This post is the first of the new Responding to Online Atheists series. This is a series dedicated to examining and lovingly responding to claims by secular skeptics of the Bible.
On March 21, Kevin Davis, writing for Only Sky, wrote a blog post entitled The Babylon Bee Chooses Misgendering as its hill to die on.* You can find the link to the blog post here.
The Bee was informed by Twitter that their account was suspended and that it would be reactivated in twelve hours if they would just delete the post. The Babylon Bee refused to do so, making it clear that they did not want to vindicate Twitter’s stance on gender and sexuality.
What do we make of this? Kevin Davis makes the argument that this is a form of bigotry. Not only bigotry but money-making bigotry. Is this true? Is the Babylon Bee morally wrong in this situation?
Let’s take a look at the logic of this blog post written by Kevin Davis. Towards the end of his opening paragraph, he says, “The Babylon Bee is Christianity’s non-funny version of The Onion, a satire site that tries to convince us that conservatives can be humorous, but all-too-often publishes thinly veiled bigotry—especially aimed at transgender people.”
I want to zero in on the first problem with Davis’ blog post, and that’s his use of the word “bigotry.” Now don’t get angry and click away yet. Hear me out. I can make my point with an easy thought experiment.
The scientific consensus that gender and sex are separate and that one can change their sex and/or gender identity is a fairly recent phenomenon. The idea of changing one’s gender identity is not even a century old, and it wasn’t until within the last decade that most of the country even knew what the word transgender or transexual means. That means that the LGBTQ+ movement is, understandably so, still trying to convince the whole of society of this reality. Its gaining traction, but it is still a work in progress.
Here is a hypothetical situation for you to consider: What if the ideas that gender is a social construct and that one can legitimately change their gender or sex were disproven scientifically? How would that alter your outlook on life? My guess is that you probably wouldn’t have any hatred for those who identified themselves as transgender, just as you do not hate those who believe that their personalities are determined by the alignment of the stars in the sky. I know people that actually believe that being a Libra determines their personality. Do I hate them? No. I just refuse to acknowledge something that is not true.
That is how people like me and the folks over at the Babylon Bee see this issue. Refusing to acknowledge what I believe to be a pseudoscientific reality* that crept into academia via pressure from lobbyists and activist groups* does not qualify me as a bigot. (By the way, if you would like to consult the resources that lead us to these conclusions, I’ll list them in the footnotes.)* It simply means I have a different view of the world. I have a view of the world that stems from my own research and critical analysis.
This is where the feud with Twitter comes in. Davis writes in his blog post, “Not shockingly, Dillon is using this situation to try to grow The Babylon Bee’s revenue. He’s now encouraging those who support this brand of bigotry to become paid subscribers to the site so that the Bee doesn’t need to promote articles on Twitter…After all, nothing sells right now like fake persecution…”
We’ve already dispelled the bigotry myth, so let’s take that factor out of the equation. If a Christians cannot express their beliefs without punitive measures being taken, it would be a misnomer to call it persecution, but it certainly is wrongful religious discrimination, and I and many others are rightly concerned about it.
On top of this, we’ve noticed the problem getting worse. Christians are increasingly becoming unallowed to express their views. Although it’s not just Christians. Anyone who disagrees with the church of leftism must be silenced in the name of “justice,” despite whether or not justice is even part of the situation. It would seem that evidence and reason have been tossed out the window.
Now I know the atheist mind and what it will likely say next: “But haven’t Christians been doing those very things for years? Why are you all of the sudden concerned about logic, science, and facts?” It’s because major communications mediums that you claim aren’t discriminating against Christians have been misinforming the public and zeroing in on fringe cases of so-called “alt-right” religious zealots to feed secular confirmation biases of what evangelicals are really like. Even atheist journalist Dan Harris in his book Ten Percent Happier admits that when he was meeting evangelicals all over the world as a journalist in the religion department at ABC News, his views of what evangelical Christians given to him by society were altered dramatically.*
Most Christians haven’t been trying to destroy science or keep their kids from learning it. They aren’t trying to suppress free speech or anything of that nature. They simply believe that the Bible isn’t in conflict with science and that it can be verified as a reliable book. Anything that disagrees with this verifiable book should be called into question, but not shut down altogether. Sure, here and there there are groups of Christians who have radical beliefs based on unbiblical ideas, but they don’t represent the majority of Christians. On top of that, no Christian is perfect, and they aren’t always going to have a logical answer to logical questions. However, that does not mean that Christians are “anti-science” or “anti-free speech.”
Furthermore, when have two wrongs ever made a right? Why are secularists all of the sudden allowed to censor free speech and scientific data? Isn’t the best way to create a better world through the free expression of ideas? I thought that’s what secularism was supposed to be all about.
There we have it. The Babylon Bee is having what they believe to be reasonable views on gender and sexuality censored by one of the most prominent communication mediums out there. Contrary to the insulated echo chambers of secular thought, this view held by the Bee is not symptomatic of a deep-seated hatred for transgender people. It is merely their opinion that they have done their research on. Furthermore, they do need money to survive, and clearly, they can’t depend on Twitter to make it. That’s why they have to depend on paid subscribers for their money. I think the lesson that we can take away from this is to actually listen to one another’s perspectives on this, instead of just assuming that anyone who disagrees with us is, as Davis says, exhibiting “thinly veiled bigotry.”
I hope we can have better conversations on this topic in the future.
* Only Sky The Babylon Bee chooses misgendering as its Twitter hill to die on March 21, 2022 Kevin Davis Only Sky Media LLC. https://onlysky.media/kdavis/the-babylon-bee-chooses-misgendering-as-its-twitter-hill-to-die-on/
*The Babylon Bee The Babylon Bee’s Man of The Year Is Rachel Levine. March 15, 2022. Babylonbee.com. The Babylon Bee. https://babylonbee.com/news/the-babylon-bees-man-of-the-year-is-rachel-levine.
*Chief among these groups are the Human Rights Campaign, the Southern Poverty Law Center, GLAD, and Black Lives Matter.
*These are the two books that were most persuasive for me: Morrison, Steve. Born this Way: Making sense of science, the Bible, and same-sex attraction. Sydney, New South Wales. Matthias Media. June 5, 2017, and Welch, Ed. Homosexuality: Speaking the Truth in Love. Phillipsburg, New Jersey. P and R Publishing. October 9, 2000
*Harris, Dan. Ten Percent Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, And Found Self-Help That Actually Works-A True Story. New York City. Dey Street Books. December 30, 2014. I also recommend the book Biased: A CBS Insider Explains How the Media Distorts the News for more information on how religious people, in general, are misrepresented in the media.