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Gender and Sexuality News Roundup (3/5/19)

March 5, 2019

One mission of 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

Conservative Christians Just Retook the United Methodist Church, The Atlantic (Emma Green)

“Now that the UMC has voted to reaffirm its stance against homosexuality and toughen punishments for churches and clergy that violate its teachings, a number of progressive churches might consider leaving the denomination. Before the meeting had even begun, churches from across the theological spectrum had begun looking into this possibility—Daniel Dalton, a lawyer in Michigan who specializes in religious-property issues, says he has talked with more than 700 churches that are thinking about making an exit.”

3 of U.S.’s biggest religious denominations in turmoil over sex abuse, LGBT policy, PBS (David Crary)

“It has been a wrenching season for three of America’s largest religious denominations, as sex-abuse scandals and a schism over LGBT inclusion fuel anguish and anger within the Roman Catholic, Southern Baptist and United Methodist churches. There’s rising concern that the crises will boost the ranks of young people disillusioned by organized religion. “Every denomination is tremendously worried about retaining or attracting young people,” said Stephen Schneck, a political science professor at Catholic University. “The sex-abuse scandals will have a spillover effect on attitudes toward religion in general. I don’t think any denomination is going to not take a hit.”

Southern Baptists Torn Between Bold Abuse Reforms and Caution, Christianity Today (Kate Shellnutt)

“Conflicting statements from Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) leaders on the denomination’s approach to addressing sexual abuse have left victims, advocates, and pastors themselves with a sense of whiplash—and called into question the fate of proposed reforms to improve accountability among SBC churches.”

NewSpring Church Hit With Two Lawsuits After Volunteer Charged With 14 Counts of Sexual Misconduct Involving Children, Relevant Magazine

“South Carolina’s NewSpring Church is defending itself against two lawsuits alleging that low oversight and a lack of diligence enabled a former church daycare volunteer to molest at least 14 children. The megachurch has issued a public response to one of the lawsuits, saying that, ‘Such criminal act was not intended or directed by [NewSpring] and could not be foreseen by [NewSpring] … NewSpring performed a screening process that included a criminal background check that showed no prior records.'”

2018 National Faith & Sexuality Survey, Ozanne Foundation

“The 2018 Faith & Sexuality Survey was designed to examine the role religious belief has on people’s understanding and acceptance of their sexual orientation in the UK.”


Secular Trends on Gender and Sexuality

With women in combat roles, a federal court rules male-only draft unconstitutional, USA Today (Gregory Korte)

“A federal judge in Texas has declared that an all-male military draft is unconstitutional, ruling that “the time has passed” for a debate on whether women belong in the military. The decision deals the biggest legal blow to the Selective Service System since the Supreme Court upheld the draft registration process in 1981. In Rostker v. Goldberg, the court ruled that a male-only draft was “fully justified” because women were ineligible for combat roles.”

Canadian Court Rules Parents Can’t Stop 14-Year-Old From Taking Trans Hormones, The Federalist (Jeremiah Keenan)

“On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada ordered that a 14-year-old girl receive testosterone injections without parental consent. The court also declared that if either of her parents referred to her using female pronouns or addressed her by her birth name, they would be considered guilty of family violence.”

A Colorado Springs wrestler made history when he knocked himself out of the state tournament rather than wrestle a girl, The Denver Post (Sean Keeler)

“Johnston is forever a part of Colorado state tournament lore now. He’s cool with that. His decision to forfeit twice at the 2019 state tourney — effectively eliminating himself from a competition he had a solid shot at winning — on personal and religious grounds rather than wrestle two girl competitors, may divide your inner circle right down the middle. He’s cool with that, too.”

Another Sexual-Assault Acquittal Reaffirms the Need to #BelieveEvidence, National Review (David French)

“At this point, how many more court cases do we need before we return to sanity and reason in the battle over campus sexual assault? As I wrote last month, judges across the country (including, most notably, California judges) are rebuking colleges and universities for establishing campus kangaroo courts designed to secure more punishments for young men. And now we’re seeing real courts demonstrate once again the power of due process.”

In Their Own Words: Parents of Kids Who Think They Are Trans Speak Out, Public Discourse (Five Anonymous Moms)

“Parents like me must remain anonymous to maintain our children’s privacy, and because we face legal repercussions if our names are revealed. Parents who do not support their child’s gender identity risk being reported to Child Protective Services and losing custody of their children. In New Jersey, the Department of Education officially encourages schools to report such parents.”

The Gay-Rights Activists Hoping for a Legal Victory in Kenya, The New Yorker (Jacob Kushner)

“On a recent Friday, gay and lesbian couples, dressed in matching outfits, posed for photos outside of a Nairobi courthouse, in anticipation of a decision that they hoped would decriminalize gay sex in Kenya. The country’s High Court, however, unexpectedly postponed, until May 24th, its ruling on whether to strike down a nearly century-old law. “Whatever happens, we intend to fight this battle until the end,” Njeri Gateru, the director of the National Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission, one of the gay-rights groups litigating the case, told me. “The end, to us, means a space where we finally achieve equality for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Gender and Sexuality Miscellany

The Beauty of Surrendered Sexuality, Desiring God (Philip Ryken)

“Many Christians know at least some of the biblical do’s and don’ts about sex — especially the don’ts. What we don’t always understand is the beauty of the why — why God says what he says about sex, and why it is meant for our blessing. The better we understand God’s sacred design for human sexuality, the less we will settle for smaller pleasures that quickly turn into spiritual bondage. Instead, we will be so captivated by God’s sacred design that we will feel compelled to surrender our sexuality to Jesus Christ, and experience the freedom and the joy that will come as a result.”

Girl, Follow Jesus, The Gospel Coalition (Jen Oshman)

“Hollis’s message this time around is, “All that really matters is how bad you want those dreams and what you’re willing to do to make them happen” (83). For a woman who claims Christ, I’m afraid this is in direct opposition to his words.”

Will Complementarianism Die with the Baby Boomers?, Mere Orthodoxy (Jake Meador)

“The atomized order of 21st century liberalism is fragmenting and unsustainable with its incoherencies presenting unique missional challenges as Christians seek to discern the ways in which Christians can and should adopt the cultural garb of the world it seeks to evangelize. As liberalism’s opposition to nature becomes more apparent, these difficulties will be intensified and the minimalist solution will fail because one cannot preserve Christian practice in the home and family if liberalism is designed, as our iteration of it is, to undermine and destroy both. If the scriptural norms about gender are to be preserved, then we must also preserve the natural order in which those norms are seen to be coherent and lively. If the places that create certain sorts of people are destroyed, then those people will cease to exist.”

The End of Parental Rights? A Chilling Case From Canada, (Albert Mohler)

“This story out of Canada reveals the deeply subversive developments of the sexual revolutionaries and their agenda—they now target the rights of parents; they disrupt the life of the home and subvert familial bonds. The court’s decision in British Columbia opened the door to the nullification of all parental rights—the child, no matter the age, is increasingly considered to be autonomous. Children and teenagers, guided and advised and even pushed by activists and medical authorities, can decide what to do with their bodies. Not only that, if the parents dare to refer to their transgender child by their actual sex, the parents can be charged with violating the family violence laws.

“This is not a twisted fantasy novel. It is a real case, with real people, with a real judge, and with massively real consequences.”

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