A Puzzling Move

On Saturday, The American Spectator reported that last month Secretary of State Antony Blinken removed Nigeria from the State Department’s list of countries hostile to religious freedom. In April, the U.S. government’s own Commission on International Religious Freedom had urged Secretary of State Blinken to keep Nigeria on the list.

The articled reports:

In 2020, the Trump administration designated Nigeria as a “Country of Particular Concern” (CPC) on religious freedom. In a letter, the Family Research Council and host of other organizations committed to religious freedom have asked Biden: “How can it be, less than a year after that significant designation, that Nigeria’s CPC designation has been dropped without a public explanation?”

The groups note in the letter that anti-Christian persecution in the country has grown even more intense since 2020: “The ongoing violence, killing, and displacement against Christians and others have only increased. In fact, during 2021, massacres happen almost nightly, while by day, young boys are killed in the fields. Pregnant women are brutally dismembered, their babies mutilated before their eyes. And now, an entire church congregation has been abducted and held captive.”

Armed Islamic terrorists and radicals “have become even more brazen, torching entire villages and farms, ambushing, and killing innocent people in gory, unspeakable ways,” they write. “Mass killings—the kind that used to be sporadic—are now a national emergency. Catholic News Agency reported in July, ‘an estimated 3,462 Christians have been killed in Nigeria in the first 200 days of 2021, according to a new study. This equates to 17 Christians being murdered every day in Africa’s most populous country.”

The article concludes:

Biden has declared the promotion of transgenderism abroad a “priority” of American foreign policy. That apparently stands at the apex of his hierarchy of rights.  “[The State] Department has committed to increasing U.S. engagement on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) human rights issues abroad,” says Blinken. “As we do so, we work with partners around the world who bring to bear expertise on their unique challenges and innovative solutions. We recognize that, through these partnerships, we will be able to build a safer, more inclusive global society for all LGBTQI+ persons.”

This is what preoccupied Blinken in the months preceding the collapse of Afghanistan. Then after it fell, he told Congress that he was “focused on” the plight of the “LGBTQI+ in Afghanistan” under the Taliban.

Talk about an “unbalanced” agenda. Blinken can strain at the gnat and swallow the camel. As he trivializes human rights abuses, monstrous ones are occurring in a country that he claims is no longer a foe of religious freedom. Never mind that an organization called Genocide Watch says “Nigeria has become a killing field of defenseless Christians.” The group says that “between 11,500 and 12,000 Christians have been massacred since June 2015 when the Buhari Government of Nigeria came to power. These statistics are based on careful records kept by church groups that include the names of victims and dates of their murders.”

That Biden can overlook this while prattling on about the supposed glories of transgenderism and chastising Russia for its insufficient enlightenment (Blinken said that Biden rebuked Putin at their summer meeting for not supporting the LGBTQ agenda) reveals much about this administration’s bankrupt agenda. Only a president that prizes religious freedom at home will care about its loss abroad.

I believe that our President has mixed up his priorities.

Telling The Truth Causes An Uproar

The latest adolescent fad being promoted on social media is transgenderism. Unfortunately it is a fad that can do permanent damage to a young person who simply follows what he or she sees on social media. Recently “60 Minutes” did a segment about state regulations on transgenderism and included people who as teenagers underwent medical procedures to change their sex and then regretted it later.

Today Legal Insurrection posted an article about the reaction to the “60 Minutes” segment.

The article notes:

A recent 60 Minutes segment talked about red states denying hormones and surgery to transgender youth. However, the news program made the grave mistake of including a part about young people who regret transitioning.

The left is furious that 60 Minutes included dissenting voices.

This is one of the stories included in the “60 Minutes” piece:

One young woman described her experience after she went on hormones, had her breasts removed, and then detransitioned all in one year. Transcript via the Daily Wire:

Lesley Stahl: Did the therapist not question you about how deep the feeling was and what it was stemming from?

Grace Lidinsky-Smith: She didn’t go — really go into what my gender dysphoria might’ve been stemming from. We only did a few sessions.

Lesley Stahl (NARRATION): Because she was over 18 and didn’t need parental consent, she says she merely signed an informed consent form at a clinic and got hormone shots.

Grace Lidinsky-Smith: They asked me, “So, why do you wanna go on testosterone?” And I said, “Well, being a woman just isn’t working for me anymore.” And they said, “Okay.”

Lesley Stahl: So, that was that. You got your prescription for testosterone?

Grace Lidinsky-Smith: Uh-huh. Yup.

Lesley Stahl (NARRATION): Just four months after she started testosterone, she says she was approved for a mastectomy, what’s called top surgery, that she told us was traumatic.

Lesley Stahl: You know, I’m kinda surprised because, based on everything you’ve said up to now, I would’ve thought you’d have a great sense of relief.

