Month Archives: November 2019

How Game of Thrones Mainstreamed Sexual Exploitation

by Laura Grossberndt

November 25, 2019

The HBO television show Game of Thrones enjoyed much critical and popular acclaim during its eight-season run. It was heralded as “the world’s most popular show,” and its series finale drew 19.3 million viewers. However, this massive success was built, in part, upon the exhibition of its actors’ naked bodies in graphic, sexually charged situations—all for viewers’ entertainment. A recent interview with British actress and former Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke reveals her pain of being exposed for the camera. Her account should serve as a chilling reminder that the entertainment we choose to consume has consequences.

Clarke recalls being 23 years old and fresh out of acting school when she was offered the part of Daenerys Targaryen. She was eager to have a job on a film set, but when she received the script and learned that her character would be naked and brutally raped on-screen, Clarke was shocked and apprehensive.

I have no idea what I’m doing; I have no idea what any of this is…. I’ve been on a film set twice before then, and now I’m on a film set, completely naked, with all of these people—and I don’t know what I’m meant to do, and I don’t know what’s expected of me, and I don’t know what you want, and I don’t know what I want. Regardless of whether there’d be nudity or not, I would have spent that first season thinking, I’m not worthy of requiring anything; I’m not worthy of needing anything at all.

Clarke says she drank vodka and cried in a bathroom while trying to cope with filming the rape scene. Since that time, she has been repeatedly pressured to do nude scenes. Producers would try to coerce her, saying things like, “You don’t wanna disappoint your Game of Thrones fans.”

Most poignant about Clarke’s account of her early days on the set of Game of Thrones is her feeling of helplessness. Many women whose bodies have been exploited via the commercial sex trade and the porn industry have felt similarly powerless. That is because selling the human body is not female empowerment, but human abasement.

Movies and television shows such as Game of Thrones enjoy a patina of respectability due to their complex plots, extensive viewership, and numerous awards—making them more palatable to a wide audience than a pornographic film would be. However, by treating human sexuality as a commodity, Game of Thrones and its ilk are just another incarnation of the commercial sex trade.

In October of this year, I attended a D.C. Council hearing on the proposed decriminalization of the buying and selling of sex in the nation’s capital. Many of the witnesses opposing decriminalization were survivors of the commercial sex trade. Several of these survivors explained how it is common to turn to drugs and/or alcohol to deal with the anxiety, stress, and shame felt as a result of their bodies being bought and sold for others’ sexual pleasure.

Other witnesses, who were still presently engaged in prostitution, were in favor of decriminalizing the commercial sex trade. Tragically, they believed their economic wellbeing depended on selling themselves. They did not realize that their willingness to be sold (due to their desperate financial situation) makes them no less victims of sexual exploitation than those forced into the commercial sex trade by a trafficker. Choosing to be exploited, out of fear of retribution or financial ruin, is not much of a choice at all.

While the circumstances surrounding Clarke’s performance—e.g., her acting school training, the show’s critical acclaim and distribution on a major cable network—may have lent her some dignity not afforded to women who are trafficked, the trauma that drove her to tears and drinking is strikingly similar to the experiences of the sexually exploited. Feigning graphic sexual acts on a film set is not very different than any other type of commercial sex trade in that it demeans human beings and degrades human sexuality.

Consuming sexually violent and explicit media not only damages our mental, physical, and spiritual health, it negatively impacts those around us by creating a demand for this type of entertainment, motivating the entertainment industry to create sexually graphic content in order to meet the demand and increase profits. The industry will, in turn, pressure actors (particularly women) to degrade themselves in front of the camera. Christians and anyone who advocates for women’s dignity should oppose media that exploits human beings in such an offensive and toxic manner.

As Uyghurs Disappear in China, Officials Offer Scripted Excuses

by Arielle Del Turco

November 21, 2019

In what might first appear to be a progressive measure to help a religious and ethnic minority group, China sends the brightest Uyghur college students to universities across the country. But what happens when Beijing is simultaneously detaining the parents of these students to be brainwashed with communist propaganda? Well, the Chinese government has directives on how to handle uncomfortable conversations that ensue when Uyghur students return home and ask why their parents have disappeared.   

Following a historic leak of Chinese government documents, The New York Times released a document that instructed local officials on how to explain the forced disappearance of Uyghur students’ family members. Officials were encouraged to quickly meet with students to mollify concerns and ensure compliance with the policy. Their parents were merely “in a training school set up by the government to undergo collective systematic training, study and instruction.”

Students were to be comforted that they “have absolutely no need to worry.” Yet, they were also warned that their behavior would affect the length of their relatives’ detention.

When students inquired as to what crime their family members have committed, the officials were instructed to tell the truth. “They haven’t committed a crime and won’t be convicted.” Rather, officials were to try to sell students the narrative that the minds of their relatives had been “infected by unhealthy thoughts.” This is what China is trying to fix.

Though guilty of no crime, these students’ families had been caught up in China’s wide-scale campaign against religion. China currently detains at least 1.5 million Uyghurs, a mostly-Muslim Turkic ethnic group, in what it calls “concentrated education and training schools.” Others have preferred the term “concentration camps.” This program forces Uyghurs to adopt the language and beliefs preferred by the regime. The testimonies of detainees report daily Chinese Communist Party indoctrination sessions, torture, and sexual assault.

The leaked documents contain many references to “infections” and “viruses.” But religion is not a disease. And forcibly detaining members of a religious minority group who aren’t guilty of any crime is not a legitimate counter-terrorism effort, as China has repeatedly claimed.

