Transgender: When Psychological Identity Trumps Bodily Identity | Denny Burk

Denny Burk[…] Now that the gay marriage cause is all but won, sexual revolutionaries are turning their attention to the “T” in LGBT. Both Newsweek and Time have written cover stories in the last two years arguing that the transgender cause is the next phase of the LGBT revolution. There seems to be evidence confirming this in headlines across the country. From the city ordinance in Houston that led to the subpoena of pastors’ sermons to children being allowed into the opposite sex bathrooms in public schools, there is no question that significant cultural changes are afoot.

At the heart of the transgender revolution is the notion that psychological identity trumps bodily identity. In this way of thinking, a person is whatever they think themselves to be. If a girl perceives herself to be a boy, then she is one even if her biology says otherwise. If a boy perceives himself to be a girl, then he is one even if his biology says otherwise. Gender is self-determined, not determined by the sexual differences that the Creator has embedded into every cell in our bodies.

Have Americans thought through the implications of believing that one’s psychological identity should trump one’s biological identity when the two seem to be out of sync? Continue reading →

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2 Responses to Transgender: When Psychological Identity Trumps Bodily Identity | Denny Burk

  1. Tammy Rainey says:

    “Gender is self-determined, not determined by the sexual differences that the Creator has embedded into every cell in our bodies.”

    Do any other human beings consult the cells of their body in order to determine their sex? Does not the intersex person, with conflicting biological evidence not know what sex they are? Is it not self evident that it is your mind which tells you what sex you are? Your sex is not “self determined” except in that only the self can understand what the brain/mind knows?

    “…a person named “John” who…”

    Laying aside the reference to Fox News which has a propensity to inflammatory spin (see, for example, Tod Starnes) the whole comparison is flawed at the root because ones sex/gender IS something that s determined through natural biological processes in the womb. There’s no such natural process which tells you that you should have one leg, or three for that matter. Beyond that, if “John” only wants one leg, that’s none of my concern and not a biblical question. I trust medical and psychological professionals to sort it out.

    “Is the trouble here with limbs or with the mind? ”

    What difference does it make? If you CAN’T change the brain, and you CAN change the APPEARANCE (and let’s be clear, critics are up in arms about people asking to modify their APPEARANCE) then why not? What is it to the culture at large whether or not less than 1% of the population does not conform to your appearance expectations?

    “I daresay most people would answer that in this case the mind needs to be changed not the body.”

    Of course. Because 99+% of the population has absolutely no mental frame of reference for what this condition (being transsexual) feels like. “Most” people are wildly unqualified to voice an opinion.

    “Is our culture willing to make those permanent body-altering decisions for children who report transgender feelings? ”

    Since this isn’t happening…

    ” Ironically, these parents believe that it is permissible to surgically alter a child’s body to match his sense of self…”

    I challenge you to cite even ONE example of an American child having any sort of gender surgery before the age of 16 (and VERY few before 18) – excepting alterations done to intersex infants. It undermines the credibility of the entire rest of your talk for you to infer this falsehood is true.

    ” we know that most of these children grow out of their gender-conflicted feelings (source).”

    You need better sources than McHugh. He’s a good support for the religious bias – his superpower – but not sound science. Many kids have a very brief phase they pass out of, it’s not demonstrated the kids demonstrating long-term peresistant and insistent claims nevertheless “grow out of it”.

    ” I’m not convinced that people have thought through the implications of embracing such a view”

    Maybe the implication is that each ethical question stands or falls on it’s own merits rather than assuming an illogical “slippery slope? If the slippery slope argument were valid, then I could argue that if I concede to the church the veto over my appearance, then I concede the power to tell a woman whether or not to wear makeup, or a man whether or not to wear a beard, or (as some churches do) whether or not women can wear pants? It would be just as invalid.

    ” The church would do well to come alongside them to support them and love them. But that kind of care will involve persuading them to change their minds before surgically and permanently altering their bodies.”

    First, many of us have decades of experience with the church trying to persuade us that our appearance matters more to God than our heart; second, the case has not begun to be made that this is a biblical absolute.

    I repeat the question that won’t go away: if your genitals can be born sexually ambiguous or inconsistent…if your chromosomes can be…then by what logical or even biblical argument do we conclude the brain CAN’T be?

    God made our brain and our mind just as he made the rest of us and I question the reasoning that he expressed his will for my life more by way of the presence (or not) of a penis more so than via my brain, mind, and soul.

    Does not he say “man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart”?

  2. parsonsmike says:

    Thanks for your comment.
    It certainly gives me, who has and will never experience this mind/body problem, much to think about.
    I am glad you also posted it at Denny Burk’s site, where this feed came from.
    May His blessings abound to you.

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