Another Skirmish in the War for the Calendar
California continues to be at the vanguard in establishing a post-Christian culture amongst the 50 States. September 6th, 2023, was another watershed moment in her transformation as the California Legislature designated August as Transgender History Month, the first State to do so.
The resolution establishing this new un-Christian liturgical celebration, HR 57, contains a list of supposedly significant moments in trans history. Here is a portion from it:
WHEREAS, The suppression of gender variance among indigenous California cultures by Spanish and later Anglo settlers was a foundational event of the history of the state, as documented in the journal of soldier Pedro Fages, who wrote in 1775 about native peoples he encountered near present-day San Diego, whom he described as “those Indian men who, both here and farther inland, observed in the dress, clothing, and character of women… They are called joyas, and they are held in great esteem.”; and
WHEREAS, The social fluidity of Gold Rush-era California attracted countless people who lived transgender lives in the mid-19th century, including legendary stagecoach driver Charley Parkhurst, whose life story was celebrated in the popular television show Death Valley Days, hosted by Ronald Reagan; and
WHEREAS, San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood has been known as a residential district for transgender people since the second half of the 19th century, when it was home to people such as “Jenny O.,” a trans woman who corresponded with the famous German sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld about her life in the Tenderloin; and
WHEREAS, Some of the earliest support organizations for cross-dressers were founded in Los Angeles by Virginia Prince in the early 1960s; and
WHEREAS, The 1959 Cooper Do-nuts Riot in Los Angeles and the 1966 Compton’s Cafeteria Riot in San Francisco were important acts of collective resistance to police violence targeting trans people, years before the better-known Stonewall Riot in New York; . . .
This is the kind of thing that is barreling down on the Red States that still retain a modicum of respect for Christianity within their respective cultures. And we are already seeing some buckling in some of them. For instance, the Oklahoma City public school system hired a homosexual drag queen who has previously been arrested for possession of child pornography to be principal of an elementary school.
California values slap in the middle of Oklahoma? You had better believe it.
But the cultural assault against the sane States ‘away down south in Dixie’ and scattered across the rest of North America from the Old Midwest to the Rocky Mountains is not going to stop. It is therefore the responsibility of the leaders in all aspects of public and private life in the conservative States to mount a counterattack in support of their Christian inheritance.
Since California has named August Trans History Month, the Red States need to parry by naming August Christian History Month. This is exceedingly appropriate, for the following reasons (we will borrow the HR 57 legal-speak):
Whereas, August 6th is one of the 12 Great Feasts of the Church’s calendar celebrating the Transfiguration of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ on Mt. Tabor before the Holy Apostles Peter, James, and John, revealing both the union of His divinity with His humanity as well as the goal of theosis that is now attainable by mankind because of His Incarnation; and
Whereas, August 15th is one of the 12 Great Feasts of the Church’s calendar celebrating the falling asleep of the Mother of God, the Most Pure and Ever-Virgin Mary, and her joyful entry into the courts of her Son and our God Jesus Christ in Heaven; and
Whereas, August 16th is the celebration of the Icon Not Made by Hands of our Lord Jesus Christ, which came into being when our Lord pressed a cloth against His Holy Face, creating an image that He then sent to King Abgar of Edessa, who earnestly desired to see the Lord Jesus; and
Whereas, August 29th is the remembrance of the Beheading of the Holy and Glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John, the greatest man born of women (St. Matthew’s Gospel 11:11), who was counted worthy to baptize the Lord Jesus in the Jordan River and witness an appearance of the Holy Trinity; and
Whereas, many eminent Saints of the West and Africa are celebrated in August, including the great martyrs St. Laurence the Archdeacon of Rome and St. Eulalia the young virgin of Barcelona, St. Ninian of Whithorn who enlightened southern Scotland, St. Aidan of Lindisfarne who enlightened northern England, St. Moses the Black, a repentant gangster who became one of the greatest monastic Desert Fathers of Egypt, and others;
For these reasons, it is all the more appropriate for Red State governments to declare August Christian History Month and observe it in some way: processions down the streets, proclamations distributed to the public, days off, etc. In addition, school children could read selections from the wonderful Church histories written by Bishop Eusebius (4th century) or St. Bede (8th century).
But government action, while helpful, needs to be matched by the private sphere as well. Businesses could display icons and give employees time off to attend church services. Media companies could broadcast those services, or produce programming about the saints. Families need to attend those services if possible, read the Scriptures appointed for the holy days and/or the life of the saint celebrated, go on pilgrimage, and the like.
Conservative writer Daniel Horowitz has made the point over and over again: The Red States in which conservatives (in name, at least) hold undisputed power – and there are about two dozen of them – should create an atmosphere – political, economic, cultural – that is the precise opposite of what is being created in deep Blue, post-Christian States like California and Massachusetts. In other words, they should be busily building traditional, Christian strongholds.
Dr. Steve Turley calls such societies ‘civilization states,’ which are less focused on politics and more on religion and the culture that flows from it. Or, said another way, politics exists to serve religion-culture, rather than the other way around. In Dr. Turley’s own words (he is speaking in reference to the government of PM Modi using the older, pre-colonial name for India, Bharat):
Civilization states are worlds within the world. These are nations that are redrawing their boundaries around ancient civilizational spheres, such that the basic organizing principle for the whole of society is culture rather than politics. Linked to a civilization, the state has the paramount task of protecting a specific cultural tradition. In each case, the goal is not world revolution or imperial world conquest, but rather staking out a particular sphere of civilizational self-containment. The full unification of a people’s unique history, culture, and spiritual space is what Prime Minister Modi and the BJP advocate for.
If the Red States are successful in realizing such Christian societies, then the question will have to be asked: Is it reasonable, is it beneficial, for them to remain united to States that embrace beliefs that are completely antithetical to Christianity? South Carolina’s US Senator Tim Scott referred to California’s law that would allow State judges to take children from parents who did not affirm a child’s transgender decision as ‘evil.’ On the other hand, Governor Newsom of California believes murdering children in the mother’s womb is a ‘fundamental right of all women;’ California AG Bonta referred to the Dobbs decision overturning Roe as ‘outrageous, unprecedented, and dangerous’ (Ibid.). One cannot harmonize these two moral universes – one in which transgenderism, abortion, etc., are evil, and the other in which they are great virtues. Some kind of separation between these States will be necessary to keep the peace, to put a stop to the constant, embittering, soul-harming vituperations directed at one another when it comes to deciding the policies of the federal government. If they are not allowed to peacefully separate, then it is entirely possible another War between the States could flare up, something we should try our best to avoid.
There is still time to act before every institution, public and private, in all 50 States is infected with anti-Christian hostility. However, another important question must be asked at this point: Do the peoples of the Red States really want to live in a Christian society? Or do they simply want a less woke version of the idolatrous materialism that has engulfed so much of the West already? The answers to all of these questions will be revealed as the months and years unfold. May the Lord have mercy on us.