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.”

 

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