No Female Is In this Picture

Admiral Rachel Levine, a man who identifies as a transgender woman, was commissioned into the U.S. Public Health Service’s Commissioned Corps. Officials called Levine’s promotion “historic” because, they assured everyone, Levine was the first female four-star admiral in the Commissioned Corps.

When something like this is announced the way it was – surrounded by fanfare and reporters constantly reminding us that this is a woman – it’s not cynical to wonder whether the job was earned by qualification or just a PR campaign. But it is unsettling to consider that the administration might promote someone more for the photo op than their abilities. And it’s frankly condescending to the Admiral, though he didn’t seem to see it that way.

This feels a lot less like a culture that’s soberly “following the science” and a lot more like a culture heading “through the looking glass.”

Copyright 2021 by the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. Reprinted from BreakPoint.org with permission.

When Solzhenitsyn Stunned Harvard

John Stonestreet, Radio Host and Director of the Colson Center

A little over forty years ago, Soviet dissident and literary giant Aleksander Solzhenitsyn delivered a thunderbolt of a commencement address at Harvard University.

Survivor of the Soviet GULAG, a fierce opponent of communism, Solzhenitsyn stunned his elite audience as he took aim at the disastrous social and worldview trends happening in the West.

He bemoaned that Western societies had given “destructive and irresponsible freedom . . . boundless space.” By which he meant license, what Chuck Colson called freedom without virtue. Then he went after the Western appetite for “decadent art.” Finally, he argued, no healthy society or culture lacks great statesmen.

Solzhenitsyn was prophetic. But sad to say, the West has largely ignored his voice. Irresponsible freedom? Check. Decadence? Check. Now go through your mental checklist and see how many great statesmen or stateswomen you can name these days.

Come to BreakPoint.org for more on Solzhenitsyn’s stunning address, including a BreakPoint commentary.

Copyright 2021 by the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. Reprinted from BreakPoint.org with permission.

China and Hollywood

John Stonestreet, Radio Host and Director of the Colson Center

In 2020, Chinese box office revenue officially surpassed that of North America. Shirli Li writes in the Atlantic, “Filmmakers and actors have always been subject to bosses who decide which movies get to soar at the box office….Now, more than ever before, that boss is Beijing.” 

Fast and Furious star John Cena demonstrated this deference in May when he posted a back-bending apology to China, in Mandarin, for calling Taiwan a country. Another example is the potential ban facing Marvel’s The Eternals because its director, Chloé Zhao, criticized the Chinese Communist Party … eight years ago. 

Repeatedly, U.S. film companies posture as courageous defenders of human rights when they vocally oppose laws in states like GeorgiaNorth Carolina, and Texas. But then they’re deafeningly silent about doing business in China, a country actively imprisoning more than one million Uyghur Muslims, hiding the presence of massive slave labor camps and no freedom of any kind when it comes to journalism. Hollywood, it seems, mostly just listens to the money. 

The hope has always been that Western values would somehow infiltrate China and change it from the inside. But the opposite is happening. There’s nothing like the allure of massive profit to drown out our collective conscience.

Copyright 2021 by the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. Reprinted from BreakPoint.org with permission.