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Bullying In High Places

August 20, 2018 Featured Today No Comments

By DONALD DeMARCO

Fox News on August 24, 2017 carried the story of a first-grader at a California school who was sent to the principal’s office for having “mis-gendered” a transgender classmate in what is being called a “pronoun mishap.” The incident is also being called, and perhaps more correctly, “bullying.” The youngster greeted one of her classmates in the playground using his given name. She was unaware that during the summer, her classmate had undergone a transgender change. The boy now identifies himself as a girl.
Subsequently, the “offender” was called out of class to the principal’s office and interrogated for approximately an hour to determine whether she had bullied her classmate by calling him by his original name or that she had made an honest mistake. Apparently, at least at this institution, mis-gendering a fellow student is a very serious matter.
According to Todd Starnes, reporting for Fox News, the little girl was “terribly traumatized.” She came home from school upset and crying. According to school policy, whenever there is a pronoun mishap, an investigation must be conducted. Starnes has urged parents to take a stand against this form of intimidation. “It may be unpleasant and uncomfortable,” he warns, “but we’ve got to stand up to these activist bullies.”
Situations such as this, wholly inconceivable only a few years ago, are becoming increasingly common. Writing for the American Journal of Pediatrics, Leena Nahata has warned all parents that identifying a neonate as a boy or girl could later traumatize the child.
In an article appearing in Slate magazine entitled, “Don’t Let the Doctor Do This to Your Newborn,” the author warns against sex designation at birth.
What other offenses, yet unknown, lie in wait to confuse and trouble people? The liberal mind is adept in inventing new sins while ignoring those that traditionalists sought to avoid.
Despite such warnings from on high, it seems that the real victims of trauma, as well as bullying, are those who, innocently or otherwise, fail to adhere scrupulously and strictly to the LGBTQ ideology. All this is deeply troubling for many parents who are finding it increasingly difficult to trust educational authorities.
Christ never spoke more forcefully as when He condemned the abuse of children: “But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt. 15:6).
It is also troubling because it is (and I am reluctant to use the word): crazy. All generations throughout the world since human beings first occupied this planet have agreed that sex is binary. The biblical declaration, “Male and female He created them” (Gen. 5:2), remained essentially unchallenged until recently.
Errant liberalism can be a dangerous thing. While it continues to erase barriers that people of the past thought to be protective, it turns the moral universe upside down and converts good into evil.
As the distinguished psychiatrist Karl Stern has stated, “You cannot topple a hierarchic picture of the world in one sphere without causing upheaval in another.” Reality is set in a certain balance. Invert one area and another area becomes inverted as well.
The third witch in Macbeth stated it succinctly when she cried, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” (act 1, scene 1). By ignoring what is good, we summon what is evil. Good and evil cannot live peacefully side by side: goodness banishes evil, as light dispels darkness; evil attempts to destroy what is good the way a bad apple corrupts the ripe one. Good and evil are eternally antagonistic toward each other.
Bullying in the context of education is particularly reprehensible. Intimidation tactics are the very contradictory of reason. Intimidation elicits fear; education sharpens reason. By developing our reason, we develop a faculty that is essential to becoming a whole person. Intimidation and various forms of bullying are powerless to engender conviction. Reason is the great enemy of violence. Education’s aim is to teach students to reason things out rather than to resort to violence.
Liberalism, supposedly, strongly opposes stereotypes, which is the reduction of something broad into something that is narrow. Therefore, liberal feminists deplore that notion that a woman is little more than a domestic breeder. Nonetheless, the reality of woman is extremely broad.
Shakespeare pays homage to Cleopatra, as well as womanhood, by stating: “Age cannot wither her nor custom stale her infinite variety” (Antony and Cleopatra, act 2, scene 2).
When a young girl thinks that she is a boy, what image does she have of a boy other than a stereotype? The same can be said of a young boy who fancies that he is or wants to be a girl. Is he thinking of the “infinite variety” of the opposite sex, or is he thinking of a simple stereotype, perhaps someone who is pretty, dresses nicely, and is popular? A girl may act like a tomboy at a certain stage in her development, but this is only a preamble to what she will become.
Male and female belong to the world of archetypes, not stereotypes. The great paradox is that a male or a female can be genuinely masculine or feminine without sacrificing an iota of their uniqueness. Maleness or femaleness does not compromise one’s individuality. One develops into a mature man or woman in ways that are unpredictable but without sacrificing his or her specific gender.
In the German language the neuter term Das Mädchen is used in referring to a young girl. The transition she will make from youth (though certainly as a female) to full womanhood is akin to a change from a pre-woman to a full-blooded woman.
It seems strange to appeal to people who should know better — educators, academics, pediatricians — that they should allow children to grow up and be truly themselves. A preteen is not a mature person. Time is needed. The poet Hölderlin was wise in pointing out that “the gods abhor untimely growth!”
Let children grow and develop in an atmosphere of love, patience, reassurance, and encouragement. The contrary is villainous.
(Dr. DeMarco is a senior fellow with Human Life International.)

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