Here’s a maddening story that’s been making the rounds since yesterday. At the Denver Post, there’s a conservative/libertarian columnist by the name of Jon Caldera. Or at least there was until this week. Jon was allegedly given the boot by his editor after his last column was published. The reason? He committed the unforgivable sin of suggesting that humanity is comprised of two genders. And according to Caldara, that was enough to have him terminated from the position he’d held since 2016. He initially announced his new (un)employment status on Facebook.
What seemed to be the last straw for my column was my insistence that there are only two sexes and my frustration that to be inclusive of the transgendered (even that word isn’t allowed) we must lose our right to free speech.
To be clear I am strongly pro-gay marriage, which has frustrated many of my socially conservative friends. I have friends, family and employees from the LGBT community. I don’t care who uses whose bathroom, what you wear, or how you identify. People from this community have rights which we must protect.
But to force us to use inaccurate pronouns, to force us to teach our kids that there are more than two sexes, to call what is plainly a man in a dress, well, not a man in a dress violates our right of speech.
As Zachary Evans at National Review pointed out, there may be some dispute as to how and why Caldara found himself no longer being published at the Post. The paper’s editorial editor, Megan Schrader (who Caldara has nothing but kind, respectful words for and describes as his friend), was contacted about the situation. She confirmed that Jon was no longer writing for the paper, but did not say whether he had been fired or resigned. Similarly, she didn’t offer any reason for Caldara’s exit or confirm that it was because of that specific column. Of course, she didn’t deny either claim either, and it’s rather hard to imagine why he would make up or distort a story in that fashion.
In case you’re wondering, this is the “offensive” column in question, Caldara’s last at the Denver Post. It’s actually a long examination of transparency in both hospital billing and education, which doesn’t spend much time on the issue of transgender issues. But this is the section that allegedly went over the line.
Democrats don’t want transparency in hospital billing and they certainly don’t want education transparency when it comes to their mandate to convince your kid that there are more than two sexes, even if it’s against your wishes.
Among the most controversial laws that passed last year was the comprehensive human sexuality education mandate which ripped local control away from your neighborhood school board. Now if your school district wants to teach even basic sex ed, the teacher must also teach the “health needs” of LGBT individuals.
And in the anti-free-speech style that the left now embraces, the new law bans discussions that “employ gender stereotypes,” or any language the state’s new oversight board of LGBT activists consider “stigmatizing.” In case you hadn’t noticed, just about everything is stigmatizing to the easily triggered, perpetually offended.
Reading Jon’s full explanation on Facebook, I find that he falls pretty much into the same camp as me, as should be obvious from all of the coverage I’ve given this topic. I too am not opposed to gay or straight marriage. (I just don’t think it’s the government’s business to regulate and tax it.) I don’t care what anyone calls themselves, the pronouns they choose to use or how they dress, provided it’s within the limits of decency when in public. But when they want to start telling me (or worse, legislating) which words I can use, that’s yet another case of an intolerant government going too far.
But Jon’s real “sin” here had nothing to do with supposedly offensive language. He referred to a fact from medical science that’s been known for as long as we’ve kept written records. With the exception of thankfully rare intersex individuals born with aberrant chromosomal configurations, mankind is made up of two distinct genders, both required to achieve natural reproduction. This is just scientific fact.
And yet, in 2020, people can lose their jobs for saying something like that aloud or publishing those words in an opinion column. If this is progress, we’re progressing toward madness.