Our Lord told his disciples that “Whoever is not against us is for us” (Mark 9:40). I couldn’t help thinking of that verse when I saw the latest celebrities to come out against the transgender movement. Sure, it was a surprise when last year J.K. Rowling of “Harry Potter” fame stood up to the woke mob on this issue. But now two militant atheist comedians with previously-immaculate liberal credentials have also broken ranks and called out problems with the transgender ideology.
For those who follow popular culture, Bill Maher and Ricky Gervais need no introduction. Both are comedians who made their marks mocking traditional values in general, and religion in particular. Gervais even wrote, directed, and starred in a movie that he called “the first ever completely atheistic movie with no concessions.” To be sure, neither Maher nor Gervais are friends of the Church.
Yet in spite of that baggage, both comedians appear to be fed up with the transgender lie. Perhaps it’s because of their age (they are both in their 60’s), or the security of their success, or just a realization of how insane the transgender movement has become, but Maher and Gervais have departed the Leftist train at this station.
Maher has been hinting at problems with transgenderism for some time, but last month on his HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher” (warning: crude language) he aired a segment where he bluntly questioned the underpinnings of transgenderism, particularly its efforts to recruit children. He noted the huge increase in people identifying as “LGBTQ” in recent generations, and said, “when things change this much this fast people are allowed to ask what’s up with that?” Most importantly he directly challenged the assumption that we cannot ever question a person’s declared gender.
Maher also criticized the horrific yet growing practice of puberty blocking drug therapies: “We are literally experimenting on children….and we just don’t know much about the long-term effects, although common sense should tell you that when you reverse the course of raging hormones there’s going to be problems.”
Gervais took a more comedic route in his ridicule of the fundamental assumptions of transgenderism in his Netflix special, SuperNature (warning: very crude language). I can’t really repeat what he said due to his crude and profane language, but suffice it to say, he’s no more buying the transgenderism sales pitch than Maher.
Not surprisingly, both comedians were roundly attacked by the Woke Mob, who take criticism about as well as a cat taking a bath. They were called “transphobic,” the latest made-up hate label, and were accused of inciting hate and violence. So far, neither comedian has backed off from his remarks.
Why does this matter? Why should Catholics care, after all, what two aging liberal atheist comedians think on this topic? It’s significant because it shows that the lies of the sexual revolution might have finally gone too far.
The first lie of the sexual revolution was that artificial birth control would liberate women and make sex more enjoyable for all by severing its bond with procreation. Pope Paul VI saw through this lie in Humanae Vitae. Our world has suffered the consequences of widespread contraception use, and we cover over this lie by continually presenting a promiscuous life as fun and carefree.
The second lie was that abortion wasn’t murder and was a necessary service to the revolution. This lie has led to the death of millions of innocent babies, but it can be covered over because we can’t easily see the victims. Our culture can convince itself that the unborn baby is just a clump of tissue, no matter what science may say.
The third lie of the revolution was that homosexuality is normal and natural. The foundation for this lie was laid by the acceptance of artificial birth control and thus the severing of sexual relations and procreation, and it was propped up by a misguided notion of “love.” This new conception redefined love from a self-sacrificial desire for the good of the other to a selfish desire to feel good. Even though homosexuality has always been seen as disorder in cultures throughout history, this lie was surprisingly easy to cover over, since concepts like love and the purpose of sexual activity are esoteric in the minds of many.
The fourth lie, transgenderism, has burst onto the scene in recent years but it has met with some surprising resistance from quarters that have generally been on board with the sexual revolution. That’s because this lie is far more difficult to conceal. It’s not conceptual and it’s not hidden: a man declaring himself a woman stares at you right in the face and tells you that white is black and up is down. There are no nice-sounding and fancy explanations to help you believe the lie. You must reject what your senses—and every iota of common sense—are telling you. This is a more difficult sell.
It’s possible that the rejection of trangenderism by the likes of Rowling, Maher, and Gervais are a sign that the sexual revolution has finally overreached. Those with eyes to see and ears to hear have long recognized the terrible consequences of the revolution in deaths, destroyed lives, and decaying families. But the revolutionaries have been expert in hiding those realities. To hide something like a 6’1” man dominating a woman’s sport on national television, however, is a bit harder to pull off.
The fact that even some Leftists are starting to resist the latest lie of the sexual revolution should fill us with hope. So too should the fact that both videos have gone viral, demonstrating widespread support for their unwoke views. Perhaps after a half century of destroying lives, the revolution’s house of cards is finally tumbling. Perhaps once people see the lies behind transgenderism, they will also see the lies behind homosexuality, abortion, and artificial contraception. If they do, we should be there to welcome them, not saying “I told you so,” but instead “Welcome back to reality.”
[Image: Bill Maher (left) and Ricky Gervais (right)]