Confusion. Clarity.

I’ve been sitting on this idea for a week, and I think it shouldn’t go past its best before date.

So, there’s a pregnant man in Oregon. In case you haven’t heard, here’s a very condensed version of events: Thomas was born female. About 10 years ago, she underwent a sexual reassignment procedure- chest reconstruction and testosterone therapy. She kept her “reproductive rights”, i.e all her internal reproductive organs are intact. After the procedure, he was considered legally male and legally married Nancy. Nancy can’t have children, and so Thomas stepped in.

When I read this story in the Italian media, I thought it was just too weird to merit any more of my time.  Albert Mohler, in his radio programme, rightly diagnosed my reaction as the “yuck factor”- when you know something is wrong and you find it revolting. And there’s been a lot of that going around, from both secular and Christian points of view.

Mohler adds that this wisdomof repugnance is not enough. Firstly, people get over it- it can be overcome by rationalisation. Secondly, it isn’t much of  an answer. It doesn’t attempt to bring any clarity into the confusion. We as Christians should go beyond “yuck”, and approach the issue with truth and compassion. The truth comes from the Bible. Choosing a gender identity that isn’t what we were born with is robbing God of His glory. It’s saying to the Creator, “I don’t like the way You made me.” This is true for transgender people and for gays and lesbians. Regarding the compassion, we shouldn’t see these people as being unworthy of our witness. However, we shouldn’t respond to them on their terms. We can’t treat sin as though it weren’t.

I have no doubt that this is only the beginning. More people will push the envelope farther in the future. As salt and light, we Christians should be willing to engage in compassionate and intelligent conversation, which I know is  so much easier said than done.