Gender Identity and Biblical Worldview
Recently the Fairfax County Public School Board in Virginia, passed a motion to add “Gender Identity” to it’s protected classes for students. The impact of this decision is that students may utilize whichever bathroom suits their gender identity. This is just one of the unintended consequences of the recently approved Supreme Court ruling to authorize gay marriage.
In July 2015, the Supreme Court of the Unites States ruled that states could no longer discriminate on the bases of gender for the purposes of marriage. This specifically redefined the long-standing idea that marriage was exclusively between one male and one female. Now the states would grapple with marriage being recognized between two males or two females. What was NOT in purview was how this would disseminate into public policy in the form of bathroom usage by those who identify as a different gender than what they were born.
The battle heats up on all fronts. A recent report from a private school administrator indicates that he has students suddenly identifying as transgender “en masse.” This is not dissimilar to the fad of cutting that we witnessed in our secondary schools culture in the early 2000’s. It started with a few students self-mutilating, then suddenly it seemed that every pre-pubescent teen had horrid skeletons in their closets which forced them to release their angst through cutting themselves. Fortunately, cutting went the way of the poodle skirt.
Transgender is the new “cutting.” Teens have a deep need to be different. If I had a nickel for every student that declared, “I am not like other students” I might be a millionaire. The very fact that a student would utter or think those words places them squarely in the middle of status quo. But the issue with transgender identity strikes at the very heart of a true Biblical Worldview.
Firstly, we must be aware that God declares in scripture that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” To defy how God has created us stabs at the very truth of God’s sovereignty. As the Prophet Isaiah declares, “Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’…Woe to the one who says to a father, ‘What have you begotten?’ Or to a mother, ‘What have you brought to birth?'” A God who is not sovereign over all things is not sovereign over ANYTHING!
The other issue that strikes me is this–despite personal objections to what gender you were at birth and have now decided to become, you really cannot change anything. While gender has now become influenced by many things both external (culture and society) and internal (psychological), the reality of what scientifically determines gender is chromosomes. A female has two X chromosomes (XX). That is a simple scientific fact that is irrefutable. A male has an X and a Y chromosome (XY). That is a simple scientific fact that is irrefutable. And despite how hard a person tries through hormone therapy, personal transformation, clothing, sex reassignment surgery, and manufactured personae, the entire body of science will validate one wonderful fact: no creature can alter their chromosomes. This science is so sound that there is NO refuting archaeological findings of ancient mankind. And it has never entered into the minds of scientists to alter the historical records on gender based upon any other factor than chromosomal and DNA evidence.
The Bible grapples with this reality as well. The Prophet Jeremiah declares, “Can an Ethiopian charge his skin or a leopard its spots?” Observing my own children they went through phases when their grasp on reality was not fully developed and they identified as all sorts of non-realities. From princesses, to dogs, to ponies, and dragons, the imagination transformed them into all sorts of “identities” that were false. As a parent, there comes a time to guide them out of childhood and into adulthood to embrace a reality that is true and Biblical. They simply cannot change how God has seen in his infinite wisdom to create them.
Watching an episode of 20/20 about a year ago, they featured a youth whom had taken his own life, not being able to cope with the tension between what was and what he wanted to be–a trans-gendered teen. This is horribly tragic. In fact, it is not only unbelievably tragic, but should NEVER be a reality in our modern culture. And while 20/20 and the youth blamed culture for its lack of acceptance, I found something very interesting in his closing words of his suicide note which read, ‘Fix society. Please.’
I have spent the vast majority of my parenthood helping my adolescent teens to accept themselves as they are. God created them, but they want to be something else–a pop star, a professional athlete, or some other grandiose self-appointment. But this is just not realistic in most cases. When we as adults fail to move our children and youth from distorted self-perceptions to quiet acceptance, we feed a dangerous narcissism that demands that SOMEONE fix the WORLD! If the whole world must change to accept you, then this fact is tragically lost: you do not accept yourself. It will be much easier for all of us to accept those around us when those around us have determined to accept themselves as God created them rather than some self-imposed alter ego of who they are.
At this point, we stand shaking a fist at God for making us what we are and thumb our nose at scientific fact for not giving us the power to change our chromosomes. Twenty-five hundred years from now when they dig our remains from the ground and speculate on what tragedy befell us, one thing will be certain. Our aged and deteriorating bones will be tested by archaeologists. And with no deference to how we viewed ourselves or demanded others to view us, they will declare their findings in a scientific journal what God knew when he made us and what our DNA cannot deny-our true gender identity.