Recognizing Real Bigotry and Prejudice

Bigotry

In many exchanges between those with liberal values and those with conservative values, and especially in discussions about LGBT issues, the words “bigotry” and “intolerance” are used a lot. Mostly it’s the liberals accusing the conservatives, but sometimes conservatives claim that the liberals are actually the bigoted ones. I’d like to sort through the mess of name calling and try to figure out what actually falls under the definition of bigotry. I’ll start by examining the Dictionary.com definitions of the relevant terms.

Bigotry: stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.
Intolerance: unwillingness or refusal to tolerate or respect opinions or beliefs contrary to one’s own.
Tolerate: to allow the existence, presence, practice, or act of without prohibition or hindrance; permit.

Putting those definitions together, bigotry would be, “Unwillingness to allow without hindrance any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.”

Bigotry is when you think that people who disagree with you shouldn’t be able to express the view that you disagree with.

Disagreement is not itself bigotry. If it was, everyone would be a bigot because everyone has something that they disagree with other people about. How you express your disagreement is what determines whether or not you’re being bigoted. If you engage someone in conversation about why you think your views are correct, that’s not bigotry. If you tell someone that you think their views are wrong, that’s not bigotry. If you tell someone that they shouldn’t be able to express their views, or that they shouldn’t act as if their views are true, that’s bigotry.

Prejudice

I think that sometimes when people accuse someone of bigotry, what they’re really trying to accuse them of is prejudice.

Prejudice: “An unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.”

So bigotry has to do with how you deal with an opposing view, and prejudice has to do with the reasons why you hold a view. This means that you can’t know whether a person is bigoted or prejudiced simply by knowing what their view is. If they haven’t told you that you can’t express your view or act as if your view is true, you can’t rightly accuse them of bigotry. If you don’t know why they hold the views that they hold, you can’t accuse them of prejudice. If you accuse someone of prejudice without knowing their reasons for holding a view, you are making an assumption that might not be correct. You might accuse someone of prejudice because you’ve made the assumption that their view is based on fear, hate, or disgust. But it’s possible that their opinion was guided by study and reflection.

An idea is either true or false based on whether it aligns with reality. The qualities of bigotry and prejudice are not connected to the truth value of an idea. A person can be bigoted or prejudiced even if their view is correct. A person who is mistaken about an idea can still be non-bigoted and unprejudiced. They can be wrong simply because they were given incorrect facts.

Many people would accuse me of bigotry and prejudice because of my stance against homosexual behavior. They would assume that I was motivated by ignorance, fear, hate, or disgust. Nothing could be further from the truth. I struggle with same-sex attraction (bisexuality) myself, and it would be a huge relief for me emotionally if homosexuality was not sinful. There was a time in high school when I desperately wanted to be able to embrace it. Careful study and thought convinced me that it was wrong. You’re free to say that I came to the wrong conclusion, but it would be unfair to accuse me of bigotry or prejudice.

Responding to Pro-Abortion Arguments

Part One: What is abortion?

Arguments for abortion only make sense if you deny the personhood of the unborn. If the unborn is just an impersonal clump of cells, a part of the woman’s body, then no justification for abortion is necessary. If I believed that the unborn was not a human person, abortion would not trouble me at all. However, the evidence that the unborn are human persons is overwhelming.

“Fetus” is a stage of human development, like “baby” or “teenager.” The fact that the first stage of development takes place inside the mother’s womb does not make the fetal human any less of a distinct human being than a newborn baby or a 13-year-old. From the moment of conception, the unborn human has a complete set of DNA, separate from the mother’s. The claim that the unborn is “part of the woman’s body” would be disproved by a DNA test.

None of the differences between fetal humans and newborn humans indicate that those inside the womb are less distinct human persons than those outside the womb. Click here for an article about the SLED test. SLED stands for Size, Level of development, Environment, and Degree of dependency. (Keep scrolling past the recommended links below for Part Two.)

Recommended Links
Science, Embryonic Autonomy, and the Question of When Life Begins
Life Begins at Fertilization, Science Teaches
We Know They Are Killing Children — All of Us Know
The Insignificant Differences Between Fetal Humans and Human Toddlers
Only One Question

Part Two: Calling abortion what it is

When you call abortion what it is, pro-choice arguments fall apart. Here are some common pro-abortion arguments, along with translations that take into account the reality of what abortion actually is.

  • “Banning abortion would only lead to illegal and unsafe abortions.”

