“We’ve all been redefined…”

by | Mar 31, 2017 | Academic, Culture, Paper Topics | 0 comments

College students!  This would make an excellent article to write a paper on:

The created truth manifest in sexed bodies cannot endure in law as “one among many” incompatible human identity markers. It can only either be (1) the norm, or (2) subservient to some other norm. There is no sharing of power in these precincts. Once male or female embodiment no longer legally anchors human identity, the venerable practices and policies dependent on the identity-profundity of male and female bodies only survive as fugitives, or in a tentative position of contingent state permission, ever vulnerable to the in-fact erasure already accomplished in principle. So, for instance, draining legal meaning from body and its natural functions correspondingly drains legal weight from the body-concepts of motherhood, fatherhood, kinship, and ancestry—from family itself. All to say, this trip doesn’t terminate at the bathroom.

Transgenderism public policy advocates are not proposing a compromise at the margins, and indeed they cannot. Their program is totalistic, as its ambition is to redefine humanity writ large. If the law governing us all says Gavin is a boy and not a girl, then “boy” and “girl” no longer mean for anyone what they always meant before. We’ve then all been redefined.

That’s from Jeff Shafer’s article in First Things, entitled Transgender Ideology and the End of Law. Seriously, someone in our group, please write a paper on this for…well, any of your classes. If you want I’ll discuss it with you.

He finishes with this important paragraph, keeping love for our friends in the center:

There is therefore a vital difference between our charitable concern and compassion for the exceptional individual who suffers from dysphoria, and the revolution of making that person’s confusion a reason to overthrow the universe in order that dysphoria itself cannot endure as a sensible category. While individuals suffering from transgender confusion desire a different body, the gender ideologues exploiting the condition of those individuals desire a different cosmos. The dysphoric student, then, should be treated quite differently than her handlers. Transgenderism is not a matter for policy compromise or compatible addition to our sex discrimination laws. It is a form of total negation. And law, already besieged, cannot survive its triumph.

Kevin DeYoung has recently said this same thing, more simply:

The challenge with the transgender debate is that Christians must say two very different things at the same time…

The Christian response to the transgender debate depends on whether we are talking about the debate or about a transgender person. I understand the two cannot be completely divorced, but they are not the same thing either. The ideas bandied about in the public square are often ridiculous. The people struggling with gender identity are not. This is what makes the controversy especially difficult for Christians. As a pastor, I need to shepherd a flock that faces pressures from a world that is trying every day to remake them in its image (Rom. 12:2). But I also need to shepherd a flock that likely has sheep in it who wonder how they can live a holy and acceptable life to God when they don’t feel like (or simply don’t like) the person they see in the mirror (Rom 12:1).

That means while we do not have patience for secular agendas, we must have patience for struggling people. We may be quick with rebuttals in the public square, but we must be quick with a listening ear in the neighbor’s kitchen. It means we must show private care in a way that is not confused with public indifference, and make known our public concern in a way that is not confused with private disdain. We have two different things to say depending on the context—not contradictory things, but complementary things the world is eager to confuse.

The agenda ought to be lampooned. The people ought to be loved.

True and good. You should read that whole post too. It’s short and will stick in your brain.