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During my time as a university president, a group called Soulforce began showing up uninvited on Christian college and university campuses. Bankrolled by wealthy advocates, Soulforce was comprised of gay and lesbian young people along with others who supported their cause.

Responses to Soulforce varied, but on our campus where they forced their way into classrooms and chapel, we simply said, “No thank you.” We did not verbally malign them to their face or in press coverage and did not criticize other institutions that engaged the group.

The university experienced overwhelming support for its response, but of course I also received letters from people who disagreed, which almost every time tracked not to theology but love for a friend or family member who had declared themselves gay or lesbian. People changed their views about the morality of homosexuality in part because a friend or family member came out.

I felt for the students, who I thought were being used by big donor gay and lesbian advocates, and I felt for the family members who loved their youth, did not understand their LGB choice, and who often changed their moral views based on that love. Sadly, this approach is a moral, intellectual, social, practical and personal dead-end.

Today people are changing their understanding of their gender, which is to say they believe gender is fluid, malleable, mutable, that they can change their identity to a new gender category that does not align with their biological birth sex. They now believe they become a gender of their own choosing, notwithstanding the witness of their eyes and their heart.

Gender Fluidity and Divine Design is my recent attempt to make sense of the gender confusion flooding our airwaves and online feeds, and more importantly, to do so based upon a Christian worldview. 

Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

Well, another university succumbs. It was nice knowing you UNC-Chapel Hill.

American higher education today is in dire straits. 

Once a bastion of free inquiry, reason, debate, the pursuit of knowledge, the preferred destination for bright ambitious Next Gen from around the world, much of academia is now afraid of its own students, captive to irrational ideology, political correctness, restrictions on free speech, cancel culture, racist ideas parading as anti-racism, sexual progressivism, irreligion, and jingoistic anti-Americanism. 

UC Boulder is making holding the values of BLM a non-negotiable condition for enrollment. Another step in the death march of Western universities from places exalting academic freedom to places suppressing thought and speech in the name of inclusive ideology. This university, by the way, received millions in state funds.

Central Michigan University is forcing a good professor to retire because he spoke the “N-word” while reading from a court document in class. The university would rather be “woke” than defend academic freedom, common sense, and academic excellence.

Penn State is replacing binary words and pronouns in course descriptions. This will increase both quality teaching and student learning? Many other universities are wasting time and intellectual capital on the same pursuit of purist vocabulary, eliminating use of “offensive” words like “picnic” or phrases like “rule of thumb.” 

Victor David Hanson says, “Today's universities and colleges bear little if any resemblance to postwar higher education. Even during the tumultuous 1960s, when campuses were plagued by radical protests and periodic violence, there was still institutionalized free speech. An empirical college curriculum mostly survived the chaos of the '60s. But it is gone now.”

“Imagine, Hanson notes, “a place where ‘diversity’ is the professed institutional ethos, while studies reveal that liberal faculty outnumber their conservative counterparts by over 10 to 1. Imagine a liberal place where in 2021 race can still be used as a criterion in selecting and rejecting applicants, choosing prospective dorm roommates, organizing segregated dorms and restricting access to special places on campus.”

Political activism now triumphs over empirical problem-solving.

The recently late, and great, professor Walter E. Williams said, “The bottom line is that more Americans need to pay attention to the miseducation of our youth and that miseducation is not limited to higher education.” He argued equity had replaced equality of opportunity and much of higher education today is little more than leftist brain washing.

Education and critical thinking are out. Indoctrination and victimhood are in. 

It’s all-the-more disheartening because it was so preventable.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

June is Pride month. It dates officially to 1999 but has roots back to 1969.

Pride month is about presenting LGBTQ people in a way that counters social stigma, which at one time characterized much of society’s response to these lifestyles and the people who adopt them.

I have no problem affirming that LGBTQ individuals are made in the image of God just like everyone else, that they are unique and eternally significant, worthy of respect, and someone for whom Christ sacrificed his life on the cross to provide a way of redemption. I think LGBTQ individuals should always enjoy and be afforded their basic civil rights as Americans.

This does not mean I endorse or believe their lifestyle choices are anything but choices—I do not believe one is born gay—or that I believe a choice to pursue LGBTQ lifestyles is a moral activity, any more than I believe heterosexual individuals choosing to engage in adultery are acting morally.

I do not believe homosexual, or LGBTQ, sexual behavior that rejects God’s moral teachings in Scripture are “worse” or somehow a different kind of sin than heterosexuals participating in immoral activity enjoined by Scripture. Sin is sin in God’s eyes.

Because I disagree with LGBTQ lifestyle choices or sexual expression does not mean ipso facto that I hate them or that I am a bigot, as LGBTQ activists and often now the media like to contend. No, it simply means I disagree with their beliefs and/or activities. I believe in freedom of speech, for me and them, so I do not support and indeed react strongly to cancel culture attempts to silence viewpoints that do not affirm LGBTQ lifestyles.

Pride month has become much more than a statement about destigmatizing a people group. It is about promoting a whole range of lifestyle choices the Bible calls immoral. 

Consequently, I cannot support Pride month and I am weary of the corporate virtue signaling that assaults me in media, wherein innumerable businesses now rush to proclaim their active support for “inclusion” and “accepting” everyone, e.g., the NFL’s “Football is gay.” Big corporations are coloring their logos rainbow.

There was a time when corporate America stayed out of politics, at least publicly and otherwise during business transactions. The business of America was business, and no business wanted to take sides on issues in a way that might divide its customer base. Now, corporations are falling over themselves pell-mell to embrace the latest political correctness, whether Pride or BLM.

Why corporate rush to display LGBTQ bona-fides?

