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Gender and Sexuality News Roundup (5/29/19)

May 28, 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

ECC Executive Board Recommends Involuntary Dismissal for First Covenant Church Minneapolis, The Evangelical Covenant Church

“The Executive Board of the Evangelical Covenant Church decided by a vote of its elected members this week to recommend the involuntary dismissal of First Covenant Church Minneapolis from the roster of Covenant Churches because the church has been deemed out of harmony with the denomination’s communally discerned position on human sexuality.”

Women’s events provide new opportunities in Birmingham, The Pathway

“Women attending the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Birmingham are invited to a trio of events, including a SBC Women’s Session, a Ministers’ Wives Luncheon, and a women’s expo….[Those] participating affirm the SBC’s Baptist Faith and Message and embrace theological complementarianism.”

Amid LGBT debate, Michigan churches weigh future, The Detroit News (Mark Hicks)

“None of the estimated 830 churches in the Michigan Conference have officially declared intentions to depart, although at least one has sought more information on the dissolution process, Bard said. ‘I think moving into the future, the United Methodist Church will take some kind of new shape and form. And what exactly that looks like, I can’t predict at this point.’ The uncertainty looms over the Michigan Methodists’ meeting in Grand Traverse County expected to draw nearly 2,000 attendees.”

A Brief Review of the Missouri Presbytery Committee Report on “Gay Christians”, The Aquila Report (Larry Ball)

“An Ad Hoc Committee of Missouri Presbytery of the PCA has come to the defense of one of its own ministers who have just recently and publicly confessed that he is a ‘Gay Christian’ who practices celibacy. Written before his ‘outing,’ this report was discussed and received at a called meeting of Presbytery on May 18, 2019; it pertains just to issues surrounding the Revoice Conference.”


Secular Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Alabama Public Television refuses to air Arthur episode with gay wedding, The Birmingham News (Abbey Crain)

“’Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire,’ Mckenzie said in an email. ‘More importantly – although we strongly encourage parents to watch television with their children and talk about what they have learned afterwards – parents trust that their children can watch APT without their supervision. We also know that children who are younger than the ‘target’ audience for Arthur also watch the program.'”

FAA investigating two airports where Chick-fil-A restaurants were excluded, CNN (Ralph Ellis)

“The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating religious discrimination claims against two airports because plans for Chick-fil-A restaurants were scrapped after complaints about the fast food chain’s stance on LGBTQ issues. ‘The Department of Transportation has received complaints alleging discrimination by two airport operators against a private company due to the expression of the owner’s religious beliefs,’ an FAA statement said.”

Tennessee mothers discuss raising LGBT kids in a state set to ‘legalize hate’, The Guardian (Khushbu Shah)

“In the town near the Tennessee-Kentucky state line, they have all had to navigate or are navigating raising LGBT children in a state where, in recent months, Republican lawmakers introduced six anti-LGBT bills, dubbed by the campaigning group Tennessee Equality Project as a Slate of Hate.”

LGBT People Rage At Pete Buttigieg For Not Being Gay Enough, The Federalist (Chad Felix Greene)

“The intersectionality-obsessed media claims Buttigieg doesn’t have enough diversity points to run for president. It’s just another proof that when the left gets what they said they want, they move the goalposts.”

Why Trump Is Rolling Back LGBTQ Health-Care Protections, The Atlantic (Emma Green)

“On Friday, Donald Trump’s administration started rolling back two controversial legal provisions related to the Affordable Care Act: protections against discrimination based on gender identity, and based on the termination of a pregnancy. Advocates for LGBTQ and women’s health care see this proposed reversal as a pointed attack on transgender people and patients who have received abortions—the latest in a series of moves by the Trump administration to limit the rights of marginalized populations.”

Far-right Vox challenges Spain’s acceptance of LGBT rights, Reuters (Belén Carreño)

“Attacks by the far-right Vox party on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights are testing years of political consensus on the issue in Spain, which in 2005 became only the third country in the world to allow same-sex marriage.”

Women are happier without children or a spouse, says relationship expert, The Guardian (Sian Cain)

“We may have suspected it already, but now the science backs it up: unmarried and childless women are the happiest subgroup in the population. And they are more likely to live longer than their married and child-rearing peers, according to a leading expert in happiness.”

Married couples are happier than everyone else, especially in middle age, Market Watch (Jeanette Settembre)

“Married couples are happier than everyone else, whether they’re single, divorced, widowed, or separated, according to a new study published by The Office for National Statistics in the UK.”


