Book Reviews 2023

Book Reviews 2023

Reading Time: 11 minutes

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

I have read less than I would have liked this year due to the hours I have been putting in. Nevertheless, I wanted to review four of the titles I found time to read in 2023 that you might enjoy. 

Analog Christian – by Jay Kim (41 notes, 178 pages)

Atheism on Trial – by Mark Lanier (55 notes, 202 pages)

Confronting Christianity – by Rebecca Mclaughlin (76 notes, 226 pages) 

Irreversible Damage – by Abigail Shrier (60 notes, 231 pages)

Son of Hamas – by Mosab Hassan Yousef (Audible)

Devotion – by Adam Makos (Audible)

The reference to notes is my note-taking system when I read a book. The more notes I made, the more impactful, relevant, apologetic, or valuable I found the contents. Of course, the size of the book would also make a difference, so I have listed the number of pages. I enjoyed the two Audible books and would recommend them both. 

Analog Christian

This was published in 2022 by Jay Kim, a pastor in Silicon Valley. 

Kim wrestles with the dangers most Christians are unaware of concerning the technology we are surrounded by daily. Engineered to keep us swiping, social media is all-consuming. Inherent in the algorithms are pitfalls that often outweigh the benefits. 

Frances Haugen, a Facebook insider who became a whistleblower, wrote concerning the algorithm, its “engagement-based formula helps sensational content, such as posts that feature rage, hate or misinformation, travel far and wide.”((Kim, Jay. “Kindness and Goodness Instead of Hostility.” Analog Christian, IVP, 2022, pg. 85)) Kim explains comparison and contempt are tools used by the enemy and are inherent in social media.

Before my divorce, I would celebrate the joy and love I felt for my wife on social media. On more than one anniversary, I’ve posted pictures of my wife and how many years we have attained. Bragging rights. After the divorce, social media became a punch in the gut. Every anniversary others posted celebrating their 20th, 25th, 30th, etc., would pour salt in the wound. It never occurred to me my posts would/could have done the same to someone else. 

Of course, we should celebrate successful marriages, but the inherent poison of comparison on Social Media is destructive and can be malignant. Kim writes about a time when he and his wife struggled with infertility, “Every pregnancy announcement, be it from a friend or acquaintance, felt like a punch in the stomach. I was unable to genuinely celebrate anything with anyone. All I could do was compare their good fortune to our anguish.”1

Temperature of Hate

Psychologists talk about hot-hate and cool-hate. Hot hate is something we are all familiar with. We have all experienced moments where someone does something blatantly rude, and our tempers flair. Crimes of passion and road rage, not brought under control, are examples of hot-hate.

But another kind of hate, cool-hate, is common in social media and circles of gossip among friends. Based on contempt and disgust, Kim explains people use sarcasm, dismissal, and mockery. It can be, and often is, more damaging than hot-hate. Just ask the family whose child committed suicide because of bullying. 

Kim writes, “The apps we use are actually using us. We are not so much the customers as the products. Each search and click provides valuable dates to companies constantly searching for ways to effectively commodify our attention and, more slyly, our addiction. A never-ending loop of comparison, which eventually breeds contempt.”((Kim, Jay. “Kindness and Goodness Instead of Hostility.” Analog Christian, IVP, 2022, pg. 8)) Philippians 4:7

I highly recommend Analog Christian to any family concerned about social media, screen time, and how much time their still-at-home teens their phones.

Atheism On Trial

This was published in 2022 by Mark Lanier, a successful trial lawyer in Houston, Texas, and featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and American Lawyer. 

Lanier looks at the rationality of atheism and its coherence in the world as we understand it. He writes, “I am compelled to find answers to big questions that harmonize. I expect consistency. Consistency is the bedrock of logic, science, and sound thinking. I must have consistency.”2

A couple of years ago, I had a conversation with a woman who did not believe in God. She reasoned the complexity and immensity of the universe was beyond what any ‘god’ could create, but manage in any sense of the word. 

Of course, she had put God in a box; her mind, and arguably this is true for all of us, cannot truly fathom who God is and what He is capable of. 

