I have to say…I would have never guessed that this issue would be an issue. Perhaps I’ve been too narrow-minded or too sheltered. I don’t know. If you would have told me 5-10 years ago that we would be debating over this issue on a national level, I would have laughed out loud and told you that you’re going a bit too far. But here we are…and in my home state of NC…we are right in the thick of the discussion. So…I’ll tell you what I think…and maybe it will surprise you…and maybe not…
Let me start off by saying that I would’t label myself as a conservative, a liberal, or even a moderate. I don’t really know where I fit in to that framework or even if I do. I think a lot of issues are much more complex than a duality of opinions can do justice. This is probably one of those areas. I do try to live my beliefs. I believe in biblical Christianity, and I make no apologies or equivocations about that. Many people would say that living this out means that we always love one another. I think that’s true, but loving one another should not be limited to agreeing with everyone’s personal choices. Sometimes, the most loving thing one can do is disagree with me or confront me. The key is that we should always do this from a standpoint of putting others’ interests ahead of our own comfort and, at times, even our own well-being. I try to love all people and I know I’m a failure at this many times. But loving you or anyone else does not always mean that I agree with your lifestyle choices; and you may not agree with mine. And that’s okay. You don’t need my permission to live however you want to live. You don’t need my seal of approval for anything. But you will have my love and compassion always (at least that’s the hope).
One of the things that is very troubling about this discussion is the word, “tolerance.” What do we mean when we say this? In most cases, on a contextual level, it means that I have to agree with all “progressive” thinking and not disagree with it at all. The moment that I say I think something is wrong…like Bruce Jenner’s conversion, for example…then I’m labeled as intolerant. The interesting thing about that logic is that to call me intolerant because of my beliefs is to be intolerant. Did you catch that? Let me say it like this: tolerance, in truth, should mean that we can talk to one another, disagree with one another, arrive at an impasse of opinions, and then shake hands and walk away while treating each other with the respect we should give to other humans. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of tolerance right now. I would go on to say that both sides of the discussion are guilty of being intolerant…but when the one side claims to be the “tolerant” group…well…that makes them quite hypocritical. And many others claim to be Christian…and are hateful…and once again…hypocritical.
Here’s my opinion, for what it’s worth (which isn’t much). I believe biology determines gender. This means that I believe that if you are a physical male, then you are male. The same goes for females. As far as the “identity” issue goes…I think that gets much more about psychology than biology. If we have to accept that certain people identify as something different than they plainly are, then we are opening up a “Pandora’s Box” that we won’t know how to deal with. Ultimately, that line of thinking takes us to a place of saying that whatever you think or feel about yourself is your true self and reality. The problem with that logic is that we have psychopaths sitting in prisons and on death row that would say that they were simply being true to themselves. If we take the thought process that we all must be true to ourselves, then we have lots of people wrongly imprisoned. But none of us would say that. We don’t want convicted pedophiles roaming unchecked in public. We want them locked away or under some form of surveillance, or maybe even being rehabilitated. Why? Because we all believe (by and large) that molesting children is wrong. We believe it’s absolutely wrong. Absolutely. When we admit that we absolutely feel a certain way about something, then by default, we are saying we believe in absolutes. If we believe in absolutes then we also have to acknowledge that morality is not fluid or relative. If we have admitted to all of that, then we have just cut the legs out from under the argument that says that everyone’s truth is relative to them and whom they are.
I also want to say this: I don’t think this is an easy issue. If someone has identity issues, then helping them is not as simple as telling them they are male or female and they should “get over it.” I think it would require them to seek out some psychological help…but the last thing I think we should do is to tell them to pursue that line of thinking.
Now…that’s my opinion. Those are my beliefs. I don’t hate anyone for their issues relating to this subject. If you disagree with me, then that’s okay too. Let’s all CALM down. Let’s tolerate one another’s opinions. Especially if we claim to be tolerant. Let’s stop being intolerant in the name of tolerance.
Image taken from: http://www.bodyreviewers.com/hormonal-abnormalities-dont-cause-transgenderism/