Kevin Kennedy, PhD
On July 13, 2016, Caitlyn Jenner (née Bruce Jenner) received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the national ESPY Awards ceremony for his/her courage for “coming out” to the world as transgendered. According to Jenner, he/she had identified as a woman for many years but had failed to reveal this fact to the public. Perhaps I would be more impressed had Jenner made such a pronouncement when his face appeared on countless magazine covers and cereal boxes following his gold medal victory in the men’s decathlon at the 1976 Montreal Olympic games. After all, it was just such lucrative endorsements that provided for Jenner’s financial security over the ensuing decades.
It does not take much courage to claim that one is transgendered when being transgendered is the current fashion. However, had Bruce/Caitlyn made such a pronouncement back in 1976, I might be impressed with his/her courage. However, as it stands today, I am totally underwhelmed.
Considering this anecdote and similar trends in popular culture, what is most telling in the recent history of the question of transgenderism is that Evangelical Christians have taken the decidedly “scientific” position on the issue of “gender,” or to use the proper scientific term: “sex.” Christians recognize that God created two sexes: male and female (Genesis 1–2). This also corresponds to the “scientific” view that higher organisms are divided into two sexes, male and female. God designed the two human sexes for the proliferation of human life and the furtherance of proper human intimacy within the covenant of marriage. Furthermore, based on the biblical teaching that God created two sexes, male and female, Christians recognize that the current proliferation of numerous and nefarious “genders” is neither scientific nor biblical.
What is also fascinating, given the current cultural trends, is that Evangelical Christians have so often been accused of rejecting the scientific position on many issues because we believe that God created the world and all that is in it (Genesis 1–2). Because of our commitment to the doctrine of creation, Christians are often viewed by the world as rejecting truth. However, when Christians appeal to scriptural revelation that God created humanity as male and female, which in this case clearly corresponds to the scientific view, we are rebuked for our narrow-mindedness and for our failure to recognize that gender (read: “sex”) is fluid and changeable. Christians are said to be “behind the times” because we believe that genetics and anatomy might actually be good indications of a person’s God-given biological sex!
The creation accounts presented in Genesis chapters one and two clearly describe God’s establishment of humanity in two sexes. God also commanded the man and the woman to be fruitful, to multiply, and to fill the earth with their offspring (Gen. 1:28). In order for this divine commandment to be fulfilled, a biological male and a biological female are required. Any other combination is, by definition, a sterile relationship and fails to fulfill the creation mandate to be fruitful and to fill the earth.
Nevertheless, the tyrants of popular culture want us to believe that a biological male can become a “female” and a biological female can become a “male.” Furthermore, these same purveyors of popular culture state that to deny their view is to be bigoted, oppressive, and homophobic. (However, if a male can really become a “female” and a female can really become a “male,” I fail to see how the charge of “homophobic” can possibly come into this discussion. Perhaps that is a question for another day.)
Now, whether one is committed to the biblical approach or the scientific approach, calling a biological male a “female” or a biological female a “male” does not negate the simple facts of genetics and anatomy. I might just as well say that I am a Unicorn married to a lovely She-Elf.
Now, that is a thought—I am a Unicorn married to a She-Elf!
As of today, I declare that I am a Unicorn and I demand that special bathrooms, locker rooms, and scholarships to institutions of higher learning be provided for me and my Elvish wife. If people deny us these basic rights, then we must assume that such persons are Uniphobic, or perhaps, Elviphobic.
Not to make light of the gains made on behalf of persons with disabilities, but if the “Americans with Disabilities Act” can require cities and private companies to spend billions of dollars for curb-cuts to create easier access for users of wheelchairs, then why can I not require higher doorways to make room for my horn or require that roadside rest stops provide hay dispensers along with vending machines? Perhaps my wife should require manufacturers of hats to make provision for her Elvish ears.
Yes, I realize that we are entering the Land of Fantasy with discussions of Unicorns and Elves. However, we must remember that the Land of Fantasy shares a border with the Realm of Absurdity. When we begin speaking of males attempting to alter themselves to become “females,” (are you listening Caitlyn?), or females attempting to alter themselves to become “males,” then we are entering the Realm of Absurdity. When we do so, we are not far from the Land of Fantasy, a land that is replete with Unicorns and Elves. If the current cultural trends continue as they are, perhaps I should plan to say a word or two about our treatment of fairies and leprechauns. For now, however, I think that I have said enough to shed some light on the Realm of Absurdity.
Kevin D. Kennedy, Ph.D.