Wednesday, November 30, 2016

It's So Easy

Awhile back I was talking to my wife about my job as I often do at the end of the day. Not too long ago we had training, I won't go into specifics or name the organization in which I work for but I work with children and teenagers and we had training in order to update our know-how on how to do our job. Something interesting happened at our training. We were doing training with several other organizations who also work with children & teens and the person doing our training asked us to state our names, what it is we do for our respective organizations, and lastly our pronouns. If you're scratching your head and wondering what I mean by "our pronouns" then congratulations, you're still sane and I apologizes because now I have to pull you into this extremely unfortunate rabbit hole, down we go...

Thanks to the rise of the Trans Movement, there are new things popping up, these days people aren't just hindered to choose between Male & Female, there is now Trans, BUT alas, this too is also still much too constricting as you can still refer to someone as "He" or "She". Thus, the creation of not only new genders (e.g. Greygender, Agender, Genderqueer and so on cit. cit. ,cit.) has been created along with new pronouns (Xi, Xyr, Xem and so on) some even going as far as to use "They". This is to destroy the binary convention of having to restrict one's self to being either "male" or "female" and allows them to define themselves as they see fit. If you're still scratching your head, congratulations, you're still sane. Naturally, being a male, I stated my pronouns were "He" & "Him", but there were a few who , while not going for the more extreme ones) stated their pronouns were "They". As I sat there in training I asked myself an important question, IF the day should ever come when I meet a person who claims one of these pronouns could I address them as such?

If I may backtrack a bit, recently in Canada, Professor Jordan Peterson was under fire for protesting against a piece of legislation that'd force those who do not address individuals by their given pronouns to pay a fine or face jail time. Here's a video of Mr. Peterson discussing these issues as they stand in Canada;
That being said the belief among those who would claim the previously mentioned pronouns is that biological sex & gender are 2 different things and therefore you cannot determine a person's gender simply by looking at them. While this works for Pat from SNL, this doesn't work in reality. So back to the topic. Unless you've been living under a rock, you're probably aware of societies most famous Trans person (No, not Chaz Bono) I'm talking about Caitlyn Jenner. I call him Caitlyn because people willingly change their names all the time and there is a legal process one can go through in order to do that. I have no qualms about calling him Caitlyn Jenner, but the question remains, can I call him "her"?

If you've been reading this article and you have two functioning brain cells then you should see clearly that I continuously called Caitlyn Jenner him and not her. So the answer is "No." to the question if the day should ever come when I meet a person who claims one of these pronouns could I address them as such? Should I address them by these pronouns is a different question and the answer to that is also "No.". Why? Is this not rude? Is this not offensive and just impolite? Isn't this causing needless problems where problems shouldn't be? Aren't there more important things to take a stand on? No, no, no and no. No, it's not rude, no, it's not offensive and impolite, no it's not causing any problems and no, there aren't more important things. This is pretty important.

But why not just call them what they want to be called? Why do that? It's simple, it would be an outright lie and furthermore I'd be perpetuating their delusion. This is going to be offensive if you're Trans or whatever made up Gender you believe you are and unfortunately there is no way for me to tailor this in a way you won't be offended so here it goes, you're either a boy or a girl, that's it, that is all there is. Only 2. Anything outside of that is insanity and a delusion. If you're Trans or whatever and you're still reading this, thank you for sticking around. I am not saying this to state in anyway that you are somehow evil or bad people etc. etc. Not at all. I believe that human beings are made in the image of God, ALL human beings, including you. And because of the image of God that dwells within you, I care about your well being. However, I don't see your well being as lying to you about what you are physically and mentally.

But still why not just call him "her" or "xyr" or whatever? Well, I remember the story of 3 brothers, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who were given a simple command, "Just bow the knee.". It didn't cost them anything, it certainly would have increased their already favorable social standing, and even if they didn't believe the King's image was a deity, no one outside of themselves would know that. Just save face and bow. But those 3 brothers knew someone else would be watching, someone else would know and that person was God. And if those 3 brothers would have bowed to that statue, they'd have mislead the people into believing that God wasn't supreme in their lives. They'd have shown the King and the people that even though they profess to be followers of the True God, they can show allegiance to another.

No, instead those 3 brothers chose not to bow and faced the consequences of their actions knowing they did right in the eyes of God. But how easy would it have been for them to resort to that unfortunate and old Christian adage "Well, God knows my heart." and bow the knee? It'd have been incredibly easy and socially acceptable to just go along with the masses. But as Christians, we're not called to go along with the masses. We're called to honor God first and foremost and we're called to honor each other. Thankfully, I was not in a position where I had to use anyone's pronouns, but if I were, I wouldn't and what would that cost me? My job, probably some friends, my social standing, I'd be labeled and maligned a this, a that and the other and maybe potential jobs in the future.

In the job I work, during the summers we often go on field trips and one of those trips is to a swimming pool. Every now and then we exit the pool and take a small group of kids to use the bathroom. One day, I remember standing outside the bathrooms waiting for my group when the thought crossed my mind, what would I do if a trans-woman (man to woman) approached and attempted to use the girl's bathroom? Would I allow them access? Causes the girls to come out and alert me that there was a man in the girl's bathroom? Do I explain to them how that's the new normal and they shouldn't assume anyone's gender? Because that's what my job would demand of me? Do I deny them access and potentially have my employers lambaste me for being a bigot? Potentially have the parents of the children I tried to protect rebuke me? Lose my job?

Praise The Good Lord that I haven't faced these issues and I pray those you reading this haven't either. But the sad reality is there are those who are facing these issues and sadly the Christian church isn't preparing them on how to handle them. This isn't to say that our behavior should be different around trans people. I worked for 6 years with 2 openly gay people and not once did their sexuality or what I thought about it come up. It had nothing to do with the job we were doing, but if they were in the clergy and were still openly gay or if they were trans and had asked me to call them "x" when they were really "y", best believe, I'd have much to say then. The Trans issue is an animal the Christian church has never faced before and while we're still wrestling with The Gay issue, The Trans issue has long since rose to prominence. How long before this issue approaches us? Well, it may already have, after all, it approached me and it asked me to state my pronouns.

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