Deuteronomy, the Biblical patriarch distills his injunctions about the moral life into a single binary choice: “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live” (30:19). Today, there are no other choices. Indeed, the morality of the Mosaic Law and the connection between the moral life and survival becomes clearer with each passing year. In fact, as all the long arcs of apparent progress begin to bend in unison, and our economic prosperity begins to falter, the clarity of our choices and their consequences is only becoming more obvious. 

Take, for example, the steady rise in rates of sexually transmitted diseases. Since the ascendence of Christianity, the primordial institution of marriage was raised to an even higher status and dignity than the one which, in other human cultures, it had already enjoyed. Fidelity within the context of conjugal love, and its noble and honest joys and fruits, brought with it the rewards of health and peace. There have, of course, been libertines in every age; but only since the 18th century have radicals who assaulted the norms that Christianity entrenched been a recognizable part of our civilization’s intellectual life—and only more recently have their ideas been adopted. Indeed, their doctrines are now almost universally accepted: traditional moral norms are, so we are told, simply the products of a patriarchal society, and notions such as monogamy or fidelity are so much dead cultural weight to be sloughed off for the sake of pure, uninhibited pleasure. Technologies and innovations—such as medical therapies, contraceptives, and abortion itself—can, in any case, split the atom of cause and effect, and separate the unrestrained enjoyment of sex from its consequences.

Such is the message that has seeped into our society to the point that, even in the face of a rising tide of sexually transmitted infections and diseases, the obvious moral preconditions of this medical crisis never come into view. The sacrosanct choices of individuals are not to be questioned. Thus, are young people deprived of the only true means of protecting themselves, since they never receive the moral injunctions to live good lives and to enjoy not the transient excitations of endless, passing partners but the contentment of continence and the deep happiness which pair-bonding brings. Lies take the place of this neglected truth, and the more that reality resists, the more loudly the lie is proclaimed.

The recent leaks from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) offer an even clearer example of the devastating consequences of lies, and the clarity with which these lies are seen by those who propagate them. The revelations brought to light by this trove of internal documents show that connections which are publicly denied are readily acknowledged in private, and practices which are summarily dismissed as red herrings are, in fact, routine. Where, for example, in the popular press, do we hear of phenomena such as trauma or regret associated with transitioning? Tellingly, in the WPATH’s internal communications, these links are readily acknowledged. So too, the fiction that strict safeguards provide robust the protections which would allow confused minors to make momentous, life-changing choices. One hears such mantras repeated endlessly. But are they true? The WPATH revelations show that the coercion of minors is routine, and that irreversible surgical and hormonal interventions are dangled in front of distressed children in the most cynical and exploitive ways.

The WPATH files, then, offer a further example of the same phenomenon that one sees in public messages to adolescents about sexuality: here, too, are damaging lies about reality being loudly enforced as if they were true. In both cases, the lies should unravel and those who knowingly or unknowingly propagate them should face whatever consequences are appropriate. But what is happening instead? The very deceptions which are causing so much damage and harm in our society are being protected with ever more fervor and alarm. People who point out these lies are accused of inflicting harm of inciting hate; and the victims of licentious lifestyles and of medical malpractice are silenced, marginalized, and maligned.

The emerging struggle, then, is between the truth and an imperium of lies, between a social and political order which is founded on false premises and reality itself—an opposition which is so dangerous precisely because the resistance to reality always becomes desperate and frantic. While those who oppose these widely disseminated and damaging lies are accused of various kinds of violence and harm, these very accusations lay the groundwork for violence against reality to be extended to those who notice it.

This, surely, is why CSIS has issued warnings about the extremists of “anti-LGBTQ” Canadians and the supposed threats that they pose. As the legal battles for gay rights gradually turned into larger social campaigns for tolerance, the line between the law and moral judgements became blurred; instead of the law being imposed in the bedrooms of Canadians (as a former Prime Minister so famously put it), the practices of both bedrooms and bathhouses have made their way into the law. The Pride movement is now the only thing in which Canadians can supposedly take any pride.

Thus have sexual practices, and the ideological defenses that they require, taken up a position in the murky space between religion and patriotism. Indeed, in the absence of any other meaningful publicly professed attachments to country or creed, the tenets of the sexual revolution have become quasi-religious doctrines. And dissent from the increasingly state-endorsed sexual agenda has, correspondingly, become indistinguishable from both treason or blasphemy.

“I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses;” this pair remains before us, and the consequence of choosing death are increasingly clear. So too, as lies rise to the status of civic doctrines, and these preposterous articles of faith become the core convictions of the state, the possibility of a peaceful moral awakening dwindles. Abortion and MAiD illustrate that death has found a place at the edges of our society, and it can only be a matter of time before it moves from the margin to the centre. But all empires founded upon lies eventually collapse, and even the menace of death only makes the choice of life more obvious and more beautiful.