I’m a big fan of science fiction. In fact, my novel “Epiphany” was the first of a planned science fiction trilogy. The famous writer Ray Bradbury once said, “Anything you dream is fiction. Anything you accomplish is science. The whole history of mankind is nothing but science fiction.” I’ve published many scientific papers in my heyday, but now my writing is of a different creative outlet.
I have a stack of medical topics sitting on my desk and in the Focus queue, but I keep being sidetracked by the cares of the world. I might be happier if I were oblivious to the world. So many around me seem to remain unconscious of what’s happening to our country. Ben Franklin once said, “We are all born ignorant, but we have to work at remaining stupid.” Apparently, his observation remains true today.
Some may be surprised that I tone down my rhetoric for this column. Unfortunately, that’s not enough for the illiberal crowd who hector me and tell me to shut up because my opinions are not welcome in their progressive world view. Perhaps I’m too critical of Obama and the progressives who masquerade as Democrats. Nah! I know I’m doing the right thing when I pull the tail of a donkey and it brays!
All Presidents own the good and the bad during their time in the White House. President Obama received credit for Seal Team Six’s assassination of Osama Bin Laden which occurred on the President’s watch. Likewise, the Benghazi cover up, the criminal IRS actions, the Veteran’s Administration abuses, our country’s financial woes and the meltdown of the Middle East have all occurred on Obama’s watch. The President did give us Obama-care, but it is not cheaper, many have lost their doctor and The Supremes may rule it unconstitutional this month. Now the President tells us America is more respected in the world because of his efforts. This is but another example of his social fiction. I agree with the talking heads who crow “our allies don’t trust us and our enemies no longer fear us.” This is not fiction. It’s been a tough six and a half years. In fact, a recent CNN poll reported that George Bush is now viewed more favorably than Barack Obama.
I’ve written before on medical issues and the demographics of homosexuality. The media has now moved on to the pitiable story of Bruce Jenner the former Olympian. Jenner now calls him/herself Caitlyn Jenner after announcing that he/she is among the 0.4% of Americans who identify themselves as transgender. When I saw Ms. Jenner’s air-brushed picture on Vanity Fair magazine I felt sorry for this conflicted individual. Perhaps changing his name and altering his body will make her feel better about herself, but unfortunately she’ll never be normal. Furthermore, she’s become a tool of the perverse media and political opportunists.
What is normal, and is this even a valid social question? Perhaps the Caitlyn-Bruce Jenner saga is just another social fiction. By convention mathematics defines normal as a data point that falls within two standard deviations of the mean or average value. If you list all American traits as statistical data points, 95% of them will comprise a bell-shaped curve of characteristics. However, 2.5% of Americans will fall outside this normal distributive curve at both extremes. And yet, these outliers may be “normal” if we readjust the normative parameters and say for instance that normal includes 99.9999999% of all Americans. In truth we all may be “normal” and loved, at least in God’s eyes.
Tallied together, the 1.8% of self-described homosexuals and the 0.4 % of transgender folks approximate one extreme outside the historical normative curve defining normal. Furthermore, this minority is demanding that the majority expand its concept of normal, and that society redefine gender, sexual orientation and social conventions. The Supreme Court is similarly challenged as the justices deliberate over the convention of marriage. Perhaps thousands of years of history and culture’s definition of “normal” will pass away right in front of our eyes this month. Perhaps we shouldn’t limit marriage by numbers of consenting adults either or once the barriers are broken limit “marriage” to a species. And what if I conclude that I’m really a black man trapped in a white body? Should I seek liberation from my closet and demand that others “see” me differently?
This conceptual extreme seems foolish at first glance, but is a natural extension of logic carried to its end. We may awaken any day now without any defined normal behavior or standard thought. Children find it unsettling when they have no boundaries. I found it uncomfortable as I edged closer to the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland which had no guard rails. We should similarly be fearful of the consequences of libertine notions that demand we throw out the conventions that have stood the test of time and are the foundations of civilization. Likewise, history teaches us that renunciation of God and his boundaries are recipes for disaster.
There is a difference between accepting differences and redefining normal. An episode of Star Trek once portrayed an advanced alien culture where everyone was androgynous and homosexual. However, one individual felt attracted to a male member of the human starship crew. Her/his yearnings were considered deviant and unacceptable. He/she was sentenced to medical brainwashing and cured of her/his confusion.
Most of us fancy ourselves more enlightened and accepting of differences. However, does acceptance go both ways? Is Islam tolerant of other faiths? Is the President or some of my readers tolerant of conservatives like me? Are minorities intolerant of majorities and claim they are justified in demanding others change their beliefs?
I am tolerant of differences, but I object to 2.5% on either extreme telling me I’m nuts and must change my reality. You might find it strange, but I would relish the opportunity to someday walk into a Star Wars bar on some distant planet and strike up a conversation with the “guys” at the bar. This of course is both science and social fiction, because humans are not yet ready to travel to other worlds and encounter other thoughtful beings because we haven’t learned to get along with those who look just like us.