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Gender and Sexuality News Roundup (10/30/18)

October 30, 2018

One mission we have at CBMW is to help Christians think through secular and ecclesial trends on gender and sexuality. Through this work, we pore over a lot of different news reports and articles as we attempt to wade through the ceaseless flow of information on the web. In our weekly Gender and Sexuality News Roundups, we aim to distill some of the more pertinent information for you.

The articles below are from a wide variety of sectors and publications, organized generally into three categories. They are presented in aggregate, not necessarily endorsed.

If you see an article that you think should be featured in future CBMW News Roundups, you can send it to [email protected] with the subject “News Roundup.”


Ecclesial Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Church wants gender recognition made easy, The Times UK (Kaya Burgess)

“Transgender people should not face “excessive bureaucracy” in gaining a gender recognition certificate, the Church of England has said in response to a consultation. The government is looking into whether changing one’s legally recorded gender should be simplified, asking whether it should be possible without a diagnosis from a doctor.”

Eugene Peterson was one of America’s most beloved preachers. Let’s not miss his last sermon., The Washington Post (Jonathan Merritt)

“His shift on LGBT marriage turned some of his adoring fans into his harshest critics. Our interview revealed something important about evangelicalism in Peterson’s era: Even for its giants, you will be killed if it means advancing in the culture wars.”

Thousands pour into National Cathedral as Matthew Shepard, a symbol of gay rights, is interred, The Washington Post (Michelle Boorstein and Samantha Schmidt)

“Thousands filled the soaring nave of the Washington National Cathedral for the interment service of Matthew Shepard, the young man whose murder 20 years ago horrified the nation and became a milestone in the fight for gay rights.”

Vatican synod calls for women leaders ‘at all levels,’ avoids using LGBT or gay, Religion News Service (David Gibson)

“A global summit of Catholic bishops on Saturday (Oct. 27) issued a powerful call for the inclusion of women in decision-making roles in the church “at all levels” and sought to welcome gay people and commit the church to a historic shift on fighting clergy sexual abuse.”


Secular Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Decoding the Slippery Language around Transgender Rights, National Review (David French)

“This isn’t science. It’s an ideological and legal argument designed to explain the law without changing its text. Moreover, it’s not ‘science’ to argue that a person who identifies with a male gender despite being born into the female sex is truly male.”

Who decides your gender?, The Economist

“The state needs to be involved for the liberal reason that the welfare gains of self-id for trans people should be balanced against the potential harm to others.

Such harm is hard to quantify, but should not be dismissed lightly. Men commit almost all sexual crimes, so society sets aside spaces in order to help keep women and children safe. Were just 1% of the men in prison in Britain for sexual crimes to identify as women, it would double the number of women in prison for such offences. If “man” and “woman” are determined by self-id, spaces and institutions for women and children will become accessible to anyone. There is no reason to think that identifying as a woman makes a male any less dangerous (or any more).”

Dr. Zucker Defied Trans Orthodoxy. Now He’s Vindicated, National Review (Madeleine Kearns)

“A world-leading clinician unfairly dismissed and defamed after his work upset trans activists, wins a settlement and a public apology.”

Anatomy Does Not Determine Gender, Experts Say, The New York Times (Denise Grady)

“It originates between your ears, not between your legs. But the forces that acted on the brain to shape that identity are not understood, and physical or chemical differences in the brain that might relate to gender have not been well defined. No one knows for sure why body and mind sometimes do not match. But being transgender is not a matter of choice, Dr. Safer said. It is not a fad or a whim. For transgender people, it is generally an overwhelming sense that their gender is not the one on their birth certificate. And gender is not about whom they’re attracted to — it’s about who they are.”

Survey: The Happiest Marriages Involve The Least Premarital Sex, The Federalist (Kenny Xu)

“New evidence suggests that our culture’s laissez-faire attitudes toward premarital sex can spoil our marriages later in life.”

Malaysia’s Mahathir Says Asia Won’t Follow West on LGBT Rights, Bloomberg (Iain Marlow and Randy Thanthong-Knight)

“Going against a growing tide of legal reforms sweeping across the region, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Asia didn’t need to “copy” the west in accepting its lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender citizens. Mahathir said western countries were disregarding the traditional family unit by allowing gay marriages and permitting gay couples to adopt children.”

Taiwan’s Gay Pride Parade Draws Thousands, as Votes on Same-Sex Marriage Near, The New York Times (Chris Horton)

“Chi Chia-wei, a pioneering Taiwanese gay rights campaigner whose lawsuit helped lead to the constitutional court ruling, said in an interview before the parade that he was “extremely disappointed” in the government’s lack of movement on same-sex marriage.”

