Don’t Bow to the Woke Gods, America

A not-insignificant number of Christians were martyred in ancient Rome because they refused to blaspheme Christ by doing something as simple and seemingly inconsequential as burning a pinch of incense in honor of the emperor. We can be tempted to think that these Christians foolishly made the wrong choice and threw their lives away for nothing. What harm could possibly come from mechanical acquiescence to such a banal ritual? And why should we worry about it, anyway; are not such barbarities relics of a bygone era? Are we not “enlightened” and “tolerant” nowadays?

Today we find ourselves confronted by an eerily similar situation. And it’s well past time to confront it with the seriousness it deserves.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month on “Why Gender Pronouns Are Becoming a Big Deal at Work”:

Some big business is increasingly embracing the practice of sharing individual pronouns in the workplace as part of diversity initiatives to support co-workers who may be transgender, or nonbinary colleagues who identify as neither male nor female. A growing number of employees are adding their pronouns to everything from email signatures to Zoom profiles—often at their company’s urging.

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Other companies also said they aren’t requiring people to share their pronouns. Even so, some professionals say that once they see others using pronouns in their email signatures and profiles, they feel social pressure to do the same.

America, this is our “pinch-of-incense” moment. We won’t be fed to lions if we refuse—at least not literally. But we very well might find ourselves out of a job, socially outcast, ostracized, vilified, and labeled a “bigot.”

Even so, you should consider carefully if “going along to get along,” “keeping a low profile,” and “not making waves” is worth your spiritual integrity. Every lie you endorse, even by omission, weakens you and stains your soul. Which is what you’re doing when you put your “preferred pronouns” in your email signature. Just as our Christian ancestors’ lives were not worth blaspheming against Christ, our sense of our own dignity should prevent us from groveling before the transgender madness, however minor those grovelings seem to be.

At least some admirably oppose the socially coercive practice of requiring everybody to list their all-too-obvious pronouns in their email signatures just so a few people won’t stand out.  But they blunt their opposition in the same breath, in an attempt to be “tolerant” and “civil,” when they insist that we ought to call people by their preferred names and pronouns.

This rhetorical move is an attempt to do what chess players call “the exchange”—when one player sacrifices one of his less valuable pieces, like a knight or bishop, to capture his opponent’s rook. This in-principle acceptance of personal pronouns in email signatures as a valid choice for the willing, a “live-and-let-live” tolerance, is akin to capturing a knight. But, in truth, one who so advocates has lost his rook—a true and sound understanding of sex, gender, and their relationship.

In the attempt to be magnanimous, the real fight, over reality itself, is unwittingly surrendered.

A libertarian approach to this issue is impossible because it accepts the premises of transgender ideology, namely, that every person is, in principle, transgender.

Think about it: If we accept that a given person’s perceived sense of gender doesn’t line up with his sex, and need not necessarily align, then the fact that yours or mine does is merely an accident. According to the transgender worldview, the reason that I happen to be “cisgender” is not because that is what flows from nature and reality (even as deviations, which are regrettable, are to be amended). Rather, it’s a matter of chance that my sex aligns neatly with my perceived sense of “gender identity,” but it just as well might have been otherwise.

Putting your pronouns in your email signature, whether willingly or not, is an endorsement of a metaphysics and an anthropology, both of which are profoundly anti-human, not to mention anti-Christian. By doing so, you admit, whether you realize it or not, that nature is inherently anti-teleological—that man is not ordered to anything except his own willful self-creation (i.e., we’re ruled by blind chance at best, and biological caprice at worst).

Transgenderism is a Luciferian rejection of our nature—that we are made, limited, and contingent. Going along with its implementing rituals, like putting your “preferred pronouns” in your email signature, is a tacit endorsement of this entire worldview. It is a lie, and if you play along, you are complicit in it.

Without fail, lies great and small add up to destroy lives, communities, and nations. To refuse to play along is an act of heroism, recognized as such by the great Soviet-era Russian dissident, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: “You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.”

Refuse to offer modern-day incense to the woke gods, no matter what’s offered to you in return—even if you should be promised “all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor” if you but “fall down and worship” them and their ways (Mk. 4:8-9).

Your soul is worth more than your job.

About Deion A. Kathawa

Deion A. Kathawa is an attorney who hails from America’s heartland. He holds a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame and a B.A. from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He is a 2021 alumnus of the Claremont Institute’s John Marshall Fellowship. Subscribe to his “Sed Kontra” newsletter.

Photo: Wojtek Laski/Getty Images

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