And God said, Let there be a linguistic construct. And there was.

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I am grateful to the reader who drew my attention to the story over at Juicy Ecumenism concerning the presumably liberal vicar who yet found himself a poster boy for political incorrectness by asking two lesbians who the biological mother of a child he was asked to baptise actually was.

The story has various points of interest, not least the typically aesthetically driven reaction of the couple: "It's so hard not to be put off by our experience."  Poor dears.  One's heart goes out to them.   That is where discourse about civil rights is these days: if someone says something that is disagreeable, if one is "put off' by the attitude of another, it becomes something of a headline grabber. And credit where credit is due: if they are asking you for a mother's name for a baptism certificate today, then history shows time and time again that tomorrow they will be locking you up without trial or forcing you to attend One Direction concerts, even if you do not have a teenage daughter.

Seriously, this latest piece of lunacy is a good example of the way in which all the 1980s talk about the world being merely a linguistic construct has become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy.   Combined with the simplistic notions that all things are political and all discourses are reducible to two-dimensional struggles about selfish power, this is where one ends up: a situation that represents nothing but complete and utter silliness at all levels; yet within current cultural frameworks, one that seems to make no less sense than a whole host of other examples of nuttiness.

Where will it end?  One possibility is that there is nothing but apocalyptic social anarchy coming over the horizon.  If law courts are needed to decide which bathrooms are used by five year olds, if inquiring about who the real mother of a baby is is now an oppressive and hurtful question which brings the Hammer of Thor down on the head of the one asking it, then can any form of society long survive?

It is, however, possible that the madness must end, or at least reach its limit at some point soon.   I am about to head off to the YMCA for my daily work out.   What, I wonder, if I suddenly decide on the way that I have been living a lie all these years and am actually a woman trapped in a man's body?  What if I therefore exert my emerging civil right of self-identification with regard to gender?  What if I therefore wander in to the ladies' changing room, strip off, have a shower and in the process take a good look at all the other women in their state of undress?  When the police come and take me away, will the ACLU fund my legal costs, I wonder?  Will I become a hero of the LBGTQQ community (the second q, for those of you behind the PC times, is for 'questioning')?  Is it too much to hope that I might appear on breakfast TV in order to express in more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger tones how I found the whole, you know, arrest and trial and imprisonment for voyeurism thing something by which it is 'hard not be put off' the YMCA?  Or will I be decried as a sleazy middle-aged pervert who needs to be banged up for as long as possible?  
Posted September 7, 2013 @ 11:59 AM by Carl Trueman
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