I do not write these words lightly, and there is not an ounce of mockery or, God forbid, hatred in my heart when I say that Caitlyn Jenner is a man wearing a dress. I am simply speaking the plain and obvious truth, as politically incorrect as that truth might be right now. But with transgender issues dominating the news these days, and in light of Tucker Carlson's epic takedown of Democratic leader Zac Petkanas on national TV last week (specifically, discussing gender-related questions), it appears that now is as good a time as ever to state some things clearly.
So then, to avoid all ambiguity: No, you do not get to choose your gender; no, gender is not determined by the level of your personal enlightenment (as Petkanas alleged); no, your gender does not change simply because you announce that it has changed; and no, it is not good science to allow people to change their sexual identity on their birth certificates. In fact, there is nothing scientific about that at all.
This being said, I do not minimize for a moment the very real struggle of precious little children who struggle deeply with their gender identity, nor do I deny that many children (and adults) report that their lives are more stable and fulfilled when they identify as the opposite of their biological sex.
I do not minimize the traumas through which Bruce Jenner (or others like him) has lived, nor do I claim to be able to relate to those traumas personally.
And I do not make a spiritual judgment about someone who struggles with their gender identity, as if this struggle somehow made them into the vilest of sinners. Why should that be the case?
Again, my goal is not to belittle or disparage, and as loudly and clearly as I can, I proclaim God's love for all of you who identify as transgender, reminding each one that Jesus died for you just as He died for me and that God has a good and godly purpose for each of your lives.
You are not defective any more than I am defective, and every human being on the planet is broken in some way and in need of a Great Physician.
But because I care enough about the transgender community to speak out, even though I'll be branded a transphobe and bigot, I'm going to state things with clarity and conviction here, reminding us that the emperor has no clothes (as Carlson rightly did on Fox last week). And I'm going to encourage parents and policy makers, counselors and pastors, educators and activists, along with all those who care about their trans-identified friends and family that: 1. There is no settled science confirming transgender identity; 2. We still know very little about many operations of the brain, including those related to what is now called gender dysphoria (previously known as gender identity disorder, or GID); 3. Studies continue to indicate that the vast majority of children who identify as transgender do not do so after puberty (even if many ultimately identify as gay); 4. There must be a better way than our current approach to treating gender dysphoria; 5. It is unfair to impose the struggles of less than 1 percent of the population on the rest of the population, especially on impressionable kids; and 6. Gender distinctions should be celebrated and appreciated, rather than branded patriarchal or heterosexist or the like.
And while I'm at, let me say this to CNN's Chris Cuomo: Sir, it is not intolerant for a father not to want his daughter to see a boy's (obscenity) at school. That's called being a good dad.
I address these issues (and more) on this new video commentary, including some telling clips with Jenner and with Carlson and Pektanas, along with some shocking statements from Cuomo and from California public universities.
Please take a few minutes to watch and share the video (it's less than 7 minutes), and then do three things: 1. Pray for a fresh and real love for those who struggle with their gender identity; 2. Reach out to those who identify as transgender and ask them sincerely to tell you their story; and 3. Help them find wholeness in the Lord.
And remember: Caitlyn Jenner is no more a woman than Rachel Dolezal is black.
Those are the facts, and nothing more.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Evangelicals at the Crossroads: Will We Pass the Trump Test? Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.
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