged.  It means the construction of small enclaves in which everyone remains a kindergartner.  It means that the few who attain their precarious "safety" do so by forcefully prohibiting differentiation of any kind. 

Next, reducing what the meaning of being human entails invites tyranny.  Preventing the conflict and risk necessary to growth means that Peter Pans will soon find they have leaders who are actually Lords of the Flies, leaders whose demands become ever more exacting and ever more divorced from reality. 

Whether it be a society that permits humans to own other humans, one that categorizes entire groups of people as non-human, or a civilization that allows the extermination of innocent lives because of freedom of will, reducing the idea of what it means to be human is always a recipe for oppression.

Look at the fate of past societies that insisted on a safe utopia (safe for some, deadly for others).  In the end, the perfect communist man never arrived, though millions died in order for a ruthless politburo to achieve the ideal.  Nor was the racially pure übermensch ever brought forth, though millions died in order that the fantastical perfect Aryan might be born. 

There are some inexorable truths that cannot be relativized, cannot be redefined by human will – though the human mind is capable of rationalizing just about anything.  Human will, once it comes up against created reality and the inexorable and universal moral law of the cosmos, fails to triumph.  That is because the highest morality and an access to universal truth does not lie within the autonomous and essentially anarchical individual will detached from transcendent truth. 

The current mania for "gender-free" society unchained by individuation by sex involves more than reductionism, diminishment, or artificial inflation of human beings into either beasts or supermen.  How ironic is it that the sexual revolution is now actually attempting to abolish the distinction between the sexes, thus achieving the distortion and eventual abolition of the human being?

Behind the idea of a gender-free society is a long held desire for a non-patriarchal and non-hierarchical society, the elimination of any distinctions being seen as true equality.  But a gender-free society would be far more disastrous than those ideas of what it meant to be human preceding it, for such a society augurs the abolition of man – and woman.  It means that human beings are relativized, are reduced to mere undifferentiated units, monotonous singularities.  It means the cultivation and triumph of robots, the non-person.  

But most of all, the current fixation on transforming society through the transgender or gender-free society means that the chief focus is on externals rather than on the inner spirit of mankind.  The fact is that the arduous process of becoming a good human being will never be accomplished by "safe" places or by relativizing or abolishing of the differences between the sexes.  Who could live as a real human being in such a world?

There is no struggle more worthwhile than the intellectual, mental, spiritual struggle entailed in becoming a good human being.  It is long past time to realize that there are some parts of that fight that are predetermined, and one of them is sex.  The real struggle is not in determining whether or not you are a man or a woman.  That is a given.  The real struggle is the fight to be a truly beautiful human soul: do we want to be and are we continually striving after the good, the true, and the beautiful?  Are we willing to take the risk to become brave, kind, compassionate, just, and merciful men and women?

C.S. Lewis, a famous author of children's fables, invented a character named Aslan, who was a lion of great power.  Aslan did not often appear, but his goodness was everywhere apparent, a force against evil and dark, unsafe places.

Susan is a little girl having wild adventures in Narnia, a land ruled by the evil White Witch, who keeps things eternally frozen and cold.  Susan is a bit nervous about Aslan.  She asks Mr. Beaver about him.  He replies, "Aslan is a lion – the Lion, the great Lion."

"Ooh," said Susan.  "I'd thought he was a man.  Is he – quite safe?  I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion[.]" ...

"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver[.] ..."Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe.  But he's good.  He's the King, I tell you."

It was St. Augustine who wrote that the only safe and good place we will ever find on this Earth is found in God alone.  The saint said our hearts are restless until they find their rest in God.  There is no absolute safety elsewhere, including any manmade or gender-free utopia.  But there is a good God in whom we may find rest.  There is a Heaven to come.

That God, whom Christians believe manifested his divine self fully in Christ Jesus, continually invites us to look to and follow Christ in order to become the men and women he means us to become.

Fay Voshell holds a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, which awarded her its prize for excellence in systematic theology.  She is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  Her thoughts have been published in many online magazines, including Fox News, CNS, RealClearReligion, National Review, and Russia Insider.  She may be reached at fvoshell@yahoo.com.

