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A Hill To Die On

By: Kendall Hemphill, San Angelo Live

OPINION — After my mother’s funeral last February an old friend stuck an envelope in the inside breast pocket of my jacket and said, ‘Read this when you have time.’ It was a diatribe aimed at our country’s government, written in desperation by a man who has worked hard for a lifetime and tried to instill the values of honesty, integrity, and patriotism in his children and grandchildren. It was a general accusation of the political elite, who have traded our nation’s future prosperity for the magic beans of leftism, political correctness, and wokeness, the three cancers that are currently eroding the fabric of our society. It was a plea for help, and everything in it was accurate.

A couple of years ago my editor at the Mason County News told me I would have to stop writing politically incorrect columns, or else he would cancel me. I refused. I had decided several years before that I had an obligation, as someone with a voice, however small, to periodically stand up for those who had no voice at all, in any public sense. My column offends and irritates some, and I’m OK with that. Praise is good, and criticism is helpful. All I dread from my readers is indifference.

Image from: AZ Quotes

So my editor cancelled my column, but he didn’t last much longer at the paper, and when he was gone the owner contacted me and restored the column. Others have not been so lucky, and the voracious appetite of the woke left continues its war of attrition against the characteristics that used to be valued here, and those who espouse them. It’s been said that, in a world of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. Not mentioned is that the blind will eventually do their best to remove that last good eye.

It wasn’t so long ago that the people of our country laughed when fringe groups pushed ludicrous ideas. If you’d asked anyone in 1975 how many genders there were, you’d’ve gotten a puzzled squint. Everyone knew there were two. They also knew a man couldn’t decide he was a woman, and that gender reassignment surgery, which was still pretty new then, didn’t produce a change of gender, but only the mutilation of a healthy body. There are still two genders, and you still can’t switch from one to the other, and there is no sane person on earth who believes otherwise. But the left has pushed these lies for so long that many are going along, just to get them to shut up. It doesn’t work.

Many will be offended by the previous paragraph, because in a society full of lies the truth is never welcome. Abe Lincoln once asked a group of reporters how many legs a dog has, if you call the tail a leg. One man said five. Lincoln shook his head. He said, ‘The correct answer is four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it true.’ Neither does calling a man a woman. And being offended doesn’t necessarily equate to being right.

Lewis on men
Lewis on men

Masculinity is also under attack, the claim being that masculinity has created most of the world’s problems, such as war and violence and crime and damaged feelings. And you have to admit it wasn’t femininity that brought most of those things. It also wasn’t healthy masculinity. It was greed, hatred, and a false sense of moral superiority. Those qualities are not exclusive to men, and the idea of toxic masculinity is farcical. The bad things men have caused have largely been the result of greed, lies, and ideologies based on inaccurate beliefs of cultural supremacism. Well, that and congress.

Funny that the least masculine culture in the history of history is buying into the claim that men should act more like women. No, men should act more like mature, responsible, accountable men. Women should act like women. And yes, there are a lot of differences between the two genders, regardless of what your sociology professor told you at Berkeley.

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No wonder our society has problems, when 75% of inner-city babies are born into single-parent homes, and boys are told not to be manly. If toxic masculinity were the problem, kids who grow up without dads would be better off. There are not. C.S. Lewis summed it up rather well when he said, ‘We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.’

How it ought to be
How it ought to be

And I’m as guilty as the left when it comes to standing up for the truth. I sat on my friend’s letter for several months, thinking I shouldn’t irritate people by writing about it. I rationalized that it wouldn’t help if I complained, and might once again get my column cancelled, diminishing the voice even more. But unless I speak up now, it may not be long before I can’t.

The military euphemism for making a stand is, ‘Is this the hill you are willing to die on?’ For me, it is. And it should be for you, too. We may die on this hill, but if we don’t fight on this one, we will surely die on the next . . .

Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and minister who believes we should worry less about who we might offend, and more about who we might inspire. Write to him at