GARLINGTON: Countering Ugly Wokeism With Beauty

Rod Dreher said not too long ago at his blog at The American Conservative web site that transgenderism was likely to steamroll its opposition just as same-sex marriage did because its narrative is so appealing:  oppressed minority seeking liberty and equality, and so on (the same goes for BLM/Antifa Wokeism).  Senator Mike Fesi gives us a perfect illustration of this.  He pulled his perfectly sensible bill requiring children to get approval of both parents before ‘gender therapy’ could begin because of testimony like this from a transgender LSU student:

“We are told we are somehow unworthy, we are told we are sick and not worth investing into to, we are often denied housing and employment, we also do not need to be denied care.”

Jeff Palermo

The raw emotionalism of the argument is what makes it so effective.  However, sentimentalism, despite all the spectacle that accompanies it, is shallow.  It can be overcome if challenged in the right way.

One of the most compelling arguments against the moral revolutions offered to us by transgenderism, etc., is beauty.  It is not simply its harmony and proportion, its unity amidst variety, that makes it so attractive.  There is a mystical side as well:  True beauty is inseparable from truth and goodness (i.e., perfection, virtue).

Thus, the truth that there are two sexes, male and female, can be portrayed by holding up examples of the beauty of classical sculptures of men and women from ancient Greece.

The truth that the natural, Christian family (mother, father, etc.) is the best way to raise children can be illustrated by offering pictures and narratives of those very families.

It should also be stressed that beauty begets beauty.  Whether it is the more Platonic, geometric beauty of the Western cathedrals, or the more ascetic, mystical beauty of the Eastern churches, disordered souls do not create beauty; they destroy it.  This is plainly seen in the riots, arson, looting, and so forth of BLM/Antifa over the past year after George Floyd’s death.  But once again, there is a counter to this specific issue as well, for the beauty of the monasticism that flourished in Africa in the 4th-5th centuries thanks to Saints like Anthony the Great, Pachomius, and Macarius, show that it is self-denial that is key to greatness, not ego-driven selfishness for rights or possessions.  Of Africa under their influence, Rufinus writes,

I have seen, really seen, the treasury of Christ, concealed in human vessels!  . . .  Yes, I saw in Egypt fathers who lived on the earth, but who led lives in heaven, and certain new prophets, inspired by virtues of the soul, and also the gift of prophecy, whose worthiness was attested to by gifts of signs and wonders . . . some of them were so free of any thought of vice that they had forgotten that there was any evil in the world.  . . .

Likewise, the hymns composed for the Mother of God in Ethiopia reveal the heights humanity can reach through humility.

Beauty begets beauty, but mixing the natures of man and woman and confusing virtues for vices creates what the ancient Greeks called a chimera, which was no harmless, lovable, misunderstood creature but a monster bent toward destruction:

THE KHIMAIRA (Chimera) was a three-headed monster which ravaged the countryside of Lykia (Lycia) in Anatolia. It was a bizarre fire-breathing creature with the body and head of a lion, a goat’s head rising from its back, the udders of a goat, and a serpent for a tail.

The lesson could not be clearer for us ‘advanced’ moderns:  Distorting the natural order as God created it and gave it to mankind to guard and nurture will end in a similarly destructive catastrophe.

Next time Sen Fesi, Sen Fred Mills, Speaker Schexnayder and others who are caving to various forms of Wokeism are confronted by the appeals to emotion, they should respond with the appeal to beauty.  They need to show up at these hearings with examples from ancient and Christian culture, like the above and others, that illustrate what it is they are fighting for.

Beauty is not bombastic like sentimental emotions, and it may work more slowly, but its quiet work is far more profound and longer lasting in its effect.  But this beneficial process won’t happen on its own; the maiden Beauty needs knights to fight for her.  If a society will not supply them, if its lawmakers, for example, retreat before her enemies, then that society will likely not last very long as the forces of falsehood, ugliness, and evil usurp the throne of truth, beauty, and goodness.  Let us pray that Louisiana will not provide history with another example of that.

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