One of the strangest, quirkiest, and most entertaining TV series of all time was called “Northern Exposure.” It ran through the late ’80s and early ’90s. The series was set in the fictional town of Cicely, Alaska, and was full of eccentric characters. One episode was called “Body of Evidence,” and it focuses on a frozen body one of the main characters comes across while fishing in a nearby frigid stream.
Chris, the cerebral, New Age, local DJ who finds the frozen body brings it to town, where the townspeople store it in a meat locker and then begin studying it. Through examining the body, the diary found near it, and local native legends, the townspeople eventually conclude that the body likely was either a close associate of Napoleon Bonaparte or perhaps even the little general himself. Either way, the evidence seems to indicate that Napoleon never was at Waterloo. That being the case, the history books are all wrong.
The predicament the folks of Cicely then face is whether to pursue the matter further — and if it proves to be true, shock the entire world — or ignore it and let people continue to believe the myth.
Joel, the town’s doctor and a man committed to scientific truth, argues for pursuing the evidence, wherever it might lead. Chris, the New Age philosopher DJ, argues that truth doesn’t necessarily depend on facts, and the world will be better off believing what it has historically believed about Napoleon. In the end, Chris’s view prevails.
It seems to me that Sacramento has become California’s Cicely, and many within the state’s Assembly are Chris clones. Two new bills proposed in that legislative body, 2119 and 2934, seem to assume that truth need not harmonize with facts; it’s better to believe comforting myths than black-and-white facts. These bills argue that children born biologically as one gender can just as likely be the opposite gender, the obvious physical facts notwithstanding.
Worse yet, these bills go dangerously beyond questioning plain, objective facts. If passed, they would effectively silence those who dare to oppose their authors’ delusions — facts be damned.
The bill numbered AB 2934 “would prevent a counselor from helping an adult client explore all options to address questions over sexual orientation, an author from selling a book challenging gender identity ideology, and even a church from hosting a ticketed conference addressing issues of sexuality and identity.”
The other bill, 2119, while covering some of the same issues as 2934, adds the mandate that “foster care kids struggling with transgender feelings [must] have access to ‘gender affirming’ counseling, puberty blocking drugs, and sex-change operations.”
You might wonder what puberty-blocking drugs are. Basically, they’re just what the term implies, they obstruct the onset of puberty. But the important corollary question, then, is whether the drugs are reversible. If little Billy tells his progressive parents he thinks he is Suzy, a girl, and they get him started on the drugs, and then a few years later Suzy realizes he really is a boy, can the drug effects be undone? At least one prominent study concluded that it’s too early to answer that question.
Yet advocates want to rush forward with making these puberty blockers easily accessible, and even to mandate that foster kids must have access to them. That’s akin to Chris on “Northern Exposure” arguing that facts be damned; people are better off believing what they choose to believe about Napoleon.
But hold on, it gets even sadder. As Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians, said, 45 states have laws restricting minors from getting tattoos, but doctors are allowed to perform double mastectomies on girls as young as 16, without parental permission, if they’ve been on puberty blockers for a full year. Permanent mutilations based solely on decisions made by kids who can’t decide what to order at McDonald’s.
But I guess we shouldn’t be surprised when some lawmakers are ready to let feelings rather than facts be the arbiters of truth. How about we thaw out Napoleon and welcome him to our brave new world?