Among the leaked documents are speeches by Chinese President Xi Jinping in which he directed officials to show “absolutely no mercy” when carrying out the party’s policies in Xinjiang.

However, the documents revealed that not everyone was quick to embrace China’s oppressive policies in Xinjiang. In 2017 alone, the party opened over 12,000 investigations into party members in Xinjiang for infractions in the “fight against separatism.”

In response to the leak, China’s foreign ministry said the report was “a clumsy patchwork of selective interpretation” that was “deaf and blind to the facts.” The Chinese government can complain about how their actions in Xinjiang are perceived all they want. The fact is that their own internal documents show exactly what their intentions are. Notably, the Chinese foreign ministry didn’t bother to deny the authenticity of these documents.

This news has prompted U.S. lawmakers to renew calls for the House of Representatives to pass the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, which was passed in the Senate in September. Lawmakers are also calling for the imposition of Global Magnitsky Act sanctions against top Chinese officials responsible for abuses against Uyghurs. U.S. politicians should use the momentum fostered by The New York Times’ report to take these actions and others. China needs to hear loud and clear that their repression of Uyghurs and other religious groups will not be tolerated by the rest of the world. The evidence has never been more obvious. And the situation has never been more urgent.

America Needs a Reality Check on Transgenderism

by Lisa

November 19, 2019

*Editor’s Note: This true account is the final part of a 6-Part series. Read Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4, and Part 5.

No, my brother is not a woman. His name is not Melissa. He is simply a guy named Josh who wants the freedom to cross-dress in public. And he should have that freedom. This is America, after all. Whether I like it or not, he does have the right to put on a dress and parade around town. But what he does not have is the right to make the rest of us deny reality by affirming that him donning a dress makes him an actual woman.   

Therapists previously viewed many forms of cross-dressing as a temporary way to ease stress and anxiety. This is easy enough to understand. People do all kinds of things to ease stress and anxiety. They drink. They eat too much junk food. They self-harm. But any healthy person understands that we should never take a compulsion being used to ease deeper pain and begin celebrating that compulsion as someone’s primary identity. Yet that’s what’s being done with my brother and everyone else who transitions.

Now, girls as young as 3 who like sports and trucks or say imaginative things like “I’m a fairy…I’m a ninja…I’m a boy” are being told by doctors (and celebrity moms like Charlize Theron) that they need to transition. Now, books like I Am Jazz that erroneously claim girls can be born with a boy’s brain and vice versa are being pushed on every child in public school (my 10-year-old was just told to read it in her school library recently). Pre-pubescent kids across the country are being put on powerful, reproductive-ending hormones to stop the onset of puberty. Teenagers are having their breasts removed and their penises cut off simply because they’re into things that are traditionally associated with the opposite gender.

Gender non-conformity is the very thing scores of people fought against for decades. I personally owe a debt of gratitude to those people. Because of their efforts, I myself grew up a strong, confident female who embraced her many traditionally “masculine” qualities. I am direct and opinionated. I am not afraid of confrontation. I’d rather watch an NFL game than attend a baby shower any day of the week. I majored in criminal justice in college. I worked with gang members in Chicago. A lot of my personal interests and life experiences would not be considered classically “feminine.” But just because I have many qualities and enjoy activities traditionally associated with the opposite gender does not mean I should become that gender. How silly of an idea is that?      

Girls can be interested in anything boys like. And vice versa. I made all three of my girls watch a Formula 1 race recently. Why? Because girls should be exposed to race cars…and football…and extreme sports usually dominated by males. This should all be obvious. Boys, likewise, can grow up to be hair stylists and preschool teachers and fashion moguls. Men should be applauded for having classically “feminine” qualities like being nurturing, intuitive, warm, and kind. They should never be told that possessing those qualities might make them transgender.

Even as our culture continues to push a message of female empowerment, we ignore one large caveat: Anyone can be female. Even the dude walking past you right now, (depending on how he feels later this afternoon). Meanwhile, trans men are just beginning an era of sports dominance as they continue to smash one girl’s athletic record after another. Read this article for more details on that.

My brother will say that gender is just a tiny part of who he is. (If so, why change?) But for him to think that he will “still be himself” if he becomes a woman is perhaps the craziest lie perpetuated by the trans cult. My brother is no longer a man named Josh. A man named for my grandfather—a hard-working immigrant who came to America to build a new life. My brother is now a false caricature of a female—a female who requires you to use certain pronouns in order to stay in relationship with him.

Of course he has his same personality and preferences. That’s a no-brainer. But to claim that one’s gender doesn’t ultimately matter in the grand scheme of things shows just how far this madness has come. I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t have married my husband if he weren’t male. And, as a married woman, I wouldn’t be going to lunch with my girlfriend this afternoon if she weren’t female. Tell my mother that it doesn’t matter if the son she raised for almost four decades is now suddenly her “daughter.”  

The pain and suffering that my parents and our extended family and friends have endured as a result of this denial of reality could only be labeled cruel and unusual punishment.  

We love my brother dearly. We want him to get the professional help he needs. But because the trans lobby has co-opted the American Psychological Association, that is no longer possible. For a therapist to recommend anything other than a gender transition for someone like my brother is no longer an option. While LGBT activists are working to make it illegal for professionals to help someone who wishes to change from homosexual to heterosexual, the professions are moving toward making it virtually mandatory to assist anyone who wishes to change from male to female.

And now that the trans lobby also convinced the World Health Organization to eliminate the mental illness of “gender identity disorder” altogether, we are truly in new territory. According to therapists, my brother no longer has any problem at all. It is only those of us who won’t acknowledge that he is now a woman named Melissa who have the problem.  

