The Theology of Deconstruction
Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, April 7, 2023
Subscribe to future audio versions of AmRen articles here.
The recent massacre of students and teachers at a school near Nashville, TN, did not jeopardize the movement for transgenderism; it strengthened it. Anheuser-Busch and Nike have increased support for transgenderism. Conservatives are muttering, but this has won media support, and thus far the American Right hasn’t been able to stop giving money to people who mock it. Politically, the sole result of the shooting seems to be a new movement for gun control in Tennessee, with students and teachers storming the Tennessee legislature. The national media, by the way, does not consider that an “insurrection.”
There are economic reasons why corporate America and its media like transgenderism. It’s reductio ad absurdum for commodification. Progressives seem to have solved the problem of alienation allegedly caused by capitalism by turning people themselves into products. A person, even a child, can supposedly become a more authentic version of himself through surgical procedures, hormone blockers, and fashion choices. It’s not surprising that those who stand to gain from such a movement — including the doctors who perform such procedures, pharmaceutical companies that make the products, and fashion companies that provide a new identity through clothing — strongly favor it.
Some conservatives on social media have tried to fight back by accusing male-to-female transgenders, especially Dylan Mulvaney (now a corporate spokesman for Nike, Bud Light, and other companies), of “mocking” women. They aren’t wrong. Men paid by corporate America to prance about in a grotesque parody of femininity, or masculine athletes effortlessly dominating female sports, do reduce the concept of womanhood to a joke. This also means that the feminist movement and the supposed advances made over patriarchy were pointless if an old man can call himself a woman (as Bruce Jenner did) and become Woman of the Year. However, more than 60 percent of women (compared with 52 percent of men) say there is a fair or great deal of discrimination against transgenders. Appealing to women to defend their own sex will probably work as well as telling blacks that Democrats are the real racists. If college campuses are any indication, women favor restrictions on speech even more than non-whites do, and almost a third have decided they are non-heterosexual.
If anything, “transgenderism” may be old-fashioned within a year or two. New sexual categories, each with a flag and esoteric definition, appear regularly. “Science” assures us that sex is not binary. What so-called experts say is reality and what reality is are not the same thing. The American Psychiatric Association removed transgenderism as a mental disorder just 10 years ago, and it’s difficult to pretend this wasn’t the product of politics, justified in the name of “human rights,” rather than evidence. In 2004, The Guardian reported that researchers said “sex changes are not effective.” Now, the Crown Estate flies intersectional flags on Regent Street, an indication of England’s, and the West’s, real state church.
What becomes an “identity” worthy of government protection and corporate patronage and what is demonized are significant. For example, the aforementioned Mr. Mulvaney apparently can’t find a date, which is worthy of news coverage whether you want to hear about it or not. However, if straight men can’t find a date, they are “incels,” or involuntary celibates. These men do not get corporate sponsorships or the most powerful people in the world demanding we honor their courage. Instead, the Secret Service, the British counter-terrorism police, and an endless list of “experts” and organizations worry about them and wonder about ways to silence them online. Evidently, there are no such worries about violent transgenders. The line between a loser and a civil rights hero who embodies the soul of the nation is apparently genital mutilation.
There is a deeper question here about who is allowed to talk and which “identities” are valued. One of the earliest crackdowns on free speech online came in 2012, when Tumblr banned discussions of anorexia. The website of the Today Show declared that “eating disorders are not lifestyle choices” and that private businesses are “under no burden to provide a venue for free speech.” In 2015, Tumblr banned “Operation Harpoon,” an internet effort to encourage fat people to lose weight by showing them how good they would look with electronically slimmed photographs. Joe Nadglowski of the Obesity Action Coalition applauded the ban in 2015: “Project Harpoon is a clear example of the reality of fat-shaming in today’s society, and it absolutely must stop.”
Obesity, too, is said to be a disease, like anorexia. However, when it comes to anorexia, affirming the disease is harmful. When it comes to obesity, shaming the disease is harmful. In fact, compared to the distant days of 2015, obesity is positively celebrated today, with “fat positivity” driving a real movement, and media outlets determined to convince us fat women are attractive (just like transgenders). The assumption is that behavior can be dictated by speech. It certainly rebuts the idea that minors know what’s good for them when it comes to body image.