Having established that abortion kills an innocent human being, we can accurately rephrase this statement to say, “Banning murder would only lead to illegal and unsafe murder.” It doesn’t make sense. We shouldn’t legalize atrocities so that we can regulate how those atrocities are committed. We can see this by considering a situation in which the evil of the action is not controversial. For example, there would be a much lower chance of a rape victim being killed, contracting a disease, or becoming pregnant if we legalized and regulated rape. Should we do that? Of course not! So why would we do it for the murder of unborn humans?

  • “We would see a huge decrease in abortions if there was access to free contraceptives and free child care for working women.”

If there’s nothing wrong with abortion, why even offer this argument in the first place? The only reason to find ways to decrease the number of abortions is if abortion actually does kill a human being.

When rephrased to call abortion what it is, this statement would say: “We would see a huge decrease in mothers killing their children if there was access to free contraceptives and free child care for working women.” Women should not be allowed to kill their children because they don’t have access to free child care, or because they weren’t able to afford contraceptives.

  • “Defunding Planned Parenthood will eliminate free screenings that help uninsured women and men detect cancer and STDs.”

Does the fact that an organization offers free cancer and STD screenings justify allowing that organization to kill unborn humans? If Planned Parenthood continued to offer the same services, except that it only performed abortions when necessary to save the life of the mother, there would be no reason to defund it. As long as Planned Parenthood continues to kill unborn humans, defunding it is the right thing to do. There are tons of free clinics that don’t perform abortions. That’s where I went when I was broke and uninsured.

  • “I have the right to choose what I do with my body.”

This objection translates to, “I have the right to decide if this child’s life is worth the burden of pregnancy to me.” It argues that a woman’s right to bodily autonomy is more important than her child’s right to not be killed, even though in the vast majority of cases, the child is conceived as a direct result of an action that the woman chose to take. When two rights are at odds, the more basic and costly right should be protected. It should be no different when it comes to protecting an unborn child’s right to life.

  • “My choice to have an abortion is personal and private.”

Rephrased, this statement says, “My choice to kill my unborn child is personal and private.” Killing someone should not be an acceptable personal choice regardless of whether the intended victim is inside or outside the womb.

  • “If you haven’t adopted any children, you have no right to comment on abortion.”

Rephrased to be more accurate, this says, “If you haven’t adopted any children, you have no right to comment when women kill their unborn children.” This objection is meant to accuse pro-lifers of hypocrisy, but it becomes nonsensical when you call abortion what it is. Why would someone’s choice not to adopt have any bearing on whether it’s wrong to kill an innocent unborn human? If more people adopted, would the moral status of abortion suddenly change? Of course not. The morality of killing innocent humans has nothing to do with what percentage of people choose to adopt.

  • “If you’re a man, you have no right to comment on abortion.”

I wrote a whole blog post on this objection.

  • “Pro-lifers’ opinions aren’t worth listening to because they’re a bunch of hypocrites.”

This commits the logical fallacy of attacking the character of the person making the argument rather than dealing with the substance of the argument itself. A statement of fact doesn’t become more or less true depending on who says it. The pro-life argument (abortion is wrong because it kills an innocent human being) is in no way dependent on the character of the people who happen to be offering it.

  • “I should be able to have an abortion because if I had the baby, she would have a difficult life.” (Because she would be poor, because she would be disabled, etc.)

Should a very poor mother be able to kill her five year old because of the financial burden? What about a five year old with Down syndrome? No? Then why would it be ok to kill him or her in the womb? The five year old is the same person who was in the mother’s womb. The only differences are the child’s size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency. If difficult circumstances don’t justify killing someone living outside the womb, they shouldn’t justify killing someone inside the womb either.

  • “Abortion should be legal because sometimes women who wanted their babies have to abort them because of an extreme medical condition that would prevent the baby from being able to survive outside of the womb.”

What this argument is really saying is that because there are rare, extreme cases in which the child would die of natural causes after birth, it should be legal to kill an innocent unborn child under any circumstances. Put in this way, the problem should be obvious. Extreme situations can’t be used to justify abortion on demand. The vast majority of abortions are performed on healthy unborn children.

  • “I should be able to have an abortion if the pregnancy poses a direct threat to my life.”

I agree! This one is true even when you rephrase it. “I should be able to kill someone if doing so is necessary to save my own life.” This is the only case in which abortion is self defense instead of murder.

I should note that some women who have abortions are misinformed about what abortion is. Murder is deliberately killing someone, but some have been convinced that their unborn child is a blob of tissue that’s just part of their body. I would not accuse those women of murder, but I would accuse abortion providers of it.