Gender and Sexuality Miscellany

The ties that bind: Faith, feminism, and the family, Brookings Institution

“On Monday, May 20, the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution convened an event to discuss the findings of a new report, ‘The Ties that Bind: Is Faith a Global Force for Good or Ill in the Family?’ from the Institute for Family Studies and the Wheatley Institution. The report explores the relationship between religion and four important outcomes—relationship quality, fertility, domestic violence, and infidelity—in the United States and 10 other countries in the Americas and Europe. It also explores the complicated relationship between religion and feminism when it comes to family life. The event features two expert panels responding to various issues in the report.”

Podcast: The False Messages Facing Women Today, Crossway (Matt Tully and Lydia Brownback)

“In this interview, Lydia Brownback, author of Flourish: How the Love of Christ Sets Us Free from Self-Focus highlights the false messages directed at Christian women today, reflecting on the increase of anxiety and depression among believers, the importance of discernment when it comes to the Christian leaders we follow, and the danger of a hyperexamined life.”

How Could Heaven Not Have Sex?, Desiring God (Greg Morse)

“Jesus’s return in his glory — the climax of all human history — will not be an intrusion. We cannot allow unbelief to put up a ‘Do not disturb’ sign above even the most excellent gifts from our heavenly Father. We enjoy our candy now, and as we do, we grow in our trust in the Father who knows how to give good — the best gifts — to his children. Our heaven does not offer sexual pleasure, but it offers that which makes sexual pleasure obsolete. It offers fullness of joy. It offers us God himself.”

Heroic Domesticity, First Things (Peter J. Leithart)

“Proverbs’s epic poem throws our own cultural battles into high relief. Today, women are encouraged to view domesticity as demeaning, and to believe that heroism is found only outside the home. Christians fight for educational freedom to prevent some rough dragon from devouring our children. It’s no surprise that abortion generates our most intense political combat, because the future of humanity depends on conception, pregnancy, birth, and the rearing of children. Still today, history’s hidden mover operates among women and children. Still today, our future depends on heroic domesticity.”

What’s Behind the Belief in a Soulmate?, Institute for Family Studies (Bradley Onishi)

“The United States appears to be in a romantic slump. Marriage rates have plummeted over the last decade. And compared to previous generations, young single people today are perhaps spending more time on social media than actual dating. They are also having less sex. Despite these trends, a yearning for a soulmate remains a common thread across the generations. Most Americans, it seems, are still looking for one. According to a 2017 poll, two-thirds of Americans believe in soulmates. That number far surpasses the percentage of Americans who believe in the biblical God.”

The Sexual Revolutionaries Got Sexual Satisfaction All Wrong, National Review (David French)

“The global data reflected the U.S. reality. Highly religious couples ‘enjoy higher-quality relationships and more sexual satisfaction’ compared with mixed or entirely secular couples. Moreover, in the global study, religion has an increasingly positive influence on fertility. Religious couples had ‘0.27 more children than those who never, or practically never, attend.’ Sadly, however, religious practice was ‘not protective against domestic violence.’ There was no statistically significant difference in risk between secular and religious couples.”

‘Feminine Weakness’ Is a Scam, The New York Times (Sophie Mackintosh)

“Consider how much strength is needed to deal with the onslaught of living in a world rife with misogyny, the mental load of constant damage assessments. In that light, the idea of feminine weakness comes across as no more than a scam, a purposeful downplaying of the power embedded within the historic (and current) concept of the hysterical woman, the terrifying woman, righteously angry.”

Working Moms and Stay-at-Home Moms Are Not at War, The New York Times (Jessica Grose)

“What’s also important to note is that the real-live humans making decisions about working or staying home aren’t ’80s-era parodies of shoulder-padded working moms sneering at cookie-baking stay-at-home moms and vice versa. Women’s actual attitudes about their professional and caregiving choices are far more complicated and less judgmental — and they have been for a while.”

Sexuality and the Olive Spoon, Think (Andrew Wilson)

“Here’s a wonderful illustration from Sam Allberry’s outstanding Seven Myths About Singleness, which Andrew reviewed recently.”

An Open Letter to Georgetown Visitation, First Things (Various)

“Your letter ends with the promise that we will always have a home on Thirty-fifth Street. But the same flawed logic on display in the letter has been used to systematically bully faithful Catholics out of public life in nearly every field. In the course of preparing this letter, we have been overwhelmed with private messages of support from young alumnae who share our concerns, but are afraid of being rejected and condemned if they voice these concerns publicly. The false choice you have set up, between embracing the truth of Catholic teaching and loving our LGBTQ sisters and brothers, is already spreading a culture of fear. If Visitation’s leaders will not affirm Catholic teaching, the school cannot promise to be a home for students and teachers who do.”

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