The Healing Light – Vol. 3 Issue 10 – October 2017
Sexuality and Gender Fluidity
Many ancient cultures used myths to explain their beliefs about the world around them. In the process, myths could also be used to address questions about society and ethics. Our culture often has used fairy tales to teach basic moral lessons, leaving deeper questions for more extensive writings. The works of Shakespeare are examples of entertainment that also addresses many cultural issues of the time. To a significant extent, it is impossible to write good literature without having a good understanding of human nature and the times. Leanne Payne, who wrote several books on true orthodox Christianity, had a very profound understanding of human psychology she gained from many years studying classical literature. However, not every type of literature qualifies as being a consistent window into the human soul. For example, sitcoms may occasionally reflect important or true aspects of our culture, but they rarely delve deeply into the human condition. Reality television, cooking shows, and other genres also do not aim for any type of philosophical contemplation. Movies often have the time to reveal major life themes and address them, and their effectiveness is often directly related to the extent a person keeps thinking about a film after watching it. Still, even movies have different genres and plots to appeal to specific audiences. I would argue that science fiction/fantasy is the primary genre in movie, series, book, and even comic book form that deals with cultural issues on a mythic level. If we think about it, science fiction/fantasy rely heavily upon transforming issues of life, ethics, and existence into imagined scenarios to make us reflect on what we believe. It is not a stretch to say they are our contemporary mythologies.
As anyone following the news is aware, sexuality and gender identity are prime issues in our culture. As would be expected, they have shown up in our current mythology. However, it is important to draw a distinction between what qualifies as actual “issue discussion” from what is best identified as direct and intentional propaganda. The former raises clear questions and promotes discussion while the latter dictates what should be believed and squelches dialogue about different perspectives. For example, gender and sexuality were raised as social issues many years ago in some of the Star Trek offshoots when the crew discovered a culture with only one gender, another culture with three genders, and another where the gender of individuals regularly changed. Today, however, sexuality and gender issues in most movies or television shows are promoted as “settled” and no longer up for discussion; any person disagreeing with alternative lifestyles is blatantly identified as immoral. The problem we are facing is that Hollywood, Congress, and the media have never been good judges of ultimate truth or of psychological well-being—especially when the vast majority of “facts” are supplied by activist groups promoting their own agenda. This has resulted in a whole generation being successfully indoctrinated into a specific perspective with no actual consideration for how abusive it might actually be for its hapless victims. If we do not understand what it means to be human, the results are quite disastrous.
One major problem afflicting our culture today is that any concept of actual facts or of ultimate truth has been totally replaced with individual interpretations and personal truths; literally, the rights of certain individuals have now become more valid than those of others—and even the safety and wellbeing of society as a whole. Every disagreement with a person’s choice of lifestyle or personal identity is now equated with civil rights violation. When the elected choice of one person trumps all the physical and legal rights of millions of others, we are in a very dangerous place indeed. The main group to stand against this Faustian trend is the Church—which is also the main reason Christianity has increasingly become a primary target of lawsuits, vandalism, and bullying. What is interesting is that almost the identical views in Islam or Judaism are allowed with no retaliation. The main reason that rejecting some forms of sexual promiscuity or immorality is still somewhat permitted for Islam or Judaism but not Christianity is that the former are both racially associated while the latter is entirely based on choice. In other words, to disagree with the tenets of Islam (even those aspects that clearly dehumanize certain groups of people) is easily associated with racism against Muslims, and to reject a Jewish precept can be interpreted as Anti-Semitic, but there is no such racial association for Christians. In some areas of our country, Satanism and Wicca are more accepted by the majority than is Christianity.
There is a fallacy often promoted by those who hate God in this country: it is most commonly referred to as the “separation of church and state” rule. This premise, similar to the warning that drinking Coca Cola after eating Pop-Rocks will cause your stomach to explode, states that any venue associated with the U. S. government can’t even passively allow any type of content even remotely related to religion. Noticeably, lawsuits against people, businesses, monuments, plaques, and holiday greetings using this rule are almost exclusively relegated to Protestant, Catholic, & Evangelical Christians. In at least one branch of the government, a religious test of a person’s Christian beliefs has been used in an attempt to invalidate a person for an appointed position while any questions concerning other groups’ ideological creeds are strongly prohibited even when those creeds are political and social constructs, masked under the guise of a religious belief system, that are diametrically opposed to constitutional laws and rights of our own country. In at least one instance, the rights of a Satanist group to erect a monument to Lucifer on public land has been defended while the rights of a Christian group to keep a monument of the 10 commandments has been denied. The imaginary separation rule does not apply to all religions; it applies almost exclusively to those religions that specifically promote the existence of absolute moral truth.
Our culture has developed an almost hysterical reaction against anyone proclaiming the concept of absolute truth and objective facts. It is often said that “numbers do not lie” . . . but we are living in a society where numbers and facts can be made to say almost anything by arbitrarily adjusting the contexts to fit a very specific goal. I admit that I did this in one position I held for an employer. In order to reflect the actual and valuable work that was being accomplished in reaction to those who minimized its importance, we had to use a somewhat “loosened” definition of a certain subject than previously so that the numbers met an established requirement in one report. However, we were careful to then adjust the language accordingly so that no dishonesty was involved. The problem is that this same practice is used today ad infinitum with absolutely no requirements to clarify the meaning, scope, or methodology because the end entirely justifies the means. In other words, honesty or integrity are significantly inferior to any potential ability to proclaim superior numbers and supporting facts—even when doing so requires equating results that are actually in opposition to the other. Ideological success is far more important than truth even when that success is ultimately destructive and harmful. The result is that basic information is manipulated in unlimited ways to support “absolutely conclusive” claims—irrespective of the actual truth, limitations, exclusions, and contexts of the information.
