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Gender and Sexuality News Roundup (9/17/19)

September 17, 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

Baptist church calls transgender pastor, Baptist News Global (Bob Allen)

“Members of an Ohio congregation are inviting the community to a Sept. 8 worship service officially welcoming one of the few openly transgender Baptist ministers as their new pastor. Erica Saunders, a 2019 graduate of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity ordained to the gospel ministry this spring by Wake Forest Baptist Church, began July 1 as pastor of Peace Community Church in Oberlin, Ohio.”

Faithful Living in a Fractious Age: Evaluating “Fairness for All” in Light of Christian Theology, Public Discourse (Owen Strachan)

“Christians cannot support so-called “Fairness For All” for this overarching reason: it is grounded in an unbiblical conception of the human person. The Scripture will not allow us to see any ungodly “orientation” or “identity” as essential to our humanity, as directed toward our flourishing, and thus enshrined in law as a protected category.”

Duke University’s student government rejects Young Life over LGBTQ policies, Religion News Service (Yonat Shimron)

“Duke University’s student government has denied the Christian organization Young Life official status as a student group on campus, citing its policy on sexuality. The decision by the Duke Student Government Senate on Wednesday (Sept. 11) comes amid ongoing clashes nationwide between religious student groups and colleges and universities that have added more robust nondiscrimination policies.”

Richland florist returns fight for religious freedom vs. gay rights to U.S. Supreme Court, Tri-City Herald (Kristin M. Kraemer)

“Waggoner, in addition to representing Stutzman, argued on behalf of Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips before the U.S. Supreme Court for the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. The attorney said the ruling from Washington’s justices gives the U.S. Supreme Court an opportunity to resolve many important legal issues left unanswered after the Colorado case “and to reaffirm that the First Amendment protects the freedom of Americans to hold different views about topics as fundamental as marriage.” The petition by Alliance Defending Freedom says if the country’s high court does not review Stutzman’s case “government officials will keep dragging reasonable and sincere people of faith like Barronelle through the courts, imposing ruinous judgments, and barring them from their professions simply because they hold disfavored views about marriage.”


Secular Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Discriminating Against Religious Schools, City Journal (Inez Feltscher)

“Bethel Christian Academy advertises its religious affiliation in its name, but Maryland bureaucrats were so shocked to find that Christianity was practiced there that they excluded it from the state’s voucher program, which provides funds for students to attend schools of their choice. Their decision forced six low-income students—whose families cannot afford tuition—to leave the school, and made it impossible for additional low-income students to enroll. Bethel’s crime involved the school mission, which adheres to Christian tenets about marriage, gender identity, and biological sex.”

Biology Is Not Bigotry’, National Review (Ed Whelan)

“Biology is not bigotry; this Court should not conclude otherwise. Only Congress, not this Court, can craft policy to address sexual orientation and gender identity—concepts distinct from sex—with attention to all the competing considerations.”

Lawsuits. Possible bankruptcy. Declining Numbers. Is there a future for the Boy Scouts?, The Washington Post (Samantha Schmidt and Kayla Epstein)

“It has been a tumultuous time for the Boy Scouts of America. Youth membership has declined more than 26 percent in the past decade. Then, last year, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced it would be cutting ties with the organization. The church had been the largest participant in the Boy Scouts program in the United States, making up nearly 20 percent of all youth members.”

Why the N.Y. City council made the ‘painful’ decision to repeal its ban on conversion therapy, The Washington Post (Marisa Iati)

“A New York City Council member on Thursday proposed repealing the city’s ban on conversion therapy to thwart a potential Supreme Court battle that could set precedent that would complicate efforts to outlaw the discredited practice. Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s bill comes in response to a legal challenge from the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian organization that alleges that the ban infringes upon freedom of speech and religion. The federal lawsuit, filed in January, targets the city’s ordinance prohibiting people from charging others for conversion therapy, which includes any technique meant to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Pupils protest at Lewes school over gender-neutral uniforms, The Guardian (Frances Perraudin)

“About 100 pupils and parents staged a protest outside a school in East Sussex against its introduction of gender-neutral uniforms. Police attended the demonstration outside Priory school in Lewes against a new policy instructing all pupils to wear trousers. Protesters holding signs reading “a new uniform for nine months is not sustainable” and “fast fashion is the second biggest contributor to climate change”, argued girls should be allowed to wear skirts and that it was both wasteful and expensive to ask parents to buy new clothes.”

How dare the BBC teach children that there are ‘100 genders’?, The Telegraph (Celia Walden)

“What are the different gender identities?” asks a little boy in one of the nine new BBC Teach films put out to support the personal, social and health education (PSHE) curriculum in schools – to which his head teacher replies: “That’s a really, really exciting question…”


Gender and Sexuality Miscellany

When Kids Are Straight Until Proven Otherwise, The Atlantic (Charles Dunst)

“Kids—especially pre-GLB kids—need room to explore their own identities. Yet because society presumes queerness to be inherently sexual, adults think that a preteen who plays up his gender nonconformity could not possibly be doing so voluntarily. Critics instead see adults in and aligned with the LGBTQ community as sexualizing children by exposing them to what a National Review writer calls a “deeply and perversely erotic subculture.”

The Widespread Suspicion of Opposite-Sex Friendships, The Atlantic (Ashley Fetters)

“True platonic friendships between men and women of compatible sexualities have, of course, been common for what researchers believe to be a few generations now. But movies that depict platonic friendships evolving into something more…seem to insist that there’s always the potential for a male and female pair of best buddies to act on a latent attraction to each other.”

Surrogacy, Love, and Flourishing, Public Discourse (Adeline A. Allen)

“Surrogacy is dehumanizing to both birth mother and child, because it reduces them to commodities. By design, it denies mother and child what they need to flourish as human beings.”

The Politics of Procreation, Quillette (Joel Kotkin)

“Yet, in the long run, the anti-natalists could face an unexpected turnaround. The heirs of the post-familial city are not reproducing themselves, leaving only a digital legacy. The fact that these centers appear to be “post-Christian” may accelerate the pace. Secularism, with its tendency towards identity politics and hyper-individualism, notes author Eric Kaufmann, undermines itself as it fails to “inspire the commitment to generations past and sacrifices for those yet to come.” In contrast, the more religious, more family-oriented population, living mostly in the suburbs and smaller cities, will reproduce themselves. Kaufmann explains in his important book Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? that those who embrace more traditional religions—which generally favor families—will prevail.”

Love your neighbor: Use their prefered pronoun, Religion News Service (Erika Andersen)

“Last month, hundreds of thousands of freshly minted high school graduates stepped onto university campuses for their first day of classes as freshman college students. It is here, in the hallways of academia, where discussion of trendy new personal pronouns is most likely to arise. In fact, some schools now require everyone to list their pronoun when they register for classes and display it on name badges during orientation.”

Why the patriarchy is killing men, The Washington Post (Liz Plank)

“The health advantages of feminism for men are not evident only in Iceland. In other countries with stronger gender equality, men also tend to fare better. According to research by Norwegian sociologist and men’s studies expert Oystein Gullvag Holter, there is a direct correlation between the state of gender equality in a country and male well-being, as measured by factors such as welfare, mental health, fertility and suicide. Men (and women) in more gender-equal countries in Europe are less likely to get divorced, be depressed or die as a result of violence.”

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