Almost anywhere you look, we’re being fed illusory notions that serve somebody’s interest.
Some of the deceptions are minor or even harmless. Especially in show business.
Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. wanted to make it big as a folk singer, but figured that fans might be more receptive to “Rocky Mountain High” from a guy named John Denver. Quite understandable from a marketing standpoint.
Maurice Joseph Micklewhite became the actor Michael Caine, deriving his last name from the Humphrey Bogart film “The Caine Mutiny.” Mark Sinclair Vincent is better known as Vin Diesel, which helps drive home his status as an action film hero.
Alicia Augello Cook plays better as singer/pianist Alicia Keys. Stevie Wonder was born Steveland Hardaway Judkins but gained his new name when he signed with Motown. And so on.
For decades, some Jewish Americans and Italian Americans anglicized their names in order to fit into the WASP-dominated society. The same went for many people with hard-to-pronounce or exotic-sounding names that were deemed a speed bump on their way to acceptance. Some people still do it to afford their children greater opportunities than they had, a noble undertaking.
In recent years, however, we’ve seen an upswing in fake identities and fake definitions adopted for not-so-benign reasons.
The most obvious is the transgender identity revolution, in which men who think they’re women and vice versa insist that everyone espouse their sexual confusion or be treated like racists or anti-Semites.
In Canada, which is slightly ahead of the United States in enforcing ever-expanding legal claims based on sexual identity, a transwoman has filed complaints against 16 women at Vancouver-area beauty clinics who declined to give him a Brazilian bikini wax, an extremely intimate service.
Known publicly only as “JY,” the complainant told the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal that the women discriminated on the basis of “gender identity.”
A lawyer for one of the women says the wax seeker demanded a $2,500 payoff but withdrew the complaint upon hearing that the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms had filed a challenge. The Justice Centre’s website says the transgender complainant is still seeking damages from the clinic.
In May, a Muslim female spa worker was accused of discrimination in Windsor, Ontario, for turning down a chance to wax a biological male transwoman’s private area. The complainant is seeking $50,000 for “immense harm to my dignity,” according to CTV Windsor.
In Fairfax County, Virginia, the Democrat-dominated school system has removed any reference to the biological sex of males or females from the sex-ed curriculum. Children are taught that “sex is assigned at birth” and therefore subject to change. This makes it wickedly easier to steer confused kids toward identifying with the opposite sex.
Speaking of gender confusion, the Girl Scouts of America has sued the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for marketing to girls as well as boys. The Boy Scouts has had a string of “firsts,” opening its ranks to homosexual boys, then homosexual leaders, then to boys who think they are girls, and finally to female girls (don’t laugh; it’s come to this).
The Girl Scouts, who long ago embraced the feminist notion that gender differences are social constructs, argue that their brand is harmed by the BSA’s watering down of, well, sex distinctions. Did you know that the phrase “hoist by their own petard” came from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” and it means blowing yourself up?
Let’s go back to name change confusion. In Texas, Robert Francis O’Rourke apparently felt that using his nickname of “Beto” as the centerpiece of his campaign helped him among Hispanics. He came close to unseating Sen. Ted Cruz, so maybe it helped. Owing to his socialist leanings and Kennedyesque stage manner, Beto remains the darling of the far-Left of the Democratic Party and its billionaire megadonors, who helped pump his war chest up to more than $70 million, or twice what Mr. Cruz raised.
Sometimes, deception depends on omission rather than commission. The previous president’s supporters suppressed the mention of Barack Hussein Obama’s middle name. Anyone who used it was accused of racism or insensitivity toward Muslims.
For years, the left has skewed issue after issue by obscuring the truth with euphemisms. Abortion became “choice” and homosexuality became “gay.” Taxes became “revenue,” and spending became “investing.” All sexual acts, within or outside marriage, with or without affection, with or without an exchange of currency, became simply “love.” Prostitutes became “sex workers,” practically an esteemed profession. Illegal aliens became “undocumented immigrants.”
All this is in stark contrast to the Bible’s emphasis on honesty.
“For God is not the author of confusion but of peace,” we’re told in 1 Corinthians 14:33.
The one who exults in confusion has been at his craft since the dawn of creation. He gets away with it and leads others to follow because he “masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Cor. 11:14)
No wonder Saul Alinsky dedicated “Rules for Radicals” to Lucifer.
• Robert Knight is a contributor to The Washington Times. His latest book is “A Nation Worth Saving: 10 Steps to Restore Freedom” (djkm.org.nation, 2018).