While the ENDA uproar goes on, evangelicals are desperately figuring out how to wrap the Bible around their vehement "no" on civil rights for people with gender issues. A recent article in Christianity Today lays out their developing position. Author John W. Kennedy states -- with the typical smug tone that these people adopt when they think they're speaking for God -- "The transgender movement clashes with traditional Christian theology that teaches the only God-given expression of human sexuality is between a man and woman who are married."
Sure, I get it. EVs are recognizing that the transgendered civil-rights movement is a very dangerous opponent. It might upset the apple cart on conservative Christian definitions of gender and marriage. Kennedy's article is worth reading for the whole train of thought.
I often wonder if evangelicals are even vaguely aware about the recent scientific discoveries of a whole array of physical and sex chromosome variations. I guess they don't bother to read the news or the scientific literature. In any case, their official position shows how pathetically ignorant they are about this whole demographic of people they're talking about, who are way more numerous that the CT article admits.
Evangelicals state that "God doesn't make mistakes" on gender. But here they show their ignorance. Because it's clear that God, or Mother Nature, or the Law of Chance, or whatever Universal Force one might believe in, is seeing to it that certain people get born with these sex-chromosome or physical variations, that put them at painful odds with the legal definition of "gender" stamped on their birth certificate.
I am always intrigued by the historical flip-flop that the Biblical fundamentalist bunch have pulled off, that makes it possible for them to try force-feeding us with their gender doctrine. In the 1600s "Protestantism" started as an understandable revolt against a cruel Roman Catholic hegemony. Martin Luther and other rebels no longer accepted the Catholic Church's insistence that only its corrupt hierarchy, notably the Pope, had a handle on absolute truth, and could speak for God. Catholicism had gotten its leverage on Western society by establishing the Holy Roman Empire and controlling civil government everywhere. This way the local rulers and the local law enforcement would obediently torture and execute any "heretic" that the church hierarchy pointed the finger at.
But the "protesters" believed that absolute truth was only to be found in the Bible. Today Protestant conservatives have gone far from being a little persecuted minority that got sympathy because it was being tortured and burned at the stake across Europe. Today the ultraconservative evangelicals set themselves up as yet another giant hegemony, insisting that THEY alone speak for God when they interpret the Bible. They don't have a Pope, but that's kind of a moot point, because they have a whole array of leaders who act like Popes and talk like Popes.
Here in the U.S., they're using the old Catholic trick of capturing civil government. This way they hope to establish the Holy Protestant Empire. Their aim is to impose themselves on the lives of every citizen through the passage of civil and criminal laws that favor their religion. The result is punishment and jail for anybody who steps out of line -- including the Catholics whose MO they borrowed. Some of these believers have even made it clear that they'll re-establish torture and execution for all "non-Biblical behavior" if they can get away with it.
So everything has to stand or fall on the Bible, including their position in gender realignment issues. The Bible has become a kind of doctrinal silly putty which evangelicals try to wrap around any political or human-rights issue that threatens the establishment of their imperial position.
The problem is, the Bible doesn't have much to say about the gender issue, other than the famous Old Testament lines about "male and female He created them" and "be ye fruitful and multiply." But these lines were written by people who lived 6000 years ago, when many people believed that the Earth was flat -- that disease is caused by "divine wrath" instead of tiny unheard-of things called viruses and bacteria, etc. These people also had no idea that "male and female" turns out to be a very fluid thing, scientifically speaking.
The arrogance and ignorance with which today's evangelicals approach this subject is beyond belief. The CT article quotes one "authority" as saying, "Transgender impulses are strong, but they don't match up with the Christian sexual ethic. Desires must be brought into alignment with biblical teachings, but it will be inconvenient and distressful." This same "authority," Christian psychology professor Warren Throckmorton, says later in the article, "Even if there are prenatal influences, we can't set aside teachings of the Bible because of research findings."
It's not hard to find vivid testimony from people who have run up against these sickeningly oppressive "authorities" when they were struggling to find their way to a desired gender realignment and a life they could feel was their own.
As America heads for the polls in a landmark Presidential election, these evangelicals know that they're fighting for their perceived "right" to speak for God -- to control all belief and social behavior in the U.S. Gender is not a marginal issue -- it is key to what the evangelicals are trying to do. Any voter who supports some Republican with evangelical ties will surely live to realize that he or she has helped to bring back the Holy Roman Empire with all its rigor... but with Protestant silly putty wrapped around it.