Richard Dawkins has the same line of thinking in his best-selling book, The God Delusion. Lanier writes, “With all due respect to Richard Dawkins’s brain power, that is not proof there is not God. If the average human brain is a full three pounds of grey matter, and I give Dawkins a brain and a half, still even four and a half pounds of neural and glial cells surely cannot be the standard for determining the makeup of the mind of God.”3

Can an insect, or even a dog or horse, conceive of man building the Golden Gate Bridge or flying from LA to New York? 1 Corinthians 2:9 Romans 11:34

Justice and Fairness

Steven Fry, a graduate of Cambridge and an outspoken atheist, was asked what he would say if he came face to face with God. Fry replied, “I’d say, ‘Bone cancer in children? What’s that about? How dare you? How dare you create a world to which there is such misery that is not our fault? It’s not right, it’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?’ That’s what I would say.”4

What Fry and others need to recognize or accept is the hardwired concept of fairness, justice, and morality. How did this idea come about from natural selection? It didn’t. Lanier asks the same thing, “So where do the concepts come from? If there is a Judeo-Christian God, the answer is easy. If there isn’t, one is hard-pressed to find a source beyond the fascinating electrical synapses of human sacks of chemicals.”5

Lanier points out that the notion of justice and fairness is essential to Fry, but “Consider how this came to be. Should one believe that people have developed a keen sense of justice and fairness through natural selection? That somehow individuals benefit from fair treatment, and that humanity found it comes only if we ensure fairness to society? Perhaps, but that’s a stretch of post hoc analysis.”4 

He explains humans don’t want fairness; people want what they want, not what is best for their neighbors. The world doesn’t have a society where the redistribution of wealth comes from the heart of the people, and it never will. Jeremiah 17:9

Confronting Christianity

This was published in 2019 and written by Rebecca Mclaughlin, who holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance literature from Cambridge and a theology degree from Oak Hill College. She is also a former vice president of content at the Veritas Forum. 

When it comes to apologetics I have read William Lane Craig, Nancy Pearcey, Doug Powell, Hugh Ross, Kenneth Samples, Frank Turek, John Lennox, R.C. Sproul, Johnathan Morrow, Abdu Murray, J.P. Moreland, Greg Koukl, Tim Keller, C.S. Lewis, Josh and Sean McDowell, Ravi Zacharias, Nabeel Qureshi, Paul Copan and a dozen others who would be considered the heavy hitters in Christian apologetics. All of their books, lectures, and debates have bolstered my faith, but none of their books would I describe as beautifully written. Rebecca Mclaughlin has done just that. Weaving personal experience and exposing vulnerable struggles within herself, she is empathetic to the battles many have. 

At the same time, she addresses many of the hard questions Christians may face when having discussions with unbelievers. She gracefully acknowledges the shortcomings of Christians in the past and the harm they have done in the name of Jesus. Mclaughlin then removes the layers of counterarguments without using hyperbole and other inflammatory language, and lays the facts on the table for all to see. 

Violent Buddhists?

Concerning religion and violence, she acknowledges the Crusades, as has William Lane Craig and other Christian apologists, though liberal historians have greatly exaggerated the numbers. And few have any doubt about the violence and blood on the hands of martyrs in the name of Islam. However, are there other examples? 

In 2018, the New York Times ran an op-ed titled, “Why Are We Surprised When Buddhists Are Violent?” Mclaughlin explains, “The article cites Sri Lanka’s civil war…fueled by ‘specifically Buddhist nationalism’; violence in modern Thailand; violence within the Dalai Lam’s own sect; and a growing body of scholarly literature on the martial complicity of Buddhist institutions in World War II era with Japanese nationalism.”((Mclaughlin, Rebecca. “Doesn’t Religion Cause Violence?” Crossway, 2019, pg. 80)) Mclaughlin explains it is not that Buddhism is inherently violent, but as a religion, it is not free of blood-stained hands; no religion is. 

Some of you may have seen the 2016 Martin Scorsese film Silence. Tens of thousands of Christians in the 1700s were executed in horrific ways at the hands of the Shinto-Buddhist government. When we think of the Shinto Shrine, pictures of serene monks meditating, incense softly trailing in the air, and lush green foliage come to mind. 

Yet, Christianity and Islam seem to be the center of the target and the examples the media draws attention to. 

Rohingya Muslims in Buddhist majority Myanmar have experienced terrible violence at the hands of Buddhist soldiers. Nicholas Kristof writes, “‘Ethnic cleansing’ and even ‘genocide’ are antiseptic and abstract terms. What they mean in the flesh is a soldier grabbing a crying baby girl named Suhaifa by the leg and flinging her into a bonfire.”((Kristof, Nicholas. “Is This Genocide?” New York Times, 15 December 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/15/opinion/sunday/genocide-myanmar-rohingya-bangladesh.html 6 Dec. 2023))

Religion is a Tool

Mao Tse-tung said, “Politics is war without bloodshed, while war is politics with bloodshed.” Religion has been and will continue to be used as a tool to further the agenda of politicians/dictators whose goal is control and power. 