My brother looks more and more like me with every month that passes. Cross-sex hormones are really quite effective. It’s stunning and disturbing. No family should ever be subject to what my family has experienced.  

It’s time someone stands up against the trans cult and says “no more.”

We cannot continue to deny physical reality simply because the therapists, doctors, and now the tech companies have all been co-opted by the trans lobby.

I love my brother. But love does not mean supporting him as he slowly destroys himself. I have a dear friend who’s an alcoholic. I love and support this friend. I do not, however, show my love and support by driving her to bars. Love means speaking the truth. Even if it gets you booted off Twitter. Even if it gets you death threats.

My brother, along with hundreds of thousands of trans people across the globe, are being grossly taken advantage of on their quest for a personal identity. They long for a group to belong to, a meaningful cause to work toward. My brother and his wife (like so many others) believe they have found these things in the LGBTQ community.

The trans cult has embraced them; and they now show their allegiance to this cult by spouting its dogma via lengthy social media diatribes about affirming your child’s preferred gender. My brother leads seminars on diversity and inclusivity even as he gives a decidedly non-inclusive ultimatum to his parents: Either acknowledge I’m Melissa or have limited access to your grandchildren going forward.   

My brother keeps saying this is “his” story to tell and his alone.

It’s not.

It’s my story.

It’s the story of my family—a family that’s been ripped apart because of one man’s choice to embrace his True Self. It’s the story of a community in the Midwest where each person was forced to make a decision: either support the transgender madness and win accolades in popular culture or refuse to deny reality and risk being called intolerant and “transphobic.” It’s the story of a country so lost and confused they can no longer even agree upon the very nature of reality itself.    

This is your wake-up call, America.

It’s time to take your story back.

The Regressive Cult of Transgenderism

by Lisa

November 18, 2019

*Editor’s Note: This true account is Part 5 of a 6-Part series. Read Part 1Part 2Part 3, and Part 4.

Our country understands that Scientology is a cult. But we still don’t seem to understand how much the transgender movement mirrors cults like Scientology. Scientologists call people who seek to “impede the progress of Scientology” suppressive people. Likewise, my brother and his wife deem people who don’t fully embrace Melissa “unsafe.” This would include both sets of their children’s grandparents. Why are these sweet, loving grandparents being called “unsafe”? Because they refuse to affirm my brother as Melissa and use she/her pronouns. In other words, they are impeding the progress of the transgender movement.

Calling everyone who doesn’t support the trans movement “unsafe” or worse yet, “transphobic” is beyond ignorant. People like me who strongly disagree with trans ideology do not have a “phobia.” I am not afraid of trans people. I love them. I am related to them. Anyone who mocks or threatens someone whose lifestyle they disagree with is obviously wrong. Trans people should never be made fun of or bullied in any way. They are dealing with enough as it is.

But all of America is now blindly embracing the trans cult and silencing those who won’t get on board. They tell us we’re guilty of “hate speech” if we “misgender” someone. I am told I am hateful even though I have nothing but love for my brother. I am sad that he believes this is the answer to his identity crisis when any thinking person can see it’s another dead end.    

A girl recently commented to me in an email how unfortunate it is that I’m not “getting along with my sister.” I do not have a sister. I have not had a sister during the 40 years I’ve been alive on this planet. Yet a few years from now, if we continue on the same track we’ve been on, I will likely be considered the mentally ill one for refusing to acknowledge I have a sister named Melissa.

My brother, on the other hand, will be sitting pretty. Quite literally. In his dresses, with his heels and makeup, playing the part of some old, outdated female stereotype that you would think had been long since eradicated from such a progressive, forward-thinking, equality-minded country.

Transgenderism reinforces everything feminists have spent their entire lives fighting against. It promotes ridiculously outdated gender stereotypes (being a woman means putting on a skirt and heels). Yet now, even life-long feminist icons are having their social media accounts suspended for saying things like, “A man cannot be a woman.”  

Sheila Jeffreys, a lesbian feminist scholar and former professor of Political Science at the University of Melbourne writes in Gender Hurts: A Feminist Analysis of the Politics of Transgenderism that sex reassignment surgery is actually “an extension of the beauty industry offering cosmetic solutions to deeper rooted problems.”

Amen to that.

Jeffreys argues that the “vast majority of transsexuals still subscribe to the traditional stereotype of women” and that by transitioning medically and socially they are constructing a “fantasy” of what a woman should be and are inventing “an essence of womanhood which is deeply insulting and restrictive.” Jeffreys believes trans woman are either “homosexual men who don’t feel they can be homosexual in the bodies of men” or are “heterosexual men who have a sexual interest in wearing women’s clothes and having the appearance of women.” (For more details on the latter, read Dr. Ray Blanchard’s work on autogynephilia.)  

Feminists have fought their entire lives to help real women who are being oppressed, tormented and abused by men. Now they’re being told to roll over and let a bunch of men join the group.  

This is part of why the original LGB community held off as long as they could before allowing the “T” in. Transgender individuals have a far greater likelihood of being diagnosed with mental illnesses when compared to their gay and lesbian counterparts. It was only after the trans lobby grew large enough to have a financial impact on LGB efforts in Washington that they were invited into the fold. Now even some gay and lesbian leaders are speaking out against the trans movement. They’re deeply troubled by what they see happening, especially as it concerns children being told to transition at increasingly younger ages after just a few visits to a therapist. Of course these gay and lesbian dissenters are having their voices silenced by the mainstream media and have had to join forces with conservatives to sound the alarm.

