Monday, February 13, 2023

Affirming the Alphabet Soup

Now I know my “ABCs”

Next time won’t you sing with me?


The letters LGBTQ+ loom large in the cultural and political imagination of our day.

Strange New World: How Thinkers and Activists Redefined Identity and Sparked the Sexual Revolution, by Carl R. Trueman

Sixty years ago, homosexuality was still illegal in many Western countries.  Ten years ago, Barack Obama would not unequivocally support gay marriage.  Yet today, it is illegal to talk to someone about the possibility that they may not actually be a man trapped in a woman’s body, or counsel a minor away from adding or subtracting body parts.

Trueman’s story until now is the story of how we came to this point.  So, what of today?

The first thing to note about the LGBTQ+ is that its different constituent members are actually divided over the very thing upon which an outsider might assume they are agreed: the nature and status of sex.

Even in the early years, lesbian women and gay men weren’t well aligned – one of the two enjoying male privilege, after all; the lesbian woman still having to act the woman part in a workplace context, for example.  The AIDS event helped to change this.  Now gay men, like lesbian women, were also discriminated against, in a manner of speaking.  There came a shared sense of victimhood.

However, they each retained the notion that there was no difference between sex and gender.  And they each were opposed to the idea of a heteronormative society.  The first would eventually crumble; the second opened the door for the rest of the alphabet soup.

Sex is biologically determined; gender, however, is a role taken on by an actor.  Simone de Beauvoir would write, “One is not born, but rather becomes, woman.”  Judith Butler offered that gender is a performance, a set of behaviors demanded by society from those with certain biological characteristics.

Adding the T is rather incoherent as the L, G, and B all assume the sex binary to be grounded in biology.  They just happen to have attractions that don’t conform to the traditional.  The Q, of course, extends this further – offering a home for those whose subjective desires are ever-changing and fluid.

Trueman offers the testimony of a lesbian whose partner decided to transition.  A bit confusing, no?  not to worry.  After a time of confusion, the lesbian decided she could love the new as she did the old.

But the confusion could never go away, could it?  After all, she still feels herself a lesbian.  But at the same time, she affirms her partner’s maleness.  Does she now deny her place in the alphabet soup?  Andrew Sullivan, a gay man, is not so charitable, or confused, when he wrote in 2019:

“It is not transphobic for a gay man not to be attracted to a trans man.  It is close to definitional.”

There is the story of the campground for gay men; biological females are not welcome, whatever their alphabetical persuasion.  Boy, the campground owner got an earful for this view. 

Then there is the well-known conflict between with trans women and what we used to call just … women.  Trans-exclusionary radical feminists, or TERFs.  Feminists who have the nerve to complain that trans women are just men trying to exert their male privilege by taking advantage of the gains made in the fight for women’s rights. 

Irrelevant.  There can be no connection between biology and the definition of what it means to be a man or a woman.  J.K. Rowling learned this lesson when she suggested that there must be a word for people who menstruate.  Male or female, man or woman – it isn’t a biological issue, it is an issue of psychology.  But instead of seeing a shrink … well, you know.

Germaine Greer addressed this “you know” part, offering: “I’ve asked my doctor to give me long ears and liver spots and I’m going to wear a brown coat but that won’t turn me into a f*****g cocker spaniel.”  Not yet, Germaine.  But just give it a few days.  It may be in the “+” somewhere. 

Trueman then introduces something called The Yogyakarta Principles, named after the city in Indonesia where these were formulated in 2006.  Neither of the groups that formulated these principles has official government status, but numerous governments around the world have adopted the principles.

The opening paragraph sets the stage:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.  All human rights are universal, interdependent, indivisible, and interrelated.  Sexual orientation and gender identity are integral to every person’s dignity and humanity and must not be the basis for discrimination or abuse.

The idea of sexual orientation as it is described in the preamble is content free – based on nothing but subjective desire; gender is separated from biological sex; sex is “assigned” at birth, but has nothing to do with gender. 

Further, the Principles call for societies to affirm, support, and protect whatever subjective identity anyone takes on at any time.  In other words, plastic laws for plastic people.  So far, this hasn’t extended to the pedophile, but what, exactly, is to be uncovered in the “+”?

