Stop Pining for the Good Old Days

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“I’m so excited!!” declared the LGBTQ activist Drew Gregory. “The Oscars this year are SO GAY!!”[1] Indeed, this year’s Academy Awards included an unreal number of LGBTQ themed movies and documentaries; songs from queer icons; and LGBTQ directors, actors, and actresses. Not surprisingly, the evening was filled with virtue signaling and a determination to see the LGBTQ community emerge as the ultimate victors.

An excerpt from Xtra Magazine aptly sums up the mentality of the evening, “The Whale is not a good movie. And yet, it is probably the movie that will win Brendan Fraser his Oscar.”[2] Sure enough, Brendan Fraser did win Best Actor for his role as a 600-pound gay English teacher battling severe depression while trying to salvage his relationship with his estranged daughter.[3] However, the big news of the night was the absolute domination of the movie Everything Everywhere All at Once. It was nominated for 11 awards and won 7 of them.[4] For those who may be unfamiliar with the movie’s plot, it revolves around an Asian immigrant mother who needs to learn that her lesbian daughter’s girlfriend (who identifies as a man) should be introduced to grandpa, who also has to be taught to accept homosexuality and transgenderism as the new ways of the world.[5]

Following the Oscars, Jamie Lee Curtiss—who won Best Supporting Actress in the movie Everything Everywhere All at Once—shared her award statue’s preferred pronouns with Today, declaring her Oscar to be gender non-binary. When asked what she was going to name it and whether she considered her award to be female, Curtiss answered, “In support of my daughter Ruby, I’m having them be a they/them.”[6]

I wish I could say that the Oscars were exceptional and that the values they championed were limited to Hollywood. Instead, we’ve recently been overwhelmed with troubling news stories related to our nation’s embrace of the LGBTQ lifestyle. For example, on Tuesday, the students at Wellesley, an all-women liberal arts college in Massachusetts, supported a non-binding referendum that would allow women who identify as men and “non-binary” to enroll in the school.[7] The student body president told the New York Times, “We’re just asking the administration to put on paper what’s already true of the student body. Trans men go to Wellesley, nonbinary people go to Wellesley, and they kind of always have.”[8]

Truth be told, this is merely the next step in Wellesley’s ideological progression as it already allows biological men who identify as women to enroll in the college. Incredibly, until this point, the school has been less concerned about biological men who identify as women attending their all-women college than they have been about the prospect of biological women who identify as men attending the school because, according to our strange 21st century logic, the integrity of an all-women college is not threatened by biological reality. Apparently, the enrollment of both biological male and female students does not discredit the legitimacy of its all-women moniker, but the prospect of biological women who identify as men would certainly undermine the school’s identity.

Another news example is the recent court ruling requiring USA Powerlifting to revise its existing policy to make provision for trans athletes to compete in its events. The judge wrote that while USA Powerlifting focused on the notion that trans athletes have an unfair advantage in women’s sports, “The USAPL’s evidence of competitive advantage does not take into account any competitive disadvantage a transgender athlete might face from, for example, increased risk of depression and suicide, lack of access to coaching and practice facilities, or other performance suppression common to transgender persons.”[9]

Although we could point to plenty of other examples, one more should suffice. The Washington Post reports, “Nebraska’s state legislature has been unable to pass a single bill this year. One senator’s distaste with the advancement of a bill seeking to ban gender-affirming care for Nebraskans under 19, coupled with the state’s unique filibustering rules, has brought the session to a standstill.”[10] For three weeks, Senator Machaela Cavanaugh has filibustered every bill on the state’s legislative agenda in an effort to kill LB574, known as the “Let Them Grow Act,” which would prohibit puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and sex reassignment surgeries for minors. The bill’s sponsor, Senator Kathleen Kauth, has provided a reasonable explanation for the bill, saying, “More than 85 percent of kids with gender dysphoria will desist if left alone in a process called ‘watchful waiting’. These children need therapy to deal with the coexisting mental and emotional struggles they are experiencing—not irreversible, harmful and experimental medical procedures.”[11] Nonetheless, Senator Cavanaugh has vowed, “If this Legislature collectively decides that legislating hate against children is our priority, then I am going to make it painful—painful for everyone. I will burn the [senate] session to the ground over this bill.”[12] Particularly troubling is that this is occurring in one of our nation’s least-polarized legislatures.[13]

Today, it feels as if we can’t hardly watch a television show, read the news, go to school, or even attend a sporting event without being pressured to embrace the LGBTQ lifestyle as normative—and even as something to be celebrated. For some of us, this cultural full-court press encourages a mentality that pines for the good old days of yesteryear when times were simpler and our culture was more “Christian.” Such longing is certainly understandable, but it is neither helpful nor accurate.

