Being transgender or transsexual.
Gender dysphoria, & gender identity.
Comments on transsexuality
etc. by individual Christians
Christianity Today, "a magazine of evangelical conviction" is the largest
evangelical Christian magazine in the U.S. and probably the world. During
2008-JAN, they published an article on transgender concerns titled: "The
Transgender Moment: Evangelicals hope to respond with both moral authority and biblical compassion
to gender identity disorder." (Gender Identity Disorder is now considered stigmatizing and has bee replaced by the term Gender Dysphoria.) It is perhaps worth noting that the title did not include reference to reason or scientific knowledge.
Some points raised in the article:
A poll for the Human Rights Campaign found that 48% of those randomly
selected American adults surveyed said
that they would have "no problem working with a transgender person."|
||As of 2008-JAN:|
||13 states have laws protecting transgender people from discrimination
in employment or accommodation.
||10 states have passed hate crime laws protecting "gender identity or
Jimmy Creech is a former executive director of Faith in America,
located in Raleigh, NC. The agency promotes equal rights and protections for lesbians, gays,
bisexuals, and transgender persons. He commented:|
"Religion has been used in history to discriminate against various groups of
people by justifying slavery, denying women the right to vote, and persecuting
religious minorities Today it is being used to persecute lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgender people."
Matt Barber, policy director for cultural issues for Concerned Women
for America (CWA), a religiously conservative advocacy group said:|
"The transgender lobby is following the example of the homosexual lobby in
that they are co-opting the language of the civil rights movement in order to
push their own radical and wacky agenda."
Christianity Today comments:
"Barber points out that the American Psychiatric Association, which
declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973, still classifies the
condition of transgender as a disorder. Barber says the political left wing is
facilitating more gender confusion by counseling the afflicted to feel good
about themselves rather than find a treatment for this disorder. 'You are what
you are -- male or female,' Barber says."
Peter Sprigg, vice president for policy at the Family Research Council
(FRC), a fundamentalist Christian group, said:|
"The pressure for acceptance is ultimately a challenge to the authority of
Scripture and a violation of natural law. In the gay, lesbian, bisexual,
transgender movement there is a tendency to continually push the envelope in
trying to demand the acceptance of what most people perceive to be unusual
Christianity Today stopped posting readers' comments on the
article during 2008-FEB-25, about two weeks after it was published. By this time, they had
received 110 comments by readers. We suspect that the vast majority of postings were
from evangelical Christians, because of the nature of the magazine and website.
A sampling of postings:
These are the first 15 postings, after we deleted two comments that were not directly
related to transsexuals. Spelling and grammatical errors were
Dalymar: "I don't think God ever tells somebody to change their
sexes because he condemns that in the book of Romans. so the person that said
that she felt like the Spirit talk to her on doing that is not only sinning by
changing her sex, but by also blaspheming the name of the Spirit, which is a
non-forgiveness sin. God does not make mistakes. he
created you one sex only and it is for a reason, so be happy for who you are."
Michele M: "... My spirit resonates with God's Word and the Holy
Spirit (as I discern Him), and I agree that while this problem may feel
'inborn' to some who suffer with it (and I believe they suffer tremendously),
it cannot be beyond God's redemptive power - the same power that raised Jesus
from the dead and is available to us here and now. (2 Peter 1:3). Our approach
should never exclude love, compassion, and willingness to use our gifts toward
the healing of hurting people."
Donald Schell: "Is this the voice of contemporary Evangelicalism?
'Even if science does determine differentiation in the brain at birth,'
Throckmorton says, 'even if there are prenatal influences, we can't set aside
teachings of the Bible because of research findings.' If we insist that
'teachings of the Bible' includes the Biblical writers use of first century
(and earlier) natural science, we end up lauding the Vatican for condemning
Anonymous, apparently referring to Adam and Eve wrote about
transsexuals: "They're beyond 'becoming like God, knowing good and evil'.
They've evolved to the point at which they tell God that HE made a mistake."
bmh: "Evangelicals could start by not calling it a disorder."
Ralph: "One may change his/her outward appearance as much as they
desire. They can never change their chromosomal makeup. If you are born XY you
are a male, XX then female. SOMETHING happened in these persons' lives to lead
them to reject everything associated with their gender or were taught that
their born gender was not worth living out."
Scott: "First and foremost this has to be a pastoral issue. This is
a very complex issue! Christians better be very careful because the genetics
issue here doesn't fit into a simplistic theological or moral framework. Thus,
there should be a pastoral perspective applied where different tacts should
taken with different individuals. If this is a matter of truth. we should err
on the side of generosity. This is what Jesus would do, the one who stood with
woman caught in adultery against those who would condemn her."
Kim refers to one of Paul's writings on idolatry: "Roman's chapter
1 tells us that if we engage in that which is ungodly enough that God will
give us over to a reprobate mind. We sure are willing as a society to justify
anything we choose to with some sort of syndrome and program to help us become
comfortable with things so that we are able to live happily ever after. Our
pride makes us crave that and somehow society accommodates us. Woe be to us.
