From cisgender to transgender to “anything goes” lifestyles, Wallace Smith explains the dangers of social engineers pushing agendas—and narratives—contrary to true Christian identity and God’s instructions in the Bible.
[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]
In sex, gender, and sexuality, what is normal? What is normal marriage? Normal family? Western Civilization once knew. But no longer. Academics, philosophers, and politicians are waging a passionate ideological war to establish a world in which NOTHING is considered normal—where even SUGGESTING that one thing is normal and another is abnormal is considered an act of hatred and violence. That conflict is eating away at the foundations of civilization itself.
A warm welcome to you from all of us here at Tomorrow’s World, where we help you make sense of your world through the pages of the Bible.
In Jeremiah 10:23, we see a statement made of profound importance: “O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.”
Our topic today illustrates the truth of that statement and the civilization-wide tragedy that unfolds when we ignore it.
We asked at the beginning—in gender, sexuality, marriage, and family, what is normal?
Many can no longer answer this question, thanks to a long-running war against all things “normal.” In fact, we are in the final stages of that war in the West, which we will demonstrate today.
We used to know what “normal” was. At least we thought we did, right? Marriage was a lifetime commitment between a man and a woman, defining family and creating the healthiest environment for childrearing. Mankind was organized into males and females, and sex was to take place between a male and a female, and that was an obvious matter of biology.
That was our world as recently as 20 years ago. But today, simply ASKING what is normal is offensive to many—and may offend some of you. That’s because we’re living in the final stages of a war against normality. Social engineers have mounted an aggressive campaign over multiple decades, seeking to eradicate ANY idea that some things are normal and some abnormal.
And as normality is losing this war, an abnormal world is quickly filling the space left behind. It is this NEW world that our children will inherit—in which there is no such thing as “normal” and it’s the highest offense to suggest that there should be.
How did we get here? How bad is it? Can it get worse? And finally, what does God think of a culture in which anything normal is the enemy?
While the combatants attacking normality are not as coordinated and conspiratorial as many think, there ARE common doctrines and goals that drive and unite them. Originating in the infamous Frankfurt School in the 1920s, so-called “Critical Theory” in various forms has become all the rage. The 1970s saw the rise of Critical Legal Theory, and more recently, Critical Race Theory became the hot topic of discussion.
No less pervasive in its influence on modern culture is QUEER THEORY. Queer Theory seeks to “deconstruct” common ways of thinking, to overturn widely held norms, and to define all of society as a power play between the “oppressed” and their “oppressors.” Developed in LGBT Studies and Women’s Studies programs at universities across the Western world, Queer Theory focuses on deconstructing SEXUALITY AND GENDER—and, consequently, everything affected by those facets of life, such as family structure.
Academics steeped in these ideas seek to subvert what has been considered normal and celebrate what were previously “abnormal” ideas and practices. To them, it is not enough for society to merely accept or allow the fullest spectrum of sexual behaviors and “gender constructs.” Their goal is to “queer” the discourse entirely, meaning to change mainstream thinking so that nothing is even thought of as “normal” or “not normal” any longer.
For example, Dr. Roberta Chevrette of Middle Tennessee State University has written of the need to “‘queer’ family communication” (Theories of Human Communication, December 22, 2016, p. 235)—changing discussions WITHIN FAMILIES so that heterosexuality is no longer treated as normal in those families. The goal of these social engineers is to change societal thinking so that all forms of sexual activity are considered equally “normal.”
The prejudice against normal, healthy sexuality and gender expression can be seen in, essentially, a new vocabulary. Are you familiar with its words? Because your college-educated children probably are—and, increasingly, your younger children are, too. More importantly, those designing school policies and programs definitely are.
One new word is heteronormative. As of mid-2023, Merriam-Webster defines it as “of, relating to, or based on the attitude that heterosexuality is the only normal and natural expression of sexuality” (“Heteronormative,” Merriam-Webster.com), and an Internet search is enough to show you that “heteronormative thinking”—that is, thinking that the normal expression of sexuality is between a man and a woman—is no longer “right thinking.” In fact, if you think that sexual relations between men and women are more normal than others, you are considered guilty of heterosexism.
Similarly, if you are a man or a woman who, like almost all humans beings, still considers yourself the same gender the doctor observed you to be at birth, it is not enough to call yourself a man or woman anymore. Now, you must be a cisgender man or cisgender woman, to distinguish you from a transgender man or transgender woman. If you are, say, a man who thinks referring to himself as a “cisgender man” instead of just a “man” is strange, watch out—now you’re engaging in cisgenderism. Also, you had better not think it is normal for someone in a male body to think he is a man, because if you do, you’re practicing cisnormativity. How dare you think ANYTHING—ANY sexuality, ANY relationship between sex and gender, ANY family structure—is NORMAL?
