National Geographic’s Gender Confusion and Delusion

The following article appeared at The Witherspoon Institute’s The Public Discourse  as: National Geographic’s “Gender Revolution.”  This article by Denny Burk and Andrew Walker provides a thoughtful critique to the current narrative concerning gender identity that is promoted by National Geographic and much of the media.   It is certainly worth being aware that the foundations of the narrative are on very shaky ground and that most of what is published as fact is actually very subjective with little scientific backing.   RMF

National Geographic’s “Gender Revolution”: Bad Argument and Biased Ideology
by Andrew T. Walker and Denny Burkscreen-shot-2017-01-09-at-11-33-31-am

Accepting the claims of transgender ideology requires papering over one’s conscience and making a mockery of the “law written on the heart” that our bodies bear witness to in our complementary design.

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Denny Burk

Denny Burk

The January 2017 issue of National Geographic is dedicated to exploring what it calls the “Gender Revolution”—a post-Sexual Revolution movement that seeks to deconstruct traditional understandings about human embodiment, male-female sexual dimorphism, and gender. In an article titled “Rethinking Gender,” Robin Marantz Henig cites evolving gender norms as a justification for the Gender Revolution. But Henig’s argument is not only unpersuasive, it’s also based on a radical proposal about human nature that is at odds with both natural law and biblical anthropology.

The purpose of this essay is not to address every facet of gender that Henig explores. Rather, our goal is to address some of the more glaring errors in the piece. Many of the criticisms below apply not only to Henig’s article, but to the broader philosophical problems inherent within the transgender movement.

Gender Identity, Category Confusion, and Moral Inconsistency

Andrew Walker

Andrew Walker

First (and most problematic): Henig offers no substantive argument for why one’s internal, self-perception of his or her “gender identity” ought to determine one’s gender or have authority greater than one’s biological sex. The essay offers testimonies of people who say that their gender identity is at odds with their biological sex. But testimony is not sufficient. Asserting a claim does not demonstrate the authenticity of that claim. Readers are given no explanation for why we ought to regard the claims of one’s gender identity as reality rather than a subjective feeling or self-perception.  Continue reading

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Ten Whoppers?

In his version of “Fact Checker” Benjamin “Ben” Shapiro takes serious issue with Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech regarding the United Nations’ resolution #2334 condemning Israel   To be sure the Israeli-Palestenian issue is complex and there is no easy path, diplomatic or otherwise, which will lead to an acceptable solution.  But the break with the US’s historic policy of supporting Israel is a major development with little bipartisen support.  Mr. Shapiro is an American conservative political commentator, nationally syndicated columnist, author, radio talk show host, and attorney. He is editor-in-chief at The Daily Wire and is the co-founder and former editor-in-chief of the media watchdog group TruthRevolt. RMF

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10 Lies Secretary of State Kerry Told During His Big Middle East Peace Speech
By Ben Shapiro

Photo by Bryan Thomas/Getty Images

Photo by Bryan Thomas/Getty Images

Ben Shapiro

Ben Shapiro

On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry gave a speech on his proposed plan for peace between Israelis and Arabs. His plan: blame the Jews, pretend that Palestinian terrorism and incitement isn’t representative of the actual Palestinian government, and then blather for 69 more minutes. His speech razed facts to the ground in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan.

Here were ten of the worst lies and lies-by-omission Kerry purveyed in his ode to lying and self-indulgence:

1. Equating Jewish Settlements and Palestinian Terrorism. Israel has been wracked by a wave of stabbings and shootings and rocket attacks from Palestinian terrorists over the last two years. Kerry spent a few minutes on that, but only in order to draw moral equivalence with Jews building additional bathrooms in East Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. “The truth is that trends on the ground, violence, terrorism, settlement expansion, and the seemingly endless occupation, they are combining to destroy hopes for peace on both sides,” Kerry said. This is nonsense. Before there were any Jewish settlements – when Israel did not control Judea, Samaria, or Gaza – the Palestine Liberation Organization called for the “liberation” of Palestine, meaning the complete destruction of Israel. The problem isn’t people building homes. It’s Palestinians murdering Jews, and refusing to accept that any home built by a Jew ought to exist in the Middle East.   Continue reading

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The Whacking of the US From Within

The impact of the US’s participation in the drafting and then abstention from the recent UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel has far reaching implications well beyond what is immediately apparent. The following article by Caroline B. Glick addresses the author’s assessment of the impact and consequences of the Administration’s actions.  Ms. Glick is Director of the Israeli Security Project at the David Horowitz Freedom Center in Los Angeles and the senior contributing editor of the Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.  RMF

Obama’s war against America
By Caroline B. Glick
Dec. 28, 2016

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Carolyn Glick

Carolyn Glick

Jeane Kirkpatrick

Jeane Kirkpatrick

In 1989, following her tenure as President Ronald Reagan’s ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick described how the Palestinians have used the UN to destroy Israel.

Following outgoing US President Barack Obama’s assault on Israel at the UN Security Council last Friday, longtime UN observer Claudia Rossett wrote an important article at PJMedia where she recalled Kirkpatrick’s words.

