44: Gender: A Non–Issue?
This statement might have been said by the multitudes of well–meaning contemporary Christians who believe that egalitarianism (same roles for men and women in the church and the home) is an essential element of New Testament Christianity. It was actually said by Kristina Wertz, legal director of the Transgender Law Center in San Francisco, hailing the decision of her city’s Board of Supervisors to issue municipal identification cards showing name, birth date and photo, but no gender. Wertz has understood the radical nature of this decision: “The card really makes gender a non–issue.”
Two things make this event a decisive moment in contemporary cultural history.
The Redefinition of Sexuality
For the first time, (along with New Haven, Connecticut, since July, 07), American civil law grants objective legal status to what were the goals of a marginal movement one generation ago, namely, the total redefinition of human sexuality.
“Make love, not war,” sounded harmless enough in the midst of the Vietnam war debacle. Loving is better than killing, obviously. But the kind of love proposed back then is now well expressed by an aging hippie, presently a millionaire/best selling author and five times married, Neal Donald Walsch: “I envision a world where we can make love to anyone, any way we wish to, at anytime, anywhere.” The heterosexual Walsch does not go into details. The now lesbian, once Bible Presbyterian professor of literature, Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, does. Her 2001 programmatic Omnigender: A Trans–Religious Approach, she argues for a society of virtually no sexual prohibitions. The desirable “omnigender” society includes at least sixteen different sexual options (intersexual, transsexual, transvestite, drag queen and king, transgenderists, bi–genderists, androgynes, heterosexuals, homosexuals, bi–sexuals, polyamorists, sadomasochistic sexuals, autoerotics, asexuals, pansexuals, and modified pedophiles). For Mollenkott, this diversity is a utopian “world worth fighting for.”
In 2001 Mollenkott called for the elimination of oppressive gender–specific pronouns like “he” and “she.” In 2003, Students at Smith College, an all–female school in Massachusetts, heard the call, and voted to remove all feminine pronouns from the school constitution and replace them with gender–neutral ones, this so as not to offend women who saw themselves as males. Recently Wesleyan University in Connecticut offered a “Gender Blind” dormitory floor for incoming students who aren’t sure what sex they are.
In 2001 Mollenkott called for the elimination of “M” and “F” boxes on government application forms, drivers’ licenses, passport applications or marriage forms. Now, thanks to San Francisco and New Haven, gender is disappearing from official documents, and her dream for a genderless society edges closer to realization.
The Rejection of Creational Sexuality
Mollenkott believes that the victory of her view is only a matter of time, and, in the light of what is happening in our universities and municipalities, she is probably right. She predicted in 2001:
In all probability, official church policies will be the rear guard on gender, being dragged along towards gender justice kicking and screaming when the secular society will no longer tolerate anything else.
What does Mollenkott know that the average person fails to see?
The apostle Paul indicates in Romans 1:25–28 that the pagan rejection of God the Creator produces the inevitable consequence of perverted sexuality. Mollenkott’s personal trajectory suggests that the process also works the other way. The poly–sexualist Mollenkott began as an evangelical Christian and has become a poly–theist, finding “truth” in all religions. That is what she means by her subtitle, A Trans–Religious Approach. Her sexual perversion has led her far from the God of the Bible.
Many of us have made the mistake of believing that sexuality is of purely secondary importance, but we now find ourselves, as a culture, and sometimes as a church, slowly asphyxiated by the ideology of polytheism and polysexuality, dressed as issues of “fairness,” and “civil rights.”
It is surely time for believers to reaffirm with conviction and theological clarity the truth of Scripture that gender is not a social or psychological construct but the result of a sovereign creative act of God: God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26–27). On this truth of the God–intended complimentarity of heterosexual difference depends the very dignity of human life on this earth, made in God’s image.
On this, too, depends human salvation. The triune God is both the Redeemer and the Creator, and thus we “come to Jesus,” who is not only our model and Savior, but also our Maker. Rejecting creation carries with it the dreadful implication that we also close our minds to the Gospel as the power of God unto salvation.
In its rejection of God, Maker and Mender, our culture is “going to San Francisco!” Unless stopped, the question is not if but when.