[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to The Storyteller's Mission with Zena Dell Lowe, a podcast for artists and storytellers about changing the world for the better through story.
[00:00:11] So last week I started talking about tactics that we need to adopt in order to engage people on the dialogues that need to be happening in society.
[00:00:25] And I started by talking about the assumptions that are being made by a lot of people that have a liberal, progressive, whatever you wanna call it, woke ideology that have adopted that point of view and the assumptions that they make about people that express disconsent or disconcertedness about those things.
[00:00:44] And then of course, the assumptions that they make in their arguments themselves, the as the assumptive arguments that are the foundation of their argument, that is actually questionable at best.
[00:00:56] So once you've identified the underlying assumption, now you can finally move into part two. And part two is where you shift the burden of proof.
[00:01:07] See what's happened is with the assumption and the statement and the labeling that happens, they are putting you on the defense. They are trying to make you defend yourself. And the minute we're on the defense, we've been put in a weaker position.
[00:01:25] So what we have to do is shift that. We've gotta turn it around and put the burden of proof back on them. And point out some of these assumptions, but the best way to do that is to ask questions. I'm telling you, it's the number one thing you can do. So question number one: What do you mean by that? Now, of course you sometimes have to massage that a little bit.
[00:01:52] What do you mean by that? You wanna point things out.
[00:01:55] "You said that I'm transphobic. What do you mean by that? What does that mean to you? Help me understand what that means to you." Or, "You stated that God is love. Well, what does that mean? What does that look like? Help me to understand what you mean by God is love."
[00:02:14] "Are you saying X? Are you saying this? Are you saying that God has no standards of what he finds acceptable and what he doesn't?"
[00:02:23] What does that mean? What does that look like? So what do you mean by that?
[00:02:28] Number two, how did you come to that conclusion? So again, you might have to massage that.
[00:02:35] So the gentleman that accused me of coming across as a Christian nationalist— maybe if I was going to engage that conversation, I'd say, "Well, what makes you think that?" You know, "How did you come to that conclusion?"
[00:02:48] Or it might be what they are believing about their own position. For example, there was another gal I engaged with on Instagram who made the statement to me that she has no problem with drag shows for children. And that it might be tacky, but that's about the worst that she could say about it. And really, she doesn't think they're trying to sexualize the children. She thinks they're just trying to get children to read.
[00:03:14] So what I asked her was, "Well, what about a drag show makes you think about children reading? How does that work? Help me to understand how a drag show would get kids interested in reading. Help me understand that."
[00:03:30] So I'm basically asking how did you come to that conclusion? Right? How did you come to that?
[00:03:35] Or she made the statement to me that she thought it was horrible that these gender affirming facilities were being banned. And she felt like they shouldn't be banned because the people there would be able to give children who are struggling with identity crises and that sort of thing, they would be able to counsel them and help them work through those things and it would be better for the kids. And so no, they should absolutely not be banned.
[00:04:01] Alright. So what I said was, "Well, I feel like you're making an assumption that that's all that happens in these places. That it's about counseling kids. And it's about helping them to understand their confusion, but I don't know that that's true. So how did you come to that conclusion? How do you know that that's the truth? How do you know that's what's happening there?"
[00:04:28] So notice what I'm doing is I'm shifting the burden of proof and putting it back on her. Because the truth is if that's what was happening in those places, okay, maybe that's good, but that's not what's happening.
[00:04:40] I mean, the evidence that I'm seeing is that these children are actually being encouraged without parental consent to go in and start cutting off body parts to actually have surgical alterations to their body, to start taking hormones, to start a process of transitioning. And that there isn't actually counseling that is going into these sorts of decisions because nobody wants to say that it's wrong to do it. Everybody wants to affirm it because they want to look good. They want to look like they're on the side of the good guys and it's wrong to go up against it. How dare you stop anybody. So that's at least the testimony I've been seeing.
[00:05:20] But see, I don't even have to try to prove that. All I have to ask her is, " Well, how are you coming to that conclusion? What made you come to that conclusion? What makes you think that that's what they're doing? What makes you think that that's all they're going to do? How do we know that's all they're going to do?"
[00:05:36] So there's another gentleman on Instagram who reached out through private message to challenge me about my anti-trans posts lately. All right, so what did I do?