Nazis changed scripture and published bibles to make Jesus a blond-haired, blue-eyed Aryan. Hitler announced, “I can imagine Christ as nothing other than blond and blue eyes, the devil however only with a Jewish grimace.”((Mclaughlin, Rebecca. “Doesn’t Religion Cause Violence?” Crossway, 2019, pg. 83)) 

Mclaughlin rightly points out human goodness is not innate, and the Bible makes that clear from Genesis to Revelation. “We are not naturally good people who behave badly only if we have been deprived of the proper upbringing, education, or circumstances. Rather, we are innately sinful, veering toward selfishness like a car with a misaligned steering wheel.”((Mclaughlin, Rebecca. “Doesn’t Religion Cause Violence?” Crossway, 2019, pg. 92)) 

“Staked at the heart of Christianity is a symbol of extreme violence – the brutal, torturous, state-sponsored execution of an innocent man. Christians believe that this execution was orchestrated by God himself. Some argue from this that Christianity glorifies violence. But the meaning of the cross is precisely the opposite. Violence is the use of power by the strong to hurt the weak. At the cross, the most powerful man who ever lived submitted to the most brutal death ever died, to save the powerless. Christianity does not glorify violence. It humiliates it.”((Mclaughlin, Rebecca. “Doesn’t Religion Cause Violence?” Crossway, 2019, pg. 93)) 

Irreversible Damage

Abigail Shrier writes, “This is a story Americans need to hear. Whether or not you have an adolescent daughter, whether or not your child has fallen for this transgender craze, America has become fertile ground for this mass enthusiasm for reasons that have everything to do with our cultural frailty: parents are undermined; experts are over-relied upon; dissenters in science and medicine are intimidated; free speech truckles under renewed attack… and the desire to escape a dominant identity encourages individuals to take cover in victim groups.((Shrier, Abigail. “Introduction.” Irreversible Damage-The transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, Regnery, 2020, pg xxix))

Having raised three daughters and entering the phase of life where I am inclined to mention the joys of grandchildren to strangers, this book hits a home run for those who have serious concerns about the transgender storm and gender-affirming contagion that has overwhelmed our culture. 

Girls Becoming Boys

There is no doubt a generation of youth has drunk the Kool-aid and been taught and bullied into believing double mastectomies and puberty blockers are steps girls can take to become men. 

Parents and grandparents should be aware and informed about what is being taught at their child’s school. “The ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and GLSEN (formally the “Gay and Lesbian Independent School Teachers Network”) supply curriculum materials. Their members are routinely brought into schools to lecture students on sexual orientation and gender.”((Shrier, Abigail. “Introduction.” Irreversible Damage-The transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, Regnery, 2020, pg 64))

If you attend school in a progressive urban city, LA, San Francisco, or New York come to mind. All you need to view is the school district calendar. Pride month? No, it is now a pride year parade, and you better get in line, or you can expect to be ostracized by staff and peers. 

The LGBTQ Calendar

October begins with “Coming Out Day,” followed by “International Pronouns Day,” and “LGBTQ History Month”. In November, we find “Transgender Awareness Week” and “Transgender Day of Remembrance,” March is “Transgender Visibility Month,” and April adds “Day of Silence/Day of Action.” May is “Harvey Milk Day,” and June is “Pride Month.”((Shrier, Abigail. “Introduction.” Irreversible Damage-The transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, Regnery, 2020, pg 69))

Any educator worth their weight in salt should proactively address any form of bullying. This includes students who identify as LGBTQ or transgender, but the pendulum has swung far and wide of any sensibility or reasonableness. 

A better remedy would be to teach all classmates kindness, understanding, compassion, and decency, regardless of their skin color, sexual orientation, political beliefs, or religion. What is a shame is that many students lack those kinds of characteristics, something generally taught at home, but now educators have to spend time reinforcing those virtuous behaviors.

After 25 years of teaching and dealing with parents, the old saying “the apple does not fall far from the tree” holds true. Some never get it; tragically, their children seem to be one train wreck after another, yet it is the teacher’s fault. 

The States Solution

Parents are blind to the fact they have acquiesced the raising of their children to the current culture. What is streaming on the big screen? What do they follow on Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter/X? They have unhindered access to smartphones, which suck away their time and bleach their brains. 