No empowered female could ever champion transgender ideology. It’s an insult to women the world over to suggest that because someone who has a penis puts on a dress and heels, it automatically makes him a woman. Any real woman knows we are not our clothes or shoes. We are not our hair or makeup. Outer beauty has nothing to do with us being female.

Read Part 6.

The Cultural Power of the Transgender Movement

by Lisa

November 15, 2019

*Editor’s Note: This true account is Part 4 of a 6-Part series. Read Part 1Part 2, and Part 3.

Telling a gender-confused person to transition is like telling someone with bulimia, “Look, we see you’re only 90 pounds and wasting away…but since you still think you’re fat, I guess you could get your stomach stapled if you think it’ll make you feel better.”

James Shupe, the first person to obtain a “non-binary” sex classification in America, has a lot to say about the evils of trans medicine. After taking cross-sex hormones for six years, he says it left him with an “eternally scarred psyche” and countless physical health issues. James’ therapist recommended he start on estrogen and testosterone blockers in 2013 because he was convinced he was a woman. In an article for The Daily Signal, James says, “I believed wearing a long wig, dresses, heels and makeup would make me a woman … The best thing that could have happened would have been for someone to order intensive therapy. That would have protected me from my inclination to cross-dress …  Instead, quacks in the medical community [said], ‘Your gender identity is female.’”

When James began the transitioning process, doctors and therapists told him he’d soon experience a boost in mental health. “It was just the opposite,” he says. “It destabilized my mental health because I was living in a false reality … I perfectly understand why this kills people and why there’s such high suicide rate … it’s the program itself that’s killing us.”

When becoming a woman didn’t provide James with the happiness he sought, he convinced a judge to declare him non-binary. As America’s first legally recognized non-binary individual, he shot to fame in the LGBTQ community. Their leadership rushed in to provide him with the money he’d need to fight additional legal battles (changing his name, changing the sex on his passport, etc.). Before long, millions of taxpayer dollars were being used to add a third “non-binary” sex option to driver’s licenses in 11 states.

But when James came out against the sterilization of gender-confused kids in 2017, the LGBTQ community immediately broke ties with him. He later de-transitioned and currently speaks out against trans medicine. He now admits, “All of my sexual confusion was in my head. I should have been treated. Instead, at every step, doctors, judges and advocacy groups indulged my fiction … the medical community is so afraid of the trans community … Trans men are winning in medicine and they’ve won the battle for language. Think of the word ‘transvestite.’ They’ve succeeded in making it a vulgar word, even though it just means men dressing like women. People are no longer allowed to tell the truth about men like me. Everyone now has to call us transgender instead.”

And James is right. Much as the language around addiction has been purposefully changed to absolve people of personal responsibility, the vocabulary around gender dysphoria has shifted too. It’s no longer politically correct to say a drug addict makes a choice to ingest opioids. We must instead say the person has a disease. We hear about the opioid “epidemic.” Language like this removes choice from the equation. Likewise, we can no longer call men who want to dress like women “transvestites” because that would imply they have a choice as to whether or not they cross-dress. The new lexicon demands we use the word “transgender” instead. This word implies that it’s not up to the person whether or not he cross-dresses. In fact, he has zero choice in the matter. His brain was born in the wrong body after all.  

As a 40-year-old female, I spent the last decade of my life after having children trying to get my hormone levels back on track. The ups and downs of estrogen and progesterone wreaked havoc on my body. Yet my brother is being prescribed these same dangerous and unpredictable hormones in large quantities. The host of health problems this can cause has been well documented and includes a reduction in fertility (and often sterility), plus increased risk of cancer, etc. Yet trans activists are now recommending that children start taking puberty blockers to stop their bodies from naturally producing any hormones beginning around age 8.  

One day hormone treatments and sex re-assignment surgeries will be recognized for what they are: the lobotomies of our time. We can now look back and see how insane it was to lobotomize thousands of Americans, but at the time the procedure made sense. Everyone was doing it. Read more about how the current transgender craze is like the lobotomies of yesteryear.

Read Part 5.

The Lies and Money Behind the Transgender Movement

by Lisa

November 14, 2019

*Editor’s Note: This true account is Part 3 of a 6-Part series. Read Part 1 and Part 2.

If we really believe that supporting others on their path to uncover their True Self is the best route for us to go as a society, what do you suppose our country will look like a decade from now?

Well, the number of “otherkin”—people who identify themselves as half-human, half other species—is growing. Men and women who believe they are half dragon, lion, or dog are popping up all over the globe. A man named John who identifies himself as a fox is requesting special legal rights that will accommodate him as an animal. A tech company employee who identifies as half cat recently filed an HR complaint with his employer for not providing litter boxes in the restroom.

If you support transgender rights and believe everyone should be allowed to self-identify as whatever they “feel” like inside, you must support otherkin rights. After all, who are we to say what someone’s subjective reality is?

Surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly), a significant percentage of “otherkin” also identify as transgender. And just like transgender individuals, many otherkin are having surgery to look more like the animal or entity they identify with. Eva Tiamat Legion Medusa (formerly Richard Hernandez) is a transgender woman (born a man) from Texas who also identifies as half-dragon. Eva has spent over $60,000 on surgeries to look more like a dragon. This includes having his ears removed, his nose removed and most of his teeth removed. He’s had eight horns implanted into his forehead, his tongue bi-furcated and the whites of his eyes permanently stained green.