[00:05:49] Well, this is where you can reframe, right? You can reframe some of these things. I'm gonna get back to these questions in just a second, but some of it is reframing. You have to take back the power by changing the labels. And again, it shifts the burden. This is part of the shifting of the burden.
[00:06:06] What I said to him was, "Well, I'm not anti-trans. I am pro-protecting children and I'm pro-protecting women. I've changed it. I've taken it from the negative to the positive.
[00:06:22] Now, I could even do that like this. I could say, "I'm not anti-trans, I'm anti-child abuse, and I'm anti-exploitation of women."
[00:06:33] See, that's what I'm actually against. And I personally believe that having drag shows in front of children is child abuse. And the reason is, is because it distorts their perspective on sexuality.
[00:06:49] And there is no way, by the way, for a drag show to not be sexual. That's the whole nature of drag shows. You cannot separate them.
[00:06:57] So it would be the same if you were going to have strippers come in and do strip shows. Even if the strippers weren't taking off their clothes, but they were doing everything else that they did in a strip joint that would be causing damage to young minds because it is a premature exposure to sexual content that they are not ready for, that is not appropriate for them to see.
[00:07:19] And yet we're bringing these men in, in drag. And they're doing these types of shows, which must be even more confusing in a lot of ways than just a straight strip show without the nudity. I mean, it's just kind of crazy, right, when you think about it on that level.
[00:07:36] So what I said to him is, "I am not anti-trans. I don't care if adults go see a drag show. I do care if that is put on in front of kids because I am anti-child abuse.
[00:07:50] And when it comes to men being transferred to women's prisons because they identify as transgender — I am anti-that.
[00:08:02] When it comes to men identifying as women and competing in women's sports — I am anti-that.
[00:08:09] Why? Because I'm anti-exploitation of women. I'm anti-abuse of women. That's what I'm anti. It's a domination of women. It is putting women at risk. That is what it's doing. It's putting women in a vulnerable situation where they're going to be abused.
[00:08:30] Unless we have forgotten what mankind is like. See, again, that's an assumption. The assumption is, is that everybody who identifies as transgender is (A) telling the truth and (B) has good motives. Which is a huge assumption given that if it's correct that there is some mental illness or some challenges there in terms of development that has given them this transgender issue to begin with, then they are already a little off and therefore they cannot be trusted, certainly to be in front of children.
[00:09:04] When you are in a world of drag shows, or you are in a world where transgender — it's highly sexual. It is highly sexual. And everybody is talking about sex and you're dressing provocatively. And it's all about sex because it's the defining characteristic of a man versus a woman — is their body type.
[00:09:22] And so men that are dressing drag are accentuating female body things or male genitalia as the case may be, because that's really what the issue centers on. And so then that means conversation is a little lewd, and a little crude, and a little crass. And you assume that everybody's part of that and that's going to come out. That's going to come out in around children. It just does.
[00:09:50] And we actually invite it, right? Because here's the thing. This is part of human nature. Humans are depraved. And what happens in human beings is when we have been disillusioned of something, when our innocence is gone, there is this really sick, dark need in us to eliminate it in others, to end the innocence in others.
[00:10:17] By the way, I'm gonna call myself on this. When I was a kid and I found out that Santa Claus didn't exist. That was a loss of innocence for me. You know what I did? I immediately turned around and went and told my little brother. I wanted to corrupt that in him. There was something in me that didn't want him to be able to have that innocence when mine was gone.
[00:10:45] And that is just a reality of human beings. So see, a lot of what's happening here is just a very false perspective of the human person. We're assuming too much goodness in the human person. We are not assuming enough depravity. Human beings are not primarily good.
[00:11:08] Now, we're not as bad as we could be, and we do have an imprint on our heart because God created us with the truth on our heart. That's what gives us our dignity. We know the truth. We know it, and therefore we also have conviction. And also the Holy Spirit is at work to try to convict us of our sins.
[00:11:29] So we're always being called to be good in some ways. We always have the potential and the capacity of good, and we are always capable of repenting until it's too late. Until it's too late.
[00:11:43] But my point is that when you are in that world, if you are entrenched in a darker world where sexuality is brought to the forefront, you are not capable of not trying to corrupt innocence. All right?
