Starting Again

I was born in the sixties.  But I am not a child of the 60’s.  My family was lower-middle class, and by the standards of the time, traditional in most every way.  Dad was a minister.  If he or mom had lived into their 90’s they would not have imagined the social changes we have witnessed in the last 20 years.  It would be too easy to say the sexual revolution of the 60’s caused all this change, as some conservatives maintain.  But the roots of this change go back much further than the swinging 60’s.  

So I’m embarking with some misgivings on a survey of cultural history.  There are deep intellectual and cultural traditions that have shaped our everyday lives.  We’ve come to a point in the Western world where the statement “I’m a woman trapped in a man’s body” is comprehensible to many public leaders, at least in public.  That phrase would be completely incomprehensible to my parent’s generation, in public or private, not to mention every preceding generation.  It is still incomprehensible to many, if not most people today. But if you express your bewilderment in public, say at many workplaces in the Western world, increasingly the odds are you will be regarded as stupid, immoral or worse.  You may be reprimanded for your irrational “phobia.”  You might even have your career derailed.  If you broadcast your view on a public forum, say Twitter, expect the Twitterati to pounce with the ferocity of a caged unfed Tiger.  In certain parts of the world you may even be charged with a hate-crime for your expressed incredulity at the latest massive cultural shift.  (See the following posts, here & here.)

As a 60’s poet might say, “The times they are a changin.

The tectonic cultural shift in the last 20 years is quite breathtaking.  Regardless of what you think about gay marriage, we have gone from year 2000 where the majority of Americans were opposed to gay marriage to today where normalization of Transgenderism is fast approaching.

A long and winding road brought us to this point.  I want to offer a thoughtful and hopefully generous exposition, from a Classic Christian point of view, of how we got here.  As I go, I’ll be documenting some disturbing current events. (Read my next post). I hope that even those who disagree with Classic Christianity will find here a fair and readable assessment of our state of affairs. (post continues page 2)

Stationary & Stoic

Meet Cecil and Mateo, the two saguaro cacti with a sense of adventure that’s, well, prickly at best. Cecil, the taller one, has aspirations of being a stand-up comedian, though his jokes tend to be a bit dry. Mateo, on the other hand, fancies himself an intellectual, pondering photosynthesis and the existential plight of being rooted in one spot for centuries.

Now, they’ve been toying with the daring idea of crossing Tortilla Flat before nightfall. They’ve even drawn a map in the sand with a fallen ocotillo branch. However, there are a few… ‘sticking points’, shall we say.

Firstly, Cecil is quite concerned about leaving behind his cherished rock collection. He’s quite convinced they’ve started to take on his personality, which mostly involves being hard and stationary. Mateo has spent the better part of the afternoon trying to calculate the logistics of their journey, but given that their top speed is zero miles per hour, the math is rather discouraging.

There’s also the matter of the wildlife. Cecil is deathly afraid of tarantulas, and he’s convinced he saw one don a tiny backpack this morning, indicating a possible mass arachnid exodus.

Lastly, as the sun dips below the horizon, Cecil and Mateo realize they’ll stand there, side by side, a pair of vegetative visionaries contemplating the desert before them, and decide that perhaps the greatest adventure of all is surviving another scorching day in the wilds of Arizona, living life on their own terms – stationary and stoic.


The Superstition Mountains and Jumping Cacti.

I’m on a long trip out West and currently I am visiting the sites around the Phoenix area. Although I can’t compete with @Jake_Case_Photo, a native of these cacti climes, here’s my effort at the Superstitions, located a mere stone’s throw (if one had an exceptionally strong arm) northeast of Phoenix, Arizona.

Among the spiny inhabitants of this area, the Saguaro cactus stands tall. These cacti are the elderly statesmen of the plant world, living up to 200 years, and they only start to sprout their iconic arms around the age of 70. One could imagine them as the curmudgeonly old men of the desert, arms akimbo, grumbling about the young barrel cacti with their flashy flowers and lack of patience.

The Cholla cactus, or “jumping cactus,” (bottom right of frame) adds to the slapstick humor of the landscape. Get too close, and a segment of the cactus might “jump” onto you, as if to say, “Pay attention! I’m here, and I’m sharp!” It’s nature’s way of keeping the comedy alive, ensuring that visitors keep a respectful distance, or at least providing a good story for those who don’t.

Unfortunately, I have such a story. It didn’t seem funny at the time, but maybe you’ll get the humor of it.


Celebrate God’s Beauty

NHS England Stops Prescribing Puberty Blockers and Updates its Cross-Sex Hormones Policy for Minors.

Starting April 2024, NHS England will halt the prescription of puberty blockers for gender-dysphoric youth, as part of an updated approach to their care. This decision precedes the final Cass report, expected in April 2024, which may bring further changes. Cross-sex hormones will still be available for those around 16 years of age, with added safeguards. The new policies are aimed at providing more holistic and cautious care, moving away from the previous model focused primarily on medical transition for minors. This significant policy shift aligns with ongoing debates about the best approaches to support gender-dysphoric youth, reflecting a careful consideration of the treatments’ long-term impacts and the current state of evidence.

For a detailed overview, you can view the original source: SEGM.