America in the Twilight of Truth
“The Tragedy of Transgenderism, Part 2”
Virginia Armstrong, Ph.D., National Chairman, Eagle Forum’s Court Watch
President, Blackstone Institute
November 20, 2017
In Part 1 of ”The Tragedy of Transgenderism,” we demonstrated the compelling truth that “transgenderism is an inherently ‘religious issue.’” Because the PC Humanistic position in America’s Culture War reacts with violent horror at the invocation in law and politics of anything that has the faintest hint of “religion,” we begin addressing here the Humanistic “Myths that Mask the Truth” about…transgenderism, as America is dragged deeper and deeper into a miasmic twilight blotting from the public square’s view the truths behind the myths. In this issue, we attack the deadly “separation of church/state and “legislation /morality” myth. In its place we define and defend the truth of “the inevitability of inseparability,” particularly as applied to the transgenderism battle in American culture and law.
We employ a powerful tool utilized almost exclusively in American academia. This tool practically never surfaces in American public legal/policy debates, but it is actually functioning in the deep recesses of philosophy/theology at the heart of these debates. This tool was first brought to widespread public attention by the preeminent late Twentieth Century evangelical Christian scholar, Francis Schaeffer, who taught extensively about the “upper-lower story split” in Western and American thought (Schaeffer, The God Who Is There, 1968).
This metaphor pictures a society in which the concept of truth has been divided. An “upper story” houses “ultimate truth,” absolute morality, etc. but is accessible only by “faith”- by the “non-logical and non-rational.” The lower story includes the world of which we are a part, a world we apprehend by the rational and logical, particularly as epitomized in the “scientific method.” Portrayed as the most precise and reliable method of determining “truth,” however, a quick surf of the Internet definitions of “scientific method” today indicates otherwise. In my surfing, I discovered definitions of this concept which did not agree on the number of steps in the scientific method (various sites suggesting, three, four, or even more steps). Nor was there uniformity in the order in which the steps are to be pursued. Precision?! Reliability?! Hardly!
Contemporary Schaefferian scholar, Prof. Nancy Pearcey Director of the Center for Christian Worldview at Houston Baptist University, has correctly discerned that “what Schaeffer called the ‘split view of truth’” is referred to in contemporary academia as the “fact/value split” (Pearcey, Total Truth, 2004). Hailed by The Economist as “America’s pre-eminent evangelical Protestant female intellectual,” Prof. Pearcey points out that in America today, moral principles (now redefined as merely personal feelings, preferences, and values) are vigorously denied any place in the public square by the self-appointed Humanistic “defenders” of the public square. “Moral and religious view and principles” are inherently “non-facts” – they are “biased, subjective and private” matters not “provable by “science or the social sciences.”
The only propositions admissible in public square debate are “facts” – which are housed in Schaeffer’s “lower story.” These are empirical propositions known by science and are “facts” because they are “neutral, objective, public” propositions provable by “science and its progeny, including the “social sciences. To the Reconstructionists, it is these propositions – and ONLY these – which have a valid role in the public square debate, whether on transgenderism or other subjects of cultural/constitutional concern.
The results are clear. Of overriding importance is the truth that there is no wall of separation between religion and law/government or legislation/morality. BUT there is a “brick wall in black robes” (i.e., America’s judges) between law/government and the Judeo-Christian worldview. The latter has been first trivialized, then marginalized, and now even criminalized in American society. Today’s Humanism’s supremacist judges eagerly embrace academia’s conversion of Schaeffer’s upper/lower story split into the “fact/value split.” No self-respecting Reconstructionist judge would base his/her decisions on any grounds other than “facts” (the lower story); “values” (the upper story) are ipso facto excluded as grounds for judicial interpretations of the Constitution. And the split has become the ultimate standard for determining what cases will be admitted to court, what standards will be applied in deciding cases, what procedures will be followed, and what remedies will be available.
But the fact/value split is splintering American law and culture all the way to the very bottom of its foundations, and lethal dangers result. First, the Humanistic argument that science/empirical methods alone determine “facts” and that only facts are admissible in court IS ITSELF A PROPOSITION WHICH CANNOT BE TESTED BY EMPIRICAL METHODS – AN ASSERTION THAT CANNOT ITSELF BE “SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN.” Thus, Humanism/ Reconstructionism’s most revered myth falls on its own sword. The Humanistic definition of a “fact” becomes itself a “value,” not a “fact. And the “law,” which should be the ultimate bastion of rationality in our culture instead finds itself rooted in an oxymoronic myth. When does a true fact exist? The answer, of course, “lies in the eye of the beholder” (e.g., America’s judges).
Second, law and the Constitution specifically become merely a ragtag collection of relativistic contentions pontificated by radically differing judges. Fixed truth is scrubbed from the law, and with it go the categories upon which any healthy legal system is based. No cultural/legal disaster better illustrates this deadly fact than the transgenderism debate itself. Under Humanism, neither “sex” nor “gender” has any fixed meaning because there are no “factual” data to provide those meanings. Without fixed meanings, the multitudinous specific rules, and the broad fundamental concepts necessary to any society e.g., “marriage, “family,” etc. have no meaning. There is no fixed category that can clearly be identified as a “marriage, a family, etc.” But law cannot exist without categories: “murder v. non-murder,” “theft v. non-theft,” etc. And certainly there must be fixed categories giving meaning to the broad, foundational concepts underlying the legal system, including those concepts so dear to the Humanistic heart -”justice v. injustice,” “fairness v. discrimination,” “liberty v. limitations,” “equality v. inequality” etc. Lacking any fixed categories, Reconstructionists have no “factual” ground for pressing their contentions; and their “facts,” again, become only their “values.” Indeed, Humanists have no “factual” grounds for claiming special Constitutional protections for transgenderism, because there are no fixed standards for defining the current system they attack as “discriminatory,” harmful,” unjust,” etc. to transgendered people!
Thus, law as a system, not just scattered rules within the law, is thrown into danger of destruction. As the plurality justices in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992) opined (correctly for once), “Liberty finds no refuge in a jurisprudence of doubt.” This is the very disaster foreseen by law professor Harold Berman more than forty years ago: What is at stake in the contemporary Culture War, he declared, is the “very collapse of our entire Western legal tradition [of which the American tradition is still the most shining example].”
In summary, the truth we proposed in the opening of our transgenderism study stands unshaken: Transgenderism IS a religious issue, as well as a philosophical, jurisprudential, and constitutional issue. “Separation of church and state” in the Reconstructionism sense is a lethal myth. The unarguable truth is that only the return of the American legal system to its Judeo-Christian foundations can rescue our nation from the tragedy of transgenderism and the twilight of truth inextricably associated with this tragedy. Prof. Pearcey has stated succinctly the challenge we face: “The clash between these two understandings of morality [associated with the fact/value split] will determine whether liberty is gained or lost in the 21st century. It is imperative to reassert the transcendent moral truths that undergird freedom in every society.”