[00:12:01] So again, we come back to these issues, right? We come back to these issues. The assumptions, the assumptions, the questions.
[00:12:07] How do you reframe it with people? How do you reframe it?
[00:12:11] So this gentleman was concerned with my anti-trans rhetoric that I was posting, and I said, "I'm not anti-trans. I'm anti-these other two things." And then I added, "And I'm also pro-reality."
[00:12:28] Now, interestingly, he didn't jump onto those other two because what do you say about that? How can you really argue with being anti-child abuse and anti-exploitation of women?
[00:12:41] He latched onto pro-reality, and he said, "What does that mean to you? What do you mean by pro reality?"
[00:12:50] All right. He's actually stealing one of my questions. Right? That was a good thing that he did. It was smart. He asked a question. He put the burden of proof on me. So I said it.
[00:13:03] I said, "Well, I happen to believe that reality matters. And that there is a reality, there is a biological difference between a male and a female. That is reality. That surgically altering a man does not a woman make."
[00:13:26] And I can say that because I'm a woman. Now, I actually believe men can say that too. But part of the woke argument is that you can't speak to anything unless you are that thing. Well, I happen to be a woman, therefore, by their argument, by their grounds, I have the authority to speak on being a woman.
[00:13:44] So as a woman, I can tell you a man who has surgically altered his parts does not a woman make. It doesn't. And pretending that it does is the Emperor's New Clothes. It's just false.
[00:14:01] It's a false reality, and I am pro-reality. I want to live in reality. I want to live in the truth. I am pro-the truth. See how that works?
[00:14:10] And what I did at the very end as I added, "Do you disagree?"
[00:14:15] So now I am still shifting it by asking the question. The burden of proof, putting it on him now. Do you disagree? Do you disagree with this?
[00:14:22] He said, "My bigger question is, why does what someone else do or believe with their own life bother you so much?"
[00:14:31] Okay, so this is a huge argument that they're saying. "Has nothing to do with you. Why do you even care?" As if me caring makes me intolerant.
[00:14:42] Now, never mind the fact that they care what I'm saying and doing, and they care enough to try to engage me or try to change my mind. So never mind that it's hypocritical in that regard. And that they're doing the very thing that they're trying to say that I shouldn't be doing, because that's what they're doing. Never mind that. Forget about that.
[00:15:03] Here's the truth of the matter. They are making a statement, without making a statement, that somehow, if it doesn't impact us, then we shouldn't care, then it shouldn't matter to us. And that means we are the problem, that really we are fundamentally intolerant. We need to change. What's the big deal? All of those things.
[00:15:27] So how would you respond to that? I'm curious. Think about that for a second.
[00:15:36] Well, what I did, and this is what I would encourage you to do, is immediately reframe it by asking another question. By trying to take his underlying assumption and put it into the form of a question where he's forced to think about it.
[00:15:52] So remember, he's making assumptions here. And again, what is the assumption in that? The assumption is that it doesn't matter if it's a lie or if it's true. It doesn't matter what somebody else believes, as long as it's not impacting you. What does it matter?
[00:16:08] All right, so here's what I said. I said, "Well, let me ask you something. Do you think it's a good idea for others or for society to affirm things that they believe to be true as true, even if you know it's a lie? For example, say someone believes that the earth is flat. Would you let them believe that even though you know it isn't true?"
[00:16:34] Now, that's an interesting question, right? Because what he might do is come back and say, "Well, I mean it doesn't matter."
[00:16:40] "Yeah. But you know, it's not true. I mean, why would you let, why would you let somebody believe that if it's not true? How is that good for that individual? How is that good for society? I mean, what kind of a good is that where it doesn't matter?"
[00:16:54] Either truth matters or it doesn't.
[00:16:56] So I would think. That we need to know if things like the world is flat isn't true. And I doubt you would probably let somebody continue believing that because we have all this proof, right? We know all this.
[00:17:11] I'm phrasing a question. I'm finding a question that is rooted in their argument. So now what he's really saying is, "Oh, so you're not saying that it's wrong to correct somebody with a false view. You're saying that you have to have evidence in order to correct somebody with a false view."
[00:17:30] See, that's where that argument now shifts.
[00:17:32] "So, so you agree that it's important to correct people with the wrong view then, as long as you have the appropriate evidence. Is that what you're saying?"