Nonetheless, protesters accuse Republicans of erasing “trans babies” if they oppose restrictions on minors, and “experts” tell us young children can change their sex. A study in Pediatrics found most “transgender” children maintained their new identity until they began taking puberty-blocking medication. Whether this is selection bias is unknown. “Most children in the study were from white, high-income families who support their transitions,” the study said.
The real question is about choice itself. In a September column, Ann Coulter argued that the overwhelming majority of transitioning teenagers were children of white, liberal parents with college educations. She also cited a 2012 case of a dozen teenage girls in Le Roy, New York, who began “twitching” for no medical reason and sparked a media panic. Ann Coulter said that if it had occurred among the elite — which would have showered the girls with attention and support — the girls would be “thrashing about in wheelchairs to this day.” It’s not that the girls didn’t have symptoms or didn’t believe the symptoms were real, it’s that there was no medical reason for them. The girls had simply convinced themselves they had them. TikTok is apparently giving teen girls functional tics as they imitate people on the screen. Doctors point out that the girls can’t control the tics.
It’s indelicate to suggest that the craze for new sexual identities is partially driven by social media. An influential study reviewed in the MIT Technology Review describing “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” argued that social media could be one reason people suddenly decide they are “trans.” However, soon after it was issued, Brown University withdrew the study, and experts touted new material arguing transgenderism can’t be explained by “social contagion.” Evidently, too much social media can explain just about any incorrect political or cultural attitude, but it can’t explain the growth in bizarre sexual identities. The near tripling in transgenderism in teenagers compared with adults is evidently just a coincidence, or perhaps proof that many people were transgender all along. The latest figures come from 2017 to 2020, so when the next survey finds an even larger percentage, we’ll need to shrug that off, too.
There’s a great deal of journalism, government action, and political debate about the fight over online “disinformation.” The presumption of free speech has largely been lost since 2016, with corporate elites (with government encouragement) silencing certain voices out of fear of “radicalization.” This raises the question of what is “radical” and who decides. One could argue that in a democracy the person who makes that call is sovereign. Transgenderism could probably be limited if those in power decided they didn’t want it promoted online or if they treated it like anorexia or, for that matter, white identity. However, those in power seem to favor it.
The reason for this might lie in the religious devotion shown to the cause. It is tempting to call it a faith, not just like a faith. Intersectional flags fly from many mainline churches and are more common than even Black Lives Matter signs. North Dakota pastor Micah Louwagie made headlines when he compared the plight of transgenders, including shooter Audrey Hale, to Christ. “Marginalized folks, those of us with the least amount of privilege and power, they need those who have more privilege and power than they do to physically place their bodies between them and people, powers, and institutions that are literally killing them,” he said. A pastor in a once-Christian denomination instructing congregants physically to defend a new identity category from imagined deadly persecution is actual power. So is White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying “LGBTQIA+ plus kids are resilient, they fight back” just days after a deadly attack.
What really matters is the lust for persecution, especially when the supposed fight against oppression contains few dangers or sacrifices. The new faith has shed the need for belief in Jesus Christ and the commandments of the Savior. Instead, the victim is God, and there is no salvation, except perhaps in the utopian goal of fully realized egalitarianism. Who gets to be victim can be seen in the intersectional flags — groupings of new sexual identities, mixed with brown and black people. The new faith even has martyrs. When leftist activist Jen Angel was dragged to death in Oakland by robbers, her friends begged that the criminals, if caught, do no prison time. “Jen did not believe in state violence, carceral punishment or incarceration as an effective or just solution to social violence and inequity,” they explained.
Being a victim satisfies a powerful psychological need for many people, as does “protecting” victims for others. In both cases, the key is status. Victim gets attention and public approval and saviors can congratulate themselves on their moral virtue. The “Victimhood Culture” that dominates morality in the West is useful, too. Desires, even arguably artificial sexual desires fueled by internet pornography and the need for identity in a broken culture, are literally put up on altars as things to worship.
The subversion of traditional Christianity is poetic in its perfection. We make a mistake when we simply say these people are misguided. A person who scoffs at the idea of the afterlife but is driven to rage over “trans babies” or insufficient fealty to the mandate that “black trans lives matter” is not someone who simply disagrees. Rather, he is a religious fundamentalist. To the true believer, those who disagree are heretics.