Today, this practice has been taken to a degree that borders on mental instability and a state of being divorced from reality. This can be proven by identifying some of the internal inconsistencies in the basic premises of the argument. There are certain facts that are indisputable when we discuss sexuality and gender. One fact is that people are born male or female according to the specific set of X & Y chromosomes within their DNA; even rare and isolated physical anomalies or birth defects do not change the person’s basic chromosomal structure. Another fact is that those same basic chromosomes that result in visible physiological differences also produce hormones causing specific internal biological, psychological, and emotional variations and distinctions between the male and female of the species. Although some of these distinctions are not absolute among individuals, there are generalities that become noticeable as we look at larger groups of men and women—such as physical strength, emotional intelligence, and common sense. (I will leave it up to the reader to decide which group best reflects the third item in that list). A third fact is that some attributes may make an individual better suited to a certain position than another individual, irrespective of the larger group. For example, a man and a woman might both apply for a construction job that involves regularly lifting heavy cement blocks. In such a case, one general trait of the larger group is meaningless in relation to the specific applicants for the job. Nevertheless, as a larger sampling is done of construction jobs in our culture, the trend may reflect the general traits of men as better suited than those of women. Likewise, a man and a woman may both apply for a job requiring multitasking and an ability to rapidly evaluate potential problems in the implementation of a specific process. General physiological variations between the male and female brain actually play no part in the specific interview although a larger review of the field may show that women hold a majority of those positions. If this is true—which science, history, and simple observation reveal—then forcing equal numbers to exist in the larger sampling of any field necessarily requires employers to now discriminate against better-qualified individuals precisely because of their being male or female. In other words, ultimate gender equality forces an increase of individual gender discrimination.
Many feminists argue that sexism has resulted in women being devalued in certain parts of society as a whole, and history shows that there is truth to that claim. The problem is that a vast majority of feminists have taken a self-defeating position by stressing individuality to the exclusion of generality. In other words, instead of showing that those distinctive attributes commonly associated with women as a larger group are equally as valuable as those traits normally attributed to men, they have instead focused on arguing that every woman is equal to every man in every field. The problem is that in the process, those specific skills and abilities that more often excel among women remain devalued in society while many women attempt to evaluate themselves by their ability to be like men. As such, women actually begin to reject the very aspects of themselves that make them superior to men in certain areas. Again, this is not the case among every single individual because the spectrum of all skills will overlap; in other words, there will always be situations where one person can easily surpass another person in some very specific attribute, regardless of whether they are male or female. The problem arises when we try to negate any differences as a whole, for doing so destroys the core nature of both men and women. If being male and female results in clear physical, psychological, and emotional strengths for each group, any attempt to actually eradicate those differences necessarily results in personally crushing inherent aspects of each person’s nature. We cannot make a neuter human being without exterminating half of every individual.
Returning to the issue of religion, there is a very specific reason that Christianity has become a target of hatred and prejudice by many groups in our culture: it proclaims and celebrates the values and strengths that are intrinsic to both male and female. Scripture tells us that we, male and female, are made in God’s image. The two together reflect His characteristics and nature. The difficulty arises when we rely too much on fuzzy terminology. We tend to use the adjective “masculine” to refer mainly to men and the adjective “feminine” mainly for women. This creates false dichotomies because there will always be instances where some individual men will excel at certain attributes associated with women and where some women are superior at certain skills commonly attributed to men. If men and women together represent the image of God, then it also follows that each person made in God’s image is able—to some extent—to reflect those same characteristics. In other words, there are certain traits that we associate with men and women, corresponding to labels of both masculine and feminine; as we become more complete and whole human beings, we begin to increasingly reflect the image of God, and then both sets of traits begin to express themselves in each of us. If male and female together represent God’s image, and we are each made in God’s image, then both men and women each have to reflect both the masculine and feminine to some extent. A man with no trace of “feminine” and a woman with no trace of “masculine” are sad caricatures of human nature. It is not possible that genitalia is the distinction identified by scripture because God the Father, who is Spirit, has no physical body. Each person somehow reflects this image of God; however, there must be complementarity because the joining of two individuals, male and female, results in a unique new created unity: the two become one. The solution that is proffered by a confused culture is to negate any absolutes—even when it relates to the physical distinctions of gender. In the process, we are systematically destroying the very attributes within humanity that reflect the image of God.
The Christian Church has to stand firm in its proclamation of absolute truth in relation to the nature of human beings, for changing on that will lead to a change in the nature of who God is. Affirming sexual brokenness or gender dysphoria in order to become more acceptable to today’s culture will only help to accelerate the destruction, hopelessness, and addictions of those who struggle with the emotional and psychological traumas that leave them unsure of their own identity. Enabling a drug addict to get what they “truly desire” does a great deal more harm than good. The transforming power of Christianity lies in pointing people to truth while believing that God truly is able and willing to heal anything and everything that separates us from Him. The road is not easy, but it exists.