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Gender and Sexuality News Roundup (10/29/19)

October 29, 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

LGBT Activists Get Church Banned From Local Arts Scene For Believing The Bible, The Federalist (Nathanael Blake)

“Left-wing cancel culture is going after churches, even here in the mid-Missouri heartland. Recently, the pastor of The Crossing, a large local evangelical church, delivered a sermon explaining Christian views on sexuality and gender — specifically, that men cannot become women and women cannot become men. Outrage ensued, which meant something had to be canceled. As part of its community engagement, this church had been involved with the local arts scene, sponsoring an art gallery and a documentary film festival. Those sponsorships have now been canceled by the recipients. The University of Missouri’s theater department also tried to get in on the action, until lawyers reminded them that government entities are not allowed to issue ultimatums demanding that private groups disassociate from nonconformist churches.”

British bishop rebukes Sydney Anglican leader’s call for gay marriage supporters to leave church, The Guardian (Harriet Sherwood)

“Reflecting sharp divisions within the global Anglican communion over LGBT+ issues, the Bishop of Liverpool, Paul Bayes, said: ‘I regret that the archbishop [of Sydney] seems to want to exclude people rather than to engage with them within the wider Anglican family.’ Archbishop Glenn Davies said last week that those who supported same-sex marriage should abandon the church. ‘If people wish to change the doctrine of our church, they should start a new church or join a church more aligned to their views – but do not ruin the Anglican church by abandoning the plain teaching of scripture,’ he said. ‘Please leave us.'”

A Bigger Role for Women in the Catholic Church? 185 Men Will Decide, The New York Times (Elisabetta Povoledo)

“The final report, which will be presented Saturday to Pope Francis, will contain a series of proposals that the pope could endorse for the Amazon, but also apply to the entire church. Those voting on the proposals include bishops, priests, and one religious brother, but no women, though nearly three dozen women were invited to take part as experts and auditors. ‘A vote in the synod’ for women ‘would be a first, and a huge change,’ said Kate McElwee, the executive director of the Women’s Ordination Conference, who joined other Catholic women activists on Tuesday as they marched toward St. Peter’s Basilica.”


Secular Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Transgender Cyclist Wins Female Cycling World Championship, Claims Only Objections Come from ‘Losers’, National Review (Tobias Hoonhout)

“Victoria Hood, a former cycling champion and manager of a British all-female cycling team, challenged McKinnon, telling Sky that ‘it is not complicated, the science is there and it says that it is unfair. The male body, which has been through male puberty, still retains its advantage, that doesn’t go away. I have sympathy with them. They have a right to do sport but not a right to go into any category they want.'”

Always Sanitary Products Accused of Erasing Biology After Venus Symbol Removed from Packaging, Newsweek (Tareq Haddad)

“The maker of Always sanitary towels is facing backlash after transgender rights activists convinced the company to ditch the feminine Venus symbol (♀)—which is used to denote the female sex in biology—from its product range. Procter & Gamble (P&G) announced it would remove the symbol from its packaging after a number of campaigners said that the image was not inclusive of transgender individuals who were assigned female at birth and use the sanitary products. A number of feminists voiced their displeasure with the decision and said they would boycott the brand from now on, with some stating the move was part of a concerted effort towards the ‘elimination of women’s biology.'”

Days after opening its first U.K. restaurant, Chick-fil-A announces the location will close, Washington Post (Brittany Shammas)

“Protests of the U.K. location continued Saturday even as news spread that the location would close. In videos shared on social media, activists waved rainbow flags and used a microphone to announce that Chick-fil-A is ‘not welcome here.’ ‘You may be closing down six months’ time, but we have a message for you,’ one man said. ‘You will not be opening anywhere else in the U.K. And if we do see you on our soil, we will stand up and we will challenge you again.'”

Texas Father Says 7-Year-Old Isn’t Transgender, Igniting a Politicized Outcry, New York Times

“No medical intervention is recommended before the onset of puberty, he said. Around puberty, hormone blockers to stop secondary sex characteristics from developing may be used. From there, a young person may choose to progress to gender-affirming hormones, and perhaps eventually surgery.The effects of hormone blockers are reversible, but would most likely have adverse effects on fertility if the patient started taking them at an early age, he said.”

Dark Days in Northern Ireland, First Things (John Waters)

“Until midnight on October 21, abortion was permitted in Northern Ireland only if the mother’s life was in danger. This differentiated the province from the rest of the U.K., where abortion has been legal and widespread since 1967. The heroic holdout is now at an end: Abortion and gay marriage have entered Northern Ireland by the back door.”

Christian group protests against mandatory LGBT-inclusive curriculum, Premier (Tola Mbakwe)

“OCOFOR, which stands for Our Children Our Faith Our Rights, held a demonstration at Parliament Square on Saturday to demand that the government allow parents to opt their children out of the LGBT portion of relationships education. Following the passing of the Children and Social Work Act (2017), as of September 2020 all secondary schools in England will be required to teach Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and primary schools to teach relationships education.”