And the state’s solution? Affirm everything the child feels. Can you imagine a school board mandating everyone wear a pagri (Hindu head wrap), or a panung sash across their torso? Then, they affirm their religion is true and accurate because some Hindu students were teased. 

Shrier points out that ‘bullying’ is used as an excuse to indoctrinate youth on gender ideology, and those who are questioning their gender or adopt one of the nearly one hundred labels on the new gender spectrum must be affirmed. The National Education Association (NEA) warns, “The consequences of not affirming a child’s gender identity can be severe, and it can interfere with their ability to develop and maintain healthy interpersonal relationships.”((Shrier, Abigail. “Introduction.” Irreversible Damage-The transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, Regnery, 2020, pg 71))

Obviously, many parents disagree with this conclusion and are standing up and speaking out to teachers, principals, and school boards. Unfortunately, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) considers it a violation of students’ rights if parents interfere with a student’s gender choices. If a student changes their pronouns from his to hers, the parents have no say, nor are they informed. 

Shrier ends her book with some advice for parents. 

Don’t get your kid a smartphone.((Nearly every novel problem teenagers face traces itself back to 2007 and the introduction of Steve Jobs’s iPhone. In fact, the explosion in self-harm can be so precisely pinpointed to the introduction of this one device that researchers have little doubt that it is the cause. Shrier, Abigail. “Introduction.” Irreversible Damage-The transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, Regnery, 2020, pg 212))
Don’t relinquish your authority as the parent.
Don’t support gender ideology in your child’s education.
Reintroduce privacy into the home.
Consider big steps to separate your daughter from harm.
Stop pathologizing girlhood.
Don’t be afraid to admit: It’s wonderful to be a girl.

There are three types of books you can learn from: books that encourage you, books that inform you, and books that challenge you. If you don’t read books challenging your status quo, you are simply building a room without doors and windows. 

It is easier to perceive error than to find truth, for the former lies on the surface and is easily seen, while the latter lies in the depth, where few are willing to search for it. – Johann von Goethe

Book Reviews 2023 by James Glazier is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

  1. Kim, Jay. “Kindness and Goodness Instead of Hostility.” Analog Christian, IVP, 2022, pg. 33 []
  2. Lanier, Mark, W. “Opening Statment.” Atheism On Trial, IVP 2022, pg.12 []
  3. Lanier, Mark, W. “Opening Statment.” Atheism On Trial, IVP 2022, pg.29 []
  4. Lanier, Mark, W. “Opening Statment.” Atheism On Trial, IVP 2022, pg.85 [] []
  5. Lanier, Mark, W. “Opening Statment.” Atheism On Trial, IVP 2022, pg.87 []
No Strength or Beauty

No Strength or Beauty

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Sorry Not Sorry

That is how many words the Trans Resistance Network took to say they were sorry, not sorry, for what took place in Nashville this past week. 

Have you read their Tweet

The first tragedy today is the loss of life of three children and adults. We extend our deepest sympathies and heartfelt prayers to those families dealing with the loss of loved ones. There is nothing we can offer that will comfort the hurt, or ease the sorrow. We mourn with you.“((Trans Resistance Network. [@ResistanceTrans]. “Media Statement on the School Shooting in Nashville, TN.” Twitter, 27 March 2023, https://twitter.com/MrAndyNgo/status/1640746882640011264))

That was 51 words of empty sympathy. I say empty because the Trans Resistance Network then spends 300 words blaming, justifying, excusing, and accusing the rest of us of this tragedy. Please read it for yourself. 

Look At Us

They state the shooter had “…no other effective way to be seen than to lash out by taking the life of others,…“((Trans Resistance Network. [@ResistanceTrans]. “Media Statement on the School Shooting in Nashville, TN.” Twitter, 27 March 2023, https://twitter.com/MrAndyNgo/status/1640746882640011264))

No other effective way to be seen? How completely and utterly absurd! Google “How to celebrate LGBTQ” (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer), and you come up with 35 million hits! Admittedly I did not go through them all, but I am sure there are several thousand good ideas on how to celebrate the LGBTQ community. 

What is the month of June? Lots of significate things took place in June. The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote, D-Day when the Allied forces landed in Normandy, and Tiananmen Square protests, to name a few, but most significant, it is PRIDE Month. The LGBTQ community gets the whole month. This is usually when you see lots of rainbow flags and businesses promoting and celebrating the LGBTQ community. Target is one example, spotlighting designers, entrepreneurs, and Target team members. 

