University of Arkansas Goes for Woke With “Antiracist” Pledge, Resources

The University of Arkansas and Northwest Arkansas Community College are among schools in the state aligning with “woke” ideas such as critical race theory and the belief that racism is systemic in our country.

Critical theory is a set of ideas that emerged among Marxist sociologists and philosophers in Germany during the 1930s.

According to critical theory, society consists of two groups: Those who have power and those who don’t.

Critical theory teaches that those who have power always use it to oppress those who don’t have power, and that institutions — such as the church, family, government, or law enforcement — are tools of oppression.

Critical race theory draws these distinctions along racial lines. Critical race theory classifies people as oppressors or oppressed based on their race or ethnicity.

According to critical race theory, racism is systemic in America — meaning it’s everywhere.

Obviously, we should oppose racism, but critical race theory isn’t the way to do it.

Critical theory as a whole distorts reality and misunderstands human nature, society, and institutions. As John Stonestreet puts it, critical race theory “offers a very different explanation of humanity, sin, and redemption than the Bible does.” Unfortunately, critical race theory seems to be infiltrating portions of Arkansas.

The University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton College of Business maintains a web page that provides a list of “antiracism resources.” Many of the resources listed on this page promote critical race theory.

The University of Arkansas School of Law has put together an “Anti-Racism and Anti-Bias Pledge” for faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the law school.

Among other things, the pledge asserts that “racism is the combination of social and institutional power structures and racial prejudice.” This language tracks closely with critical race theory.

The Northwest Arkansas Council also has put forward the “NWA Leadership Pledge” that organizations in the area can sign “to address systemic racism” in the region. The pledge discusses “the historical underpinnings of systemic racism” and contains language supporting pro-LGBT public policy.

According to the council’s website, Northwest Arkansas Community College and the University of Arkansas both have signed the NWA Leadership Pledge.

These pledges and “antiracist” resources at Arkansas’ flagship university won’t address real problems with race and injustice in our society. They’re simply going to be used to promote a deeply flawed worldview in our state.

Photo Credit: Brandonrush, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

New Study Reveals The Startling Rise of Gen Z’ers Identifying as LGBTQ

John Stonestreet, Radio Host and Director of the Colson Center

Earlier this year, a Gallup poll announced that “one in Six Gen Z-ers Identify as LGBT.” That was a significantly higher number than ever reported in any previous years. Then, last month, a new survey released by Arizona Christian University reported that about 39 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds claim the label.  

Even granting that polling data should always be carefully studied and, often taken with a grain of salt, that’s a shockingly high number. And, in addition to challenging Christians about how much the culture around them has changed, these numbers also challenge the way people have been taught to think about sexuality and, specifically, cultural assumptions about sexuality. 

For years, the main idea driving activism around sexual orientation was that gay and lesbian people were “born this way.” Since, went the argument, no one is attracted to someone of the same gender through any fault of their own, we must let them be who they truly are and love who they want to love. And we must, the argument continued, erase any notion that heterosexuality is “normal,” and homosexuality is not. 

That idea proved quite persuasive, especially the more it was portrayed in song, film, and television. Millions of dollars went to research looking for the genetic causes of same-sex attraction. Though such causes were never found, professional activists were successful in conflating sexual decisions with already protected classes of race, sex, and disability. Even as it has become more and more obvious that sexual orientation is not fixed, the idea that it is is an innate, unchangeable component of identity has already served its purpose, shifting the moral norms of society and establishing this new way of thinking about sexuality. So, today, most Americans either believe that sexual orientation is something not chosen or that it is something that should never be questioned. 

However, polls like this one should make us question what many in our culture now take for granted about sexual orientation. Otherwise, how can the explosion in self-identified LGBTQ youth be explained? 

The obvious answer is: it can’t. We either have to keep foolishly pretending that nearly 40 percent of young people have always been gay, lesbian, bisexual, or (especially now) transgender, or we must admit that our ideas about sexuality have consequences for others. After all, it didn’t take long for the other letters in the ever-growing acronym to ride the success of this strategy. So today, anyone who defies traditional “sexual norms” is given elevated moral status, considered “courageous” and experts on all kinds of things, and basically given a free pass not afforded to anyone else. Given the new social climate, is it any wonder young people want to join those ranks, at least on a subconscious level? 

As one of my colleagues pointed out recently, a teen who identifies as “bisexual” doesn’t actually have to do anything to gain a status boost. They can keep dating people of the opposite sex or not date at all. They can be sexually active or not. It’s the label that does the magic. It’s no accident that the B and the T in the acronym have seen the most growth. 

Even if the social costs of identifying as a sexual minority are lower than ever (and the benefits higher than ever), the consequences for young people are severe. For one thing, young people are constantly taught to see every relationship they have as potentially sexual. Among other things, this robs them of platonic friendships, especially with members of the same sex. C.S. Lewis famously wrote that “few value (friendship) because few experience it.” This has become even more true today for the loneliest generation on record

To be clear, people’s sexual desires almost never feel “chosen.” Though the research has not fully eliminated any biological or genetic factors in same-sex attraction, there’s no justification for treating it as immutable (much less for treating gender dysphoria that way). However, given all of the cultural pressure to assume such things, it’s clear that merely believing the right things about sexuality is insufficient for eliminating someone’s same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria. To put it differently, this generation has been thoroughly catechized into anthropological confusion, literally changing the definitions of normal and abnormal, of moral and immoral, of who we are and what we do.

The sexual choices people make create, reinforce, and amplify their sexual feelings. It’s a vicious cycle that mirrors the Apostle Paul’s words, “To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” 

Though the Gospel doesn’t promise instantly repaired sexual desires, it does tell us to “be transformed by the renewing of [our] minds.” In a culture obsessed with sex, drowning in loneliness, and careening towards self-harm, it’s good news that renewing our minds is even possible. We must point a generation of confused youth toward the compassion and clarity of this much better story as if their lives depend on it, because they do.

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

White House Lists Its Fight Against Arkansas’ SAFE Act Among Its Pro-LGBT Work

Over the weekend the Biden-Harris Administration released a report “Memorializing Transgender Day of Remembrance” and touting the White House’s pro-LGBT activism.

Among other things, the report highlight’s the administration work to undermine Arkansas’ Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act in federal court, calling the SAFE Act “discriminatory and unconstitutional.”

The SAFE Act is a 2021 law that protects children in Arkansas from sex-reassignment procedures, puberty blockers, and cross-sex hormones.

The law passed with overwhelming support in the Arkansas Legislature. However, the ACLU filed a lawsuit to have the SAFE Act struck down, and the law currently is tied up in federal court.

In June President Biden’s U.S. Department of Justice filed a statement of interest opposing Arkansas’ SAFE Act in federal court.

The DOJ’s statement of interest calls sex-reassignment procedures “life-saving care” and argues that the SAFE Act violates the U.S. Constitution.

It also claims that Arkansas’ reasons for supporting the SAFE Act are “mere pretext for animus against transgender minors” — in other words, that Arkansas’ lawmakers passed the SAFE Act because they secretly hate transgender children.

The fact of the matter is researchers do not know the long term effects that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones have on kids. Doctors are giving these hormones to children off-label, in a manner the FDA never intended.

That is why many experts agree that giving puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children is experimental, at best.

That’s also why a major hospital in Sweden announced last spring that it would no longer administer puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children.

It is deeply disappointing that the federal government would continue using taxpayer resources to oppose a state law that protects children from experimentation. Fortunately, Arkansas is fighting back, and we believe the federal courts ultimately will uphold this good law.