Upcoming book leaves scientific possibility for existence of ‘Adam and Eve’, USA Today (Nathan H. Lents)

“Scientists, even religious ones, rarely spend time analyzing religious creation myths. After all, when taken literally, these stories are usually in direct conflict with what we know about Earth’s natural history. When faith requires people to cling to those myths anyway, science is cast aside. One would be hard-pressed to think of a scriptural story more at odds with physical evidence than the Garden of Eden. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, a leading public scholar — Joshua Swamidass, a physician and genome scientist at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri — is making a bold new attempt to reconcile the biblical story of Adam and Eve with what we know about the genetic ancestry of the human race.”


Gender and Sexuality Miscellany

What can happen when a transgender child transitions…, (Denny Burk)

“How have we come to the place as a society that the recommended medical treatment for a gender dysphoric child means destroying a healthy body to conform it to a gender-confused mind? Why not conform the gender-confused mind to the healthy body? The transgender propagandists have no good answers to those questions. And the reason is that there are no good answers to those questions.”

Celebrate Your Kid’s Transition. Don’t Grieve It., The New York Times (Meredith Talusan)

“Now I realize that the origin and core of our rift is my disappointment in having to absorb my father’s grief about my transition. He unfairly expected me to bear his emotions because he supported me, unlike many other parents. If we come to a mutual understanding of who should have been responsible for his emotions, it may be what I need to feel ready to take on my expected responsibilities as a good Filipino child, regardless of my gender.”

Tim and Kathy Keller on Dating, Marriage, Complementarianism, and Other Small Topics, The Gospel Coalition (Matt Smethurst, Tim Keller, and Kathy Keller)

“All of God’s designs are beautiful—sometimes intricate, difficult to master, and affected by sin, but glorious nonetheless. In marriages that embrace God’s design, you both get to ‘play the Jesus role.’ Husbands are told to imitate Jesus as the servant-leader, who will go to any length, even death, to serve and purify his bride (Eph. 5). Wives can look to Jesus as he was worshiped in Philippians 2—submissive to the role of ezer in full knowledge of her equality.”

The degrees of separation between the genders in college keep growing, The Washington Post (Jon Marcus)

“Fifty years ago, 58 percent of U.S. college students were men. Today, 56 percent are women, Education Department estimates show. This year, for the first time, the share of college-educated women in the U.S. workforce passed the share of college-educated men, according to the Pew Research Center. It’s not just that more women opt for college. It’s that fewer men do, affecting their opportunities and lifetime earnings.”

A Message to John MacArthur: The Bible Calls Both Men and Women to ‘Go Home’, Christianity Today (Jen Pollock Michel)

“Because industry was located in the home and its outbuildings and fields, fathers had an opportunity for direct and daily influence over their children. Men were not excused from the domestic sphere but held primarily responsible for it.”

Kanye West’s Conversion Could Be a Cultural Wrecking Ball, National Review (Andrew Walker)

“He’s rejecting the hyper-sexualization of culture that he admitted he helped create. In an ode to the Niebuhrian Christ-and-culture typology, he said he’s now living his life for Christ and ostensibly against culture. In a word, Kanye West is now a cultural reactionary by the standards of our society, and could be, in time, a cultural wrecking ball that dislodges so much of the assumed, comfortable, and unchecked cultural liberalism that dominates the most elite sectors of our country and mocks anything resembling traditionalism and social conservatism.”

Female Evangelical Leaders Have a Hidden Predecessor to Thank, Christianity Today (Grant Wacker)

“It’s hard to say whether [Oral] Roberts or Kuhlman was the most prominent healing evangelist of the day, but it’s easy to say that she was the most prominent woman in the field. At the height of her ministry, many people considered Kuhlman ‘the best-known woman preacher in the world.’ Very few female religious leaders of any theological stripe were famous enough to snare a berth on a network talk show like [Johnny] Carson’s.”

Chick-fil-A’s Creepy Infiltration of New York City, The New Yorker (Dan Piepenbring)

“Defenders of Chick-fil-A point out that the company donates thousands of pounds of food to New York Common Pantry, and that its expansion creates jobs. The more fatalistic will add that hypocrisy is baked, or fried, into every consumer experience—that unbridled corporate power makes it impossible to bring your wallet in line with your morals. Still, there’s something especially distasteful about Chick-fil-A, which has sought to portray itself as better than other fast food: cleaner, gentler, and more ethical, with its poultry slightly healthier than the mystery meat of burgers. Its politics, its décor, and its commercial-evangelical messaging are inflected with this suburban piety. A representative of the Richards Group once told Adweek, ‘People root for the low-status character, and the Cows are low status.'”

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