Eva says on his Facebook page, “I smile and I look in quiet contemplation and I say goodbye for good for the man I used to be …” He goes on to explain that he is posting the final photo from his old life, his life when he was still a man and a father to his young son. He says, “In shedding this part of my life that makes me human, I swing the pendulum even more towards my goal of becoming 100% my true self as a reptilian.”

Sound familiar?

Like Eva, my brother will likely have countless surgeries to modify his body to better represent his True Self. But instead of a reptile, he’ll morph into the more socially acceptable female. Trans women often seek out breast augmentation surgery, facial feminization surgery, a tracheal shave, voice feminization surgery, and last but not least, a vaginoplasty.

Because personal identity is now deemed “fluid” (thanks in large part to transgenderism), you can bet that more animals and mythical creatures (like Eva) will start appearing and seeking more legal rights in years to come.  

And if you can legally change your biological sex just because you feel like it, logic follows that you must be allowed to legally change anything about yourself since you and you alone determine your personal reality. This is how we end up with people like Martina Big and Michael Eurwen from Germany—the couple has received melatonin injections for many years in order to make their skin darker. Why? Because although reality would tell us they’re both Caucasian, they personally identify as African. 

If you google Martina Big, you will immediately notice a few things… namely, that she, like Eva, may have some mental health issues that have gone unaddressed. Not only has she spent many years attempting to transform herself into an African woman, she has also had 23 breast implants. Body modification is once again a common theme. So the real question is: Should we all play along with Eva and Martina’s delusions because only they can tell us who they really are? Or should we try to get people like this the help they so obviously need?

Even as American culture continues to spout a message of “body positivity,” my brother’s therapist (in conjunction with the trans medical industry) insist that his body is his problem, not his mind. They tell him that he must modify his body beyond recognition in an attempt to move deeper into his delusion.

Why would my brother’s therapist (and therapists all over the country) tell men who have a history of cross-dressing to take their compulsive behavior to its furthest extreme by ingesting dangerous cross-sex hormones for the rest of their lives?

Part of the reason is because there’s big money driving trans medicine.       

After trans medical research became popular in Europe in the early 2000s, doctors gained a new understanding of how they could make a financial killing by peddling a new “treatment” for the psychiatric problem of gender dysphoria.  

It’s not that these doctors weren’t genuinely trying to help people with gender dysphoria. It’s just that once money came into the equation, the trajectory of the industry changed. If you study the history of trans medicine, you’ll quickly discover that, as the machine grew bigger and people realized how many millions of dollars could be made off of people’s mental health struggles, those who opposed the idea of sex reassignment were silenced. This includes well respected Ivy League professors and medical industry leaders like Dr. Paul McHugh. McHugh was the Johns Hopkins doctor in charge of the first sex-reassignment surgery program in the U.S. Once McHugh reviewed the data and realized that going along with a patient’s delusion was proving more harmful than helpful, he shut the Johns Hopkins program down.

By that time, it was too late. What began as two clinics (one on either coast) that recommended sex reassignment surgery to people experiencing gender confusion had already begun to expand. Now there are clinics in almost every state offering these surgeries, and at least 13 states cover transition surgeries under Medicaid.

The sex reassignment surgery market is estimated to reach $968 million by 2024. The country of Thailand alone attracts 2 million transgender people each year to undergo sex reassignment. As a result, the country has a $4 billion medical tourism market. Packages that include medical and surgical expenses plus hotel accommodation start at $9,770.

In When Harry Became Sally, Ryan Anderson explains that when they followed people who had sex reassignment surgery over 30 years in Sweden (a culture that is strongly supportive of transgender people), those who had the surgery still claimed to struggle with severe mental unrest. The suicide rate of those who underwent surgery was 19 times higher than their comparable peers. He concluded that transitioning to the opposite gender does not produce the happiness people seek. Perhaps this is because their problems go much, much deeper.

More than 100 follow-up studies of post-operative transsexuals done by the University of Birmingham concluded none of the studies showed evidence that gender reassignment was beneficial. Even the Obama administration came to the same conclusion in 2016. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services conducted a thorough review of clinical studies and concluded there was not enough evidence to show that sex reassignment surgery benefitted its patients at all.

Read Part 4.

The Damaging Delusions of Identity Obsession and Erasure

by Lisa

November 13, 2019

*Editor’s Note: This true account is Part 2 of a 6-Part series. Read Part 1.

Now in American culture, instead of applauding people for showing restraint, we applaud them for throwing off restraint. Hence the thousands of Instagram followers now telling my brother things like “You go girl!” and “You’re going to make one beautiful woman!”

The logical problem with all this is that if a man is to be “supported and celebrated” as he embarks on the journey to his True Self, shouldn’t everyone be celebrated as they allow their true selves to flourish? If we do away with the concept of sin and human weakness and simply concede that everyone is inherently good, there is really no impulse that needs to be fought against. Ever. The porn addict may as well explore his True Self via his fetish of choice. The opioid addict too. And of course the married woman should be celebrated when she finally finds her True Self in the arms of another man. Then there’s the pedophile. What do we do with the man who claims (as many have) that their True Self is attracted to small children?

My brother and sister-in-law would immediately sayof course pedophilia is wrong.” Because, they argue, any behavior that would cause direct harm to others is automatically out of bounds. My brother would argue that the trans person, however, is not harming anyone by simply switching genders.

So let’s consider his argument. Would my brother—who has been a man for 37 years now—suddenly changing into a woman really not be harmful?

I suppose that depends on your definition of “harmful.”

