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JK Rowling and the Transformation of the West

Real life Dementors are swooping around JK Rowling and they’re coming for you too.

What did JK Rowling say to invoke such anger? She dared challenge the culture’s narrative

JK Rowling has found herself caught up in cancel culture. Both JK Rowling and Harry Potter are currently trending on Twitter. There are hundreds of thousands of comments and memes expressing outrage. Indeed many of these tweets are themselves outrageous and even abusive. 

What did JK Rowling say to invoke such anger? She dared challenge the culture’s narrative by tweeting that biological sex is real:

Let’s be clear, JK Rowling hasn’t said anything radical. She has simply noted an established fact—a scientific, biological, and sociological fact. Indeed, sex is one of the few self evident truths that has been universally accepted in all human history and across cultures—that is, until the last few years. In today’s western world, to affirm that women are women and that men are men is to speak heresy. Suggesting sex is real will get you sent to Azkaban.

Our societies have been occupied by other important issues of late, especially the COVID-19 pandemic and now racism. The response to JK Rowling is a reminder however that not even pandemics and race-riots can dampen the ardour of those crusading for this latest chapter in the sexual revolution. Nothing is to excuse, distract, or dilute, full and unquestioned adherence to the sexual milieu. Half a million comments all agree.

Harmful Consequences 

Yet the consequences of this campaign are already becoming apparent. Even as the Victorian Government plans to cement queer-theory into legislation, The Australian has published two important articles pointing out the suspiciously large number of girls on the autism spectrum who are being diagnosed and “treated” to change their gender:

Professor Attwood, a psychologist based in Brisbane and author of the guide known globally as the “Asperger’s bible”, said unhurried and thoughtful gender change could be a success but he worried about a crash back into depression if trans status was embraced with impulsive and unrealistic hopes of a fix for autism“Once they’ve changed gender, they still have autism and when (gender) transition doesn’t solve their problems they think, Oh no, that was the only option I had, what’s the point of life? One of the characteristics of autism is what we call a one-track mind, and sometimes the issue of gender dysphoria (discomfort with one’s body) and changing gender becomes a special interest with a phenomenal knowledge and determination.

Not even medicine is immune to popular social theory. Not even when it harms children. 

Tolerant Hate

Meanwhile, the attacks on Joanna Rowling reveal hate-filled rage that lurks beneath the language of tolerance. The project is authoritarian—and totalitarian. It demands our total allegiance without reason and grace.

The sexual revolution is part of a wider revolutionary campaign to smash and rebuild society. As Paul Kelly observes:

The progressive mantra … is about power. It sees every issue in terms of a victim class and an oppressor class. It is more interested in power than solutions. It demands people change their values to fit its moral impositions and it is disgusted by how liberalism has tolerated so many reactionary views … American writer Yuval Levin argued in his 2016 book, The Fractured Republic, that culture was being re-engineered. It was now what the individual preferred it to be. Once your guiding star becomes your own self-expression then, as Levin says, we “recoil from any demands that we conform to the requirements of some external moral standard—[they become] a set of rules that keeps ‘me’ from being ‘the real me’, ‘true to myself’.” Such rules were to be discarded. Indeed, they were to be mocked, with the Christian religion top of the list. Such individual empowerment leads to defiance of moral instructions handed down by church, state or nearly any authority. Those defying the authority are applauded because being “true to yourself” is seen as the ultimate morality.

Jesus declares that the “truth sets us free.” Yet, we see our society abandoning truth on many fronts; not only Christian truths but also common knowledge. We see it with our attitudes toward the unborn, we see it when society denigrates other races, and it’s evident in our whitewashing of sex and gender. The situation is made more complex because past generations have not always offered a better discourse. Examples abound of where western culture has previously suppressed self evident moral truth in the name of other ideologies. But this is no justification for repeating the sin of Adam today.

Jesus declares that the “truth sets us free.” Yet, we see our society abandoning truth on many fronts; not only Christian truths but also common knowledge.

As Paul Kelly observes, western societies like Australia are likely to become more fragmented and tribal. One of the byproducts of this is that as we grow weaker, we become more vulnerable. The sun is slowly setting on the West, less because of emerging powers like Communist China but because (like Rome) we have chosen to destroy ourselves. Our inability to have a measured conversation about something as basic as sex-difference is a symptom of how far-gone things have become.

The West is in trouble. As a Christian, my primary focus is not on keeping the West. However, to say that none of it matters is simply naïve. With all its flaws and failures, western civilisation has given the world liberties and life that have not grown elsewhere. The very notion of human equality and dignity depends on Judeo-Christian teaching.  If the West is to be saved, we need to rediscover the very doctrines upon which it was built, and indeed the very same Christian teachings that are now flourishing in many other parts of the world. This exercise, however, requires humility and even repentance.

Right now, unfortunately, there is little appetite for either.


First published at murraycampbell.net

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