Conservative’s Win Signals Sharp Rightward Turn in Brazil, The Wall Street Journal (Samantha Pearson and Luciana Magalhaes)

“A champion of traditional family values, Mr. Bolsonaro gained support among evangelical Christians—now a third of Brazil’s population, while his plan to open up the economy and cut public debt by 20% won him equally loyal disciples in the financial markets.”


Gender and Sexuality Miscellany

Aggression in Twentysomethings’ Cohabiting, Dating, and Marriage Relationships, Institute for Family Studies (Galena Rhoades)

“A number of studies have shown that cohabiting couples are more likely to experience physical aggression in their relationships than married couples.1 Here, we look at two studies that shed light on this subject by exploring how aggression in the relationships of individuals (mostly) in their 20s is associated with various commitment dynamics.”

The Pastor and Pornography, 9Marks Journal

“Why would 9Marks devote an issue of the 9Marks Journal to the topic of pornography and the pastor? Because it’s an increasingly common sin, and its commonality tempts us to downplay its destructive power in our marriages and ministries. We want you to take it seriously if you’re not, and to have the tools to help others fight if you are.”

Why culture’s reaction to the “Transgender Memo” demonstrates deep confusion, The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (Andrew T. Walker)

“This means, fundamentally, that the administrative coup undertaken by the Obama administration in 2016 is being returned to how it was originally intended. Or, restated: The Trump administration is desiring a classification for male and female on the standard definition that all of human history has, up until recently, acknowledged. This is not revolutionary. To muster outrage at circumstances that simply return us to pre-2016 legal definitions is shortsighted.”

Ninja’s Take On The “Billy Graham Rule, The Aquila Report (Jon Dykstra)

“Tyler Blevins is known around the globe as “Ninja,” an online gamer making $500,000 a month by streaming his gameplay to his millions of fans – people are paying to watch him play video games. Blevins’ video game skills are his major claim to fame, but he made news this past August for a very different reason. In an August interview he let it be known that as a rule he didn’t play with female gamers.”

Satisfied in the Arms of Another, Desiring God (Christopher Asmus)

“To the Christian who experiences same-sex attractions, it is my eager expectation and hope that, as you invite others into this struggle, you will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in your body, whether by life or by death (Philippians 1:20).”

How to love your single friends well, The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (Sara Beth Fentress)

“One of Satan’s most effective strategies is to convince us that we are isolated and alone. If he can plant that seed in our hearts, it can take root quicker than most any other lie. God has surrounded me with an amazing community of people who seek to understand and support me in every area of life, including prolonged singleness.”

Needed: Word-Spreading Women, The Gospel Coalition (Kathleen Nielson and Gloria Furman)

“As women in the church learn and grow together, following Paul’s instruction to Titus that older women should teach the younger ones “what is good” (Titus 2:3), a call to evangelism must be a crucial part of the good things passed on.”

Russell Moore on Why Most Marriages End Up as Baal Worship, Relevant Magazine (Russell Moore)

“I was having multiple conversations everyday with people who felt as though they were living in unusual situations with people who were exhausted with dealing with extended family tensions or some things going on in their marriage or singleness or parenting. I started to see a common theme that was happening there, which was that there is often this idealized view of what family should be.”

What Makes a Woman Strong, Desiring God (Kathleen Nielson)

“God delights in strong women. We in the church should, too. Our celebration of strong women in the body of Christ should be heard loud and clear. What needs to be heard as well is a joyful embracing of what the Bible celebrates as a strong woman. There’s no biblical formula for a strong, godly woman. But as the Spirit opens our eyes, we can dig relentlessly into God’s revelation, to get a clearer and clearer view.”

How to Keep Your Marriage Intact After a Miscarriage, Relevant Magazine (Adriel Booker)

“After my first miscarriage I was deeply unprepared for the peaked hormones, the physical aftermath and the emotional tsunami that came out of nowhere as I began to grapple with everything miscarriage unearthed: sorrow, anger, fear, anxiety, guilt, confusion, despair, jealousy, unspoken expectations in my friendships, blind spots in my marriage, holes in my theology, and (what felt like) every existential question known to humankind.”

Human Dignity Is Not a Political Platform, The Gospel Coalition (Tina Boesch)

“What if lack of civility, indifference to suffering, and political rancor are somehow connected? What if they’re all related to a loss of appreciation for human dignity? Enter Daniel Darling’s new book, The Dignity Revolution: Reclaiming God’s Rich Vision for Humanity.”

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