1-Virtue signaling

2-Fear of litigation or online generated bullying

3-Fear loss of customers 

4-Belief they are groundbreakers

Mostly, though, corporations are virtue signaling on Pride because they believe it’s what the public wants so they want to claim they are “with it,” trustworthy enterprises where America should shop. It’s still about the bottom line.

As I write, Pride month is nearly over. I don’t think it helped LGBTQ people. It’s just more marketing noise.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

Christian organizations, including churches, have long worked with doctrinal statements clarifying their theological positions.  Some also developed lifestyle statements or covenants for employees.

More recently, Christian organizations, especially churches or denominations, have felt the need to develop position papers or policy statements about specific issues, both to make public how they believe their biblical understanding applies to the issue and also, depending upon the concern, to put their perspectives in print regarding controversial issues to try to protect the Christian organization legally.

Examples of the former might be topics like use of alcoholic beverages during Christian organization activities or policies regarding green environmental stewardship.

Examples of the latter include child protection policies or whether a church will conduct marriages for same-sex couples.

Issues like abortion, LGBTQ, “woke” ideas about race, for example, existed in the past but not many people engaged in these behaviors or not many in the general public advanced them.  Consequently, in a sense, these issues did not rise to a level requiring a Christian organization to address them in some formal statement.

This is what has changed.  Now it seems a host of controversial “new” issues—several of them involving sexuality or the politics of race—are being embraced not simply by the public but by Christian organization personnel or church or denomination members.  The more these issues are promoted, the more the Christian organization feels pressure to speak, to put some kind of position paper or policy statement in print. 

A Christian organization’s doctrinal statement is still its most important expression of belief, and a Christian organization need not necessarily publish a statement or assume some “side” on every issue.  But the politicization trend in American culture is increasing pressure upon Christian organizations to speak up in order to delineate their beliefs and to attempt to protect themselves.  

In "Christian Organization Statements--Doctrinal, Lifestyle, Position--Then and Now," I address two of the most significant new concerns: SOGI, sexual orientation and gender identity, and CRT, critical race theory.

These issues divide--families and friends, churches, Christian organizations, country and culture. It behooves anyone who cares about living out a Christian worldview to become informed and to help the Christian organizations in which they are involved to prepare to speak the truth in love into contemporary culture.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

I am blessed with freedom.

1–Political freedom because I was born in this country. I did nothing to earn it. Thousands sacrificed their lives so I could experience this freedom. 

2–Spiritual freedom because I was born again. I did nothing to earn it. One Savior sacrificed his life so I could come to know him and experience temporal and eternal freedom. 

Freedom is a profound gift, for which I am more grateful each year on earth. In this fallen world, freedom is not free but paid in blood. This is not morbid philosophy. It is truth...that can set you free.

Celebrating this Memorial Day is perhaps more important than any in recent memory. 

Reason is we’re coming off months of centripetal forces, trends that push away from the center and tear us apart. We don’t just disagree. We’re questioning our national identity, history, and fundamental values. 

We lived these centripetal forces: lockdowns, government overreach, racial and civil unrest, unemployment, Big Tech elitism, uncertainty regarding election integrity, nasty politicians, politicization of sports, medicine, and about everything else. The division has been brutal.

So pausing to celebrate e Pluribus Unum, to be grateful for our timeless ideals, to express patriotic appreciation for the great gift of opportunity all Americans have been given is a balm our nation needs. 

What Lincoln said at Gettysburg applies today:

“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

Memorial Day is coming, a time for remembering those who sacrificed for freedom. 

Patriotism is one of the world’s most powerful emotions. It comes from the Greek word patrios, “of one’s father,” meaning love of one’s home or fatherland. 

I was blessed to be born an American, am red, white, and blue patriotic, and deeply appreciate the founding ideals that defined America, i.e., life, liberty, freedom of religion, speech, mobility, enterprise.

But my love for my country does not mean I believe Americans are better than people from other countries, that we’ve always done everything right, or that our leaders past and present were always right. Critique is part of freedom of conscience and thought.

For me, celebrating Memorial Day is a form of gratitude. Freedom is a most precious gift, one easily lost.

Sadly, in the past eighteen months or so in our country, people have critiqued, or rather I should say attacked, not just policy but the country’s founding ideals, i.e., they have questioned the country’s very legitimacy, and even besmirched the names and legacies of those who sacrificed for the freedom we now enjoy and the potential available to all including those who dismiss it. 

This full-on rancor directed toward America’s founding and ideals has been difficult to endure, and it presents some great dangers going forward if the pendulum does not swing back in a corrective fashion.  

Calling for racial reform and progress are one thing.  Calling for the institution of racist ideas and practices in the name of “anti-racism” is another.  So, too, is arguing America’s founding was not about freedom but about slavery and white supremacy and that new “woke” ways of dealing with human beings (“critical race theory”) must be instituted in every aspect of American life before racial progress can be made.  These arguments are not only inaccurate and ahistorical, they are pernicious.  

Calling for “equity” rather than “equality” before the law is a bait and switch that demands sameness, taking from those who have earned and giving to those who have not, suppression of creativity, and a new definition of tolerance and inclusiveness to mean anything goes, especially if it is racialized.

Then, too, we’ve endured months of government overreach in the name of public health, restrictions on personal freedoms, even efforts to undermine the freedoms guaranteed to Americans in the First Amendment.  Thankfully, some of this is beginning not only to abate but to be retracted.

So, in the face of all this it becomes both more difficult – sad and disillusioning – to celebrate Memorial Day patriotism, and it becomes all the more important to celebrate Memorial Day patriotism because the ideals, the fundamental freedoms and those who sacrificed for them, that this day commemorates are as important as ever. 

Thank you, those who gave the last full measure.  Long may freedom reign.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.