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Identity Politics

Heads are turned by Islamic violence while behind our backs the Judeo-Christian heritage is being subtly eroded – the latest casualty is the concept of “gender”. The Bible says: ‘In the beginning God created humankind male and female’ (Gen.1:27-28) that can ‘increase and multiply’ but the secularist ‘liberal-left’ now says gender has little to do with our birth anatomy. What’s going on?                                                                                                                                                       

I have been saying for 20 years that secular humanism is by far the more dangerous ideology than Islamism. Its subtle and corrosive influence is threatening to irreversibly damage western civilisation as we have known it.

For example when the play ‘The Vaginal Monologues’ came to a university campus, it was cancelled after some students protested that “not all women have vaginas”; a young American woman told her pastor she wished to be known as a horse; and a woman was recently outed as “white” after living in the public eye as a black woman and championing the black cause for many years.

This ideological coup enthrones “self-centredness” (i.e. feelings reign supreme) and also “relativism” (i.e. binary concepts such as good/evil; black/white; male/female are to be abandoned). American politics professor Dale Kheune spoke compellingly at Word Alive about his research into the effects of this shift. He identifies a process of transition over recent decades – a much shorter process to achieve traction than the feminist cause managed.

Kheune describes the journey from the “T” world (i.e. traditional) which was rooted in biblical patterns and formed the Judeo-Christian heritage. Many of its tenets were affirmed my Aristotelian logic which agrees that our identity comes from outside ourselves as we relate to others. The notion of an “appetite” and a “need” were two different things. Marriage was between a man and woman (binding extended family) as the bedrock of a society and the ‘good life’. The “T” world was good but not all good.

This was eroded by the “I” world (i.e. individual centred) which is the flowering of what began in the Enlightenment of the 18th century when writers such as Jean-Jaques Rousseau espoused the sinister belief that people could be ‘forced to be free’.

This worked out through World Wars; the rise of Communism (and its demise in the 1980s); the abandoning of binary political categories such as “left” and “right”, which are becoming meaningless in western politics. Add to this the mega-shift in market economics in the 1990s and then the encroachment of the five equalities of the EU – age, gender, race, religion and sexual orientation.

The radicals turned from the old battlegrounds to the new ideological ‘holy cow’ of race, gender and sexuality; all of which are rooted in the Enlightenment doctrine of ‘enforced freedom’ that is expressing itself in contemporary ideologies such as moral/cultural relativism; multi-culturalism; environmentalism; inter-faith, anti-racism; feminism and others. The “I” world is bad but not all bad.

However, where it may come unstuck is when it sees “appetite” and “need” as the same thing. So now anyone can marry anyone – or anything. Our identity is found within ourselves in isolation from others (‘I am a rock I am an island’); and the ‘good life’ is achieved by doing whatever makes me happy, so long as it complies with 3 new commandments:

  1. It must be consensual
  2. It must not  hurt anyone else and
  3. I must not judge the choices of others

The above helps us grasp the thinking of writers such as Adrian Thatcher in Redeeming Gender where he champions a “one sex” theory (i.e. biological homology) which sees male and female genitalia as a mirror of each other – one is internal while the other is external (i.e. the same thing just inside out).

‘Gender fluidity’ in some European nations means primary school children are encouraged to decide on a daily bases which they want to be – a boy or a girl; the choice is theirs and can change from day to day. We are seeing an erosion of gender roles in the wake of ‘transexualism’. Little wonder that in some American states they already have gender-neutral toilets and gym changing rooms.

The idea of Christians and Muslims coming together on issues in the common good are sometimes referred to as areas for “co-belligerence”, where people who share a value stand together on an issue. Surely this is such an issue.

 

Source:

Marina Benjamin, I contain multitudes – racial migration, gender-bending and the new identity politics, New Statesman, Sept 2016, pg74-76

 

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Steve Bell

Steve Bell

National Director at Interserve
A mission leader, analyst, trainer and author, Steve is a recognised communicator with 40 years’ experience in 100 countries. He taught Muslim children in a British inner-city school and then adults in the Middle East. He studied Islamics at Nottingham University, All Nations Christian College, Evangelical Seminary Cairo and Southern Cross College Sydney and has directed Carey College, Action Partners (formerly SUM) and currently is National Director for Interserve. Steve is author of 'Friendship First, Gospel for Muslims and Gospel for Muslims' and co-edited 'Between Naivety & Hostility'. Steve has been a regular speaker for Spring Harvest, Keswick Convention, New Wine and the conferences of FIEC and AOG. He also networks with Mosque and church community leaders on constructive interface and sharing; mission leaders on ‘Islam and Christian witness’ and advises parliamentarians on the issue of ‘social cohesion’. His passion in life is to facilitate ‘ordinary’ Christians discussing good news with 'ordinary' Muslims. He has championed the ‘grace and truth’ (Jn.1:14,17) response to Muslim people for over 20 years. Steve is married to Julia, a senior teacher and, when not enjoying long walks, serious music and cruising, they are “owned” at home by a mentally deranged Siamese cat called Izzy.

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