If that is not enough, visit the Library of Congress. You will find lots of resources there. On their PRIDE Month page, they write, “Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBTQ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world.”((Library of Congress, “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month.” Library of Congress, Congress.Gov, N.D. https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/))

It’s Never Enough

The Trans Resistance Network continues, “We do know that life for transgender people is very difficult, and made more difficult in the preceding months by a virtual avalanche of anti-trans legislation, and public callouts by Right Wing personalities and political figures for nothing less than the genocidal eradication of trans people from society.“((Trans Resistance Network. [@ResistanceTrans]. “Media Statement on the School Shooting in Nashville, TN.” Twitter, 27 March 2023, https://twitter.com/MrAndyNgo/status/1640746882640011264))

No doubt their lives are difficult, but I have not seen an ‘avalanche’ of anti-trans legislation, public callouts, and political figures calling for the genocide of trans people from society. Talk about hyper-sensitive and hyperbolic language! Are you kidding me? People can lose their job if they misgender someone!

Think about it. In some states, California, for example, it is illegal to counsel someone against gender-affirming surgery. Physicians can lose their licenses for even suggesting it. 

The only rhetoric that comes close to this was a Facebook post by a leftist professor Dr. Steven Shaviro who wrote, “Although I do not advocate violating federal and state criminal codes, I think it is far more admirable to kill a racist, homophobic, or transphobic speaker than it is to shout them down.“((Silverstein, Joe. “College professor suspended after saying it would be ‘far more admirable to kill’ racist speaker than protest.” Fox News, foxnews.com, 28 March 2023, https://www.foxnews.com/media/college-professor-suspended-far-more-admirable-kill-racist-speaker-protest)) I bet you did not hear about that on CNN. Here you have someone on the left calling for the murder of, what they call a ‘transphobic speaker,’ or anyone that speaks out against puberty blockers or breast removal for teens, and the only consequence is they are put on leave, with pay. The media, academia, and Department of Justice double standard is as bright as the noonday sun. 

No Strength Or Beauty

They end the Tweet with, “It is a testament to the inner strength and beauty of transgender people, that, despite the overwhelming odds of homelessness, job discrimination, and constant anti-trans bigotry and violence, so many of us continue to persevere, survive, and even thrive. We will not be eradicated or erased.“((Trans Resistance Network. [@ResistanceTrans]. “Media Statement on the School Shooting in Nashville, TN.” Twitter, 27 March 2023, https://twitter.com/MrAndyNgo/status/1640746882640011264))

It is probably not the best time to talk about beauty, strength, surviving, and thriving when someone who identified with your community murdered three children and three adults. There were six victims and one murderer, not seven as you would imply. 

You wrote one brief paragraph feigning remorse and then followed with six paragraphs pointing the finger, defending, and rationalizing why this murderer did what they did. Pathetic. 

It does not matter what your sex is, what your gender identity is, or your sexual orientation; when you take the lives of innocents, especially children, you cannot excuse that kind of violence, ever. People that take those kinds of actions are cowards. You don’t see them walking into police stations and start shooting. 

This transgender activist group is planning aTrans Day of Vengeancerally outside the U.S. Supreme Court today, Saturday, April 1st, 2023. The organizers claim they are not inciting violence, but you would think they would have the sense to title their rally a bit differently. But, after reading their Tweet, I am not surprised. Are you? 

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No Strength or Beauty by James William Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Say Goodbye to Mr. Potato Head

Say Goodbye to Mr. Potato Head

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Above image by geri cleveland from Pixabay

Did you know that in an effort to affirm the gender ideology, Hasbro announced in 2021 they would drop the “Mr.” from the title of Mr. Potato Head? Hasbro will no longer use Mr. or Mrs. “It said that an upcoming playset will not feature Mr. and Mrs. designations, allowing kids to create their own potato families with two moms or two dads, a “celebration of the many faces of families.”((Lewis, Sophie. “Mr. Potato Head brand goes gender-neutral, dropping ‘Mr.” title. CBS News, cbsnews.com, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/potato-head-hasbro-rebranding-gender-neutral-name-change/))

Did you know the number of self-identifying trans people is on the rise? If you are over the age of 30 and have been paying attention to the world around you, that should be obvious. In June of 2016, the Williams Institute estimated 1.4 million identified as transgender, doubling from 2006. 

Did you know that the risk of suicide is exaggerated to scare parents into complying with the gender ideology? “In the eleven years from 2010 to 2020, four patients under the care of the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) committed suicide, equating to 0.03% of the total.”((“Suicide by Adolescents Referred to the World’s Larget Pediatric Gender Clinic.” SEGM Society For Evidence Based Gender Medicine, SEGM.org, 19 January 2022, https://segm.org/trans_youth_suicide_study)) The general population ages 14 to 17 was 2.7 percent per 100,000.