[00:17:42] And see, I can keep going with these questions and help articulate and phrase what it is that they're actually saying because they, again, they don't usually make declarative statements.
[00:17:53] Okay, well now I continued and I said, "I do appreciate your sentiment." Because remember, I'm a Christian and I want to engage in these sorts of discussions civilly, but not weakly. And there's a difference.
[00:18:07] And I said, "The problem is you're making a couple of huge assumptions with your line of thinking. Number one, you are assuming that someone else's beliefs or life choices don't affect me. How do you know that though? What makes you think that's true? How did you come to that conclusion?"
[00:18:29] See, that's right out of thatquestion I gave you. How did you come to that conclusion?
[00:18:34] "And number two, you're assuming that it doesn't matter if someone believes something false, presumably, as long as it doesn't impact me."
[00:18:44] All right, so you're assuming that it doesn't impact me. And you're assuming that it doesn't matter as long as it doesn't impact me. There are two major assumptions there. And so I just asked the question, "But again, what makes you believe this is true?"
[00:19:04] And this comes back to the question of reality. Is it okay to let people believe lies that you know to be false? If so, if you think it is, what makes you believe that?
[00:19:18] There's something you need to understand. One of the fundamental differences between say the woke ideology or the left and a Christian worldview is the fundamental view that is being taken of humanity. And that's important because what happens is if you are in a way of thinking that is maybe the liberal, progressive, leftist way of thinking, then what happens is you think that a system is going to fix everything.
[00:19:49] You make an assumption that if we had the right system, everything would be fine. And so there's a preoccupation with trying to replace the system, trying to get all the right social justice campaigns passed, trying to make sure there's equality of outcome, trying to make sure everybody has access to free healthcare, trying to make everything fair and equal and all those things.
[00:20:12] This is because there is an assumption that there should be perfection, that there shouldn't be injustice, that there shouldn't be suffering, that everybody should be happy. Everybody should be happy, happy, happy. It's an assumption based on our views of humanity — false views of humanity.
[00:20:34] And the difference between that and the Christian worldview is that we understand that we live in a fallen world where people are not perfect, and that therefore sometimes we're left with the choices between two evils.
[00:20:50] We are not looking for a system to fix everything. We're looking for the best possible system at our disposal. We're looking for the one that gives the most. Now, I'm not saying that that means that the end justifies the means. It doesn't. That is also false. I'm saying that sometimes we are just looking for the best possible solution that upholds the highest good, the highest truths. Right?
[00:21:18] these are sort of questions that I find can be very helpful in this context. Again, they are, what do you mean by that? How did you come to that conclusion? Could you help clarify this for me? Help me understand how it is that you, da, da, da, da, whatever the case may be. Okay.
[00:21:36] I'm very passionate about this because it's happening all the time, more and more and more. And my fear is that as a community, we're going to shy away because we feel ill-equipped to engage because it is vitriolic, it is mean. And I've gotta be honest with you. It really is hard. It is hard to engage these things.
[00:21:55] My own temptation is to just shrink and shut up and like withdraw and not go on social media at all ever again. And never say anything ever again.
[00:22:03] But that's what they want you to feel. That's what the enemy, I shouldn't say they, that's what the enemy wants. The enemy very much wants that. So these tactics that are being used to silence us will work unless we develop counter tactics to learn how to engage it in a more confident way.
[00:22:21] And this is hopefully that a roadmap. We have to do it. We have to do it.
[00:22:27] And let me just tell you, none of our stories will even matter if there is no foundation for reason in our society. If truth has been thrown out the window, if 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 come true, there is no foundation for any of our stories.
[00:22:47] So that's why this is important in real life. We cannot — we cannot shirk from this responsibility. This is part of it. It is part of it.
[00:22:57] So I hope that this has been helpful and challenging to you. And if it has been, you know the drill.
[00:23:07] Please share it with people who need to hear it. Please subscribe to the show. Please rate and review the show on the podcast app of your choice, Apple Podcast, YouTube, all of it. We need to get the word out now more than ever.
[00:23:20] In the meantime, I want to thank you so much for joining me on The Storyteller's Mission with Zena Dell Lowe. May you go forth inspired to change the world for the better through story.