Is it harmful to disrupt the mental, emotional, and physical health of dozens of family members and hundreds of friends for years and likely decades to come? Is it harmful to raise five young children in a state of psychological confusion in which the person that they thought was one thing (a man) has morphed into another, causing all of reality to lose any permanence? Is it harmful for five small children to try to comprehend how their parents—who were previously a heterosexual couple—are apparently now a homosexual one as their mom now refers to her husband as her “wife” and their dad refers to himself as a lesbian? Is it harmful for a husband who promised to love and cherish his wife to abandon all responsibilities as the man she thought she married? Is it harmful to deprive five children who previously had a father of any sort of father figure going forward? Is it harmful for a husband/father/son/brother to commit a slow form of suicide and then demand everyone accept some random woman take his place in the family?  

American culture currently says none of this is harmful. Why? Well, for starters they’d argue that the random woman who’s now asking to be part of my family has all the same likes and dislikes as the brother I knew before.

Is that what makes a person who they are? Their TV show preferences and favorite sports teams? If so, then most of my friends are interchangeable with millions of other people.

Ok, so maybe that doesn’t entirely work. Then, they’d say, the reason Melissa and Josh are the same person is because they share the same memories. It’s definitely a stronger argument. But once someone switches genders, they often attempt to erase a lot of their past history to some degree. They associate the person they were before (the person who wasn’t living as his/her “True Self”) with someone who was weak. My brother posted on social media that being Josh for 37 years was like one long “April Fools joke.” He called it the biggest joke of his life. So while Josh may share the same memories as Melissa, Melissa has made it very clear she would prefer not to ever think about Josh.  According to my brother’s wife, even hearing the name Josh makes them feel like they’ve been “punched in the stomach.”

This is why when you Google Bruce Jenner, you only get articles about Caitlyn. There is no Bruce. Bruce is gone. This is the story of everyone who falls under the spell of the trans cult. Their old life along with its past memories slowly disappear—first online and then everywhere else. I cannot find a single trace of the years my brother Josh spent on social media, even though he had a decade’s worth of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts. He’s gone.

This is why my mother looks through photos from my brother’s wedding 18 years ago, lamenting, “He was such a handsome man.” That man has made it clear to us that he is no longer alive. Only Melissa and whichever memories she chooses to incorporate into her narrative are living now.

Read Part 3.

Turkey Is Accused of War Crimes in Syria. Here Are Three Questions Trump Should Ask Erdogan.

by Arielle Del Turco

November 12, 2019

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is headed to the White House to meet with President Trump on Wednesday, November 13. Members of Congress have objected to this meeting due to the ongoing Turkish incursion into Northeast Syria, which has taken a significant toll on civilians and religious minorities, including Christians. Erdogan’s arrival on Wednesday is expected to be greeted by protests. In 2017, a small group protesting Erdogan’s visit in D.C. was assaulted by members of Erdogan’s security detail who overran D.C. police. In response to this incident two years ago, Rep. Dan Crenshaw is leading a joint letter urging the State Department and D.C. police to ensure that Erdogan and his security detail “are aware of and understand that Americans enjoy First Amendment rights to assembly and speech.”

It’s a controversial decision to meet with Erdogan, yet this gives President Trump the perfect opportunity to confront the authoritarian leader and pressure him to cease his country’s ongoing abuses in Northeast Syria. There’s still time to set the agenda of the two leaders’ November 13 meeting. To that end, here are three questions President Trump should pressure Erdogan to answer.

1) How will you rein in the Syrian militias, which the Turkish military is currently using in the offensive into Northeast Syria and who have committed documented war crimes and other violations?

Turkish-backed militias are doing a lot of the dirty work in Turkey’s incursion into Northeast Syria. In the ongoing assault in Northeast Syria, Turkish-backed forces have executed Kurdish prisoners, ambushed and brutally killed a female Kurdish politician, and killed many unarmed civilians. Videos and photos have surfaced showing Turkish-backed militia members executing civilians by the roadside—and U.S. officials confirmed their authenticity.

Dave Eubank of the Free Burma Rangers is shocked by their actions. He called them “a wicked force unleashing terror. You know we’ve seen them mutilate girls, torture civilians, yell ‘Allah Akbar’ just like we saw ISIS do against us. So, I would say they’re a wicked scourge being used by Erdogan to torment the people here. And they’ve got to be stopped.”

These extremist groups are funded by and are under the command of the Turkish military. Their grotesque actions are beyond unacceptable. Turkey is a NATO ally; they shouldn’t be funding extremists to commit atrocities against civilians in a neighboring country. President Erdogan should be made to answer for the actions of these forces, and President Trump is well within his rights to demand that Erdogan rein in these militias.

2) What are you going to do to fulfill your promise to protect Christians and other religious minorities that have been harassed and victimized by Turkish-backed Syrian militias?

Christians and other religious minorities have been targeted for attack by the Turkish military and Turkish-backed forces. CBN News reported that Turkish-backed forces are marking Christian homes with the Arabic letter “N” to label them as Christian for the purpose of confiscating their belongings, much like ISIS did.

Turkish bombardments have even appeared to target Christian sites and neighborhoods, including the largest Christian neighborhood in Qamishli, setting houses on fire and killing several civilians. Some Christians in Syria fear that the Turkish incursion will ultimately lead to the extinction of Christianity from the region as the situation becomes unlivable. This is especially disturbing, given that the region Turkey is attacking is led by the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, where (up until a month ago) religious minorities were protected and given equal political rights—an anomaly in the Middle East.