In “How the PLO was legitimized,” published in Commentary, Kirkpatrick said that Yasser Arafat and the PLO worked “to come to power through international diplomacy – reinforced by murder.”  Continue reading

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Jesus with skin on

Peter Wehner is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and is a New York Times contributing opinion writer.  In the following article Mr. Wehner does a masterful job of describing Jesus in just the way I wish I could have done.  He portrays the Savior as a real life flesh and bones man who also happened to be God incarnate.  A man who came not only to die as a sacrificial atonement but also to model life as it should be lived.  I love the way Jesus is presented, as Wehner puts it, “as an actor in the human drama and not just as the author.”   I hope you’ll enjoy this article and learn from it as I did.  The article appeared at: NYTimes.com  as: Humanizing Jesus.  RMF

HUMANIZING JESUS
Peter Wehner
The New York Times

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Peter Wehner

Peter Wehner

Early in my Christian pilgrimage, as a young man struggling to understand the implications of a story I had only a surface knowledge of, I stumbled onto a theological insight. For followers of Jesus, salvation was based not on his life so much as his death. Jesus could have been incarnated as a man and been crucified within days. That’s all that was needed for his death to serve as an atonement, but that’s not what happened. God clearly wanted to instruct us about how we should live in this life, too.

He became not just the author of the human drama but an actor in it.

According to the Christian Scriptures, Jesus had a life story — born in a manger in Bethlehem, later moving to Nazareth, and dying in his 30s, just outside Jerusalem. The fact that we’re so familiar with the story has inured us to just how jarring and unexpected it was. God came to earth “not in a raging whirlwind nor in a devouring fire,” in the words of Philip Yancey, author of “The Jesus I Never Knew,” but in humility, without power or wealth, in a world marked by strife and terror. Continue reading

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Rumblings of the Hoi Polloi

Irrespective of your position on the election of Donald Trump it is clear that the pounding suffered by both the Democrat and Republican Party establishments signaled something very different in the United States.  This article by Victor Davis Hanson offers at least one clearly stated assessment of the why it happened.  Now, Mr. Hanson is an arch conservative and so the examples he has selected to illustrate his thesis are primarily of so-called “elite” individuals from the left of the political spectrum.  He could certainly have given examples from the right just as easily, although it does seem that those who inhabit elitist positions reside mostly on the left.  Mr. Hanson’s article appeared at: Jewish World Review – The Intersection of faith, culture, and politics as: Who Are Those Darned ‘Elites.’  As a Christian I could not help but think of Jesus when I read the article. He came as a suffering servant who lived as a perfect example of the loving sacrificial   life each of us should live.  What humility.  What a Savior!  RMF

Who Are Those Darned Elites?
By Victor Davis Hanson
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Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson

  The United States and Europe are seeing a surge in populist anger toward the so-called elites. The German public, for example, is furious at Chancellor Angela Merkel for her position on immigration from the Middle East. British voters have forsaken the postmodern European Union. And working class Americans have rallied around political outsider Donald Trump as their presidential favorite, something that neither the Clinton machine nor the establishment of the Republican Party anticipated.

But who exactly are these unpopular elites-and what exactly have they done that has enraged middle-class voters in Western democracies?

Since ancient times, elites have been defined various ways, sometimes by birth (the Greeks’ hoi aristoi), by capital (hoi plousioi), by perceived class (hoi oligoi), by acknowledged influence (hoi gnorimoi), by high culture (hoi beltistoi)-and sometimes by a combination of all of the above.

unknown-1  Today, people are especially mad at political elites, a loose term for those who govern at the state and federal level. They include not just our elected legislators, governors, and President, but also the unelected (and unaccountable) members of the vast government archipelago-cabinet officers, bureaucratic grandees, top military officers, and regulators. Beyond these politicos, the Western elite is comprised, too, of the transnational mega-wealthy, who have been enriched by globalization, especially international finance, investments, and technologies that lubricate worldwide dissemination of capital and communications. Continue reading

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Christmas Movie Evaluation Guide

My Shirley is a Christmas movie junkie. Every year she watches every Christmas movie she can find and typically loves them all — but some better than others. Her favs other than It’s a Wonderful Life are more often than not the movies Hallmark turns out. Anyway, seemingly out of the blue my sister, Darla, came up with an instrument for rating Christmas movies of the Hallmark variety. The idea is to be alert for particular elements to appear in the movie. Then, the scale she has devised is used to pronounce a favorability rating for the movie. Perhaps you can use it. Here is is – my Christmas gift to you with a big hat tip to Darla. Enjoy. RMF

Christmas Move Evaluation

Christmas Move Evaluation

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Don’t Let Age be an End to Joy

Here is an article that encourages me to live life as God intended it to be — even in the face of advancing years.  Perhaps it will be useful to you – either now or later.  Actually it is great wisdom for any stage of life.  The article is from Pastor Bob Russell and appeared at: Aging With Joy.  RMF

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Pastor Bob Russell

Pastor Bob Russell

Aging With Joy

Last Thursday I had the privilege of speaking to the Senior’s Christmas banquet at Southeast Christian Church. It was great to greet so many friends I hadn’t seen for ages. I often tease that it seems like just last year I was a youth speaker, now I’m a Senior Adults’ speaker. But I look out in the audience and I see the same people!

Below is a segment of my talk, “Aging With Joy” in which I challenged my peers to finish the final chapter of life with a contagious, joyful spirit. That’s not easy to do. The Bible warns that the last decade of life is usually filled with trouble and sorrow. It’s hard to be joyful when the body hurts, people disappoint, friends die and the future is uncertain. But 1 Peter 4:13 urges us, “Rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” Even when we hurt we can be thankful that we can better appreciate what Jesus endured for us.   Continue reading

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