The transgender moment, remembering Sophie Scholl, pet worship, and hip-hop’s “God Moment”

Weekly Review

Parents Trapped. The Heritage Foundation’s Ryan Anderson says we’ll see a lot more cases like the one that took place in Ohio last week. Parents there lost custody of their 17-year-old daughter when a judge ruled she should be allowed to receive therapy, including testosterone therapy, to identify as a boy. Anderson writes, “Transgender activists maintain that when a child identifies as the opposite sex in a manner that is ‘consistent, persistent, and insistent,’ the appropriate response is to support that identification.” Anderson says the approach of these transgender activists is deeply flawed because it goes against biology. “Biology isn’t bigotry,” Anderson writes. “There are human costs to getting human nature wrong.” Ryan Anderson’s new book is When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.

Remembering Sophie Scholl. Sophie Scholl died on Feb. 22, 1943. That’s 75 years ago Thursday. Motivated by her Christian faith, Sophie Scholl resisted the Nazis and paid for her activism with her life. The Nazis executed her by guillotine after convicting her of distributing anti-Nazi leaflets. For years, her story was mostly forgotten, but in the 1970s it became popular again in Germany, where she is today widely celebrated. Few photos survive of Scholl, but several of them show her reading a book. She died too young to leave much of a literary legacy, but among her literary remains are these notable quotes: “Stand up for what you believe in even if you are standing alone,” and “I will cling to the rope God has thrown me in Jesus Christ, even when my numb hands can no longer feel it.”

Pet Worship. I have written many times over the years about the way Americans anthropomorphize and even deify our pets. (If you’ve missed that, click here and here for a couple of samples.) This concern is not merely a foible. The serious concern behind the sometimes humorous examples is this: when we call our pets “children” we do not elevate our pets, we denigrate our children, whether we intend to or not. The best treatment of these ideas I have seen in a while comes from Matt Walsh over at The Daily Wire. His article, “Your Pet Is Not A Person” says the “pet worship” now so prevalent in our culture today is not, in fact, what the Bible means when it talks about stewardship and husbandry, but is instead “pure unadulterated narcissism.”

Hip-Hop’s “God Moment.” I never thought I’d see Snoop Dog sing gospel music, but his latest album contains songs that are a part of what the Washington Post is calling hip-hop’s “God Moment.” And Snoop is not alone. Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, Kanye West, and others all have hits with songs that ask serious and un-ironic questions about faith and God. That’s not to say that you should turn to these men for biblical answers, or look to their lives for examples for how to live, but it is a fascinating phenomenon, and it reminds me of something that the rapper Kevin Burgess (known as KB) told me a few years ago: A lot of the old-time preachers spoke in a cadence that is very similar to today’s rappers, and since a lot of today’s rappers grew up in church, it’s no surprise the two influences should intersect. As KB told me: “I have never read or encountered anybody better with words than Charles Spurgeon—nobody. I learned a lot about communication from him. Hip-hop is a lot of that storytelling. It’s bringing home a moment, helping you experience leading people up to a point and then driving home your point. That’s Charles Spurgeon. He was a rapper, man.”


Image: YouTube

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  • gladys1071

    My mom is a pet person, she loves her dogs and treats them like children. She has always been an animal lover and she definetly treats them like people and she is a devoted follower of Christ. She has no qualms about saying that she does NOT miss having grand children or a husband, she says her dogs are enough.

    I am guessing the author of this article would say she is misguided, but she would not care, she loves her life with her dogs.

  • Lady Dinah

    I’m not sure how Warren Cole Smith worked through his own reasoning to agree with Matt Walsh as Smith is not writing here but re-posting. I do however find his repeating of Walsh’s comment of “pet worship” as “pure unadulterated narcissism” offensive. Not everyone can be blessed with a family and/or children. Tufts Vet School issued a white paper recently that called the canine-human relationship as evolutionary. Yes, humans have evolved into loving their dogs as much as we do today. It is not merely a “cultural” event. Childless, I am often ashamed of how much I love my dogs. Then I know it is nonsense. They have taught me so much about love and living life. As I assist them in their palliative care and aid them gently into the next life, I do so unconditionally, the way they have taught me. The very last thing in this reciprocal relationship is “narcissism.” How dare Smith and Walsh criticize my default choices – I am glad to be able to love this deeply.

    • Timothy D Padgett

      Thank you for your comment. We are certainly sorry that our words have pained you, even if they were not intended in this way. Pain is pain, accident or not.

      Please be assured that we would never criticize or demean people who cannot have children, and we would never mock those who love their pets. God has given us a great gift in the companionship of animals, and we all learn a great deal from the unconditional love they give to us.

      Let me assure you also that neither this article nor the handful of others which we have shared dealing with this subject are in any way directed at those who cannot have children. Our dignity as humans is rooted in being made in the image of God Himself and not in any thing we do.

      They are directed, however, at those who can have children but choose not to on account of the difficulty of raising children. That is another issue entirely.

      Timothy D Padgett
      Managing Editor

      • gladys1071

        “They are directed, however, at those who can have children but choose not to on account of the difficulty of raising children. That is another issue entirely”

        You know some people do not want to be parents or do not have the personality or desire to have children. My husband and i chose not have children (though we do not have any pets either, our cat died 2 years ago) Are marriage is a happy one (21 years) without children.

        I don’t consider myself a pet lover either, we chose not to replace our cat that died.

  • Just One Voice

    I’m curious, as I don’t think I’ve seen a statistic in a while: what percentage of the U.S. (and maybe the world’s population at large) identify as “transgender”? What percent identify as gay or lesbian? The one I’m really interested in is, how many girls “transition” to boys & vice versa. Off the top of my head, I think I’ve heard of more girls “transitioning” to boys.

    Yeah I could ask Google, but I’m too tired to filter through the nonsense at the top of the search results. Anyone know of an accurate statistic?

    • Frederic

      A 2011 study[1] (with >50,000 males and females between 15 and 44 years old in a national representative sample); reported on sexual behaviour, sexual attraction, and sexual identity in the United States, reported that:
      When it came to sexual identity: 1.1% of females and 0.7% identified as homosexual and 3.5% of females and 1.1% of males as bisexual.

      Source : Patricia Weerakoon

  • Steve

    Sad how PETA and its supporters will become enraged with animal cruelty (a horrible thing) and yet the same people will praise the “wonderful things” that Planned Parenthood is doing. That is putting animals above humans.

  • Jim Lee Jr.

    I wonder what Smith thinks of furries, or fans of anthropomorphic animals, if he heard of them.