Sunday, 4 June 2017

The precarious march of progress

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I nearly jumped clean out of my cotton pickin’ socks when I read the headline “School uniforms to become gender neutral.” I wondered out soft if this meant the boys will be wearing skirts and blouses, but I should have known better; it seems the girls want to dress like boys. No surprises there. Pagani has already closed and I suspect many of the world’s frock shops are fearful about their futures as women become more assertive and have no qualms about reminding their mere menfolk who really wears the pants.

America went a step further when Obama signed into law gender-neutral toilets. This probably means urinal manufacturers will eventually go the way of frock shops.

We can laugh about all of this, but it’s amazing how many changes we are blissfully accepting over recent times that would have been unheard of twenty years ago.

I might be drawing a long bow here, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this is all to do with the march of secularism and a rise of an alternative progressive morality.

The Australian Enquirer editor Paul Kelly says, “The new morality arises from neither dogma nor revelation. Its focus is diversity, human rights, self-expression and identity politics. It is a set of values and a way of relating to others. Its essence is the discarding of the worth of tradition and enshrining in law rules and procedure for contemporary cultural norms. It’s best seen as the comprehensive politicisation of our culture.”

British socioligist Frank Furedi captured its manifestations: “Conflict over values have acquired an enormous significance in political life. Recent debates on abortion, euthanasia, immigration, gay marriage and family life indicate that there is an absence of agreement on some of the most fundamental questions facing society.”

For New Zealand you could add to that list the potential legalisation of cannabis.

Our Western societies were initially established on an agreed consensus between secularists and Christians regarding the ultimate questions. The model allowed deference to both God and Caesar. The secular state was neutral between believers and non-believers, a system that allowed religions to flourish. The laws of the state and the laws of the church co-existed in a tolerated and often beneficial settlement that empowered a successful society.

This however is now under threat.

The deployment of multiculturalism has even weakened the Christian symbols; Cadbury’s weren’t game to put the word “Easter” on their chocolate eggs and bunny’s this year.

The emerging differences are fundamental given the push to legalise killing in the cause of humanitarianism, the restriction of free speech on the basis of causing offence, the promotion of gender fluidity, the rejection of the boy/girl gender paradigm and the manipulation of schools for ideological, sex, gender and climate programmes.

Given the rise of Islam with its more assertive character the role of the Islamic theocratic state will likely become even more comminatory, begging the question: what sort of opposition will it encounter?

Call me old fashioned, but my fear is a Western culture, in gender neutral clothing, where secular ideology has become less tolerant of Christianity and as a result more vulnerable to any ideology.

“Unlike Christianity which preached a peace that it never achieved, Islam unashamedly came with a sword.” - Sir Steven Runciman


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