Recommended Links
Relentlessly Call Abortion What It Really Is
Pro-Woman, not Pro-Abortion
If You Don’t Like Abortion, Don’t Have One
Even Abortion Advocates Shy Away from the Truth About Elective Abortions
Planned Parenthood and Prenatal Care (“We don’t do that here.”)
Most Planned Parenthood Locations Don’t Offer Prenatal Care (YouTube)
Ultrasounds for Killing, Not Care, at Planned Parenthood (YouTube)
Planned Parenthood’s Most Misleading Statistic

Meme response: “I am a humanist”

Anti-religious memes are meant to be snappy shutdowns. They might sound powerful on the surface, but they fall apart upon closer inspection.

161115-humanist

Meme: “I am not religious. I am a humanist because human beings are more important than dogma and traditions.”

The meme seems to be saying that religion is nothing but dogma (probably in the negative sense of religious principles blindly accepted without evidence) and tradition. It suggests that religion values those things above human beings. It may be implying that religious dogma and tradition actually oppress humans. As a Bible-believing Christian, I can confirm that this view does not accurately represent Christianity.

In Christianity, human beings are considered more important than dogma (an authoritative set of principles) and traditions. (Mark 2:27, Matthew 15:1-9) Those things exist for our benefit because we are important to God. The basis of our trust in Jesus isn’t blind faith or the desire to continue a tradition. It’s based on evidence that God exists, that Jesus is a real historical figure who claimed to be God and proved it by rising from the dead, and that the Bible is reliable.

Whether or not you accept the evidence for Christianity is another question. The point is that this meme misrepresents Christianity, which is very likely the main religion that the creator wanted to oppose. The whole point of Christianity is to reflect the way the world really is and to do the ultimate good for human beings.

The Bible makes it very clear that the only good reason to believe in Christianity is because it’s evidentially true.

1 Corinthians 15:17-19 – “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.”

 

Recommended links:
Evidence for God and Christianity (my compilation and summary of some of the evidence)
Resources on the historicity of Jesus
Resources on the deity of Jesus

Shattering the Icons of Evolution – my notes on Tim Barnett’s presentation

The following are my notes on a video presentation by Tim Barnett called “Shattering the Icons of Evolution.” (Note: some credit for the material might go to Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? by Jonathan Wells. I haven’t read it but I’m told it’s similar.) I decided to use my notes instead of writing a regular blog post because the presentation laid things out more clearly than I would be able to. I am not a scientist. I’m just doing my best to understand the evidence. Arguments for Darwinian evolution have caused many people to abandon Christianity, so I think it’s important to look at the evidence and not just dismiss evolution out of hand.

(Side note: I should clarify that I am not a young earth creationist or a theistic evolutionist. I am an old earth creationist who does not believe in macroevolution. I hold this view because, to the best of my knowledge, it’s the view that is most supported by the evidence. As I’ve said before, I think that the only good reason to believe something is because it’s true.)

 

DEFINITIONS OF EVOLUTION:

Do you believe in evolution?
First we have to ask: What do you mean by evolution?

Uncontroversial definitions of evolution (microevolution):

  1. Change over time
  2. Change in gene frequency in a population
  3. Mechanism: natural selection (survival of the fittest) and random mutation
  4. Limited common descent

Controversial definitions of evolution (macroevolution):

  1. Universal common descent
  2. All organisms have descended from a common ancestor solely through an unguided natural process

Evidence for macroevolution can be divided into three categories:

  • Mistaken projection
  • Mistaken information
  • Mistaken conclusion

 

MISTAKEN PROJECTION:
Small changes + time = big changes, like dinosaurs into birds.

  • Peppered moths (Light or dark ones flourish depending on the color of the trees.)
    • natural selection, not macroevolution.
  • Finch beaks (The size of finch beaks changes according to needs and in times of drought, etc.)
    • Also natural selection, not macroevolution.
  • Antibiotic resistant bacteria (Mutant H. pylori lacks the ability to produce the enzyme that converts an antibiotic into a poison that would kill the H. pylori.)
    • The change was beneficial, but it broke something (the ability to create the enzyme) and made it less complex, which is the opposite of what would happen in macroevolution. In macroevolution, it should become more complex. Even though it was a beneficial change, it is not a step toward macroevolution.

These 3 are often given as evidence of evolution, but they only support microevolution, not macroevolution.

 

Mistaken Information:
Information that has been disproved but is still included in textbooks.

