Let me bore you for a minute with a little church history. During the 1530s, in an effort to criticize what he and his fellow Lutherans perceived as false doctrines within the Roman Catholic Church, German theologian Philipp Melanchthon busted out some Latin in article XXIV of a document called the Apology of the Augburg Confession. “Ex opere operato,” he said. “When it comes to the intertwined issues of the divine worship service and the Lord’s Supper, all y’all papists have gone full ex opere operato.” That’s not a direct quote, mind you. I’m paraphrasing.
The literal translation of “ex opere operato” is “out of the work having been worked,” but Melanchthon essentially used it to mean “by the mere outward act” as a criticism of how he believed Rome’s understanding of the sacrament greatly downplayed the importance of faith in receiving Christ’s righteousness.
“We believe faith is necessary to receive the forgiveness, life, and salvation that Christ puts into the Lord’s Supper. You guys believe that people get those things simply by the mere outward act of taking part in the sacrament. We believe that we receive righteousness through faith. You believe you get it simply by going through the motions,” Melanchthon essentially argued.
Many Roman Catholics, of course, believe Melanchthon’s “ex opere operato” accusation unfairly represented their position, which is a debate I’m happy to have with my Catholic friends at another time. However, if Rome’s position angered Melanchthon and his fellow Lutherans, encountering the arguments of modern social justice warriors on gender identity would have stupefied them.
Why? Because if Catholics were insisting that believing the words is not as important as going through the motions in order to become righteous, well, that’s nothing compared to those who insist that going through the motions of speaking the proper transgender-affirming words will make you righteous, even if you actively disbelieve every word coming out of your mouth.
The Hypocrisy Is Obvious
Let’s be clear about this: Those who insist Martin Luther King Jr. will have died in vain if transgender people don’t get to use their preferred public restrooms don’t believe anything they’re saying. Or, to paint with a slightly narrower brush, they don’t believe the heart of what they’re saying—namely, the idea that there is such a thing as gender identity, entirely separate from biological sex.
They don’t believe the heart of what they’re saying—namely, the idea that there is such a thing as gender identity, entirely separate from biological sex.
While they certainly believe (as we all do) that there are men who feel they are women, they don’t believe (again, along with the rest of us) that those men actually are women—something that becomes quite obvious every time they scream the opposite.
If, for example, Caitlyn Jenner has always been a woman (presuming he doesn’t go back to having always been a man), why did ESPN…