In light of the Bible’s revelation of God’s design for gender identity (which we discussed in Part 3 of this series) and his desire for us to love and appreciate individuals who experience gender dysphoria (which we discussed in Part 4) how should we respond to transgenderism as an ideology and political movement?
In a word, we should resist it. In the long run, this ideological movement and the powerful persons, lobbies, and corporations who promote it, will harm not only society but vulnerable individuals who are experiencing gender dysphoria.
As the great sociologist Philip Rieff argued, American society is in the midst of an unprecedented experiment in building society apart from religion. One of the primary ways we’ve done this is by overthrowing the Judeo-Christian view of sex and gender (a view which, historically, has been affirmed by other civilizations and world religions). By untethering sex from marriage, we have enabled the normalization of hard core pornography, extramarital affairs, explosive growth of STDs, death of 60 million babies in the womb, and a divorce epidemic. And by severing gender identity from God-given sex, we will likewise reap a psychological, social, cultural, and political whirlwind.
We must be especially vigilant in protecting our children from the transgender revolution. Many of the most powerful cultural influencers in our nation not only encourage transgenderism but make heroes out of people who publicly identify with a different sex than the one assigned at birth. First and foremost, my heart breaks because of the lie this proclaims to those suffering from gender dysphoria. They need to know that transgenderism doesn’t deliver on its promises. But we also need to protect our children by making clear that transgenderism is against God’s good design for human flourishing.
Already, we are seeing many physicians who are willing to give hormonal “treatments” to gender dysphoric children in order to delay puberty. But as a recent study shows, “Regardless of the good intentions of the physicians and parents, to expose young people to such treatments is to endanger them” In fact, these types of medical treatments are harmful and even abusive, considering that upwards of 80 percent of gender-dysphoric children grow comfortable in their bodies and no longer experience dysphoria.
I wish all the contemporary political posturing wouldn’t color this issue so much, because there are real people whose lives are affected by it. The more transgenderism is blindly held up as an elixir for gender dysphoria, the more disappointed people will be when the cure doesn’t hold up.
I’ve made a lot of distinctions in this series, but I want to end by making an important point of commonality. Persons with gender dysphoria experience a deep, personal angst. They struggle to live obediently before God. I sympathize with their experience, and I don’t pretend to fully understand it.
But I also recognize that God uses emotional turmoil to tune us into a spiritual reality that many of us can too easily ignore. People with gender dysphoria know that something isn’t right in their experience of the world. Would that we all had this clarity of vision. Because Jesus only heals those who know they the broken, and only comforts those who admit they are hurting.
That should be every last one of us.
[Note: The current post is the fifth installment in a five-part series, “Evangelical Guide to Transgenderism,” including an introduction, a brief explanation of significant terms, a biblical evaluation of gender identity and gender dysphoria, a reflection on relating to individuals with gender dysphoria, and a response to transgenderism as an ideology and a movement.]