Did you know that detransitioners are starting to speak out, but the cries of warnings are being ignored or silenced by the media giants Facebook, Google, Twitter, and TikTok? British detransitioner Allie shares, “I was never diagnosed with gender dysphoria formally. I was never given exploratory therapy [to check for underlying non-gender problems]. There was no mention of sexual trauma, no mention of my upbringing, and how that could have affected things… But now I look back and I’m like, what the hell? I was 18 years old, and they just gave me this shit. It’s crazy… I was like, this is it, this is the answer.”1

Here is what one parent shared on Substack from Parents with Inconvenient Truths, “When we finally were given an appointment at the clinic (it took several months) my son was immediately affirmed, and called by his preferred pronouns and his new name. I was told that, when asked, he had said that he had been suicidal and had thought of harming himself. I didn’t believe this; I was convinced that he had been coached. Of course, the old chestnut ‘would I rather have a live daughter than a dead son?’ was trotted out, though at that stage I didn’t know that this is a story repeatedly told to parents who question the process. I told the doctor at the clinic about my concerns, the suicide of my son’s father when he was four, the depression in his wider family, his ASD. It made not a whit of difference. He received no counseling, just affirmation.”

Did you know a children’s hospital in Oregon offers drugs and surgeries for teens without parental knowledge? They also promote breast binding and genital tucking on their website

Did you know Australia’s largest gender clinic appeals for donations and uses a completely unsubstantiated survey to scare those sympathetic into giving money to support their gender clinic? “The suicide risk figures come from the Telethon Kids Institute’s 2017 Trans Pathways study, an anonymous, online, self-report survey with a non-representative “convenience sample”, meaning there is no firm basis for extrapolating its findings…”((Lane, Bernard. “Suicide’s Spectre.” Gender Clinic News, genderclinicnews.substack.com, 31 March 2022, https://genderclinicnews.substack.com/p/suicides-spectre))

Teens who transition are scarred for the rest of their lives, but you rarely hear that side of the story. In the Atlantic article, When Children Say They’re Trans,” Cari Stella transitioned, now 24, socially transitioned at 15, started hormones at 17, got a double mastectomy at 20, and detransitioned at 22. “I’m a real-live 22-year-old woman with a scarred chest and a broken voice and a 5 o’clock shadow because I couldn’t face the idea of growing up to be a woman,” she said in a video posted in August 2016. “I was not a very emotionally stable teenager”((Singal, Jesse, “When Children Say They’re Trans.” The Atlantic, theatlantic.com, August 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/07/when-a-child-says-shes-trans/561749/))

And other resources, including those produced by major LGBTQ organizations, place emphasis on acceptance rather than inquiry. The Human Rights Campaign’s “Transgender Children & Youth: Understanding the Basics” web page, for example, encourages parents to seek the guidance of a gender specialist. It also asserts that “being transgender is not a phase, and trying to dismiss it as such can be harmful during a time when your child most needs support and validation.”((HRC Foundation, “Transgender Children & Youth: Understanding the Basics.” Human Rights Campaign, hrc.org, N.D., https://www.hrc.org/resources/transgender-children-and-youth-understanding-the-basics))

Did you know the Tavistock Clinic in London is shutting down? This clinic has seen thousands of children with gender dysphoria and moved them into transition, which they called “gender-affirming care.” This ‘care’ included puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, surgery, and many other interventions that had irreversible effects. “Over the past three decades, the Gender and Identity Development Service at the Tavistock Clinic in London has seen thousands of British children for gender dysphoria, with a British minister noting a more than 4,000 percent increase of referrals for girls alone in the last decade.”((Davis, Lisa, “The Beginning of the End of ‘Gender-Affirming Care’?” Common Sense, commonsense.news, 30 July 2022, https://www.commonsense.news/p/the-beginning-of-the-end-of-gender?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email))

Did you know in Finland, the Council for Choices in Health Care (COHERE) concluded, “The reliability of the existing studies with no control groups is highly uncertain, and because of this uncertainty, no decisions should be made that can permanently alter a still-maturing minor’s mental and physical development.((The Council for Choices in Health Care in Finland, “Palveluvalikoima.” segm.org, 2020, https://segm.org/sites/default/files/Finnish_Guidelines_2020_Minors_Unofficial%20Translation.pdf))

Did you know there are now 112 genders? Here, as of this writing, it is the most complete list I could find. The New York Times reported one survey estimated 150,000 teens were transgender; now, in 2022, that number has doubled to 300,000.((Ghorayshi, Azeen, “Report Reveals Sharp Rise in Transgender Young People in the U.S.” New York Times, nytimes.com, 10 June 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/10/science/transgender-teenagers-national-survey.html)) Other estimates I cited above have the rise, not just doubling but increases by the powers of 10.