Further, everyone has the right to found a family.  The idea that sperm, and egg, and a womb are necessary to secure this right is irrelevant. 

While the L and the G and the B were reasonably irrelevant to how the rest of society lived their daily lives (with the exception of the baker or florist on occasion), the T is increasingly imposing itself on all of society.  No privacy in locker rooms or bathrooms; athletic and sport competitions thrown into a frenzy.  Notions of privacy and safety are thrown out the window. 


One can see in all of this the battles to come – not just between … let’s just call them … “traditionalists” and “alphabets” – but within and amongst those in the alphabet chain itself. 

The L, the G, and the B now look remarkably passé, assuming as they do the importance of biological sex for the gender binary.  The T and the Q, denying this, have proved both parasitic upon the gains made by the LGB and ultimately destructive of the LGB, as well as of traditional feminism.

They are consuming and will further consume themselves.  Of this there is no doubt.  As Doug Wilson has said, "stupidity is not a long-range strategy."

But the ride will be very rough for the rest of us in the meantime.


  1. Forgive the autobiographical promotion, but since 2009 I have been focusing upon the meaning of the "Alphabet Soup" in a series of articles I published in the political economy journal, The Independent Review. Given the warped potential present in leftist imagination, I was unsure what the next wave of liberation would be: pedophilia, bestiality, or (at the time my favorite) necrophilia. James Lindsay on his blog New Discourses settled the answer for me. Lindsay contends, in a set of VERY long but rewarding lectures, that the consistent theme across time among the sexual liberation "theorists" has been, as they obliquely put it, 'intergenerational sexual relations.' Mr. Lindsay explains that the "queer" component of the alphabet soup refers to a proposed fluidity of identity, an attempt to obliterate the normal in whatever terrain it occupies, including sex.
    The inhabitants of Sodom and Gommorah, I believe, would blush to witness the goings on these days, and they were obviously not prudes. And the Lord finally ran out of patience with them, despite Abraham's pleadings. Only God saved Lot. And, as I have stated before, I am in agreement with Dr. Heidegger that only a God can save us now.

  2. Greetings again Bionic,
    Been making my way through Trueman's book ( am not a fast reader).
    Also your commentary helps.
    My leaning is toward the simple (if you have not noticed).
    Reading through Paul's letters in the "New Testament",
    he spoke to these things simply and plainly ,most of the time
    Also Jesus his self may have never written anything down but those who did wrote down things he said.
    Myself am greatful that the Good News of His Kingdom is not difficult to grasp.
    In Romans 12 was reading this morning about presenting my body as a living sacrifice.
    Makes a lot of sense to me as am working through my own Salvation.
    Out in the world as am working and talking to people many times they can not receive the simple truth that we are sinners by nature and are unable to change our self.
    So many self improvement gurus out here preaching and selling their wares.
    They like to take some bits of The Truth and leave out the Jesus and God the Father part like they figured it out through their own greatness.
    One things that is present to me at this moment is the story where Jesus was talking and the people marveled at is words, saying He does not teach like the pharisees But He speaks with authority.
    Am beginning to overcome my fear of "smart people" and am finding in these days of modern times one thing is true for all of us smart and not so smart.
    That is the Authority that comes from a living relationship with God out Father through the communion with the Holy Spirit.
    Things are crazy these days and getting more crazy.
    For all of us who claim to be the Sons of God, Joint Heirs with Jesus it is important we stand together.
    We are not enemies of each other and we must do our best to overcome our perceived doctrinal differences and stick with the prime objective. Being a City on a Hill, salt of the earth, A light not hid under a bushel.
    What am saying is as we look over the past 2 centuries since Jesus began His Government that does not operate like the worlds leaders who call them self Benefactors taking by force and oaths and power over others.
    Myself will never be a "scholar" but do not have to be.
    That's where you and the others who post hers add great value to the simple ones.
    Am noticing in my talking with people thing learned hear come through in my speaking.
    Sorta like am being transformed by the renewing of my mind.
    So God bless this place and My prayer is that you Scholars will be able to be united as the days come by.
    Sure it is important that their may be differences, Paul alluded to that in one of his letters while pleading with the people to agree with one another.
    He did say that He was aware of the ir differences and told them He understood the importance of it to see who was being Truthful or not.
    What ever we do or say let it all be done for God's great Glory
    not for our own positioning like the 2 apostles whos mom encouraged them to see who will be the greater one.
    Will leave off with this one @ 2Tim 3:1
    Thanks and Peace on your homes!!