For a glimpse at how normal sexuality and family structure have been recast as evils, one need only look at—believe it or not—Black Lives Matter.
While the Black Lives Matter movement made global headlines in the wake of George Floyd’s death, some interested in the cause were distressed by what they found on the organization’s “About Us” webpage. There, under the heading “What We Believe,” they saw Black Lives Matter declare, “We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege,” “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure,” and “We foster a queer-affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking” (“What We Believe,” Black Lives Matter, sourced from Web.Archive.org).
While that page was removed in the days leading up to the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the question remained: What does ending discrimination and violence against black people have to do with transgender ideology? Why would supporting black lives require standing against “heteronormativity” or traditional family structures?
The answer is that the war against normal has successfully woven itself into nearly every effort to create social change. As critical theorists irrationally recategorize human relationships as expressions of coercive power, any attempt to address injustice then also has to be made to connect with all other injustices, real or perceived. Believing there is a normal family structure, a normal human sexuality, and a normal understanding of sex and gender is increasingly equated with power structures designed to oppress.
To today’s social engineers, if you believe that family is best grounded in a marriage between a man and a woman, sex between that man and that woman represents normal and natural sexuality, and that it actually is possible in virtually all cases to identify a child’s gender at birth, well then you’ve aligned yourself with the likes of Mussolini and Hitler or the Ku Klux Klan. Presuming someone’s gender based on their appearance is labeled an act of ignorance at best and violence at worst. If a young girl is plagued by thoughts that she might be transgender, to help that girl feel more comfortable being a girl is committing the sin of “conversion therapy.”
But as bad as things are, we are far from how bad they can get.
Ultimately, the war on normality is a war on BOUNDARIES. Human beings crave sexual “freedom,” unbound by any rules, definitions, laws, and even shame—to define sexuality based solely on individual desires. So, the boundaries keeping sex within marriage must fall, the boundaries defining marriage as between one man and one woman must fall, and the boundaries defining differences between sexes or genders must fall.
There is, however, at least one boundary that remains—one land the War Against Normal has not yet conquered, but that is under siege and could fall at any moment—the age boundary.
Thankfully, many still consider childhood a time for protection from the incursions of modern sexual “liberty.” Yet many of our self-appointed superiors deem that this boundary, too, must fall.
Consider the flood of sexual content into school libraries. In the United States, the American Library Association found that nine of the top ten school library books most challenged in 2021 were challenged due to their sexual content and explicit nature (“Top 10 Most Challenged Books Lists,” American Library Association, ALA.org, March 26, 2013). The MOST challenged book, which we will not name, so as not to risk promoting it accidentally, contained imagery that any reasonable person would consider pornographic. Not long ago, any teacher who shared such a book with a child would have been labeled a pedophile and a predator, and that teacher would have been disciplined or dismissed.
Consider, too, the phenomenon of Drag Queen Story Hour, in which men who dress as women—often in exaggerated and sometimes sexually suggestive clothing—read to children in libraries and other venues. Such events are designed to blur sexual and gender lines and family attachments in children’s impressionable minds so that they grow up thinking that everything is just as “normal” as everything else.
Don’t take our word for it. Take theirs. In the academic journal Curriculum Inquiry, “critical pedagogy” researcher Harper Keenan and a drag queen organizer of events known as “Lil Miss Hot Mess” collaborated on a paper titled “Drag pedagogy: The playful practice of queer imagination in early childhood” (“Drag pedagogy: The playful practice of queerimagination in early childhood,” January 25, 2021, pp. 440–461).
The authors are COMPLETELY PLAIN concerning the goals of Drag Queen Story Hour. “Ultimately, we suggest that drag pedagogy offers one model for learning not simply about queer lives, but how to LIVE QUEERLY.”
They note that drag is “implicitly transgressive” and that “While drag has some conventions, it ultimately has no rules—its defining quality is often to break as many rules as possible!” they note that drag “is all about bending and breaking the rules,” often, “turn[ing] rejection into DESIRE, transforming the labour of performance into the pleasure of PARTICIPATION.”
They tell us “Drag Queen Story Hours offers a QUEER RELATIONALITY with children that BREAKS from the reproductive futurity of the normative classroom and nuclear family.”
