Category Archives: cisgender

Being Human: Ancient Wisdom and Eternal Hope, Part 2

Indignation concerning the anthropological anarchy of our age is understandable and moral outrage concerning the propaganda directed at vulnerable children and adolescents is appropriate. But indignation and outrage must give way to thoughtfulness and reimagination of the good so that the beauty of “normal” can recapture hearts and minds. In the last post, we shared the current gender and sexual identity crises and offered some pillars of wisdom for social progress. In this essay, we will explore the foundations for recovering our sanity and social conscience. Here are five foundations that will help us rebuild, renew, and restore virtue.

One: We begin with the bookends of the Bible: Genesis 1-2 and Revelation 21-22. Here we see the divine design and destiny of humankind. Before you read further, I am not advocating for theocracy or demanding that everyone adhere to all the Bible. I am painting a picture of humanity that, as we shall see, is shared by most of the world, regardless of culture or religion. The poetry of Genesis 1:26-28, 5:1-2, and Revelation 21-22 presents three things about humankind that are liberating and foundational to much of our discussions on human rights:

  • Every person is fashioned in the divine image. Even when sin and evil enter the picture, this image is effaced, not erased.
  • Every person is designed to both “dwell” with God and “do” work with God, tending to communion with the divine and stewarding creation.
  • And every divine image bearer enjoys God and creation as a male or female. The wedding song of Genesis 2 speaks of equality and mutuality. Genesis also anticipates the eternal future of Revelation 21-22 where, “the dwelling place of God is with humankind” and the restored community brings the fruits of their (non-oppressive) labor to the Holy City.

Yes, in our fallen, imperfect world, there are some (<0.2%) intersex individuals, but this does not change the general principles. All people need compassion and welcoming friendships.

Two: With this overall dignity and equality in mind, we must labor so that all have access and opportunity to flourish. So much of human history includes male dominance, ethnocentric oppression, and religious and political suppression. Both religious and non-religious advocates of justice can unite around the flourishing of persons and communities, neighborhoods and nations. Being very vulnerable, Christian communions can do much better in fostering true equality, inclusivity, and opportunity. Too often, in reaction to pagan and secular opposition, Christians have sought refuge in fallen, subcultural gender norms that are not biblical or liberating. There is still a long road ahead for cultural and ethnic inclusion in many places.

Three: Those who live with same-sex attraction are not less human than heterosexuals. Within Christian community, both groups are called to celibacy if single. Both are called not to lust after or objectify people to whom they feel attracted. Sexual intimacy outside of the marriage of one man with one woman is morally wrong, but there is grace for those that struggle. The Bible itself is full of people violating divine norms, and when they repent, God is present to forgive.

All people must beware of their disordered loves. Our perennial problem is allowing immediate attractions to triumph over unselfish affections and actions. Too many people are letting their current (remember, it can change) erotic proclivities be key to their identities. There is so much more to every person than momentary passions! Please note: chosen gender identity is a completely different category than biological sex or race which are natural givens. 

Private, consensual adult sexual behaviors are part of a pluralistic world. While the Church can stand for its virtues, we must not reimpose intolerance. This does not mean that it is intolerant to call unbiblical behavior immoral! Jewish and Muslim traditions share much of the same morality with Christians. While Buddhist and Hindu schools vary widely, all promote self-control and family harmony. Secular Stoics often join with other non-religious advocates in arguing for moral discipline concerning sexual behavior.

Four: Empirical research and rational reflections must be welcomed as antidotes to complete subjectivism and the triumph of feelings over critical thinking. It is amusing seeing the lawn signs affirming “science is real” while science is utterly ignored concerning biological identity and the consequences of wanton disregard for sexual discipline. The very few and limited studies concerning the neurology of trans identities fails to prove anything other than social influences affecting brain activity. Even uncovering potential markers for certain feelings does not change the binary nature of humankind.

Five: These issues are ultimately spiritual in nature. From the Communist Party USA platform of 1964 calling for the destruction of the nuclear family to present caricatures of “cisgender” identity, evil forces are out to, “steal and kill and destroy” humanity (John 10:10a). From AI advocates calling for man-machine singularity to earth first radical environmentalists desiring a human population half its current size (and seeing humanity as parasitical), we see the demonic designs against the goodness of being human. This is ancient paganism refashioned for modern tastes. Sexual debauchery as religious activity, killing children in and out of the womb, and sexual role reversals were all part of the idolatry, immorality, and injustices the Hebrew prophets, Jesus, and the Apostles warned God’s people about.

