"Woke" High School Students at a Christian Event
Recently, I had a chance to observe how some teens responded to a frank discussion about how LGBTQ culture differs from Christian culture. The message was (predictably) characterized by these high school students as "non-inclusive" and "uninformed." In reality, what they objected to is that the discussion didn't present the perspective they have consistently been taught.
As I considered their objections to hearing a different (specifically Christian) point of view, it struck me as ironic that they felt it shouldn't even be allowed. Ironic, since it was the LGBTQ movement which created the "Day Of Silence" protest. If you are not familiar with this, it is a day where students are encouraged to wear tape over their mouth and refuse to speak during school as a sign of solidarity with those who have been silenced or unable "come out."
I think most people endeavor to show respect for beliefs we don't share. Who you are attracted to, and the gender identity you choose is your business. If you ask me to refer to you as "they" because you identify as non-binary, I will respect that request, but it won't change what I believe. You believe there are nearly 100 genders, fine. I believe there are two. You adopting a new label isn't going to change what I believe.
From my perspective, these are religious differences. Merriam-Webster defines "religion" as an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods. The LGBTQ "god" is Self. How a person feels has preeminence over everything, from language, to mode of dress, to politics. There are rules to regulate "safe" and "inclusive" behavior - and punishment for deviating from those rules. Sounds like a religion to me.
Christianity is also a religion, but with the opposite mandate. A follower of Christ is exhorted to Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” God first. Others second. Me last. Christians are to engage in a daily battle to put themselves last. In gratitude for Christ's sacrifice, they are to fight their self-centered nature and become SELFLESS.
That is the real cultural conflict -- one side seeks to elevate the Self above all else, and one is trying to subdue it, conquer it. For a follower of Christ, happiness, contentment and social parity are all tied to altruism and gratitude. For the "progressive" culture in which we live, happiness, contentment and parity are all tied to having your feelings validated.
You believe you were born a female in a male body and feel happier when you dress, act and relate as a woman, so you want me to refer to you "she" instead of "he"? No problem. It's a sign of respect as far as I'm concerned. But I still reserve the right to believe every cell of your being is still genetically wired to respond as male.
You believe you were created with a same-sex-attraction, or with a non-binary identity. I believe I was uniquely created for a purpose by a Divine Being Who reveals Himself to me through the bible. Neither one of us can prove our beliefs are empirically true. Those dearly-held beliefs are established within us by the mysterious mechanism of faith, and there is no doubt our individual allegiance to what we believe is equally strong. We can still act respectfully and speak honorably, even as we affirm two different systems of belief.
What the virtue-signalling of the high schoolers at this Christian event failed to understand is expressing a different belief is not an attack. Explaining how biblical principles differ from society's mores isn't a threat. There wasn't even a suggestion that non-believers should conform to Christian beliefs. No one advocated there should be a requirement to adopt a cis-gender identity and behave as if same-sex-attraction does not exist. But that is how these "woke" students chose to interpret what they heard.
Rather than responding with the "inclusivity" they claim the LGBTQ community wants to foster, they insisted anyone who holds a different view from theirs should be prevented from expressing it. Not only censored, but preferably forced to abandon those beliefs and adopt the ones their culture has determined to be "correct."
I wonder if these young people realize they have become what they claim they hate?