Remember those “unalienable rights” we all thought we had? They were the God-imbued rights that our founding documents — the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence — memorialized and enshrined as sacrosanct. They were the “natural rights” our founders believed were heaven-sent.
Well, as 2021 wraps up Americans would like to report a robbery. The rights imbued in our very personhood have been stolen. You can call it identity theft. Worse, actually.
When I first heard Dr. Nancy Pearcey put forward this idea on Pastor John Mark Comer’s “Live No Lies” podcast, I knew that I had to talk with her. I took the time to transcribe part of her interview and sent it to folks in my Bible study, talked about these ideas on KTTH Radio, and then asked Dr. Pearcey to come on for an interview.
The professor of apologetics at Houston Baptist University is the author of several books, the latest of which is 2018’s Love Thy Body, which delves into “the pervasive hostility toward the body and biology in secular culture.”
It’s this hostility that has resulted in the theft of our personhood. And who stole it? The state. She told Comer that “you can’t have a free society unless you acknowledge that some rights are pre-political. That means the government — the state — does not create them, it merely recognizes them.”
And here’s where they hijacked these rights.
They separated our bodies from our biology with abortion, which Professor Pearcey notes is “based on the idea that anyone who was biologically human has the most fundamental right of all — the right not to be killed.” The state’s job was to protect that right, but now, she says, “it hasn’t worked itself all the way out yet, but logically speaking, the state has now said ‘just because you’re human doesn’t mean you have the right to life … because the state qualifies you as a person.'” But, she says, with Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court “ruled that some humans are not persons worthy of protecting,” so the state has arrogated to itself which humans “qualify as persons, not based on biology … but on judicial fiat.”
And she says euthanasia is like the abortion decision, but in reverse. “If you lose certain cognitive functioning, if you are mentally disabled, then you are no longer a person,” as defined by the state.
That’s bad enough, but, sad to say, things get even more jarring. The pattern is revealed.
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“Take marriage,” she says. Marriage is a pre-political right because males and females mate and create families naturally. But the state changed that in the Obergefell gay marriage Supreme Court decision when the court disconnected marriage from biology. Pearcey says they replaced it and rebranded marriage as “an emotional connection.” “But the trouble is,” she warns, that “we have lots of emotional connections, so who decides which ones count as marriage?” As a result, what constitutes marriage is not an objective statement of biological fact, but based only on the state’s say-so.
You can see where this is going. Or can you?
Are you a parent because you gave birth or adopted a baby? Not necessarily, says Dr. Pearcey. Pre-political, biologically based parentage, was always based on scientific fact. But that changed with the new laws to accommodate same-sex couples’ desires to have both parents on a birth certificate, even the one not biologically connected to the child. “So now parenthood is not connected to biology,” says Pearcey, and the “legal definition of parenthood is something the state creates.” And based on this new reality, Pearcey contends, “you are not technically the parent of your children unless the state says you are.”
Gays, straights, transgenders, babies, and the sick all suffer from the loss of these rights. Everyone.
On transgenderism, Pearcey notes that if the state can separate gender from biology, where it’s always been, it is “saying that biology doesn’t really matter.” In the 2020 Bostock decision, the Supreme Court separated gender from biological sex and legally rendered gender as “a state of mind” that the state defines. “It’s not rooted in anything objective,” she warns.
She’s not done, which is why she wrote an entire book about this stuff, and I urge you to read it, as I’m planning to do.
We know some Supreme Court scholars out there may be able to come up with a sentence or a footnote in some decision somewhere that may seek to mitigate the political and personal fallout, but is this scholar’s conclusions wrong? It sure doesn’t seem so.
“So one after another of these pre-political rights rooted in biology, rooted in science, are no longer rooted in biology and science,” she says. Pearcey concludes that it’s a “huge power grab by the state.” She says, “Christians are pro-science.”
Even before COVID and the authoritarianism put on display by its agents — mayors, governors, government doctors — the state had already separated us from our unalienable, God-given rights to personhood. It replaced those rights with its ever-changing sliding scale of “rights” that the state now defines and doles out apart from who you are.
As my PJ Media colleague Matt Margolis told me, “We are Borg.”
In this case, resistance isn’t futile, it’s essential.
The question is, how?