A statement from the White House on October 9 claimed, “Turkey has committed to protecting civilians, protecting religious minorities, including Christians, and ensuring no humanitarian crisis takes place—and we will hold them to this commitment.” Turkey has clearly failed to deliver on this promise. Erdogan’s government assured the U.S. that they would protect Christians and religious minorities—President Trump can remind him of that.

3) How will you ensure further war crimes aren’t committed by the Turkish military and Turkish-backed forces?

Credible reports indicate that Turkey is guilty of war crimes committed within the last month. A statement from Amnesty International noted “damning evidence of war crimes” committed by Turkish forces in Syria. Kumi Naidoo of Amnesty International said, “Turkish military forces and their allies have displayed an utterly callous disregard for civilian lives, launching unlawful deadly attacks in residential areas that have killed and injured civilians.” Dave Eubank also attests to war crimes committed by Turkish-backed forces. “Oh yes, killing prisoners, killing civilians, chasing people out of their homes, torture. Definitely.”

Evidence also suggests Turkish-backed forces have used munitions loaded with white phosphorus—a chemical that does enormous damage and can kill. Civilians, including children, appear to have been attacked by the chemical weapon. Kurdish General Mazloum has accused Turkey of ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish people to later replace them with Arab Syrians in the region they invaded, changing the demography of the region.

Turkey needs to answer for its targeting of civilians. U.S. drone feeds appeared to show Turkish-backed Arab gunmen targeting civilians during the invasion of Northeast Syria. Rojava Information Center has reported that Turkish forces targeted civilians fleeing the invasion and bombed a hospital which had to be taken out of service due to Turkish shelling. Erdogan must be made to explain the many reports of civilian causalities, especially after he promised the U.S. that Turkey would protect civilians.

Ultimately, this meeting should not be a simple photo op that Erdogan can use to show that the United States affirms Turkish actions in Northeast Syria. Instead, this is a perfect opportunity for President Trump to press Erdogan on Turkey’s actions and hold Turkey accountable for ongoing atrocities in Syria.

The Cult of Transgenderism: My Brother’s Crisis of Identity in an America Gone Mad

by Lisa

November 12, 2019

The Abandonment of Reality and the Embrace of the “True Self”

*Editor’s Note: This is Part 1 of a 6-Part Series. The author of this true account, a wife and mother of three, wishes to remain anonymous. All names in this account have been changed.

Last year, my brother Josh, a 37-year-old married father with five kids under the age of 9, announced he was becoming a woman.

His wife, in turn, announced that she not only plans to stay married, but that she is “more proud of him” than she’s ever been. Actually, she said she is “more proud of her than she’s ever been.” That’s because my brother Josh changed his name to Melissa and now requires everyone to use “she/her” pronouns when referring to him. If the grandparents refuse to do this, they have been threatened with limited access to their grandchildren.

My brother and sister-in-law claim that through several years of therapy, they came to realize the truth: that Melissa was Josh’s “true self” all along.

Thus, my tall, handsome, muscular brother began taking strong female hormones that transformed him into a different person. His facial hair stopped growing. He grew breasts instead. As part of his “social transition” he began wearing dresses, wigs, heels, and makeup in public. He will have to stay on female hormones until the day he dies. He refuses to answer to the name Josh now—the only name anyone’s known him as for almost four decades. He says Josh is dead. There was even some type of symbolic “burial ceremony” to say goodbye to Josh once and for all. Unfortunately, I didn’t get invited to that. Nor did my parents. No one sent us flowers. No one dropped off a casserole.

Basically, the best way to describe what happens when a loved one decides to swap genders is this: It’s as though someone murders your loved one and then the murderer gets extremely angry if you won’t let them take the victim’s place in your family.

My family and I are now called “transphobic” for not embracing Melissa with open arms.

When I told my brother, “I’m sorry…I love Josh, but I cannot move forward with this new Melissa girl,” he simply texted me: “So long then.” So long to almost 40 years of relating as siblings. So long to weekly dinners at my parents’ home. So long to our kids growing up with their cousins. But I do not fault him or his wife for this. They are victims. They have been brainwashed by the trans cult. It all began with a therapist’s advice and ended with lifelong payments to the trans medical machine. There’s lots of money to be made in telling people to become the opposite gender. Lots. (More on that later.)

Oddly, even in this #MeToo era, American culture now tells me that my brother—who’s spent 37 years as a Caucasian male—now deserves the same rights and respects that I, an actual woman, deserve. I’m a woman who’s been sexually harassed hundreds of times in my 40 years of life. My brother was a star high school athlete who had his pick of girls to date. While I was fending off unwanted stares and groping hands of males in my 20s, he was enjoying all the perks of being just such a male in the 21st century. While I was giving birth to three babies who will grow up to be women in my 30s, he was joining the fight to get legal access to their public restrooms.

See, if my brother was claiming to be an alien or a time traveler instead of a woman, our culture would never support it. But since it’s 2019 and the denial of reality when it comes to biological sex is en vogue—countless people are blindly embracing Melissa as my brother’s “True Self.” Even though reality clearly proves my brother is male, people unabashedly deny reality out of fear of being called “intolerant.” They’re terrified of being lumped in with all the “Trump-supporting, LGBTQ haters.” They say things like, “If Josh tells us that this Melissa is actually his ‘true self,’ who are we to argue?”

The “True Self” has become the final measure of all things. Every book we open, every show we watch, every internet meme we read suggests we can all attain greater levels of health and peace through a deeper understanding and expression of our “True Self.”

It sounds so right. How can it be wrong?

