Aww, the little kid is just so cute! And Jesus supports people who are marginalized, regardless of right and wrong. Therefore boys should be allowed in girls’ bathrooms, and vice versa, right?
That, my friends, is the persuasive strategy being employed in this video. That’s what’s supposed to convince Texas to toss out decades of common sense and good thinking.
Don’t believe it. You might be tempted to do so, since it’s an amazing piece of persuasive theater. It’s had 3 million views in about 48 hours. And it works. It works, that is, unless you think about what you’re watching; but thinking isn’t so easy with all that’s going on here. The music, the little kid, the pleading mom — none of it is designed to stimulate your brain to work. Only your aww, so cute sensor.
But that sensor is a bad guide to public policy. So let’s turn it off a while and think about this together. There’s a whole clinic in LGBT strategy here for those who will take time to study it.
Fear vs. Aww, So Cute
Let’s start by tamping down our automatic response to cute little girls in their moms’ laps. “She’s” actually a boy. It’s hard to see a boy in that dress and curls, but that’s okay: You’re allowed to use your brain here. Recognize how that girl-image plays with your emotions. Then remember: Emotions are great, but relying on them for public policy can be hazardous.
Note next how the emotional appeal continues with the appeal to fear: “My daughter’s not a threat to your daughters … but your sons are definitely a threat to my daughter.”
That’s pretty convincing. In fact I think it’s probably true — for a little 5-year-old, as this child appears to be. But certainly the law that Texas is considering applies to more than innocent little kindergarteners. Imagine a 16-year-old sitting next to this mom instead, with the obvious facial appearance of a boy, but wearing a dress. Could that boy’s mom get away with saying, “My daughter’s not a threat to your daughters — and therefore we should allow boys in the girls’ room”?
No, there’s a reason they chose this mom and this girl. They don’t want you thinking about how this law would apply to older kids. They’re aiming for your gut, not your head.
It’s a canny strategy when you think about it — but you have to think about it. Otherwise you’ll find yourself gushing aww, so cute, and, “My goodness, let’s not let those mean boys hurt her at school!”
“Intolerance and Prejudism”
Going on, the mom plays on our desire to do what’s right in society: “Especially those of you who are teaching intolerance and prejudism [sic].” Well, of course, teaching intolerance and prejudice is bound to produce social problems. That doesn’t mean transgender ideology is right. It means a certain type of intolerance is wrong.
Be careful about what “intolerance” means, though. The implication here is that it means disagreeing with this mom’s opinions. But she’s likely just as “intolerant” toward your views and mine — because “intolerance” is too often misused. It’s a dogma dressed up as a virtue. That misuse of “intolerance” is wrong, too.
This is as good a time as any to point out how the mom’s pro-transgender prejudice is most likely doing her son lifelong harm. Besides using him shamelessly to further her own prejudices, she’s urging him into a life of gender confusion, when science says he would very likely grow up to accept and appreciate his male body in time, given the chance. He would be very, very likely to learn to live as a whole male person, rather than split between two personas — if his mom will only give him time to get there.
“Jesus Christ Is In Favor of Transgender”
This is a distorted view of Jesus; for while He certainly defended marginalized persons, He did not support their sin.
Okay, she doesn’t come right out and say Jesus is for men dressing and living as women, or vice versa. She’s too savvy for that. Instead she says, “Jesus the Christ always defended the marginalized against the religious politicians of his day.”
And then she layers the religious message on as thick as she can.
But this is a distorted view of Jesus; for while He certainly defended marginalized persons, He never supported sin. He told the woman taken in adultery to “go and sin no more.” He affirmed the tax collector Zacchaeus’s repentance. In the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, it was the tax collector’s humility He affirmed. Meanwhile He also affirmed one of the least marginalized persons of all — an officer in the occupying Roman army — for his great faith.
This business of Jesus “defending the marginalized” is badly distorted. He came preaching the gospel of the Kingdom, a message of repentance and salvation. Christians must likewise pay close attention to the marginalized, but without losing focus on what’s right and what’s wrong. His support for the marginalized was real — see Luke 4:18-19 for one example — but it was always aimed toward righteousness.
Is transgender ideology righteous, then? This mom shows us it can be cute. She shows us how the sham-virtue version of “intolerance” can be used to goad people into agreeing with her. She’s shown us how to misunderstand Jesus’ mission. But somehow she left out the part about whether it’s actually right or wrong. Is there any doubt as to why?
LGBT Persuasive Strategy At Work
Still, it’s effective. A person has to work hard to turn his thinking brain on, to see what’s really happening here in terms of persuasive strategy. It’s the same technique LGBT actvists have been perfecting since at least the late 1980s: “Portray gays as victims, not as aggressive challengers. … Give protectors a just cause. … Make gays look good. … Make the victimizers look bad.”
Or as the authors of that linked paper spell it out:
These images [of “ranting and hateful religious extremists”] should be combined with those of their gay victims by a method propagandists call the “bracket technique.” For example, for a few seconds an unctuous beady-eyed Southern preacher is seen pounding the pulpit in rage about “those sick, abominable creatures.” While his tirade continues over the soundtrack, the picture switches to pathetic photos of gays who look decent, harmless, and likable; and then we cut back to the poisonous face of the preacher, and so forth. The contrast speaks for itself. The effect is devastating.
This video may not do that with literal images, but the same effect is there via word pictures, complete with thoughts of George Wallace barring schoolhouse doors.
Cuddly squirmy cute kids make great theater. We have to think with our heads, though, not our aww, so cute sensors.