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Biden’s trans fanaticism is a menace to freedom

The president’s conversion to the religion of gendered souls is hurting women, Christians and liberty.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill
chief political writer

Topics Identity Politics Politics USA

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‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof’, says the First Amendment. Someone needs to tell Joe Biden. There’s concern in the US that his 2021 executive order on gender identity, which forbids discrimination on the basis of a person’s stated (imagined?) gender, could interfere with the religious freedom of certain institutions. Now, one of those institutions – College of the Ozarks in Missouri – is fighting back. It’s taking a stand for freedom of conscience and objective truth against the holy strictures of that strangest of new religions, transgenderism.

College of the Ozarks is a college devoted to the Christian way of life. Its mission is to develop citizens of ‘Christ-like character’ who are ‘well-educated, hard-working and patriotic’. So, not surprisingly, it’s not a big fan of mixed dorms. Indeed, it forbids students from visiting the living quarters of the opposite sex. That’s because it adheres to ‘Biblical principles’ regarding sex and marriage – namely, that sex should only occur within marriage. It is worried that Biden’s order on ‘Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation’ – to give his executive order its full title – could lead to a situation where a man who says he’s a woman will win the right to go into women’s dorms. After all, transwomen are women, right? That’s what the cult-like chant of the modern era tells us every day.

This week the college asked the Supreme Court to take up its case. Its argument is that Biden’s order could amount to a form of forced conversion, with institutions being pressured by the state to genuflect to the woke religion of gendered souls; to the fact-lite, faith-heavy belief that we all have an inner gender that sometimes clashes with the fleshy reality of our biological casing. The college believes that a person’s sex is ‘God-given’ and ‘objective’. If there is pressure from on high for it to ditch this belief, or at least to act in contravention of it in certain circumstances, such as when a young male student claims to be female, then that would be a clear violation of its religious liberties. College of the Ozarks must be free to ‘follow the religious tradition on which it was founded’, says its lawyer.

The problem with Biden’s executive order – which he signed on 20 January 2021, the day of his inauguration, so keen was he to demonstrate his allegiance to the trans ideology – is that it completely redefines sex. Sex, in both everyday life and for the purposes of the great modern drive to stamp out sexual discrimination, was always understood as being of biological origin. There were men and there were women, and women should not be discriminated against. Simple. That has all changed in recent years. Biden’s expansion of the idea of sex to include ‘gender identity’ has rendered the category of sex all but meaningless. When men can be women and women can be men and all of us can neither, if that’s what we choose, it becomes impossible to have a serious discussion about sex, the sexes, and what the sexes – especially the female sex – might sometimes require in order to ensure their equality in society.

Indeed, Biden’s conversion to the trans religion has driven a juggernaut through the old protections from sexual discrimination. His executive order directed all federal agencies to update their protections against sexual discrimination to include protection against gender-identity discrimination, too. Educational institutions, immigration officials, departments of housing – all were instructed to outlaw discrimination on the basis of a person’s imaginary gender. The end result? Fairness and justice on the basis of sex, hard fought for by women’s campaigners, has been devastated.

Consider sports in schools. If educational institutions are not allowed to ‘discriminate’ on the basis of gender identity, then young men who think they’re female will be permitted to compete in girls’ teams. It’s already happening. And female sports are suffering as a result. Or consider single-sex dorms, not only in religious settings, like at College of the Ozarks, but on secular campuses too, where young women might prefer to live and associate with other young women. That’s also threatened by the collapsing together of sex and gender identity. This is the Kafkaesque consequence of the trans ideology and specifically of the Biden administration’s ideological merging of sex and gender – it increases the potential for discrimination on the basis of sex by throwing open women’s sports, housing and private areas to men who feel female. As Lauren Adams of the Women’s Liberation Front put it, Biden’s executive order ‘seriously weaken[s] the ability of federal agencies to even consider the needs of women and girls’. Erasing the biological truth of womanhood leads to the slow erasure of women’s rights.

And now we know it impacts on freedom of conscience, too. College of the Ozarks lost its initial case against Biden’s executive order, at the US Court of Appeals, after the court ruled that there are sufficient exemptions for religious belief when it comes to implementing civil-rights law. But the college is still concerned that a top-down order decreeing that institutions must accept and respect a person’s stated gender leaves it open to ‘intrusive federal investigations and significant enforcement penalities’ should it defy these diktats and say to the young man who identifies as a woman: ‘To us, you are a man.’ It is chilling that a Christian college, alongside women’s groups and others, lives in fear of punishment simply for holding to a truth that humankind has known since our very beginnings – namely, that sex is real, objective, measurable and unchangeable.

Biden’s feverish implementation of the gender ideology really does feel like an ‘establishment of religion’. He’s establishing in modern America the faith of genderfluidity. Trans activism has all the ingredients of a cranky, cultish neo-religion: an entirely subjective belief system ill-supported by scientific truth; a tendency to punish, often ferociously, anyone who blasphemes against its claims; an expectation of conversion by everyone in public life; and, of course, second-class status for women. In Biden’s America, the road to hell is paved with woke intentions.

Brendan O’Neill is spiked’s chief political writer and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

Picture by: Twitter / CofOHardWorkU .

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Topics Identity Politics Politics USA

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