God created us exactly as He intended us to be, He called us into being and we
were then born into a sinful world. Sin is a condition as well as an act. The
condition is socially contagious and encouraged."
Pam Meyer: "... I believe that God is great enough to redeem us
from our deepest struggles. The person whose GLBT struggles are physical, which
I believe is real, has the greatest challenge. I think the best outcome for
them is to be abstinent and in a loving community with others who can
understand their particular struggles (ie. belonging to an Exodus
International group.) I hope the church will grow to accept people whose
processes show on the outside since we all have them on the inside."
Timothy Mills: "
I am very sorry to see Christianity Today endorsing a sinful life style.
Transgender Identity Syndrome may be tagged by the APA as a disorder, but
that cannot become an excuse for the sinful behavior. ... The person
with the transgender identity crisis cannot allow that to overtake their
obedience to the commands of God. Having those 'tendencies' does not mean
that is the way God made them. ... God
knows what disaster would come if those behaviors were not prohibited and
the probation placed on us for obedience. Godlike love means we work to help
them, not tolerate them."
Kim: "I felt this was a very balanced article. The author does not
say that having the feelings is sinful any more than someone with XXY is
sinful. We are all sinful! However, God has laid out specific boundaries in
scripture and sometimes it is agonizing to follow those boundaries. They are
always the best, not necessarily the most comfortable. Regardless, we as
Christians are called to love people no matter what they struggle with. Christ
would have eaten dinner at a transgender person's house and built a
relationship with him or her. How could we do any less? THAT is the point of
sergey: "I understand that such problem may exist. But why make an
issue of it. If person is born with male and female traits and he or she is
Christian, he or she just should take their cross and shut up about it. You
have to understand that God is love and this trial is for reason. Suffer,
because in weakness we are strong and much grace given to one who suffer
John: "I am probably one of the more liberal readers of CT and CT
online. ... But 'transgender' issues cross a line for me. ... I fully support
the right of businesses and offices to enforce dress codes that say what a man
or a woman should wear. A man wearing lipstick, a dress, and high heals is
highly distracting and not the kind of thing that anyone has a civil right to
pursue. If in the (very rare) case you can get a doctor to certify you for sex
change surgery so you are now indeed a woman, so be it. Otherwise companies
and employers have the right to insist that you dress like a man."
EM: "This is a complex issue -- just like any other issue. We may
want to justify the behavior despite how far it takes us from being in
relationship with God. Yes, there are issues that seem 'new' in their
development or even in their relevance to our time. Let us not forget that
'there is nothing new under the sun.' The enemy [Satan] is crafty in his ways
of 'masking' himself. The result of a behavior or feeling that brings such
turmoil, unrest, and confusion is the end of what the Bible speaks of sin --
that which separates us from God. It is not only the 'feeling' of someone who
believes they should have been born the other gender, or the 'feeling' of a
woman who likes a man who is married to another woman, or a 'feeling' of
someone who feels like taking something that doesn't belong to them...and we
can go on and on making scenarios of emotions and feelings...All which bring
us into a separation from God as these things do not align with His will for
us as beings who He wants to be in relationship."
chuck: "God created us as he meant us to be, but let us not forget
that sin has altered that perfect state. It did not and does not simply alter
the mind and soul, it altered and continues to alter the tangible things that
are "us". We continue to treat disease as an invasion of sin into God's
plan--that is until we hit those physical anomalies that include sexuality.
Then, for some reason, we seem to change theologies. Is it not possible that
the (accurately diagnosed) transgender person who has completely changed to
the other gender has in fact been "restored" as best as possible this side of
heaven? I think we need to separate homosexual and transgender identities when
discussing the matter, simply because they are not the same thing. One is the
pursuit of personal pleasure at the expense of social and natural order and
the other is an effort to correct the brokenness of a life."
One posting by a transsexual:
The second last posting was by Shauna, who identified herself as a
transsexual. Its message was markedly different from other postings:
"I believe with every essence of my being that the Almighty created me as
transsexual. To deny that is to deny the Hand that created me. I won't do
that. My church has welcomed and accepted me with open arms, and I continue my
ministry as cantor and musician. Nowhere in the 4 Gospels does Jesus condemn
the LGBT community - and that is the only Scripture that really matters. When
the Second Coming happens, the Master won't appear at the Vatican nor in
Jerusalem. Neither will he appear in Mecca, Hill Cummorah or any other
religious center. He will appear among the homeless. He will be with the poor
of Calcutta. He will be serving hot meals in soup kitchens. He will be giving
strength to the child that has been thrown out because he is gay. He will be
holding the hand of someone dying of AIDS. And He will be with us as we are
beaten to death in a hate crime - with the last thing we hear screamed at us
being various curses and scriptural quotes -- and welcome us home."
The following information source
was used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.
J.W. Kennedy, "The Transgender Moment," Christianity Today, Volume 52,
Copyright remains with the authors of the individual postings
Original posting: 2009-FEB-01
Latest update: 2011-APR-18
Author: B.A. Robinson