John Stonestreet on The Weaponization of ‘Identity’

John Stonestreet is President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and radio host of BreakPoint, a daily national radio program providing thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of BCNN1.


G.K. Chesterton once observed that the “special mark of the modern world is not that it is skeptical, but that it is dogmatic without knowing it.” His point was that moderns have forgotten that they are assuming what they believe to be a given. “In short,” he concludes, “they always have an unconscious dogma; and an unconscious dogma is the definition of a prejudice.”

That’s why I love Chesterton. If you didn’t know he wrote that a century ago, you’d think he was talking about today. Plus, he was always grumpy, so he’s a lot of fun to read.

Fast forward from 1919 to 2019, and little has changed about assumed dogmatism. As journalist Douglas Murray writes in a terrific new book, “The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race, and Identity,” “we are living through a postmodern age in which the grand narratives of religion and political ideology have collapsed.” However, since we can’t live without a grand narrative, we have created new grand narratives, new religions, new dogmas. Sounds a lot like Chesterton…

A chief contender for dominant narrative today is identity politics. The two things that characterize identity politics are, according to Murray, its “crusading desire to right perceived wrongs” and its “weaponization of identity,” both of which gives “mad crowds” the power to ruin reputations and cower opposition into silence. For example, anyone who dares question the dogmas of the new sexual orthodoxy is labeled a bigot and cast into societal outer darkness.

The fundamental problem with identity politics is its understanding of identity, one which “atomizes society into different interest groups according to sex (or gender), race, sexual preference and more.” Such characteristics are suddenly elevated to be “the main or only relevant attributes of their holders.” But what’s so absurd is how artificial these “identities” so often are.

In a chapter simply titled “Gay,” Murray, who is a gay man himself, points out that the acronym “LGBT” combines four groups of people who not only have little in common but are often suspicious of one another. As a gay man, he writes, he has “almost nothing in common” with lesbians (and vice versa).

However, one of the few things they do share is “a suspicion towards people who claim to be ‘bisexual,’” (i.e., the “Bs” in “LGBT.”)

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Source: Christian Headlines