Ambidextrous Amphibians & Other Nonsense
Is it really only Tuesday?
It seems later in the week somehow. Perhaps it’s because it has already been quite a week in words and not just the usual bellicose rhetoric from the left and the right. There’s been some really creative, if not just a little bizarre, use of language over the past little bit.
My favourite headline of the week so far is “Amphibious pitcher makes debut”. It takes a very special talent to be able to pitch a baseball on land and under water. It is a talent rarely, if ever seen before. Perhaps it’s because amphibious doesn’t mean having the ability to pitch left or right-handed. That would be ambidextrous which you would have thought a reporter for Associated Press might have known and if not him – certainly his editor.
Apparently not but then amphibious and ambidextrous are easily confused. They both start with the letter ‘A’ and they both have lots of other letters in them so I can sympathize that it can be all too easy to confuse the two. Besides, considering the state of language these days, I’d put money down that a significant number of readers didn’t catch the mistake.
Then there are the attempts to twist language to define the undefinable or more accurately to redefine the obvious in a way as to make it seem different than it really is.
A Quebec court has ruled that prayer is generic. It has no denomination or religious affiliation which I believe, must mean praying to a gender non-specific, interdenominational deity of no fixed address – or something like that. There has even been suggestion of defining prayer for atheists although I have no clue how that works. It seems to me that if you’re going to pray, you pretty much have to have some reasonably all-powerful being to which you send your prayers otherwise you’re just talking to yourself – which is fine if you’re schizophrenic.
The court ruled that prayer expressed ‘universal values’ which could not be be identified with any particular religion. Clearly this was a court that had very little knowledge of the somewhat theological differences from one faith to another. You won’t find too many Baptists saying the rosary or very many Anglicans praying to Krishna. In an even more bizarre attempt to reconcile the irreconcilable, the court ruled that the crucifix and the Sacred Heart were works of art rather than religious symbols.
When I read that, I had to remind myself to breathe. The convoluted logic, or lack of logic, is breathtaking.
In Florida an ex-pat from Canada is stirring up some controversy with his attempts to ‘guide’ four-year old kindergarten students in their exploration of gender. Terms like gender-creative and gender non-conforming and my favourite, gender neutral are now part of the school day.
Gender-neutral? What in the hell is that? How is that possible? Even if you’re a woman trapped in a man’s body (or vice versa) you’re hardly gender neutral; gender-conflicted perhaps but not neutral. What about hermaphrodites? It seems to me that they have an over-abundance of gender.
And what in the hell is gender-creative? Are we expected to create our own genders now, perhaps something new and innovative that hasn’t been tried before?
There are two genders – male and female. Even Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner acknowledges that. He was one gender and now he’s the other. He didn’t create a new gender or become gender neutral; he switched sides and that’s fine but there seems to be an awful lot of folks who are not trans or even gender-confused offering up a whole new buffet of gender options in their rush to be relevant.
Typically you will find a considerable number of those folks working in education which seems to be somewhat obsessed with sexuality these days rather than more traditional curriculum which probably helps to explain the increase in home-schooling.
For quite some time now, many educators have claimed they are co-parents but they aren’t. They are teachers and it is probably long past time that they confined their teaching to the basics like readin’, writin’ and ‘ritmatic and leave teaching sexuality to parents.
In Canada, teaching about the sexual process has suddenly morphed into trying to teach sexuality and more than one teacher has been forced to apologise and been reprimanded for taking their class to sex shops. While a solid argument can be made for teaching about the biology and emotional aspects of human sexuality, there is no sane argument that justifies a teacher – any teacher – trying to teach sexual techniques or the joys of masturbation. Ineed, any adult who attempted to do that outside of a classroom would be charged with being a pedophile.
Besides, considering the state of the grammar of most teenagers these days I am not inspired to believe that the folks that taught our kids grammar are the ones who should be teaching them about sexuality.
I have no issue with gender orientation. Gay, straight, Trans – there all just ordinary people to me and I evaluate each person I know based on their character, not their genitals or their hair colour. I think it is healthy to discuss the basics of sex, including gender orientation, in schools as well as in the general society but let’s try to keep our sanity about it. Just teach what it all means and move on to conjugating verbs.
I don’t care how people worship God or even if they believe either. It’s up to them but Christ in Heaven, save us from the meddlers, the people who turn themselves inside out to try and reengineer the broader society to meet the narrow, often extreme, exceptions of the few.
It isn’t so much political correctness run amok as self-impressed and unfettered stupidity that creates more confusion and harm than anything else.
We don’t need some wanna-be expert telling four-year old children how to determine their gender identity. Hell, they don’t have a gender identity – they’re kids. They’re still learning to tie their shoelaces. There’s lots of time for them to learn about who they are as they grow older.
We don’t need courts and legislatures to tell us when, how, where and to what we should pray either or even if we should pray. We’re adults and we can figure it out on our own. Besides, isn’t it just a tad precious for The State to try to redefine something as personally profound as prayer when it can’t even balance a budget?
The simple fact is that increasingly The State is out of control and it is exemplified by both the language being used and the policies that flow from that language. It’s absurdity elevated to a level of importance that is unjustified considering its lack of common sense.
What we need is less State-creativity and more State-neutrality. We need amphibious politicians or at the very least, politicians that are ideologically-flexible if not ambidextrous. Above all else, we need more common sense. It’s called common sense because it is the good sense that is most common to the majority of us and despite what you read on Facebook and Twitter every day, there is still plenty of common sense around and we need to start trusting it again. Just don’t look for it in government, education or politics.
They are all part of The State and in The State, ‘common’ sense has been replaced by ‘non’sense.
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