In that uniquely American comedy Ghostbusters, the womanizing, semi-serious scientist played by Bill Murray tries to get his mind around the moral magnitude of his crew’s city-saving mission. “I’m fuzzy on the whole good-bad thing. What do you mean ‘bad’?” he asks his nerdy colleague, who dutifully explains the negative effects of crossing the beams of their anti-spectral weaponry:
“Try imagining all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.”
Another colleague adds knowingly, straight-faced, “Total protonic reversal.”
Murray responds, “Right. That’s bad.”
After watching news clips from Senate hearings for Joe Biden’s nominees, with one after another of them denying aspects of natural law and various Commandments, it’s clear to me that our country is facing its own “total protonic reversal.” So who you gonna call? What’s the proper response to government officials seeking higher office who insist—without irony or even a sense that their assertions might sound nuts—that boys can become girls and vice versa, while refusing to explain even the smallest detail of something they call “transgender medicine”?
Senator Rand Paul tried his best but made little rational headway with Biden nominee for assistant secretary of health Dr. Rachel Levine, apparently a biological male who identifies and presents himself—herself—as a female. Political and media supporters trumpeted that Levine would make history as the first openly transgender federal official. Not a necessary qualification for the job in the minds of most Americans, but in the ever-evolving merit system of the Democratic Party, race and gender trump all other considerations in an alphabet soup of identity politics that ultimately erases all identity.
Senator Paul focused on the nominee’s support for giving puberty-blocking drugs to children who seek—even against the wishes of their parents—to transition away from their biological sex. He asked if minors are mature enough to make such life-changing decisions, if they should be allowed to undergo radical surgery such as double mastectomy or the refashioning of their genitals to mimic the appearance of the opposite sex. He phrased the question twice, looking to elicit something more than a talking-point. Each time Levine responded: “Transgender medicine is a complex and nuanced field,” backed by “robust research” and standards of care.
With a touch of condescension that belied a lack of firm footing, Levine added that she would be happy to meet privately with Paul, himself a physician, to discuss the issue. Why so shy and secretive if the science is so safe and solid? Why not let the entire nation know, in an open Senate hearing, about the positive wonders of—to borrow from the title of an Amazon-banned book—Harry becoming Sally?
The reason is obvious. If more Americans were to become aware of the radical procedures and mutilation that pass for “transgender medicine,” there would be scores of shocked and shaking heads, if not a general outcry. Parents would start asking their kids about what is being taught in the classroom and handed out in the nurse’s office, and even the most progressive liberals might begin to think twice about their party’s agenda. At the very least, they would (hopefully) care for their kids enough to say to the transgender experimenters, “Not with my child!”
Recent reporting by Bari Weiss ( The Miseducation of America’s Elites | City Journal (city-journal.org) suggests that parents at some elite schools are shocked at the “woke” racialist agenda being promoted by these expensive institutions yet are reluctant to speak out. They fear blowback from the school’s administration and fellow parents, and suffering the social opprobrium of our growing cancel culture. The same parental self-censorship is likely going on more widely in public schools that actively inculcate transgender values. After all, one of the most powerful lobbies on the Left, the one that essentially controls the Democratic Party, is pushing the transgender revolution in state legislatures and in schools—for significant profit. Reports indicate that abortion giant Planned Parenthood is now luring kids who may be confused about their sexuality, recruiting them to trans activism online and in PP clinics prescribing them drugs that are the first step in sex-change regimens culminating in surgery.
Equally head-shaking was the Senate hearing for Xavier Becerra, former California attorney general and multi-term congressman who was confirmed last week to head the Department of Health and Human Services. But far from representing an historic “transition,” Becerra, who persecuted California crisis pregnancy centers and prosecuted Planned Parenthood nemesis David Daleiden, was his familiar shady and shoddy self. The fact that he calls himself Catholic as he advances unbounded abortion rights and seeks to force religious sisters to provide contraceptives and abortifacients to their employees should alert us to his two-faced doublespeak. At the Senate hearing, he justified his long-ago vote in Congress against a ban on partial-birth abortion, claiming he was obliged to follow the law when the ban would have nullified whatever law he was claiming to follow. His circumlocution was designed to hide the fact that he is wholly beholden to the abortion lobby Planned Parenthood controls.
Like the slimy day-glow ghosts in the 1984 movie, Biden administration picks are slippery under pressure, evasive when called out, and expert at hiding behind the artifice of “settled science and research.” Year after year, we’ve watched these scenes play out. From abortion and its deadly progeny to same-sex marriage and now “gender fluidity,” we are always told that just one more legal action is needed—one that will affect only a small class of oppressed persons—for justice to reign in the land. We who defend life and value truth and science are expected to act out our parts as trusting Charlie Browns at the mercy of conniving Lucys, hoping and hoping, praying and praying, that this time the party with the football will not swipe it away and leave us lying flat on our backs, disillusioned and defeated. Such trust may be a way of dealing with a loved one in our personal lives, forgiving seventy times seven, but it is no way to engage publicly with a political party that has shown with every swipe of the ball that it intends to destroy our values and, ultimately, destroy us as well.
And now we have the “Equality Act,” recently passed by the House of Representatives on a mostly party-line vote. It would add to the legally protected class of persons any combination of the LGBT rainbow of sexual identities as it tramples the common sense of those who object to biological boys using girls’ bathrooms or muscle-bound boys who identify as girls breaking state sprint records and body-slamming female opponents in wrestling matches. Religious believers and their institutions are also in the Act’s crosshairs, their First Amendment religious freedom rights to be abrogated in the name of “equality.”
In response, let us shed the Charlie Brown role and embrace Bill Murray’s ghostbuster, who screams in righteous anger when the enormous Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man crushes a religious edifice: “Nobody steps on a church”—or an unborn baby or a religious sister or the First Amendment—“in my town.”
—Stephen Vincent writes from Connecticut.