Grace Lidinsky-Smith: I started to have a really disturbing sense that like a part of my body was missing, almost a ghost limb feeling about being like, there’s something that should be there. And the feeling really surprised me but it was really hard to deny.

Lesley Stahl (NARRATION):And so she detransitioned by going off testosterone and then went back to the clinic and, she says, complained to the doctor that the process didn’t follow the WPATH guidelines.

Grace Lidinsky-Smith: I can’t believe that I transitioned and detransitioned, including hormones and surgery, in the course of, like, less than one year. It’s completely crazy.

The article also includes one reaction to the segment:

Jezebel called the report an “attack” on trans kids:

60 Minutes’ Segment About Republican Attacks On Trans Kids Was Itself an Attack On Trans Kids

This is not an issue that needs both-sidesing. But on Sunday, CBS’s 60 Minutes did something even worse—the primetime show decided to air a segment that, while ostensibly addressing the Republican-led assault on trans young people’s health care, ended up focusing heavily on the favorite topic of conservatives who would like nothing more than for trans people to not exist, and who wish to paint transition as a painful, regret-suffused process—people who have detransitioned.

First of all, Republicans are not attacking trans kids, they are simply trying to prevent teenagers from doing something irreversible during a period in their lives when their decision-making process is not fully developed. Secondly, this is not health care–it is serious surgery that cannot be reversed and needs to be entered into with extreme care. In a few years there will be many young adults walking around seriously regretting what they have done with no way to correct their mistake. That is sad.

Common Sense Is Not Always Appreciated

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about some recent comments by Dr. Ben Carson.

The article shows us how a smear campaign works. The article reports:

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Ben Carson issued an agency-wide email Friday attacking a “blatant mischaracterization” of his comments about transgenderism during his visit to California this week, which reportedly offended bureaucrats in San Francisco.

The Washington Post broke the story on Thursday, citing “three people present” at a HUD meeting:

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson expressed concern about “big, hairy men” trying to infiltrate women’s homeless shelters during an internal meeting, according to three people present who interpreted the remarks as an attack on transgender women.

While visiting HUD’s San Francisco office this week, Carson also lamented that society no longer seemed to know the difference between men and women, two of the agency staffers said.

Carson’s remarks visibly shocked and upset many of the roughly 50 HUD staffers who attended Tuesday’s meeting, and prompted at least one woman to walk out in protest, the staffers said.

A HUD official, who had not been present at the meeting, defended Carson, saying he never used derogatory language against transgendered people. The official added that “Carson was referring to men who pretend to be women to gain access to battered women’s shelters — and not singling out transgender women as “big, hairy men.”

The article concludes:

In May, Carson announced a new HUD rule that would allow local homeless shelters to decide for themselves if they wanted to use biological sex, not gender identity, as a basis for deciding how to provide housing. The policy under the Obama administration had been a one-size-fits-all rule forcing all shelters to recognize gender identity.

Carson has decided that the safety of homeless women must come before transgender concerns about identity — and before the political sentiments of agency bureaucrats based in a state that has failed to tackle growing homelessness.

The issue here is the safety of women seeking shelter from abuse. What is to stop an abuser from saying he is transsexual to gain access to a shelter and then terrorizing the women in it? Who wants to be responsible for the first death in a women’s shelter caused by a man who gained access by claiming to be a transsexual when he was not?

The policy here is common sense. It is in place to protect women. Are we willing to sacrifice the safety of abused women in order to placate the transgender movement?

Preventing Truth

One of the major ideas the political left is currently supporting is transgenderism. The traditional idea of two genders–male and female–is regarded (by the left) as old fashioned and (in some cases) bigoted. Never mind what your DNA says–it’s how you feel that matters. There have been a number of people who have gone through the process of a sex change and regretted it, but somehow they have not received the positive coverage of those who parade their change around. Well, even science has gone political on the matter.

Breitbart is reporting the following today:

Bath Spa University stopped Psychotherapist James Caspian from examining cases of people who had surgery to reverse a “gender reassignment” after finding they regretted the decision.

…He pointed out that studies of the percentage of people regretting “transitioning” their gender ranged from a couple of per cent to 20 per cent, and said new research was needed as attitudes changed and practitioners observed a rise in those reversing surgery.

The university initially approved his research, but after he proposed finding more participants online and sent his ideas to the ethics sub-committee for clearance, he was told: “engaging in a potentially politically incorrect piece of research carries a risk to the University”.

“Attacks on social media may not be confined to the researcher but may involve the university,” university authorities added, The Times reports. “The posting of unpleasant material on blogs or social media may be detrimental to the reputation of the university.”

So if the truth may be unpopular or cause anything negative to be said about the University, the University does not want to know what the truth is. Wow. So much for the scientific method!