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Gender and Sexuality News Roundup (5/07/19)

May 7, 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

A Sociologist of Religion on Protestants, Porn, and the “Purity Industrial Complex”, The New Yorker (Isaac Chotiner)

“Focussing on America’s Protestant majority, and specifically its pious members, Perry finds that pornography is leading to depression and unhappiness, and it’s disrupting marriages and communities. His book is not an anti-pornography jeremiad; he’s a sociologist of religion, and his work raises questions about how conservative communities are dealing with easy access to material that they find sinful.”

Rachel Held Evans Had a Story, Christianity Today (John Stonestreet)

“If there is some sort of lesson or morale to what I’ve written, I don’t know how to articulate it other than to remind us that everyone, even those we deeply disagree with, has a story. Their stories, like ours, include life experiences, friends, family members, and deeply held beliefs about life and the world. I don’t know why God decided our stories should cross, and I’ve no idea why her story came to an end when it did. Death is awful. I just pray that God surrounds her sister, her parents, her children, and her husband with grace and comfort.”

All Flesh Is Like Grass, (Denny Burk)

“I received news of Rachel Held Evans’ death on Saturday morning. Ironically, I was sitting in a session of our CBMW west coast conference when the text came from my wife. We had been praying for Rachel and her family for the last couple weeks. Nevertheless, I was stunned. Immediately after receiving the news and before the next session was to begin, we led the entire CBMW conference in prayer for Rachel’s husband and children.”


Secular Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Explainer: Court documents reveal decades of sexual abuse within the Boy Scouts of America, ERLC (Joe Carter)

“In a recent court case in Minnesota, an expert witness revealed that, within the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), there might have been as many as 7,819 allegedly sexually abusive troop leaders and volunteers and 12,254 victims over a 72 years period.”

Morehouse College Reaffirms Dedication to Educate and Develop Men, Morehouse College

“The Morehouse College Board of Trustees has approved a Gender Identity Policy that will allow individuals who self-identify as men, regardless of the sex assigned to them at birth, to be considered for admission in the nation’s only historically black school for men.”

Google Dumps Top Black, Female Conservative For Believing Men Can’t Be Women, The Federalist (Natasha Chart)

“It should worry everyone that respectful commentary on gender policy like Heritage has featured can get people removed from polite society now, or even fired. It should dispel any remaining belief that this is just a fringe, internet phenomenon that can be ignored.”

Caster Semenya has a competitive advantage. That’s OK, Los Angeles Times (Ruth Wood)

“If hyperandrogenism gives Semenya an advantage in her particular events, so what? At a height of 7½ feet, Yao Ming has an advantage in basketball; Michael Phelps’ long arms give him an advantage in swimming. All world-class athletes have physical and mental characteristics that make them succeed. In competitions that test the very limits of human abilities, even very small advantages can make the difference.”

Why must some “female” Olympians be forced to suppress their testosterone?, Denny (Denny Burk)

“Second, multiple media outlets reporting on this story (including The New York Times) have wrongly framed this story, especially as it relates to one particular Olympian who is believed to have an intersex condition. Notice that the Times speaks as if the issue is female athletes who have elevated levels of testosterone. That framing is incorrect. The story is about male athletes with normal levels of testosterone who have been competing against females.”

Equality Act Advances Amid Warnings Over Religious Freedom, National Catholic Register (Christine Rousselle)

“Critics of the measure have pointed out the lack of conscience protections in the text, raising concerns that it would encroach on basic freedoms of speech and religion.”

How the Federal “Equality Act” Would Multiply the Harm Already Done by State SOGI Policies, The Heritage Foundation (Monica Burke)

“More and more states are adding sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) as a protected category under discrimination law. SOGI laws extend special privileges to special interest groups, often at the expense of constitutionally protected freedoms, including speech and religion. Activists have wielded these laws as swords to punish those who dissent from new cultural orthodoxies—thereby distorting the original intent of civil rights laws. The U.S. Congress should be protecting Americans’ fundamental freedoms as detailed in the Constitution, not placing them in jeopardy. The proposed Equality Act—a federal SOGI law—would jeopardize those fundamental freedoms.”

New Trump Rule Protects Health Care Workers Who Refuse Care For Religious Reasons, NPR (Alison Kodjak)

“‘This rule ensures that healthcare entities and professionals won’t be bullied out of the health care field because they decline to participate in actions that violate their conscience, including the taking of human life,’ OCR Director Roger Severino said in a written statement.

Business Leaders Oppose ‘License To Discriminate’ Against LGBT Texans, NPR (Wade Goodwyn)

“In Austin, Texas, a new raft of anti-LGBT legislation is working its way through the state legislature. One of the bills would allow state licensed professionals of all stripes — from doctors and pharmacists to plumbers and electricians — to deny services on religious grounds. Supporters say the legislation is needed to protect religious freedoms. But opponents call them ‘religious refusal bills’ or ‘bigot bills.'”


Gender and Sexuality Miscellany

Podcast: Womanhood and the Bible, Crossway (Matt Tully and Abigail Dodds)

“In this episode of The Crossway Podcast, Abigail Dodds, author of (A)Typical Woman: Free, Whole, and Called in Christ takes a fresh look at what the Bible actually says about womanhood, discussing some of the differences and similarities between men and women, reflecting on the use of the term ‘complementarianism,’ and encouraging us to show kindness and grace toward others when discussing these issues.”

I Was America’s First ‘Nonbinary’ Person. It Was All a Sham, The Daily Signal (Jamie Shupe)

“Three years ago, I decided that I was neither male nor female, but nonbinary—and made headlines after an Oregon judge agreed to let me identify as a third sex, not male or female. Now, I want to live again as the man that I am. I’m one of the lucky ones. Despite participating in medical transgenderism for six years, my body is still intact. Most people who desist from transgender identities after gender changes can’t say the same.”

No, Christianity Doesn’t Need To Endorse Homosexuality To Grow, The Federalist (Glenn T. Stanton)

“Ironically, those rainbow flags you see flying outside some churches proudly announcing ‘We welcome all!’ are not appealing to the very people they are intended to attract. It’s the churches that so many on the left mistakenly and irresponsibly accuse of ‘hating the gays’ that are actually where many gay people find what they’re really looking for. People seeking Christ are not looking for a scripture-denying church. They want the real thing, not in spite of it making real demands upon them and teaching the scriptures as they are, but very likely because of it.”

When We Coddle Porn, The Gospel Coalition (Ray Ortlund)

“In his new book, Addicted to Lust, Samuel Perry helps us face the painful hypocrisy of ‘pornography in the lives of conservative Protestants.’… He writes as neither a theologian nor an ethicist but as a sociologist. His book provides ‘the first comprehensive, sociological examination of how conservative Protestants experience porn use, its consequences in their lives, and how they are trying to respond individually and collectively’ (6). His sociological angle is both limited and valid. It’s limited to the empirical, but it’s also valid as the empirical.”

What We Don’t Know: Does Gender Transition Improve the Lives of People with Gender Dysphoria?, Public Discourse (Nathanael Blake)

“The studies assembled by the What We Know Project do not prove that transition is the best treatment for gender dysphoria, let alone that it should be the only permissible treatment. Rather, they show that the science is not settled.”

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