Today I ran across one of my favorite Francis Schaeffer aphorisms: “Truth demands confrontation”
I was thinking about this later today when I read that Caitlyn Jenner has been proclaimed “woman of the year” by Glamour magazine.
Now Bruce Jenner can certainly change his name to Caitlyn Jenner. But he cannot change himself into a woman. He can no more be woman of the year than my left shoe can.
Well, that’s just narrow minded and bigoted, Barry. Nope. If you say 2+2=5,203, you have erred. And when I say “Nope, it’s 4,” I am confronting your error with the truth, but I am not being narrow minded and bigoted. No matter how much you sincerely wish that 2+2 equaled 5,203, it does not and it never will. I do you no favors by allowing you to pretend error is truth.
No matter how much Caitlyn Jenner believes he is a woman, he is not. Which reminds me of another useful aphorism, this one from George Orwell: “We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”
Seversky writes in the comments below, what’s wrong with all of this if it makes Jenner happy?
And WJM has an apt reply:
The issue that Mr. Arrington brought up was not about Jenner calling himself a woman, but that Glamour magazine (and other progressive outlets) glamourizes, validates and entrenches this falsehood to the point where it is considered bigotry to point out the lie and assert the truth. Is it your opinion that we must all abide lies people tell because those lies make them happy?
To WJM’s word I would add that of Alexander Solzhenitsyn in his earth-shattering 1974 article (written on the eve of his arrest), Live Not By Lies:
And the simplest and most accessible key to our self-neglected liberation lies right here: Personal non-participation in lies. Though lies conceal everything, though lies embrace everything, we will be obstinate in this smallest of matters: Let them embrace everything, but not with any help from me . . . It’s dangerous.* But let us refuse to say that which we do not think . . . Our path is not to give conscious support to lies about anything whatsoever!
And this, I think, would be Solzhenitsyn’s special reply to Seversky:
And he who is not sufficiently courageous even to defend his soul — don’t let him be proud of his “progressive” views, and don’t let him boast that he is an academician or a people’s artist, a merited figure, or a general — let him say to himself: I am in the herd, and a coward. It’s all the same to me as long as I’m fed and warm.
Refuse to live the collective lie Solzhenitsyn says, for tyranny depends for its very existence on a people willing to bow down before falsehood for fear of the consequences of dissent. For freedom to exist truth must confront error and face it down. The danger of failing to do so is that we become a people conditioned to servitude to the lies of tyrants. And if we do fail to confront the lies with truth? Solzhenitsyn again:
And if we get cold feet, even taking this step, then we are worthless and hopeless, and the scorn of Pushkin should be directed to us:
“Why should cattle have the gifts of freedom?
“Their heritage from generation to generation is the belled yoke and the lash.”
*And lest anyone believe it is not dangerous, just yesterday I filed a brief in a case in which a baker was sentenced to Maoist-style re-education for the crime of refusing to participate in celebrating a same-sex wedding. Tyranny is advancing in this country; for there are few people more intolerant than those who preach the gospel of tolerance.