  • Transitional forms (Intermediate states between an ancestral form & its modern descendants.)
    • There are a handful of disputed so-called transitional forms, but we should find many more transitional forms than what we actually have. In Origin of the Species, Darwin said that this is the most serious objection against his theory.
    • “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils.” – Stephen Jay Gould, “Evolution’s Erratic Pace” (1987)
    • The rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record led Gould to develop the theory of punctuated equilibrium, which says that new species evolve suddenly over brief periods of time, followed by longer periods during which there is no genetic change.
  • Embryology (Similarities in early stage embryos are evidence of common descent.)
    • Darwin thought that embryology was “by far the strongest single class of facts in favor of change of form.”
    • Ernst Haeckel’s drawings, which are still used in some science textbooks, show early embryos of a fish, salamander, tortoise, chicken, and human as looking nearly identical to each other. Comparing those drawings to actual photographs of embryos shows that they are nowhere near identical. Science Magazine, a peer-reviewed academic journal, wrote about how Haeckel’s drawings are fraudulent.
    • There is no reason for those drawings to still be in textbooks because they do not reflect reality.
  • Junk DNA (DNA was thought to be 98% junk, or nonfunctional, no longer needed DNA accumulated over millions of years of evolution.)
    • 2% of our DNA is protein coding. 98% is non-protein coding and was thought to be useless, representing the trial and error of evolution.
    • The ENCODE Project enabled scientists to “assign biochemical functions for 80% of the genome, in particular outside of the well-studied protein-coding regions.”

 

Mistaken Conclusion:
Evidence that could support evolution, but could just as easily support creation.

  • Vestigial organs (Organs that have become functionless in the course of evolution.)
    • The list of human vestigial organs has become shorter since we discovered uses for some of them.
    • There are some underwater creatures that live in total darkness and have non-functional eyes. Why would a divine creator give a creature eyes that it has no use for? Because the eyes started out functional, but became non-functional through mutation and natural selection. A loss of function isn’t evolution, it’s more like de-evolution.
  • Homologous structures (Homology has to do with similarities between organisms.)
    • There are similarities in bone structure across different species of animals and humans.
    • What best explains similarity? It could be common descent or common design.
    • Mammalian eyes (examples: human, whale, mouse) are similar and thought to be a result of common descent. But the octopus eye is an example of convergent evolution and is thought to have evolved completely independently of the mammalian eye.
    • Common design is a more rational explanation than the idea that the eye evolved independently numerous times.

Why is evolution so widely believed?
Evolution is partly true: microevolution is true.

Why is macroevolution so widely believed?
Because of philosophical reasons: a commitment to methodological naturalism. The only alternative to macroevolution is intelligent design, and that option is automatically rejected because it doesn’t fit a naturalist worldview. Without the bias of naturalism, the evidence points away from macroevolution.

 

Recommended Links
Are There Transitional Intermediates in the Fossil Record?
The Fossil Record Proves Evolution. Right?
Like a Fish Out of Water: Why I’m Skeptical of the Evolutionary Paradigm
Three (More) Reasons Why Junk DNA Is No Longer Evidence for Evolution
Can Naturalists Explain Where Life Originated?
Why Is Evolution So Widely Believed?

Should Men Shut Up About Abortion?

A common assertion made by abortion advocates is that men don’t have a right to give an opinion on abortion because they don’t have a woman’s body. They can’t get pregnant, so they can never understand what it’s like to have to make that choice, and it doesn’t affect them anyway.

I have never heard of anyone telling a pro-abortion man that he should keep his opinions to himself. I’ve only seen those men embraced and celebrated by pro-abortion women. It seems like being a man only disqualifies your opinion if you disagree with abortion advocates. I think the argument against men speaking on the topic of abortion is just a tactic to discredit pro-life arguments without actually having to address them. Those who actually believe that arguments from men are invalid are committing an ad hominem fallacy. Being male does not prevent a person from understanding the abortion issue or coming up with legitimate arguments related to it.

Gender doesn’t determine the validity of a person’s argument. Men and women can make the same arguments for and against abortion. The same argument isn’t more valid coming from a woman than from a man. An argument should be accepted or rejected based on its merits, not the gender of the person giving it.

If the opinions of men don’t count because they don’t know what it’s like to be pregnant or to be in a situation where they would have to make a choice between giving birth and having an abortion, then that also disqualifies the opinions of women who have never been pregnant or are not capable of becoming pregnant.

The argument suggests that a woman with little or no medical education is more qualified to speak on abortion than a male doctor no matter how educated he is or how many years of experience he has working with pregnant women. That strikes me as ridiculous.

