Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How Not To Love

Image source.

[content note: we're going to discuss a bunch of anti-trans prejudice here]

Okay, you guys, we need to talk about "the Christian response" to transgender people.

Because I read this article, When the Transgender Issue Comes Home, and this needs to stop.

The writer, Josh Bishop, explains that his "sister" has just come out as a transgender man, and Bishop is giving some advice on how Christians should address this "issue."

Basically, the issue of whether trans people can even exist. Bishop speaks of the need for a "response," how the "response" is unavoidable because you have to use either "he" or "she" to talk about him.

And Bishop says he decided he "would call my sister by her new name, Jace. Yet we haven’t transitioned to masculine pronouns, because we can’t refer to her as a man without embracing the claims about sex and gender that make possible her transgender identity."

You guys. If someone asks you to quit calling them "she" and start using "he" and you refuse, you just keep going on with "she" this and "she" that, even though he TOLD YOU TO STOP, we have a word to describe that. It's mean. That's just mean.

That's not standing up for God's truth or anything of the sort. That's just mean.

And speaking of God's truth, this whole article is based on the assumption that oh, we all know that "the transgender issue" is obviously wrong and sinful. There are a few bible verses thrown in here and there, but none of them say, "God made them male and female, which means whichever genitals you have determine what gender you should present as and it's a sin to step outside of that box."

Because, you know, we all know this is wrong. And we should respond to transgender people with our rock-solid ideas and lack of experience and say "no no no, you are wrong. I understand you better than you know yourself."

And don't let actually getting to know trans people change your view! Oh no, wouldn't want to be led astray by emotions like love and compassion! SERIOUSLY???? "Don’t respond only according to personal experience or feelings. Many people 'evolve' in their beliefs about gender and sexuality when someone they know and love comes out of the closet. Yet we must be careful to allow God’s revealed truth to shape how we understand our experiences, rather than the other way around."

In other words, we already know we're right and you're wrong, and we will not listen.

I guess it was pretty clear which direction this article was going to go when, near the beginning, Bishop asked, "How do we resolve the tensions between loving my sister on the one hand, and, on the other, training up our children in the way they should go?" 

Umm... so... why the hell are you trying to teach your children something that's in conflict with "love"?

But oh... oh it gets worse.

He's cutting his trans brother out of his children's lives. In a loving, Christian way, of course.

Oh, you guys. Writing this post, I tried to be nice at first, and then I switched to sarcastic, and now I'm just sad.

Because nothing says "I love you" like "your very existence is harmful to our children and we will not let them meet you ever."

But here's the thing, and maybe this is even sadder. "Good Christians" who do this ACTUALLY GENUINELY BELIEVE THEY ARE BEING LOVING. They really do love those "sinners." They really care about them a lot and feel a lot of love towards them. Bishop says that to respond to this "issue," you must "begin with love" and I really do believe he loves his trans brother.

But the attitude of "I already know the right answer and God agrees with me and I know your life and what you should do better than you know yourself" just completely ruins it.

That's not love, you guys.

That's not love. 

Run, run as fast as possible from any religion that defines love that way.


See also Libby Anne's response: So This Is Love.

And this video, which gives some actual useful information about being trans:


  1. Good post. I wonder if you've seen this excellent parody at Permission to Live? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/permissiontolive/2014/07/when-the-christian-issue-comes-home.html

  2. Wow, this article totally misrepresents Christianity. :( Oh, that's the point, isn't it? Haha. Thanks for posting the link!