“Everyone knows that race and gender are social constructs.” That’s what I was told recently in a discussion involving whether or not it should be legal in Wisconsin for same-sex couples to adopt children. Following that statement was one indicating that people who didn’t believe that were intellectually deficient.
After I was told I wasn’t very bright, I was told that physiology had nothing to do with parenting. That reducing parenting to genitalia was, well, stupid. Of course, I had not reduced parenting simply to body parts. Rather, I had made statements such as “the magic in parenting and child-rearing isn’t the number two but rather the complementarity the genders—male and female—bring to the effort”; and “no matter how hard two women try, they cannot be a dad to a child; and no matter how hard two men try, they cannot be a mom to a child.” Simply put, this discussion was a powerful reminder about the power of deception.
People who refuse to accept the authority of Scripture are easy prey for any lie and any perversion. There really is no stopping point—even to the point of people creating alternate realities in which they try to live. Doing so forces them to deny the obvious, to reject the real world and the very real people that God has created.
How does the rejection of Scripture happen at a cultural level? The denial of the Bible as a legitimate authority in our society is no longer relegated to ivory towers on college campuses; it is now becoming alarmingly and dangerously pervasive.
It takes time for such a cultural shift to happen—and I’m quite sure there is no hard and fast beginning date. Perhaps we can go to 1925 when the now infamous Scopes trial took place in Tennessee, where the teaching of evolution in that state’s public schools was deemed illegal and was challenged by the ACLU in a set-up lawsuit. While the Tennessee Supreme Court ultimately upheld the law that the state legislature had passed, the trial highlighted the growing controversy over the authority of the Bible on origins. This issue culminated in 1968 when the US Supreme Court ruled that laws such as Tennessee’s were unconstitutional because their primary purpose was religious.
Perhaps it dates to the early 1960s, when the US Supreme Court ruled in landmark cases that “school-sponsored” Bible reading and prayer were unconstitutional. Moving forward, many schools also stopped displaying the Ten Commandments.
The decade of the 1960s tested much of the Judeo-Christian underpinnings of our nation. With the presence of the Bible and its teachings less prevalent, less obvious, especially in our schools where students were under compulsory attendance laws 6-7 hours a day, more and more students began to question what they were hearing at home and in their churches. College professors were growing bolder; new teachers came to public school classrooms filled with “make love; not war” and “anti-establishment” ideas emblazoned in their thinking.
Soon divorce became as easy as declaring one’s unhappiness and walking away. The family unit began fracturing.
The family, throughout history, has been the main means of the generational transmission of Christianity, the main way the Bible has been read and taught to the next generation. When that family unit breaks down and life becomes much harder to do as a single parent, much of this transmission goes away. And when very little to nothing of the Truth of Scripture is taught in the schools the kids attend, when the Bible and Christianity are mocked in the media and entertainment worlds, the influence of the authority of God’s Word becomes lost in a society. Frankly, it becomes irrelevant, a joke, a myth believed only by those whose intellect is weak, and those who do believe it are targeted as hateful and bigoted.
Once you deny a Creator, it’s really not such a big leap to denying that there is distinctly male and female and that these two genders are solely responsible for the propagation of and care for the next generation of humans. A fabricated, unreal world that sees both humans and all of the universe as being in the image and mind of man replaces the simple but profound truth expressed as “In the beginning God” and “in the image of God.”