In contrast, people of faith have been advocates for the vulnerable, peacemakers in the midst of war, and stewards of creation instead of worshiping natural forces and hating being human. The second part of John 10:10 declares that Jesus comes to give life abundantly, overflowing…IF we receive him and follow his commands to love God and neighbor unselfishly. Contemporary haters of Judaism and Christianity think they are liberating humanity from religious oppression and that their recent notions of morality are new. The opposite is true here. Purveyors of sexual anarchy and promoters of subjectivity are actually neo-pagan adherents building a new Tower of Babel dedicated to Self.

As we stand for love and truth, we must do so with compassion and courage, hospitality and humility, always desiring for all the liberties we desire for ourselves.

Being Human: Ancient Wisdom and Eternal Hope, Part 1

Until the last few decades, all civilizations and religious traditions affirmed the uniqueness of humankind and biological male and female identity. Marriage was reserved for relationships that (at least potentially) produced the next generation and secured the common good of the tribe or nation. Alongside this common heritage have been all kinds of permitted (and even religious) sexual behaviors, but the primacy of identity and family continuity were enshrined in law and tradition.

We are in the midst of post-rational, post-empirical, and post-human subversions of the created order. Subjective notions of “gender identity” trump all science and any questioning of another’s feelings leads to castigation and accusations of fomenting violence. Toleration is a one-way street with the purveyors of anarchism and nihilism, as they are dedicated to the complete subversion of the biological family and silencing of “cisgender” and “heteronormative” worldviews.

A trans-identifying person kills three adults and three children at a private school in Nashville, TN. Instead of universal mourning and normal investigations, advocates are making the perpetrator the victim and suppressing the manifesto behind this horrific attack. This is a complete inversion of the truth. We are now celebrating violence in the name of pseudo-historical oppressions.

Advocates for unlimited gender identities are also deliberately undermining the authority and influence of the biological and adoptive family structure. Using the public education system and social media, they assist struggling children and young adults with concealing their explorations from parents. Even worse, parents that will not affirm gender transitions are marked as abusive and these radicals want the state to remove transitioning children from their homes!

How did we get here? It is one thing to tolerate consenting private adult behaviors in a pluralistic society. From the 1970s to the 1990s, this was the major demand of advocates for alternative lifestyles. As each accommodation was met, more demands emerged, culminating in 2015, when the Supreme Court affirmed the right of monogamous gay marriage. OK, finally all people are now equal before the law, right? Wrong! Suddenly scores of identities and new victims are created out of whole cloth, and previous psychological disorders are now causes for celebration and consequential physical mutilation.

Until recently, gender dysphoria was a psychological disorder affecting less than one-half of one-percent of the population. Today, this has metastized to 10-20% of adolescents. The social pressure to “explore” has overtaken normal development where most outgrow any confusion. The notion that a child barely able to dress themselves can decide to change identities is utterly insane – yet this is being “affirmed” by elites, and any restrictions on exposing children to sexual content are regarding as fascist and “book burning.”

What do rational and religious people do in this moment? In the next article, I will propose compassionate and wise pathways forward. Here are some first thoughts toward a recovery of “normal.”

First, there is no place for bullying, intolerance, and violence as we affirm our convictions. Genuine liberty means living with our differences, not shutting down debate.

Second, toleration is not always affirmation. People of varying philosophical, political, and religious views can be good neighbors, even friends.

Third, defending the “normal” includes reminding the world that human identity, biological sex, and the importance of family are values shared by billions, not just White Christians in the USA.

Fourth, religious communities must exemplify love and justice and empower all women and men toward their full identity, purpose, and contributions to our world.

Fifth, we must build a coalition for protecting vulnerable children and adolescents from sexual materials that should only be for adults (and even then, the scourge of addiction to pornography is ignored by the radicals). Drag shows, sexualized books, school curricula, and social media content must not triumph over parental influence and the social good. We CAN teach kindness and toleration without inviting the vulnerable to “explore” what should only be adult decisions.

Sixth, we must weather the attacks and realize that the adversaries of what is good will ultimately devour themselves. We are seeing this as very liberal voices are being castigated for affirming female identity and resisting the trans invasion of bathrooms, private places, competitive sports, and other arenas that women have fought for parity with men.

Seventh, and most important: We must articulate a vision of being human that is liberating, rooted in virtue, and leads to flourishing for persons and communities. The gender debates are obscuring serious issues of economic and racial justice that need attention.

Friends, we are not bigoted, crazy, irrational, intolerant, or on the wrong side of history as we desire clarity concerning human identity, biological sex, and moral virtue. We now turn to articulating the beauty and wisdom of “normal.”