Truth, Transgenderism, Easter, Abortion, and the Religious Composition of CongressJanuary 7, 2019
The Babylon Bee is a satirical website but their piece entitled “Culture in which all truth is relative suddenly concerned about fake news” expresses true truth about the status of our cultural moment.
From the satirical to the serious, New York City adds third gender option
With the addition of New York and California the number of U.S. judicatories which allow people to choose or identify as a third gender (other than male or female) now stands at nine.
Non-binary gender options are now available in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Washington State and Washington, D.C. Legal documents, including birth certificates and driver’s licenses often designate the non-binary gender option by X. New Jersey makes the change in February and Vermont is on track to make the change by mid year. Ask yourself: in a nation like America, where individuals freely travel and move across many state lines over the course of a lifetime, what is the practical effect of these 11 judicatories changing the rules on gender identity? Everyone, everywhere is forced to accept and acknowledge the reality affirmed by these states and D.C.
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted: “Starting in 2019, all New Yorkers will be able to change their gender on their birth certificate to M, F or X — without a doctor’s note.” No one seems too concerned what the Great Physician, in whose image these individuals are fearfully and wonderfully made, and who knit them together in their mother’s wombs thinks about it. As the Christian conversational apologists of this generation, it is our responsibility to bring God back into this conversation. Visit Help4Familise.org and read Andrew Walker and Nancy Pearcey.
Related: Transgender rites
Adding to the confusion, the Church of England has added a formal rite of baptism for those who want their new name and new gender identity affirmed, celebrated and consecrated by the church.
In short, let me simply say, this is not how Easter works. Easter cannot be cancelled and certainly not due to a lack of chocolate rabbits.
As part of the #ShoutYourAbortion campaign, Planned Parenthood to feature billboards in Iowa asking people to ‘Say Abortion’
What exactly is going on here? We have talked before about the process through which a society must pass in order for that which was once anathema to become fully normalized and even celebrated. It would seem that on the issue of abortion, that cultural transition is all but complete. Step one: What was once considered deviant is normalized then celebrated. Those who persist in considering it deviant are marginalized. Finally, those who ever thought it was deviant are forced to publicly repent and celebrate the new normalized deviance as good. The Bible talks about this in Isaiah 5:20 and Romans 1.
RNS Photos of the week reveal a lot about the state of religion in the world
Each week the Religion New Service rounds up pictures from around the world depicting people engaged in religious activities. Looking and reading the captions is a good reminder that huge percentages of our global neighbors know not the Gospel. Human beings are wired to worship and without the Gospel, they will worship nature, false gods and ideas that come close but are not quite Christian. Consider the opportunities for evangelism and #PraytheNews as you look at the RNS photos of the week.
Religious diversity is not just a world story, it’s an American story.
RNS posted a story this week noting that a hijab is not a hat. Why? Because a new member of Congress who is Muslim, wears a hijab and since 1837 the rules of decorum in the U.S. House of Representatives have forbidden the wearing of hats on the floor. RNS is right in making the point that a hijab is not a hat – a point that will likely need to be reinforced to another congresswoman from Florida who has been seeking to wear her hats in Congress for a number of years.
Back in 2010, Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson sought to don her hats on the House floor. She regularly wears multi-colored, sequined cowboy hats and fought the ban arguing that the hats were central to her identity and personal brand.
“Hats are what I wear. People get excited when they see the hats. Once you get accustomed to it, it’s just me. Some people wear wigs, or high heel shoes or big earrings or pins. This is just me,” Wilson told the Miami Herald in 2010. I suspect we will see the further devolution of the rules of decorum in the House as Rep. Wilson asserts her right to wear her hats as Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar wears her hijab.
Each time a new Congress is sworn in, members are surveyed on a wide variety of topics. One of those surveys is CQ Roll Call’s religious affiliation survey. It provides an interesting window into the worldview of those serving in Congress but the news coverage also illustrates the bias against Christian influence among reporters. In an era when self-expression and self-identification with an ever widening array of sexual, gender and religious identities is celebrated (scroll back to the top of this Must Read Monday list), identifying as a Christian is pejoratively judged. Part of our calling as conversational apologists in the culture today is to redeem the image of Christians by living as winsome, substantial demonstrations of the Gospel in all its beauty and truth.