Where ‘Cisgenders’ Fit In the Sexual Tolerance Discussion

There is nothing "authentic" about defining oneself by a sexual or gender impulse inconsistent with who one is. (Reuters)
There is nothing “authentic” about defining oneself by a sexual or gender impulse inconsistent with who one is. (Reuters)

Last month, USA Today reported that Facebook is now recognizing 58 distinct gender options, with a 59th for “fill in the blank.”

According to Facebook, “We recognize that some people face challenges sharing their true gender identity with others, and this setting gives people the ability to express themselves in an authentic way.”

There is nothing “authentic” about defining oneself by a sexual or gender impulse inconsistent with who one is. But more on that later. For now, here are some thoughts on terms increasingly used in the public parlance but which merit a bit more than casual acceptance—both for the sake of linguistic integrity and for the sake of the troubled men and women and the social conditions about which they speak.

Transphobia: “Intense dislike of or prejudice against transsexual or transgender people” (Oxford English Dictionary). No one should be treated cruelly, in word or action, because he or she dresses or behaves in a manner commensurate with his or her opposite gender. Period.

On the other hand: People who believe men and women should only be allowed to enter restrooms or locker rooms designated for persons of their same biology or those who believe companies should have the right not to hire persons wearing opposite-sex attire are not prejudiced or phobic. They are responding naturally and intuitively to things that not only are visually jarring but internally dissonant. These responses are innate, inherent, natural.

Moreover, one’s gender cannot be undone by cosmetic changes or even surgery: DNA is permanent. As my friend Russell Moore has written, “We believe we can no more surgically alter our gospel than we can surgically alter our gender.”

Homophobia: “Dislike of or prejudice against homosexual people” (Oxford English Dictionary). So, unlike transphobia, the dislike doesn’t have to be “intense?”

There is no doubt some people bear hostility to homosexuals and cause deliberate pain to persons open about their same-sex attraction. That is regrettable and, for Christians, completely unacceptable. But the following beliefs do not represent such hostility:

  • People who believe in marriage as the covenantal union of one man and one woman, for life.
  • People who believe children thrive and mature most successfully with a mother and a father.
  • People who believe that sexual intimacy is reserved for one man and one woman within the covenant of marriage.

Disagreement is not, by definition, evidence of fear or hatred, whether it deals with moral deliberations or things less profound (you’re a Yankees fan, I like the Mariners). Asserting a moral viewpoint that such has implications not only for personal behavior but law and culture is not necessarily hostile or a demonstration of bias.

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Source: Charisma News | ROB SCHWARZWALDER

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