On October 5th, the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors hosted a conference entitled "Transgender Confusion and Transformational Christianity" at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The conference approached gender diversity as "chaos" and "confusion", insisting that God assigns immutable gender to his creations.
"Our culture is flooded with transgender confusion. The Christian Gospel speaks into this confusion with revolutionary clarity. God sovereignly assigns a gender to people created in his image. The powerful grace of Jesus Christ redeems and restores to sanity our thinking corrupted by sin. The church must speak with biblical conviction into this chaos with the clarity and love of Christ."Event speakers had little patience for any deviation from stereotypical gender roles, much less transgender identities. For example, during a panel discussion with four other men, biblical theology professor Jim Hamilton ridiculed a group of "effeminate" men he addressed at a speaking engagement.
"Last fall, I had the privilege of speaking to a college group that was not from my alma mater. It was another rival SCC school, and the whole time that I was with these guys, no offense to anybody, the whole time I was with these guys, I was thinking to myself, 'This would be driving my wife crazy', because she has this very sensitive radar to any manifestation of what she'll sometimes call as 'floppiness' or effeminacy among men. And I have never been around a more effeminate group of guys. And the whole time, I'm thinking to myself, 'These guys need to be told to man up!' These guys need to be told to stop doing that, to stop looking like girls in the way they walk, in the way they talk, in the way they wear their hats. I mean, it was all just--it was gross. And so I think that it's our responsibility to say to the younger generation, 'You need to knock that off, and you need to start acting like a man.'"This is the most pressing problem keeping these men awake at night? This is what they think is wrong with the world? A group of young men being themselves?
Jim, let me explain a few things. First, gender is a spectrum, not a pair of binary categories. There are plenty of healthy ways to express gender, not just two ways. Second, gender diversity is not a sin or a pathology. I know many fine people who defy gender stereotypes. We should judge the moral character of people based on their fairness, honesty, compassion, and respectfulness, not on whether or not they shoehorn themselves into binary gender stereotypes.
If Hamilton sees "effeminate" mannerisms as offensive, one must wonder what he thinks of women (both cisgender and transgender). Under patriarchy, men deem women inferior, and anything assigned to females is branded as inferior, weak, and silly. If we are to transcend patriarchy, we must jettison the belief that certain behaviors are compulsory for men and women, as well as the assumption that things labeled "effeminate" are inferior.
Besides, I'd rather hang out with "effeminate" guys with good hearts than chest-thumping macho dude-bros any day.
(Hat tip to Transjoandarc.)