The left and the Biden administration continue to demand we not only affirm but agree but support this butchering of our youth with no thought to the long-term consequences. The Health and Human Services document released by the Biden administration describes “what it calls appropriate treatments for transgender adolescents, including: ‘Top’ surgery – to create male-typical chest shape or enhance breasts; and ‘Bottom’ surgery – surgery on genitals or reproductive organs, facial feminization or other procedures.”((Nerozzi, Timothy. “Biden administration endorses transgender youth sex-change operations, ‘top surgery,’ hormone therapy.” Fox News, foxnews.com, 31 March 2022, https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-administration-transgender-agenda-youth-sex-change-hormone-therapy))

This post is not meant to devalue or dismiss those who struggle with gender dysphoria. Until the last few years, it has been a rare but authentic struggle for some. Nevertheless, what is happening now within our culture is not the same. Everyone who struggles with this deserves our compassion and respect, but not the ideological movement that is mutilating a generation of youth and destroying families.

Young girls at 13 having double mastectomies to ‘affirm’ how they are feeling is just one example of this horrendous trend that has marched into our culture. It is disgusting and supported by the left. Educate yourself and others about this practice that has scarred a generation of youth. To say I am appalled by this is an understatement. Aren’t you?

Links:

https://pitt.substack.com/

https://www.commonsense.news/p/the-beginning-of-the-end-of-gender?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email

https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/publications/trans-adults-united-states/

https://pitt.substack.com/p/the-messiah-complex?utm_source=%2Finbox&utm_medium=reader2

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/oregon-allowing-15-year-olds-to-get-state-subsidized-sex-change-operations

https://www.dailywire.com/news/theres-no-co-existing-with-evil-like-this-leading-childrens-hospital-offers-advice-for-boys-to-tuck-their-genitals-out-of-sight

https://pitt.substack.com/p/why-does-trans-have-no-boundaries

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-administration-transgender-agenda-youth-sex-change-hormone-therapy

https://www.newsweek.com/bidens-order-opening-dorms-showers-opposite-sex-violation-religious-liberties-college-says-1589413

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/07/when-a-child-says-shes-trans/561749/

https://www.ohsu.edu/doernbecher/doernbecher-gender-services

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Say Goodbye to Mr. Potato Head by James W Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  1. Lane, Bernard. “Fast hormones, no speed bumps.” Gender Clinic News, genderclinicnews.substack.com, 16 March 2022, https://genderclinicnews.substack.com/p/fast-hormones-no-speed-bumps?s=w []
Men vs. Women and the Transgender Issue

Men vs. Women and the Transgender Issue

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Transgenders in Competitive Sports

Pennsylvania State reported on March 20th for the first time, a Quaker won an individual national championship, Senior Lia Thomas.((Johnson, Greg. “Thomas concludes the spectacular season with national title.” Penn Today, March 20th 2022. https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/thomas-concludes-spectacular-season-national-title. March 23rd 2022)) Is the name familiar? It should be, Lea Thomas has been all over the news, not because she is a Quaker who won a national championship, but because Lea Thomas, a transgender, is a biological male competing against females.

In the Penn State article Greg Johnson wrote, “At the Ivy League Championships, where she was named High point Swimmer of the Meet, Thomas won the 100 free, 200 free, and 500 free, and was part of the 400-relay team that won gold in a pool and school record time of 3:17.80.”1

It does not make sense to have men competing in what is supposed to be a women’s competition because of obvious physiological advantages. The stats may vary several percentage points depending on your source, but in general, women have 40% less upper body strength and 35% less lower body strength. In addition, women have smaller hearts and smaller lungs than men; consequently, they have a lower capacity to produce oxygen when competing. Women’s legs are shorter and have more estrogen and less testosterone.