In their conclusion, they point out that they “have occasionally encountered critiques that [Drag Queen Story Hour] is sanitizing the risqué nature of drag in order to make it ‘family friendly.’ We DO NOT SHARE this PESSIMISTIC view,” noting, “it is less a sanitizing force than it is a PREPARATORY INTRODUCTION to ALTERNATE MODES OF KINSHIP.”
It’s not an exaggeration or hyperbole: The war against normal IS coming for our children.
You might wonder—how could things get so far? Well, a large part of the answer is that, to a great extent, the attitudes and philosophies motivating this are nothing new. Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, ‘See, this is new’? It has already been in ancient times before us.”
Indeed, the attack on sexual barriers between children and adults goes back to philosophers and academics whose ideas helped lay the foundations of today’s Queer Theory. In 1977, supposedly “enlightened” souls such as Paul-Michel Foucault, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Jacques Derrida signed a petition to the French government to allow adults to engage in “consensual” sexual relations with children. As reported in the Guardian, these intellectuals demanded that French law “should acknowledge the right of children and adolescents to have relations with whomever they choose” (“Calls for legal child sex rebound on luminaries of May 68,” TheGuardian.com, February 23, 2001).
The same article reported on the positions of French philosopher and author Tony Duvert of the 70s, who “praised ‘the great adventure of paedophilia’ and raged at ‘the fascism of mothers.’” According to its English-language publisher MIT Press, Duvert’s 1976 book Diary of an Innocent ends with “a fanciful yet rigorous construction of a reverse world in which marginal sexualities have become the norm.”
We began by reading Jeremiah’s comment to God, “O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). But the very next verse (v. 24) gives us the key to resolving the war against normal: “O LORD, correct me, but with justice; not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing” (Jeremiah 10:24).
God is creator of all reality! It is His design, His law, and His will that defines what is normal—or what SHOULD BE, and what WILL be normal in the world Christ will bring at His return.
Concerning sexuality, gender, and family, God made it plain from the beginning. Referring back to the Genesis account of creation, Jesus taught about marriage. In Matthew 19 we read, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE,’and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:4–6).
In one fell swoop, Jesus definitely affirmed the gender binary of man and woman, the biological design of male and female, and the place of sex in marriage between a husband and a wife.
While the War Against Normal seeks to abolish any sort of boundaries, God seeks to ESTABLISH boundaries and to make them clear and firm. In fact, the VERY FIRST PAGES of SCRIPTURE illuminate exactly how our Creator deals with boundary-obliterating chaos—and that is REESTABLISHING ORDER AND NORMALCY by REESTABLISHING BOUNDARIES.
The opening pages of Genesis [detail] chaos: “The earth was without form, and void” (Genesis 1:2). A world “without form”—without guiding distinctions, shapes, and ideals—is exactly the society today’s social engineers seek to create.
The Creator brought order to that chaos by establishing clear boundaries. He separated light and darkness (v. 4), the waters below from those above (vv. 6–7), and the land from the seas (v. 9). He established a distinct boundary between animals and humanity. Humans are created beings, yet unique in bearing God’s own image (vv. 25–26). He organized humans into two sexes: male and female (v. 27).
Upon ordering the world He had created, God declared it “very good” (v. 31). We enjoy the goodness of that ordered world today.
Eradicating all borders, boundaries, and limitations does not produce a better world. It only creates a more chaotic one—in which the joys God designed go unrealized, and the sufferings He intended to keep at bay become the new normal.
Still, let’s be careful. It’s ironic that so much of the world is waging a passionate war against normal, because Jesus Christ Himself will fundamentally correct the definition of what is normal when He establishes a new world at His Second Coming.
Often, those who lament the war agains normal also fail to see that the traditions THEY see as normal are tainted and broken in their own ways. The Kingdom Jesus will establish will not look like 1950s America, nor the Judea of Jesus’ day. Nostalgia for a better past is no substitute for the full transformation called for in His Gospel, and the life to which Christians are called transcends what was ever lived throughout history. To live God’s way requires a complete change in how we see ourselves, our relationships, and our obligations. And, frankly, no civilization has ever fully gotten it right. As God tells us through Isaiah: “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).
After Jesus’ return, the world will learn what family, sexuality, relationships, and society can be when we follow the original design and intention of our Creator. From the blessings that follow, mankind will finally understand why no one should ever exchange God’s normal for anything less.
It is that time to come that we proclaim here on Tomorrow’s World. If you want to begin seeking the power of tomorrow’s world in your own life, seeing through the madness of today’s world is a great start.
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