Such a moral system presents no barrier to neoliberal economics. An identity becomes a product. A man can become a woman, with clothes, makeup, medical procedures, and flamboyant behavior; a woman can become a man. Obesity, defined by indulgence, is preferable to anorexia, defined by extreme restraint. A white person can opt out of traditional culture through perverse sexual indulgences. Black and brown people can enjoy the status of victims and sympathy, but this must be carefully contained. If blacks try to establish a form of black nationalism that could threaten the system with a real break, they will not get sympathy. However, glorified beggars such as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, or Keith Ellison (“Keith Hakim” when he was a black nationalist) make a lucrative living.
In Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt (2002), Paul Gottfried says there has been a religious “transposition,” with celebration of “designated victims” taking the place of the “older adoration of religious martyrs.” This transposition has moral fervor behind it, but it is also useful. Designated victim groups become clients for state programs, corporate marketing, and managerial elites who earn a living as administrators and advocates for “communities.”
Activists can get jobs in certain programs or meet certain regulatory requirements, which gives them more resources and power to get further programs or regulations. The state grows, but instead of a straightforward tyranny of a ruling class, we get the more insidious problem of hidden sovereignty. No one is really in charge, so no one can be held accountable. Those with power justify it by saying they are representing the “marginalized,” but because the “marginalized” are rewarded, the ambitious want to join their ranks. Thus, we get hoaxes in which whites pretend to be non-white or non-whites fake hate crimes against themselves.
Religious fundamentalists and what’s called the far right are both left out of this moral system, except as devil figures. Christian conservatives, even if they have utterly capitulated on race, hardly get media approval. After all, they say people should be obedient to God, not to media or political orthodoxy, and should not worship consumption. That’s a major problem for the system.
For whites, the situation is bizarre. No politicians speak out against the “war on whites,” even though whites suffer more violence than they commit. No white victims become media martyrs, nor does anyone question the rhetoric that arguably leads to such crimes. Normal, functional communities or happy families are not a positive end, because they have no need for elites who exist to manipulate social relations and profit from grievances between groups. Diversity is not a strength. If it were a strength, they wouldn’t have to promote it.
Paul Gottfried, writing about this system in a less evolved form in Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt, discussed anti-white rituals at universities:
The moral-religious acceptance of this ideology comes through in an extended account that University of Pennsylvania historian Allan C. Kors offers of the multicultural indoctrination given to college freshman across the United States. Kors depicts the ordeals of Euro-American students in orientation classes aimed explicitly at humiliating them. Films are presented to belittle the intelligence and cultural heritage of “blue-eyed” Americans, while minority group leaders egg on the other students to hurl epithets at their unsuitably Germanic-looking classmates. In surveying Kors’s findings, one is led to reflect that parents and students offer no resistance to this merciless hazing. Saying that such humiliation, which goes on in numerous colleges and universities, is an acceptable price for those wishing to attend a desirable educational institution ignores certain facts. It is hard to imagine that Jews, Japanese, blacks, or other ethnic or racial groups with a strong sense of collective identity would quietly accept these forms of individual and group humiliation. Only those who hold their ancestral group in low regard, or believe there is value in creating this impression, would allow such injury to be directed against themselves and their children. (137)
While such practices reinforce our society’s moral code, they don’t fully explain it. Whites are evidently willing to go along with it, and we can find even more extreme examples of white self-abnegation. In part, they accept it to fit into the dominant religion of society, but also because it provides meaning. While almost every culture in history has a positive myth, explaining descent from divine ancestors or a golden prehistory, whites today have a largely negative official history. For example, the Second World War has been redefined into the dominant paradigm of our entire culture, with even the victorious European powers being held culpable in the guilt for the concentration camps. “Anti-fascism” is the political orientation of the West and intersectionality the faith that sustains it.
Whites do not have a place in this order, no matter how desperately we may want simply to get along. The faith requires a devil figure and we’re it. There are grounds for hope because it’s the nature of the system to promote dysfunction. Thus, there will be more opportunities to set up parallel systems that offer alternatives and that challenge obvious folly. However, we should not conceal the magnitude of what we’re facing. It’s a faith, not merely mistaken beliefs. It’s a faith that offers both spiritual and material benefits to its believers. Though some may believe reason should be our only guide, history suggests that the best way to fight a faith is with another faith. If solving the problem were as simple as proving we’re right, there would be no problem.