The cultural change our nation needs is not a return to the sensibilities of a previous generation. If we would look past our nostalgia, we would quickly realize that the society of every generation has struggled with many of the same root issues. Perhaps it may have looked more “Christian” on the surface, but underneath was the same cultural rot we are experiencing today.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 informs us that there is nothing new under the sun. Homosexuality, transgenderism, and even sex reassignment surgeries are nothing new in America. This was true even in the 1950s, Leave It to Beaver, traditional values version of America. Indeed, “Ex-GI Becomes Blonde Beauty!” was a headline splashed across the front pages of the New York Daily News in 1952 when George Jorgensen Jr. returned home from a sex-reassignment surgery in Denmark as Christine Jorgensen. Six decades before Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce Jenner), and among the first to undergo such a procedure, Christine Jorgensen was America’s original trans sweetheart. Crowned Woman of the Year by the Scandinavian Society, Christine sparked a new phenomenon. In fact, People Today wrote in 1954, “Next to the recurrent hydrogen bomb headlines, reports of sex changes are becoming the most persistently startling world news.”[14]

Even in the 1950s, LGBTQ issues and sex reassignments were cultural issues in America. The key difference, however, is that this was a time when it was, perhaps, easier for Christians to ignore such issues. As such, large swaths of America’s cultural underbelly were never meaningfully challenged with the truth of God’s Word. In the 21st Century, however, it has become nearly impossible for Christians to turn a blind eye to these issues. Certainly, there is some good in this; however, we lose any silver lining to the pervasiveness of our cultural depravity when we respond by simply seeking to reapply the Christian veneer of previous generations to our culture. What our culture needs is Christians who will finally apply the transformative power of God’s Word and the gospel to every aspect of society.

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Timothy Zebell

As a former missionary to Asia for twelve years and the author of several books, Timothy is passionate about helping people understand the relevancy of God's Word in today's world. His goals are to help Christians discern truth from error, empower Christians to speak into cultural matters with relevancy, and to help Christians capitalize on the opportunities that these matters provide for sharing the truth about God and His gospel message.
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1. Gregory, Drew and Riese. “Oscars 2023: Two Queers Discuss the Pretty Gay 95th Academy Awards.” Autostraddle, March 11, 2023.

2. Woods, Mel. “2023 Oscar Nominations: The Queer Winners and Losers.” TV and Film. Xtra*, January 24, 2023, 11:49 a.m., EDT.

3. Woerner, Meredith. “Brendan Fraser’s Comeback Complete with Emotional Best Actor Oscar Win: ‘I’m Grateful for Throwing Me a Creative Lifeline.’” Awards. Variety, March 12, 2023, 8:27 p.m., PT. Woods, Mel. “2023 Oscar Nominations: The Queer Winners and Losers.” TV and Film. Xtra*, January 24, 2023, 11:49 a.m., EDT.

4. Rottenberg, Josh. “‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ Takes Best Picture Oscar and Six Others.” Los Angeles Times, March 12, 2023, 9:19 p.m., PT.

5. Ben Shapiro. “Is the Economy about to Meltdown?” YouTube video, 57:09, March 13, 2023.

6. Sharf, Zack. “Jamie Lee Curtis Gives Her Oscar Statue They/Them Pronouns: ‘I’m in Support of My Daughter Ruby.’” News. Variety, March 14, 2023, 11:32 a.m., PT.

7. Drey, Brandon. “All-Women Liberal Arts College Votes on Non-Binary Individuals to Apply.” Daily Wire, March 14, 2023.

8. Patel, Vimal. “At Wellesley College, Students Vote to Admit Trans Men.” US. New York Times, March 14, 2023. Last updated March 16, 2023.

9. Mandler, C. “Trans Women Can Compete in USA Powerlifting, Ruling Says.” Sports. CBS News, March 7, 2023, 5:41 p.m.

10. Javaid, Maham. “Nebraska Lawmaker Vows to ‘Burn This Session to the Ground’ over Anti-Trans Proposal.” Politics. Washington Post, March 20, 2023, 7:00 a.m., EDT.

11. MacDonald, Cassandra. “Nebraska Democrat Says She Will ‘Burn the Session to the Ground’ over Bill Banning Sex Change Surgeries for Children.” Gateway Pundit, March 15, 2023, 3:07 p.m.

12. MacDonald.

13. Javaid, “Nebraska Lawmaker Vows to ‘Burn This Session to the Ground’ over Anti-Trans Proposal.”

14. Hadjimatheou, Chloe. “Christine Jorgensen: 60 Years of Sex Change Ops.” BBC magazine, November 30, 2012.


Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.