I sat in a Tennessee Senate Committee hearing two weeks ago, listening in one ear to a debate over “child marriage” while listening through the earphone in my other ear to a House Committee meeting in which the issue of gender identity vis-a-vis biological sex in locker rooms was debated. It struck me a few days later just how the arguments by liberals on both bills were both irreconcilable and perfectly reconcilable. How could they be both?
How Were the Arguments Irreconcilable?
In the Senate, liberals1 argued that the law should not discriminate in the assigned usage by minors of locker rooms and bathrooms relative to gender and that objective phenomenon like biological sex must always give way to subjective psychological phenomenon.
On the other hand, in the House, liberals reversed the argument. They argued that the law should discriminate between 17- and 18-years-olds in the licensing of marriages and that objective chronological age must always give way to the more subjective criteria of maturity. Some mother, married at the age of 17, was more mature in regard to marriage than Zsa Zsa Gabor with her nine marriages ever was!
I won’t take time to explain how a believer in the transcendent Creator God of Scripture could reconcile opposing arguments of the liberals in both cases, for that is not my point. The point, today, is that the second argument demonstrates that liberals are not, in fact, against all discrimination in the law. They really know that law, by definition, “discriminates” between one type of conduct and another or between one person or another, though they try their best to suppress that knowledge when they want to do something the law prohibits (of course, by “discriminating” against them).
Upon What Basis Will We Engage in Necessary Discrimination?
So the question isn’t whether we should or should not discriminate or whether the law should or should not discriminate. Rather, the question is this: On what basis should we discriminate? How shall we decide between those discriminating judgments that are either good or worth tolerating and those that are bad and should not be tolerated?
This is a question for which liberals who deny God or the existence of any pre-political, pre-governmental law by which human laws can be measured are at a complete loss.
It’s not that they don’t give answers to that question; it is just that, based on their premise of autonomous human beings, they cannot provide a basis upon which to judge the rightness of the various answers. Their whole premise is that there is nothing outside the individual person by which the ideas of the individual person can be judged.
The most commonly accepted answer among liberals is pragmatism—what is best for the most number of people. That answer is great if you are among the larger number of people and not so great if you are in the minority.
And, of course, those enlightened liberals who believe in the sovereignty of man’s reason know that arguments based on authority, popularity, and the like rest on logical fallacies. They are logical fallacies because, absent other evidence, a belief that what is best for the most number of people in a particular situation is just as likely to be false as true.
How Liberals Reconcile the Otherwise Irreconcilable
And therein is the ground upon which I could say that liberals’ arguments in these two situations are reconcilable—their denial of objective truth.
When we deny that there is any objective truth imposed on us or to which we are subject, then we can do and say and think whatever we want. We can be as illogical and irrational as we want to be.
Better yet, no one can say we should not think irrationally or illogically. For that would be a real rule, and the liberal denies the existence of real rules. To be consistent, liberals must say we are free from the rule that reason or logic should be the rule!
The Real Reason Liberals Can’t Insist on Reason and Logic
Here, though, is the problem liberals face. If they allow room for just those two transcendent, imposed rules of determination—rationality and logic—then they have cracked open the door of the vault in which they have locked away God.
Transcendent, imposed rules can only come from a transcendent Creator God, and we are subject to those transcendent, imposed rules only if we are His creatures. But if that’s the case in these two instances, then we are subject to our Creator in all instances for we are, at all times, creatures.
This is a thought too horrible for the liberal. But here is the really horrible thought that the liberal ignores: He or she is, by definition, mentally unstable, for his or her thinking rests on nothing stable.
I think the Apostle Paul put it this way: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22).
- I use the term liberals to refer to the post-modern person who denies that there is any transcendent Creator or any metanarrative that explains reality and the course or direction of history. I do not use Democrat or Republican because those labels are meaningless when liberalism is defined the way I’ve used it. Many elected Republicans are liberals, as so defined, who don’t realize they are liberals or are simply afraid to fully embrace their liberalism because it brings particular results they don’t like.
David Fowler served in the Tennessee state Senate for 12 years before joining FACT as President in 2006. Read David’s complete bio.
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