Bruce Springsteen, of "Born in the USA" fame, is boycotting North Carolina because of what he cites as anti-LGBT prejudice.

Springsteen describes North Carolina's "bathroom law" as a human rights violation, and "as an attempt by people who cannot understand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress ... [i]t is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters."

If Mr. Springsteen and others who think like him (like Governor Andrew Cuomo) are fighting for freedom, it might be a good idea for them to know exactly what it is they are fighting for.  It might be a good idea to examine if what they are supporting is a human rights issue actually worth being righteously indignant about. 

It might even be a good idea to take an up close and personal look at one of the "freedom fighters" with whom he and his righteous band of brothers are expressing "solidarity." 

For as it turns out, one of these "freedom fighters" recently bravely invited an up close view of himself by appearing au naturel in a women's locker room in the state of Washington.  According to Christian Today, the man undressed in front of women, asserting the right to do so under the state's transgender bathroom policy law.  The guy was apparently inspired by the example of another valiant freedom fighter, a male who in 2012 paved the way for progress by lounging naked in a women's locker room that was frequented by girls as young as six.

Such are righteous "freedom fighters" in action?  That's the social justice with which the left chooses to stand in solidarity? 

That's a Rosa Parks moment?

No, it isn't.

There are inherent, deeply flawed assumptions behind this latest leftist gimcrackery posturing as a human rights issue.  It's time to consider what is really going behind the "bathroom" bills.

It is past time to evaluate the campaigns against the religious freedoms of Christians and other people of faith who believe – as all civilizations of the past have  that there is a clear and innate differentiation between men and women that cannot be erased by an act of will.  The correlating belief is that there is a moral code of sexual behavior that cannot be abrogated or entirely discarded without disastrous consequences to any given society.

For one thing, behind the push for passing the "bathroom" bills is the utopian belief that this Earth must be made be a safe place for everyone, no matter what the identity of choice or the resultant behavior.  The belief that no one should have his or her beliefs or actions controverted or challenged by anyone else, the idea that my real self is what I proclaim it to be, is derived from a utopianism that at heart is completely divorced from reality. 

To insist you must have complete safety in any place at any time, including the bathroom of your choosing, is to believe that in this world the lion can lie down with the lamb and that you can handle serpents and they will not bite you.  It is to believe the Cinderella fairy tale without the wicked stepmother, the Grimm stories without the grim.  It is to believe you can expunge risk and even evil from this planet.

Such utopianism also requires us all to believe in the infallible and incontrovertible goodness of the individual inner voice, a voice that, because it is the divine discernment of one's true self, cannot be contradicted.  It is to believe that that voice is always perfectly good and harmless to others.

But the blockade of inquiring or contradictory voices means the silencing of voices of protesters.  It means profound intolerance bordering on tyranny, as no one is supposed to say anything contradictory to your voice.  Let the whole Earth be silent so that never is heard a discouraging word.

We have seen this mad utopianism – demanding that each individual must be provided a perfectly safe place free from even another human being's opposing thoughts, thoughts that might contradict one's chosen identity – being avidly promoted on the campuses of our most prestigious universities.  The result is that places formerly known for rigorous scholarly inquiry are rapidly becoming ideological hellholes devoid of the strenuous intellectual and spiritual endeavors necessary for the full development of the human being. 

Therein lies a real problem: the arresting of human development.  If the construction of "safe places" as currently defined and increasingly enforced by the left continues, bathrooms, churches, and universities will be increasing invaded and ruled by children who insist on being like Peter Pan, who never, ever grew up.  Minds will become desiccated deserts, and spirits will atrophy, as they are narrowed into increasingly confined territories.  People in safe and fenced in preserves, whether of their own making or made by others, will never become adults.

Becoming fully grown up means that one acknowledges not only that there are no completely safe places on this Earth, but also that danger and risk and controversy are necessary for growth.  The current "safe" places being constructed are safe only for the few and the privileged.  It means the construction of small enclaves in which everyone remains a kindergartner.  It means that the few who attain their precarious "safety" do so by forcefully prohibiting differentiation of any kind. 

