Tag Archives: Owen Strachan

Owen Strachan: The New England Journal of Medicine Defies Sex

’Tis the season for denying the basic marker of human identity: sex. Man and woman. Male and female.

So tweeted the New England Journal of Medicine just before Christmas:

Sex designations on birth certificates offer no clinical utility, and they can be harmful for intersex and transgender people. Moving such designations below the line of demarcation would not compromise the birth certificate’s public health function but could avoid harm.

This is the opposite of the truth. Sex designations offer maximal “clinical utility.” Not to over-simplify this, but they lay out the fundamental distinction of humanity: whether we are a man or a woman. Aside from our status as a human being, there is truly no more elemental reality in human existence than this.

There is much to say about care and compassion for those who have a disorder of sexual differentiation, but overturning reality is not part of that care.

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Owen Strachan: A Radical Proposal for Thanksgiving

This week, we have the opportunity to do something truly radical: we can give thanks.

Thanksgiving long predates the founding of America. It’s a tradition that dates to the arrival of the Pilgrims in Plymouth. Following extreme hardship—including numerous deaths, conflict, bitter cold—a group of Christians decided not to complain against God, but to thank Him for his sustaining grace.

Over the centuries, Thanksgiving became more than an exclusively religious event. In the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln made the occasion a federal holiday, a remarkable move.

In modern America, Thanksgiving signals for many an opportunity to come together with family and friends to enjoy the goodness of life. It’s a pause on the madness and delirium of our divided times.

In a time of entitlement, chaos, and self-focus, giving thanks to God is a radical act.

Be a radical this year: eat turkey.

Laugh.

Choose gratitude

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Strachan: Justice Alito’s Warning

Supreme Court Judge Samuel Alito recently made a startling point: “religious liberty is in danger of becoming a second class right.”

Alito said as much to the Federalist Society:

“Just as the COVID restrictions have highlighted the movement toward rule by experts, litigation about those restrictions has pointed up emerging trends in the assessment of individual rights. … It pains me to say this, but in certain quarters, religious liberty is fast becoming a disfavored right.”

Alito argued that not only religious liberty, but free speech, is imperiled:

“Support for freedom of speech is also in danger. And COVID rules have restricted speech in unprecedented ways.”

This is a timely and prescient warning. Religious liberty is the very foundation of American freedom, and free speech is part of what makes America great.

We cannot sit passively by as our cherished freedoms are whittled away; we must pay attention and take action where we can.

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Owen Strachan: Twitter Has an Obligation to Protect Free Speech

It’s now become a normal event on Twitter. President Trump tweets something about election results, and Twitter leadership attaches a disclaimer to it: “This claim about election results is disputed.”

Most everyone is aware that the President has a lively presence on social media. Every citizen in this country is free to evaluate the President’s claims as they see fit. But Twitter should not be moderating the President’s tweets. Doing so is a weakening of free speech.

Twitter is a publicly held company but is still free to set its own rules. That does not mean that they don’t have a responsibility to promote free speech. Like higher education institutions, liberty either flourishes or goes to die in such settings.

Twitter should not act as the President’s self-appointed Big Brother. Twitter should let free speech be free, and leave it to citizens to figure out the rest.

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Owen Strachan: A Divided Nation on the Heels of a Tense Election

In the film “No Country for Old Men,” a sheriff played by Tommy Lee Jones recounts a dream he had. He saw his father riding a horse, going on ahead “to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all that cold, and I knew that whenever I got there, he’d be there.”

The Coen brothers’ film wasn’t political, but these words resonate today. Hopelessness abounds; lockdowns continue; marriages suffer; children languish and politics divide.

Many years ago, a wise man said to his followers that they should love their neighbor. Christ’s words promise to galvanize us in the wake of a bitter election. We would do well to love our neighbor in these divided days.

We should not fall prey to hate or insufferability. We should go on ahead, and make a fire somewhere in the dark, and work to prepare a better country for our children—and for citizens yet to be born.

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Owen Strachan: Trump Takes Courageous Action Against Critical Race Theory

If you’re on a college campus today—or have a child on campus—there’s a solid chance you’ll hear this: “All white people are racist.” You might hear this, too: “America is founded on white supremacy.”

These two sentences are not mere overheated emotion. They express an ideology called Critical Race Theory—or CRT—which argues that race is a social construct made by white people. Just as race was once used to enslave and terrorize, so it is used today to keep America unequal, unfair, and hostile to minorities.

The Trump administration just took symbolic and courageous action against CRT. It issued a memo to federal agencies calling for the end of the government’s CRT “racial sensitivity trainings,” terming them “divisive, anti-American propaganda.”

Does America have real issues in its past? Yes.

Have we made real progress that we must guard carefully? Also yes.

The White House has led well here.

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Owen Strachan: California Legislature Passes Bill Reducing Penalties for Pedophilia

The California legislature finished its 2020 session by passing Senate Bill 145, which seeks the reduction of penalties for those convicted on charges of pedophilia. The bill’s author, Senator Scott Wiener, said the bill corrects past unfair retribution for homosexual sex with a minor. But a fellow Democrat, Lorena Gonzalez, disagreed:

“Any sex is sex. I don’t care who it is between or what sex act it is. … I cannot … as a mother understand how sex between a 24-year-old and a 14-year-old could ever be consensual … We should never give up on this idea that children are not, should not be in any way subject to a predator.”

The nation needs to be aware of what is happening.

This piece of legislation erodes a key legal reality that the country still overwhelmingly supports: Our kids deserve protection. A 14-year-old does not, and should not, grant consent.

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