A dangerous illusion

In recent times, America has taken to debating what bathroom a person should use. This is an absurd thing to disagree about, since physical differences between boys and girls are obvious. The funny thing is, most of the people who are being so absurd aren’t transgender. The push to normalize cross-dressing, gender-reassignment and putting men in the women’s locker room is coming from judges, bureaucrats, state lawmakers, CEOs and college professors. What do these seemingly-normal people have to gain from it?

Now some will think that it’s just an intellectual error, that these people are simply wrong. But is it possible to be simply wrong on a question of this magnitude? It isn’t quite the same as forgetting to carry the one while doing mental arithmetic. The disagreement is whether there is any such thing as being born a boy or a girl. We’re not talking about subtle differences between the sexes. We’re not even talking about gender roles. We are talking about people who can’t seem to remember why only women can be mothers. What gives?

A friend was marveling good-naturedly that those who buy into the transgender-rights line of thought have separated (in their minds) being a boy or girl from biological maleness or femaleness. That is, they recognize (duh) that people are born male or female, but they think that people choose to be boy or girl, man or woman, and that they can change their minds at any time. It certainly is a marvel, or perhaps, bizarre spectacle would be more apt, that anyone holds to such ideas. But don’t be taken in by the claim that this is merely an intellectual disagreement. Consider this, even if you thought being female (having ovaries) was different than being a woman (carrying a purse), which one should get a person access to the ladies’ dressing room? Even supposing you thought males should get to wear makeup, there’s simply no excuse for putting them in the women’s shower at the rec center.

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Photo by Ken Treloar on Unsplash

Imagine for a moment, that one day you suddenly realized that it was just as reasonable for males to wear dresses and high heels as for females. “Gosh, I’ve been such a fool,” you exclaim, “I see it all now!” As you come to realize acting ladylike and carrying a purse is just an expression of personality. It’s subjective, with no relationship to anatomy whatsoever. For argument’s sake, let us grant this. So, having come to this realization, you then must decide which bathroom to use. Will you send people who are objectively male to the men’s room, or will you send in those who subjectively consider themselves “men?”

We don’t have separate restrooms for Browns fans and Bengals fans in America. Incidental personal preferences don’t enter into it. If being a man were simply a subjective personal thing, like choosing blue jeans or khakis, driving a Ford or Chevy, it would be absurd to determine bathroom usage on that basis. A female who claims to be a “man” still can’t use a urinal, after all. It’s a matter of plumbing. It would be absurd under any logic to divide bathroom users by some subjective, non-anatomical criteria.

But that is precisely what the transgender-movement is trying to do. They want to separate bathroom usage based on subjective personal feelings rather than the objective status of biological sex. Even if you granted that there was such a thing as a woman trapped in a man’s body, a la Quantum Leap, who says such a person should drag that decidedly male body into the woman’s bathroom?

Who says? CEO’s of some of the biggest corporations in the world, that’s who.

Which brings us back to my original question, why? I can’t believe that this is just a simple mistake. It is not simple. It is a ridiculously difficult mistake to fall into. The judges, administrators, and business executives endorsing such things are savvy people. They know where babies come from. If they are endorsing such obvious nonsense, I reason that there must be some powerful motive at work. People who engage in fraud don’t do it without standing to gain from their deception. What illicit desire are these influential people trying to fill? They are not seeking to resolve their own personal gender dysphoria. They aren’t vying for the statistically-insignificant transgender vote, or looking to capture the transgender market. People claiming transgender status are well under one percent of the population.

I suggest that the influential people behind the transgender movement are motivated by a desire to affirm individual autonomy and independence from authority, especially in sexual matters. They are so driven to escape the authority of God’s creation and godly cultural standards that they have abandoned all reason when it comes to human sexuality. The individual must be free, they reason, from expectations imposed by such arbitrary and capricious things as physical reality. Thus they applaud people who disfigure or even surgically mutilate themselves. And they expect the whole of society to conform to the personal preferences of individuals. They demonize counseling someone to help them escape homosexuality, but endorse giving children drugs to delay puberty. This is madness, and the seed of the whole tree is individual sexual autonomy.

What sort of reaction should a person have to all of this? We are like drug addicts watching one of our own get wheeled out on a stretcher after an overdose. This is a societal wake up call. Don’t reach for the snooze! Those of us who are not so far down this rebellious path as to endorse amputation of healthy, functioning body parts should do a self-evaluation to discover whether we have endorsed some part of the runaway idea of individual autonomy. American culture is steeped in autonomy. America endorses and celebrates rebels, with or without a cause. America holds up the human individual as the ultimate authority over themselves. It is not possible to avoid this thinking, it must be confronted and rejected. This requires us to take an active role in examining our beliefs. We need to sift out false and destructive ideas that we may currently be very comfortable with.

It always was a lie, you know. “You can be whatever you want to be.” Even taken on it’s own terms, which presumably didn’t mean to include gender-reassignment, it wasn’t true. Wanting to be an NBA basketball player isn’t enough to make it happen. How about becoming president, how did the wanting work out for Hillary Clinton? Obviously there are things you or I can’t achieve no matter how dearly we would like to. We have to work with the talents and abilities that we’re given. I doubt I could ever be a grand master in Chess. I certainly couldn’t sing the soprano parts in Handel’s Messiah.

If we believe the lie that “you can be whatever you want to be,” we’ll be disappointed. If we believe the implicit claim that you should be able to be anything you want, we’re going to be nurturing an illicit desire. We’re going to be growing a lust in our hearts. It isn’t a desire that reality will ever satisfy, nor should it. It’s a wrong desire. The proper response to our abilities and limitations is thankfulness for what God has made us, yearning for what he will yet make us and a happy submission to his gracious intentions.

This is a lesson that is desperately needed in America today. To rebel against God’s creation is foolishness. To grumble about decisions he made in creating us is unrighteous. This is both bad news and good news. Bad news for those who despise self control, but wonderful news for those who are tired of banging their head against the hard wall of reality. For those who have been frustrated and disappointed that reality won’t rearrange itself according to their desire, there is blessed relief. You don’t have to desire the impossible, it’s a choice, and you were made for something better.

 

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