In his book The Road to Character, David Brooks explains that back in the day, there was something called moral realism—a worldview that put an emphasis on human sin and human weakness. Biblical figures like David and Moses were seen as great leaders who were also deeply flawed. Augustine and the early church fathers talked constantly about the depravity of sin and the need for grace. Then around the 18th century, moral realism found a rival in moral romanticism. Romantics like Jean-Jacques Rousseau emphasized the inherent goodness of man and rejected the concept of sin.

Fast forward to the 20th century when books like Rabbi Joshua Liebman’s New York Times best seller Peace of Mind (published in 1946) urged people toward a new morality based on the idea that you should never repress any part of yourself as sinful. Instead, you should “love yourself” and not be afraid of your hidden impulses. Humanist psychologists ran with this idea. They began arguing that the primary problem for humans was no longer sin, but rather the fact that we weren’t fully accepting of ourselves exactly as God made us. This line of thinking led to the advent of the self-esteem movement in 1969, and the core of that movement morphed into what Charles Taylor calls “The Culture of Authenticity.” That’s the culture we’re contending with today.  

The central belief of the culture of authenticity goes something like this:

At the center of every one of us is a Golden Figure known as “the True Self.” The True Self can always be trusted. You know that what you’re doing is right when you feel an inner peace inside your True Self. You know that what you’re doing is wrong when you do not feel inner peace inside your True Self.

Because the True Self is inherently good, there is no sin to be found in it. Thus, sin is now found only in the external structures of society that seek to repress the True Self or stop it from fully emerging.

Previous generations believed the development of character and the road to salvation came by struggling against the desires of the True Self. This is why traits like selflessness and self-sacrifice were considered most admirable. But not anymore. Our culture now has a new “salvation”—with the True Self playing the role of redeemer. 

The steps to this “new salvation” are as follows:

  1. Relinquish any previous struggle you had against your True Self.
  2. Allow your ego/shadow self to fall away so your True Self can fully emerge without any guilt or shame (both of which are constructs of old, outdated religious systems).
  3. Adopt a new lexicon in which words like “sin” and “evil” now refer to the external constructs of society that caused you to doubt your True Self was good and perfect in the first place. (Thus, the only real sin a man is now capable of engaging in is the sin of intolerance.)

Yet many influential thinkers of the past, including John Stuart Mill, believed the point of life was to struggle every day to sacrifice the True Self on the altar of care and concern for others. This is done by achieving a series of small, inner victories against your own desires because you know that acting upon those desires could result in dire consequences for others.

Because we are all bound together through our good and bad choices, the smallest decisions we make today can negatively impact everyone in our sphere of influence, even reaching forward into generations to come. Thus, we build character by a thousand selfless acts of restraint every day that no one ever sees or applauds.  

Our society once believed this sort of self-restraint was the best way to live. Men and women were encouraged to exercise self-restraint in building a life of integrity. But the ideals of selflessness and self-restraint are now seen as hopelessly outdated and must be discarded in favor of the True Self.

Read Part 2.

What We Can Do to Support Human Rights for Chinese Citizens

by Daniel Hart

November 6, 2019

As we have recently written about and discussed on Washington Watch, the evidence is overwhelming. China is forcibly harvesting the organs of its own citizens while they are still alive. The exact number of people that have been killed is not known, but estimates are in the tens of thousands. It is estimated that the organ market that is generated by forced organ harvesting is making China $10 to 20 billion.

As our just-released Issue Analysis points out, these unspeakable crimes against humanity have mostly been perpetrated against religious minorities in China, particularly adherents to Falun Gong and ethnically Muslim Uyghurs.

While forced organ harvesting is the most barbaric form of persecution that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has committed against religious minorities, it is far from the only crime they are guilty of. The CCP was built on an extended reign of terror and mass murder that is unprecedented in the history of the world, so it should come as no surprise that they are using almost any means necessary to suppress dissent—especially of religious minorities who they see as a threat to their goal of total adherence from every single citizen to the atheistic communist ideology.

As we discuss in our new Issue Analysis, hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens whose only crime is the practice of a faith have been imprisoned. An estimated 800,000 to 2 million are being forcibly detained in “re-education” camps that are nothing more than forced indoctrination and torture camps. China has brutally enforced a one-child policy (it is now a two child policy) that was carried out through forced abortions and sterilizations for decades. The list of atrocities that the CCP has committed against its own people goes on and on.

What the American People Can Do to Affect Change

Despite the obvious evils that the CCP perpetrates on its own people, hundreds of American businesses continue to do business with China. It cannot be repeated enough: China is forcibly harvesting the organs of its own people for financial profit. The proof is as plain as day. How much more evil must the CCP commit to finally awaken the conscience of American businesses?

As we argue, there is much that can be done to pressure China from a public policy standpoint, including official condemnations, financial sanctions, renegotiating trade deals, and congressional action.

But the American people can do more than that. It is time for all American companies who do business with China to demand that basic human rights be restored to Chinese citizens or they will seriously consider ending their business partnerships.

American consumers have an important role to play in this. We can all contact the companies that we buy products from and demand that these companies do all they can to pressure the Chinese government to restore human rights to its citizens. Companies listen to the concerns of their customers. The more we demand change, the more companies will realize how concerned their customers are about the issue of human rights in China and the more likely it will be that they will consider changing their business dealings with China.

We American citizens have more power than we think we have. If we demand change from American companies who do business in China and use our purchasing power as leverage, we may be able to hasten the day when the Chinese people are finally free from government oppression.

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