Next, reducing what the meaning of being human entails invites tyranny.  Preventing the conflict and risk necessary to growth means that Peter Pans will soon find they have leaders who are actually Lords of the Flies, leaders whose demands become ever more exacting and ever more divorced from reality. 

Whether it be a society that permits humans to own other humans, one that categorizes entire groups of people as non-human, or a civilization that allows the extermination of innocent lives because of freedom of will, reducing the idea of what it means to be human is always a recipe for oppression.

Look at the fate of past societies that insisted on a safe utopia (safe for some, deadly for others).  In the end, the perfect communist man never arrived, though millions died in order for a ruthless politburo to achieve the ideal.  Nor was the racially pure übermensch ever brought forth, though millions died in order that the fantastical perfect Aryan might be born. 

There are some inexorable truths that cannot be relativized, cannot be redefined by human will – though the human mind is capable of rationalizing just about anything.  Human will, once it comes up against created reality and the inexorable and universal moral law of the cosmos, fails to triumph.  That is because the highest morality and an access to universal truth does not lie within the autonomous and essentially anarchical individual will detached from transcendent truth. 

The current mania for "gender-free" society unchained by individuation by sex involves more than reductionism, diminishment, or artificial inflation of human beings into either beasts or supermen.  How ironic is it that the sexual revolution is now actually attempting to abolish the distinction between the sexes, thus achieving the distortion and eventual abolition of the human being?

Behind the idea of a gender-free society is a long held desire for a non-patriarchal and non-hierarchical society, the elimination of any distinctions being seen as true equality.  But a gender-free society would be far more disastrous than those ideas of what it meant to be human preceding it, for such a society augurs the abolition of man – and woman.  It means that human beings are relativized, are reduced to mere undifferentiated units, monotonous singularities.  It means the cultivation and triumph of robots, the non-person.  

But most of all, the current fixation on transforming society through the transgender or gender-free society means that the chief focus is on externals rather than on the inner spirit of mankind.  The fact is that the arduous process of becoming a good human being will never be accomplished by "safe" places or by relativizing or abolishing of the differences between the sexes.  Who could live as a real human being in such a world?

There is no struggle more worthwhile than the intellectual, mental, spiritual struggle entailed in becoming a good human being.  It is long past time to realize that there are some parts of that fight that are predetermined, and one of them is sex.  The real struggle is not in determining whether or not you are a man or a woman.  That is a given.  The real struggle is the fight to be a truly beautiful human soul: do we want to be and are we continually striving after the good, the true, and the beautiful?  Are we willing to take the risk to become brave, kind, compassionate, just, and merciful men and women?

C.S. Lewis, a famous author of children's fables, invented a character named Aslan, who was a lion of great power.  Aslan did not often appear, but his goodness was everywhere apparent, a force against evil and dark, unsafe places.

Susan is a little girl having wild adventures in Narnia, a land ruled by the evil White Witch, who keeps things eternally frozen and cold.  Susan is a bit nervous about Aslan.  She asks Mr. Beaver about him.  He replies, "Aslan is a lion – the Lion, the great Lion."

"Ooh," said Susan.  "I'd thought he was a man.  Is he – quite safe?  I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion[.]" ...

"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver[.] ..."Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe.  But he's good.  He's the King, I tell you."

It was St. Augustine who wrote that the only safe and good place we will ever find on this Earth is found in God alone.  The saint said our hearts are restless until they find their rest in God.  There is no absolute safety elsewhere, including any manmade or gender-free utopia.  But there is a good God in whom we may find rest.  There is a Heaven to come.

That God, whom Christians believe manifested his divine self fully in Christ Jesus, continually invites us to look to and follow Christ in order to become the men and women he means us to become.

Fay Voshell holds a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, which awarded her its prize for excellence in systematic theology.  She is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  Her thoughts have been published in many online magazines, including Fox News, CNS, RealClearReligion, National Review, and Russia Insider.  She may be reached at fvoshell@yahoo.com.