There is so much wrong with the idea of transgenderism that it seemingly defies full expression. As the discussion goes on the focus has shifted in some circles to those reacting to the Bruce Jenner affair. I wrote the following in response to a friend who thought that Christians should stop posting memes regarding the Bruce Jenner transgender issue. Somehow it was considered in poor humor, lacking compassion, and not comporting with the way Jesus would have acted. I began by writing a fictional piece of Scripture imagining what Jesus might have said to a transgender man. Since Jews of the time were banned from cross-dressing (Deuteronomy 22:5), homosexuality was not practiced among the Jews, and there was no equivalent to hormonal therapy and sex-reassignment surgery it is not surprising that Jesus never encountered such a person. Hopefully that sets the scene for what follows.
JESUS MEETS THE TRANSGENDER MAN
“What is this? Do you think that by changing the form you change the substance? If a husband changes clothes with his wife does he then bear children for her? Though he grow out his hair and adorn himself with makeup and perfume can he suckle the little ones? No! Are you so blind that you cannot see that what God has made cannot be changed? For it is written, ‘in the beginning, God made them male and female.’ Are you, O mortal man, therefore, greater than the God who made you? Can you change the nature of a man by your own power? Wheat does not become a tare nor a tare become wheat though they grow side by side in the field. So it is with men and women. It would be far easier for an ox to become a donkey than for a man to become a woman. These are the things that were done by the pagans who did not know God. For the Law says, ‘A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.’ Therefore, repent! Go home! Cut your hair and change your clothes! Wash away all feminine vestiges. Adorn yourself as a man! Be robed in the glory of God according to your creation.”
So far I haven’t seen anything that hasn’t amused me and nothing vulgar or even mean-spirited. Jesus had a sense of humor, and a lot of it was dark with sarcasm and irony. He also enjoyed puns. Jesus never encountered the weirdness of calling a male a female. Leviticus 22:5 had a strict prohibition against cross-dressing. Had he ever encountered such, I’m quite sure it would have appalled him as the blurring of gender distinctions in Corinth did the Apostle Paul. Jesus once asked, “Can a leopard change its spots?” That was a rhetorical and humorous question. The answer was obviously “No” and I wouldn’t be surprised if people chuckled when they heard it. “Can a man turn into a woman?” is an infinitely more bizarre and equally rhetorical and humorous question in any context. The absurdity of it should be mocked because it is outrageous. It holds a minimalistic view of femininity: enlarge breasts, take some hormones, give yourself a feminine name – magically you are a woman! Ignore the fact that you still have a penis and testicles. Ignore your psychological disorder. Ignore the research that shows gender transformation doesn’t work. Ignore the fact that hospitals like Johns-Hopkins quit doing such surgeries. Ignore the fact that you can’t change your XY chromosomes to XX chromosomes. Ignore the fact that you will never have ovaries or a womb, never experience menstruation, hot flashes, or become pregnant. But still claim that you are a woman! This is OUTRAGEOUSLY absurd!
We laughed at this stuff growing up because it was ridiculous. We heuristically knew that there were intrinsic differences between males and females. We laughed at the Three Stooges when Curly was dressed like a woman. We laughed at performances of a Womanless Wedding where men played all the parts because it was absurd. We laughed when Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari masqueraded as women in the sitcom Bosom Buddies. Weird Al Yankovic tickled our funny bones with his cross-dressing truck driving song. The absurdity of the whole situation needs to be ridiculed. The social stigma on this action needs to be reinforced. The absurdity needs to be taught to the people who think it is normal, laudable, brave, and courageous.
Humor is a great way to open a dialogue. In the posts I’ve made and the ones that I’ve seen my friends make, there is a call for Bruce Jenner to get help. There is an educational aspect that says “this is not normal”. There is the expression that being female requires more than minimal outward changes. This is a dialogue that is needed at present as there is a popular wave of sentiment which permits anything no matter how irrational or contrary to fact.
I can only imagine the puzzled look and what Jesus might have said had he been confronted with this situation. I’m sure it would have been priceless. In short, I don’t see Christians being less than compassionate to Bruce Jenner. All I’ve seen have called for serious therapy and restoration for a man they view as very, very mentally ill.
The Church needs to distinguish itself very clearly on these matters because God does hold human beings responsible for their sexual behavior. He created them distinctly male and female and has expressed his desire that they remain so. Concepts such as transgenderism (also transracialism) should be mocked and ridiculed because they are outrageously absurd in the extreme. The people who would do these things need to be met with ministerial compassion. Were I ever to meet Bruce Jenner I would approach him in that fashion. As a public figure and through his media appearances he has made ill-informed theological statements regarding his transformation. These leave him open to public critique and ridicule. As things stand now, our society is open to absurdities that not even the Twilight Zone ever imagined. Secularists have used humor to mock religion and done so successfully for years. Taking such an obvious freak show as the Bruce Jenner affair (and the transracial idiocy now foisted upon us) and turning it around to mock secular society is very appropriate and, I think, effective in the long run. The emperor has no clothes. These things need to be said publicly. Desperately.
“Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation.”
Proverbs 26:5 NLT