  3. I used to feel a bit sorry for the Ls and Gs. Back when they said they just wanted to be left alone. But they don't or they wouldn't push lawsuits against Christians not wanting to participate in their lifestyles. At this point any ill that happens to them is well deserved, and may be needed to rescue Western society.

    1. I am willing to bet that the largest majority of the Ls and Gs would rather lead a quiet life and not be affiliated with the crazies. It may be like the anti-racist-defund-the-police-loudmouth left. Those for whom they claim to be speaking would rather that they shut up.

    2. The Pareto principle in practice? Where 20% make 80% of the noise and 20% of those decide what, where, and how the noise is to be made? This means that 4 out of every 100 people (perhaps even less) are primarily responsible for the situation.

      But then, this is typical in every aspect of society.

    3. I know you are right about that. But there are enough that they wield political power and are instrumental in destroying the fabric of society. Those who just want to be left alone can be left alone in the shadows. Society at large can also be patient and tolerant. No need going looking into peoples' private lives. But bringing it out in the open should come with consequences.

    4. RMB,

      Considering your initial comment. Isn't it possible, perhaps even probable, that the reason they are hated so much is because they are not willing to just "live and let live", but constantly push their agenda and desire onto unwilling societies? It seems that they are never satisfied, never have enough, and are always trying to force more and more onto others, which results in major negative consequences visited on them when the patience of a tolerant, benevolent society reaches the breaking point.

      For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Timeless truth. Look for it to happen again.

    5. RMB, regarding your initial comment and my response, see here as an example of push-back from the "T" community:

    6. Interesting!

      My initial thought on this (and second on re-reading) is that they are trying to admit that there is something wrong with them without ever admitting that there really is something wrong with them. They want to be treated for their "dysphoria", but do not want to treat their "sin." It is not a great deal different than a morbidly obese person, saddled with all kinds of "treatable" diseases, who only wants to pop a pill for his diabetic condition, but refuses a healthy diet and regular exercise.

  4. Yeah, you are correct RMB they do not want to leave others alone they want to enforce their version of reality on others by force.

  5. I can’t find an empirical basis for any Natural Law. When I think of natural law I think of its violation resulting in some sort of natural negative consequence, not a punishment meted out by a court of law especially because courts can be corrupted as we currently see. This opens a can of worms because one can violate “natural” law with no consequence but with horrible negative consequences for society. The Left has their version of natural law in its “faith in inevitable progress”. The only “law” that I can fathom that is meted out naturally is the Law of (negative) Unintended Consequences.

    The historian Max Weber pointed out that “it is not true and good can only flow from good or evil only from evil, but that often the opposite is true. Anyone who fails to see this is, indeed, a political infant”. He cites as examples the decisive victory of the Greeks over the Persians in the Battle of Marathon, the alliance in India of King Ashoka with the priesthood resulting in Hinduism, and “irrational” revisions to the doctrine of predestination that evolved into the Protestant Ethic and the spirit of Capitalism. The law of unforeseen consequences puts a damper on any version of revolution as seen in the totalitarian outcome of the Russian Revolution. Weber asserted that Bourgeoisie Democracy in Russia brought about Pseudo-Constitutionalism. In this regard he saw three crucial turning points:

    1. A constitution doesn't have much control over regulations and are oftenoutside the initiative of the parliamentary bodies.
    2. The government budget and spending is left open so that the parliament has only partial control over them.
    3. The executive can usurp the constitution by granting privileges and the right to impose endless emergency laws.
    (see Max Weber, The Russian Revolutions).

    Taking Weber’s observations, was America founded as a democracy or republic or as a pseudo-democracy? From everything I see happening today I would guess the latter. Moreover, natural rights seen only as individual are feckless without guaranteeing the above.

    1. Wayne, why am I feeling like we have had this conversation before?

      It's an ethic, it isn't physics.