I’ve written previously on the remarkable rise & progress of transgender rights. What took gays and lesbians decades to achieve is being won in years for trans folks. It’s clearly the next thing in the progressive agenda which is why I occasionally write about it. As Christians we must be aware of what is happening in the wider culture and work out our response even if it seems we are powerless to stop it.
I’d been collecting articles on the issue and the thought struck me that the number of these articles is increasing in a variety of sources (which I can’t attribute to the echo chamber of social media).
So I decided to do a very simple test to try and chart the rise of transgender issues by doing a search on the BBC website. The results are ranked by relevance and not by date so you get relevant articles dating back (in this test at least) more than a decade. The BBC is one of the world’s most visited websites and significant news organisations so what would the results show?
Striking is it not?
Now I realise it’s fairly unscientific research but I think it’s telling nonetheless that there are 5 times more stories on the issue than just two years ago and the year is not yet finished. It would be hard to argue that there has been a significant surge in popular demand for more news of a group that is (according to the BBC) around 1% of the population int he last two years. Instead this is likely to be an editorial decision to spotlight more regularly these stories.
The long-term effect will be to normalize transgenderism. The path to change is much clearer than ever before; dull the public sensitivity to an issue through increased exposure, followed by a series of political policy shifts to which opposition can only be seen as reactionary.
Now stories like should church introduce transgender baptism? will always make a headline and of course it’s not simply the BBC. It simply is the next thing and nearly all media will pull the same way.
Consider the following stories:
- My Brother’s Pregnancy and the Making of a New American Family from Time magazine
- Gavin Grimm just wanted to use the bathroom. He didn’t think the nation would debate it from the Washington Post
- Or The transgender family where the father gave birth from the BBC
These stories seek to normalize what has previously been considered abnormal. It’s just a person loving a child and wanting a family, or a couple starting a family, it’s just a kid who wants to use the bathroom, what’s the problem?
Of course when you dig down something seems off: A woman who wants to be a man and dress like a man and adopt the habits of a man but retains the biology of a woman is in a relationship with a woman and they decide to have a family and use donated sperm and decide that the best option is for the man who is a woman to carry the baby rather than the woman who is a woman to carry the baby. What could possibly be more normal?
Or the story from Ecuador, where the baby is conceived the way the majority of children are (through sex) except in this case the ‘man’ has a vagina and the ‘woman’ has a penis. Totally normal.
Yet public discussion of the fact that no one argues any longer that there is a strictly biological cause for sexuality or gender but instead for a spectrum, for fluidity. In a rush to accept and a fear of excluding in a world of personal autonomy and freedom children and young people find themselves caught up in the confusion.
I believe we’re living at a time of culture shift and it’s away from the presuppositions of Christianity. It’s been happening since the 1950s (probably) but is now accelerating as it has the ascendancy and almost all the levers of cultural power.