Here's One Thing Atheists and Christians Seem to Agree On in the Culture Wars

Conchita Wurst
Conchita Wurst, this year's Eurovision Song Contest winner, is male but has been referred to as female in the media. (Facebook)

The media's portrayal of this year's Eurovision Song Contest winner as female—when he is actually male—shows today's "spreading cult of relativism," according to a newspaper columnist.

Brendan O'Neill, who is an atheist, says that just because Austria's winning contestant, Conchita Wurst, wants to be referred to as "she" when performing in a dress, "Does that mean we all have to comply with this rather strange demand, no questions asked?"

"Does objective reality—the fact that there are biological differences between men and women, and that the vast majority of humankind decides whether someone is a man or woman by those biological attributes—count for nothing in the face of one person's wish to be known as something he is not?" O'Neill asks.

O'Neill reasons that changing gender in this way "speaks to today's speedily spreading cult of relativism."

"We live in such relativistic times, in an era so hostile to the idea that there are measurable truths or concrete realities, that it seems we can no longer even speak of 'men' and 'women,'" he says.

Accepting that a man can become a woman "simply through demanding it," O'Neill says, "undermines the ability of all of us to approach the world objectively, to use a common language to describe people and objects that have particular attributes."

O'Neill refers to the social networking website Facebook, on which users can choose from more than 50 "gender identities," including "transsexual," "gender fluid" and "two-spirit."

Earlier this year, a teenage boy in California was the first transsexual student in his state to play on a girls' softball team at his school, after a controversial new law came into effect in January.

Patrick Cordova-Goff tried out for the softball team after a new California state law gave transsexual students the choice to join either girls' or boys' sports teams at school.

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