Lia Thomas is not the first transgender to compete and cause a stir. Mack Beggs, a transgender wrestler won the Texas girls title, two years in a row just a few years ago. It was reported Beggs was in the process of transitioning from female to male (which is impossible) and was taking testosterone while competing against other female wrestlers. The AP in Cypress Texas reported, “It was his steroid therapy treatments while wrestling girls that stirred a fierce debate about competitive fairness and transgender rights last season. His march to a state championship was dogged by a last-minute lawsuit that tried to stop him.”2

More recently, the BBC reported Laurel Hubbard became the first transgender to compete in the Olympics. “The 43-year-old became eligible to compete at the Olympics when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2015 changed its rules allowing transgender athletes to compete as a woman if their testosterone levels are below a certain threshold. Testosterone is a hormone that increases muscle mass.”3

What About Hormone Treatments?

Granted, athletes’ testosterone levels may be below the required thresholds to participate in certain competitions, but it is obvious those born male have an unfair advantage over those born females due to increased bone and muscle density after puberty. Furthermore, those transitioning from female to male and taking testosterone as part of the process also have chemically enhanced advantages. The British Journal of Medicine reported transwomen were still 12% quicker than their female competitors even after 2 years of hormone treatment.((Roberts TA, Smalley J, Ahrendt D
Effect of gender affirming hormones on athletic performance in transwomen and transmen: implications for sporting organisations and legislators
British Journal of Sports Medicine 2021;55:577-583.))

Finally, the International Olympic Committee in 2021 updated its guidelines concerning testosterone threshold requirements. “The IOC is therefore not in a position to issue regulations that define eligibility criteria for every sport, discipline, or event across the very different national jurisdictions and sports systems.”4 In other words, the International Olympic Committee is washing its hands of the transgender debate and will not attempt to regulate the chemistry behind trans-athletes.

Transgenders competing has become a complex issue due to the confusion in our current inclusionary culture. Indeed, those adults who have decided to adopt the sex opposite to their birth have painful and destressing emotional consequences. Suicide rates among transgenders and those in the LGBTQ community are significantly higher. “The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS), which is the largest survey of transgender people in the U.S. to date, found that 81.7 percent of respondents reported ever seriously thinking about suicide in their lifetimes, while 48.3 percent had done so in the past year.”5

Can You Speakout?

Having compassion for those who struggle with their sexual identity should be a given to Christians. Yet, compassion and empathy does not mean accepting or celebrating that kind of choice. For those who see the confusion clearly within our current culture, the inclusion attempts have entered a realm of absurdity.

Alternative views should be welcome, but many athletes are silenced in our current cancel culture for fear of retribution. Those who are not transgender often bear an unrecognized burden by social and legacy media.

Lea Thomas’ teammates were threatened if they ever voiced concerns about Lia Thomas. Nancy Hogshead-Makar, a four-time Olympic medalist, sent a letter on behalf of the UPenn swim team. In the letter she shared what the girls told her, “we would be removed from the team or that we would never get a job offer” if they openly expressed their concerns about Lia Thomas. “When media have tried to reach out to us, these journalists have been told that the coaches and athletes were prohibited from talking to them. We support Lia’s mental health, and we ask Penn and the Ivy League to support ours as well.”((Boas, Phil. “If Lia Thomas’ teammates can’t raise concerns about transgender athlets, we all lose.” Arizona Republic, 21 March 2022, https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/philboas/2022/03/21/lia-thomas-teammates-concern-transgender-women-sports-swimming/7121544001/. 23 March 2022))

To say our culture is confused and divided on the issue of transgenders in sports is an understatement, but looming behind this fog of disorientation is a massive tsunami that threatens our freedom of speech. Once that freedom is lost, human rights will be washed away as well.

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Men vs. Women and the Transgender Issue by James W Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  1. Johnson, Greg. “Thomas concludes spectacular season with national title.” Penn Today, March 20th 2022. https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/thomas-concludes-spectacular-season-national-title. March 23rd 2022 []
  2. Associated Press, “Transgender wrestler Mack Beggs wins Texas girls title again.” The Guardian, 25 February 2018. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/feb/25/transgender-wrestler-mack-beggs-wins-texas-girls-title. 23 March 2022 []
  3. BBC News, Laurel Hubbard: First transgender athlete to compete at Olympics.” 21 June 2021, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-57549653. 23 March 2022 []
  4. Spence, Katie. “The Numbers Don’t Lie in the Transgender Sports Debate.” CNSNews, 16 December 2021, https://cnsnews.com/commentary/katie-spence/numbers-dont-lie-transgender-sports-debate. 23 March 2022 []
  5. Herman, Jody. Brown, Taylor. Haas, Ann. “Suicide Thoughts and Attempts Among Transgender Adults.” Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law Williams Institute, September 2019, https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/publications/suicidality-transgender-adults/ []

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