The Transgender issue: further links and readings

It seems that over the past few years about once every six months or so I post something on this issue. I started writing about this perhaps as much as six years ago. Then it was still a fringe development in western culture but now it is a campaign whose time has come. The T is fixed in the LGBTQ constellation.

As a result there are profound social changes going on and social policies are being formed without any clear (at least to me) philosophical or ethical foundation which makes the project inherently unstable. Language is being forced to adapt, so as in Sweden pronouns are invented. And language conveys the strangeness even in linguistic terms of what we are witnessing. Here’s example A: Baby born to transgender man in landmark birth certificate case. Can a baby be born without a mother? Up until now states have tended to follow biology and say no. Cases like this are forcing states to choose between science & ‘inclusion’.

Caster Semenya isn’t transgender (if anything she’s intersex) but her case is a test case that could set a precedent for trans-athletes. See these two opposing views: Caster Semenya, What’s Next? & What No One Is Telling You About Caster Semenya: She Has XY Chromosomes.

Only, interestingly it has begun to meet a bit of resistance. Not from the traditional places of opposition such as the church but from feminists. Women wary of yet another take over by men. The focal point or headline grabbing arena is sport (see also this for example) but in many other places the seemingly irresistible force of the transgender community from fringe to mainstream has met the immoveable object of feminism.

Take for example this article: In Their Own Words: Parents of Kids Who Think They Are Trans Speak Out and you’ll see the risks and the dangers are huge. Check out this website for more info.

As Stephen Kneale says, what a mess we have gotten ourselves into on gender.

If you’re just starting to explore these issues Queer theory on the rise by Olof Edsinger of the Swedish Evangelical Alliance is a good place to start.

Instead of Queer theory, we therefore need to reclaim the foundational nature of the Creation order. While recognising that we are all broken, we need to help the next generation to find its identity in being created in the image of God—spirit, soul, and body included (1 Thess 5:23).

I’d also recommend a few of Andrew Bunt’s posts: The Bible & the Binary (& part 2), and Love Thy Body.

The secular perspective sees a sharp separation between the body and the authentic self, and is strongly anti-body, while the Bible views humans as integrated wholes, with the body as a vital element of who we are. What we need, therefore, if we want to present the biblical perspective on these issues and if we want to disciple Christians to withstand the cultural tide, is to embrace, value and teach the biblical view of humans as a holistic union of body and soul. Rather than rejecting the body, we should love the body.

You might want to follow that one up with this post by Mark Loughridge, “I am my Body”.

Mind and body—the two cannot be separated. We are inundated with the dogma, not so much that we are brains on sticks, but that we are personalities on sticks. If we taught our young people that they, mind and body, are uniquely created by God—woven together by Him—it would go a long way to equip them to live in a world which has separated what God has joined together.

It is a complicated area and it’s a minefield (as this piece illustrates) so we need to think, speak and act both firmly and carefully and graciously.

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