Genesis 1: Casting God's Vision for the Sexes
As Christians, we know from the creation account in Genesis 1 that God creates by "calling forth" by His spoken word ("Let there be…"). We also learn that His creation and ordering of the world involved a series of "separations." These separations include heaven and earth, light and dark, day and night, morning and evening, clouds and seas, and water and dry land. Profoundly, the Hebrew concept of "separation" is rooted in the word kadosh, which – while often rendered as "holy" in English – here carries the sense of being "set apart" (separated) unto the Lord. Thus, in this series of separations, we see a consecrated and holy ordering, which at its essence reflects a "setting apart" unto the Creator God of the Universe.
Out of this paradigm, the creation account further delineates a distinct separateness for plants and then seasons, followed by all manner of living creatures found in the seas, on land and in the air. Finally, in the 26th verse, we see the pinnacle of God's creation – mankind – called forth into being. Specifically, in humans we see not only a separation from the animals, but also a separation of mankind into two sexes – male and female – wholly complementary, yet each uniquely and mysteriously bearing God's image – the imago Dei. It is in this bearing of God's image as male and female that we humans are called to make visible the invisible Creator God on this planet.
Thus, it is out of the diversity and distinctive separateness of male and female that we humans are called to not only represent God in the proper and ordered stewardship of His good and wonderful creation, but to come together in unity and be joined as "one flesh"Genesis 2:23-24; Matthew 19: 3 – 6; Mark 10: 6-9; Ephesians 5:28-32 New International Version. in order to bring forth new life that will also somehow look like God and bear the imago Dei.
As it was from the beginning, so it is to this very day.
In contrast to this divinely ordered vision for human gender and sexual expression, today we in the West are confronted by a spirit of "transgender" activism – flowing out of the gay rights movement – that says gender no longer matters, that the distinctives of male and female are merely social constructs and that the sexes are interchangeable. Ironically, while these activists argue that a homosexual orientation is fixed and immutable, they incoherently claim that gender is "fluid" and changeable. For example, Caitlin Ryan, a gay activist, clinical social worker and researcher at San Francisco State University recently said:
"I think the fluidity of gender is the next big wave in terms of adolescent development… Gender has become part of the defining way that youth organize themselves and rebel against adults."- Caitlin RyanAssociated Press"Youth Culture Testing the Boundaries of Gender Identity and Roles," The Advocate online, 4 October 2005, http://www.advocate.com/news_detail_ektid21307.asp, (7 October 2008).
In short, a profound deconstruction of gender is taking place within every arena of society that undermines the fundamental order established by God Himself – reflecting the very essence of who He is and who we were created to be. And when God's order is deconstructed and then necessarily redefined, the consequences for gender, sexuality, marriage, family and, ultimately, society are profound and far-reaching.
"Transgenderism" is an umbrella term that covers a legion of differnt feelings, thoughts, behaviors and identities, including: cross-dresser, transvestite, gender-bender, "two-spirit," gender-blender and gender-queer. Some examples:
- A 12-year-old boy in Germany is being given sex-change hormones, making him the youngest sex-change patient in the world."Mistakes in God's Factory," 26 January 2007, Spiegel online, http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,druck-462516,00.html, (29 September 2008).
- In the United Kingdom, new school guidelines warn teachers that telling boys to act like men leads to "bullying of those who do not conform to fixed ideas about gender."Laura Clark, "Don't Say Mum and Dad... teachers told not to assume pupils have heterosexual parents," 30 January 2008, Mail online, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-511209/Dont-say-mum-dad--teachers-told-assume-pupils-heterosexual-parents.html# (29 September 2008); Safe to Learn: Embedding Anti-Bullying Work in Schools - Preventing and Responding to Homophobic bullying in schools, Teachernet Online Publications for Schools, September 2007, http://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/HOMOPHOBIC%20BULLYING.pdf (30 September 2008).
- A New York principal was allowed to return to his job after undergoing sex reassignment surgery.Paul Brooks, "Principal Undergoing Sex Change," Times Herald-Record online, 25 August 2007, http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070825/NEWS/708250334 (30 September 2008).
- Parents of children who struggle with gender confusion are being encouraged to raise their children according to the gender they want to be.See, for instance, Pagan Kennedy, "Q & A with Norman Spack," The Boston Globe online, 30 March 2008, http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2008/03/30/qa_with_norman_spack/, (7 October 2008); or J. Michael Bailey, The Man Who Would Be Queen, (Washington DC: Joseph Henry Press, 2003), pp. 26-28.
- Nationally, organizations are adopting gender neutral restrooms because "women's" and "men's" restrooms only acknowledge a two-gender system.See, for example, Gender Public Advocacy Coalition's "2008 Genius Index," which noted a large increase in college campuses offering "gender neutral" housing and restrooms, and groups like "Safe2Pee," which map gender-neutral bathrooms around the world, http://www.safe2pee.org/new/, (30 September 2008).
- In Thailand, one school with 2,600 students created a separate "transvestite toilet" for its 200 "transgender"-identified students.Associated Press, "Cross-Dressing Students Get 'Transvestite Toilet' at Thai School," Fox News online, 18 June 1008, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,368301,00.html, (26 September 2008).
- A man – dressed and made up to look like a woman – competed against real women to become "America's Next Top Model."Sheila Marikar, "America's Next Transgender Top Model?" 22 August 2008, ABC News online, http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/Story?id=5629177&page=1, (30 September 2008).
- In California, SB 777, a bill signed into law in 2007 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, prohibits teaching or activity that "reflects adversely upon" or "promotes a discriminatory bias" because of sexual orientation or gender identity.SB 777, Official California Legislative Information, 12 October 2007, http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/sen/sb_0751-0800/sb_777_bill_20071012_chaptered.pdf , (30 September 2008). Under this law, students across California are allowed to "choose their own gender" when deciding whether to use the boys' or girls' restroom and locker room. A teacher in Oakland lines her students up by sneaker color rather than by gender.Patricia Leagh Brown, "Supporting Boys or Girls When the Line Isn't Clear," New York Times online, 2 December, 2006, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/02/us/02child.html, (3 October 2008). A Fresno high school allowed a "transgender" female to run for prom king."California Transgender Student Allowed to Run For Prom King," Fox News online, 22 April, 2007, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,267543,00.html, (3 October 2008).