My favorite new article genre is a mashup of clickbaity quotes about “Ferdinand the Bull” and various Bible passages. It makes for some dumb, dumb, dumb reading.
Similarly, in the latest Ferdinand film, audiences will be told, “Be strong, be brave, be true… to yourself.” In the case of a bull who’d choose peace under his cork tree over fame with the matadors, we might argue that he chose the better. But our world is not the fictitious world of Ferdinand. For the human heart and mind, being true to oneself can quickly lead us to dangerous relativistic thinking.
Ferdinand, The Transgender Bull?
Our culture is rapidly changing, especially on sexual and gender ethics, as we continue to reject absolute truth. Not surprisingly, Ferdinand, the bull who refused to behave like all the other bulls, has also become an emblem of gender nonconformity. Huffington Post contributor Lori Day wrote:
Ferdinand was sweet, loving, and gentle and he did not want to fight. He was not traditionally masculine. In fact, he was actively resisting gender norms! The Story of Ferdinand is possibly the first modern children’s book written about a character that did not want to perform his or her gender as expected.
But being true to yourself isn’t isolated to just rejecting classic sexual ethics or sex roles. We can be true to ourselves in any number of gluttonous, lustful, and selfish ways. My millennial friends are known to say, “You do you,” believing that each person has the right to pursue whatever makes him or her happy. They don’t want to deem any actions or beliefs as wrong or untrue because they believe that each person defines truth and morality. This thinking has led to a culture that often ignores sin and even calls it courageous.
In “Mere Christianity,” C.S. Lewis equated being true to oneself with the sin of idolatry. He wrote:
What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could ‘be like gods’ – could set up on their own as if they had created themselves – be their own masters – invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history – money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery – the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.
Welp, that settles it. I am not inviting C. S. Lewis to my holiday party because it sounds like talking to him would be excruciating.
Edroso has more here.