Commentary

Book Excerpt: 'LOVE THY BODY,' by Nancy R. Pearcey

Nancy Pearcey
By Nancy Pearcey | January 26, 2018 | 12:01 PM EST

"Love Thy Body" by Nancy R. Pearcey (Nancy R. Pearcey Photo)

In “LOVE THY BODY,” best-selling author Nancy R. Pearcey challenges the rise of politically correct social constructs that pose as liberation but are harmful to the human person, while setting us up for control by an all-powerful political state.  

“LOVE THY BODY,” published January 2, provides real-world solutions to a dehumanizing hostility to the body that characterizes the secularist approach to abortion, assisted suicide, same-sex "marriage," transgenderism, and so on.

The following excerpt from “LOVE THY BODY” uncovers the link between the personal and the political—how a secular ideology denies the relevance of biology and thereby alienates us from our bodies and render human beings "easier to manipulate and control." Human freedom begins at home. Now, more than ever, says Pearcey, love thy body.

Excerpt:

Human life and sexuality have become the watershed moral issues of our age. Every day, the twenty-four-hour news cycle chronicles the advance of a secular moral revolution in areas such as sexuality, abortion, assisted suicide, homosexuality, and transgenderism. The new secular orthodoxy is being imposed through virtually all the major social institutions: academia, media, public schools, Hollywood, private corporations, and the law.

It is easy to get caught up in the latest controversy or breaking news story. But current events are merely surface effects, like waves on the ocean. The real action happens below the surface, at the level of worldviews. These are like the tectonic plates whose movements cause the roiling surface waves. In “Love Thy Body,” we will move beyond click-bait headlines and trendy slogans to uncover the worldview that drives the secular ethic. By learning the core principles of this worldview, you will be able to engage intelligently and compassionately on all of today’s most controversial moral challenges.

As a former agnostic, I give an insider’s road map to postmodern moral theories, showing how they devalue the human being and destroy human rights. …

Every forward movement of the secular moral revolution is hailed as an advance for freedom from the oppressive moral rules of the past. But in reality, every step empowers the state by destroying pre-political rights.

The rapid expansion of state power began with abortion. In the past, the law recognized personhood as a pre-existing reality, something that followed metaphysically on being biologically human. The law merely recognized it as a prior fact. But the only way the state could legalize abortion was to deny the relevance of biology and declare that some biological humans are not persons. The state has taken on itself the authority to decide which humans qualify for the status of personhood, defined in terms of mental abilities—the capacity to think, feel, and desire. The same reasoning is being applied to euthanasia and assisted suicide as well.

 

What about marriage? In the past, the state recognized marriage as a preexisting biologically based reality, something that followed naturally on the fact that humans are a sexually reproducing species. The law merely recognized it as a prior fact. But the only way the law could treat a same-sex couple the same as an opposite-sex couple was to deny the relevance of biology and declare marriage to be a state of mind—what you think, feel, and desire—which is what the Supreme Court did in its Obergefell decision. In the process, the state has taken on itself the authority to define what marriage is—which emotional commitments qualify as marriage.

What about gender? In the past, the state recognized gender as a preexisting reality, something that followed metaphysically on your biological sex. The law merely recognized it as a prior fact. But the only way the law can treat a trans woman (born male) the same as a biological woman is to deny the relevance of biology and declare gender to be a state of mind—what you think, feel, and desire. The state has taken on itself the authority to define legal gender independent of your biological sex.

Finally, what about parenthood? In the past, the state recognized parenthood as a pre-existing reality, something that followed metaphysically when a mother and a father gave birth to a child. The law merely recognized it as a prior fact. But the only way the law can treat same-sex parents the same as opposite-sex parents is to deny the relevance of biology (because at least one parent is not biologically related to the child) and declare parenthood to be a state of mind toward the child—what you think, feel, and desire. The state is taking on itself the authority to define what a parent is, and who qualifies as one.

Significantly, in each case, the state has taken the postmodern approach of dismissing natural realities and substituting legal fiat. It refuses to be held in check by respect for the created world.  …

Until now, the family was seen as natural and pre-political, with natural rights. That means it existed prior to the state, and the state merely recognized its rights. But if the law no longer recognizes natural sex, then it no longer recognizes natural families or natural parents, only legal parents. That means

parents have no natural rights, only legal rights. You, as a mother or father, have only the rights the state chooses to grant you.

And what the state gives, the state can also take away. Human rights are no longer “unalienable.”

There is a reason Aldous Huxley’s classic novel “Brave New Worlddepicts a tyrannical world government that treats mother and father as obscene words. By making the language of family obscene, the World State ensures that its citizens form their primary loyalty to itself—rendering them easier to manipulate and control.

Nancy R. Pearcey is author of Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions about Life and Sexuality. She is professor and scholar in residence at Houston Baptist University and editor at large of the Pearcey Report. Her earlier books include Total Truth and Finding Truth.

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