If we take this argument to its logical conclusion, then no one would have a right to give an opinion on anything that they hadn’t experienced personally. Women would have no right to contribute an opinion on men’s health issues. Mothers would have no right to decide if their son should be circumcised, only the father could make that decision. Only disabled people would have a right to speak when considering policies that deal with disability. Only the votes of immigrants would count on bills that address immigration. The idea that no one can understand and have good judgment regarding something they haven’t experienced personally is obviously false.

Women are not the only ones affected by pregnancy and abortion. Men have a right (and a responsibility) to be interested in their own offspring. And of course the people who are most affected by abortion are the unborn babies, which means that abortion directly affects both females and males by killing them.

The real question is whether or not an unborn child is a human being. Assuming that you accept that killing innocent humans is wrong, that’s the only question that needs to be answered to determine whether or not abortion is wrong. “What is the unborn?” is a scientific question that can be examined by both women and men, regardless of whether or not they’re capable of becoming pregnant themselves. See the links below for more on that topic.

 

Recommended Links
Abortion and Human Equality
Abortion: One Key Issue
The Insignificant Differences Between Fetal Humans and Human Toddlers
If It’s a Human at a Crime Scene, It’s a Human in the Womb
If You Don’t Like Abortion, Don’t Have One
Argument for the Silent: A Biblical Case Against Abortion

Dear “Very Tired Christian,” From a Bible-Believing Christian

I wasn’t planning for my next blog post to be another one about LGBT matters, but that is the hot topic right now, and I’m doing my best to be informed and to think through the issues. I’ve seen several posts shared on Facebook that are similar to the one I’m addressing here. This one got thousands of shares and was praised as being “mind-blowing” and “a must read.” I’ve copied the entire text of the article so that I can respond to it point by point. The original article can be seen here.

Unlike my previous LGBT-related posts (here and here), this one is written specifically to Christians.

Dear Offended Christian,

I’m terribly sorry that your feelings are hurt again. I feel badly about that. None of us likes to be criticized, so I totally get it.

I know I’ve said some pretty hard words to you recently, and maybe I’ve been somewhat less than “cheery” in my delivery, but that happens when you’re tired.

This article is addressed to “offended Christians.” The intro identifies them as ones whose feelings have been hurt by criticism and hard words. If that’s what the author was really talking about, he would just apologize for being harsh and express a hope that he and the offended Christian could move forward with more gracious attitudes. What he does instead is list the things that he and the “offended Christian” disagree on. If anything, it seems like a warning that some people might be offended by the criticism offered in the article. The article could just as easily apply to Christians whose feelings aren’t hurt by the author’s perspective.

And I am really tired:

I’m tired of hearing you telling gay people that they can’t simultaneously be both gay and Christian.

The biblical Christian view is not that you can’t be a Christian if you struggle with same-sex attraction. It’s that embracing homosexual relationships as good instead of sinful suggests that you might not really be a Christian. A Christian is someone who accepts the truth and authority of the Bible and trusts Jesus as their savior. If you don’t accept the Bible as true, then you’re accepting your own version of Jesus, not the Jesus of Christianity.

I’m tired of having to explain what “Transgender” means to adult Christian people, who I’m quite sure have Internet access and should know better by now that it ain’t “a guy in a dress”.

I agree. Christians should take the time to research that topic. Saying that a transgender person is just “a guy in a dress” is an oversimplification and an unsympathetic way of phrasing it.

I’m tired of arrogant pulpit bullies who believe they’re entitled to tell people where they can pee and who they can marry and whether they really love Jesus or not.

Real arrogance is definitely inappropriate for a Christian pastor. Accusing someone of not loving Jesus, especially without good reason, is arrogant and insensitive. But if someone’s idea of Jesus is completely unbiblical, then it would be valid for someone to say that that person loves a version of Jesus who doesn’t really exist.

It is not arrogant for a pastor to preach the Bible. Where the Bible is clear on a subject, a pastor can preach on it not as his own opinion, but simply conveying what the Bible says. The Bible is clear on the subject of marriage. The transgender bathroom issue isn’t specifically mentioned because it’s a modern issue, but the principle behind it is clearly addressed in the Bible. A pastor can share what the Bible has to say on the principle without arrogance.

I’m tired of you being more outraged by red coffee cups and department store restrooms than by poverty and racism and gun violence and our crumbling school system.

I agree. The small number of people who were upset about the red Starbucks cups were being unreasonable. Also, department store bathrooms are simply a symptom of the larger problem and should be treated with that perspective.

There are many problems like the ones that the author listed that Christians should be paying more attention to.

I’m tired of gay people being accused of the kind of predatory behavior that straight men have been exhibiting, since the man cave was—an actual cave.

I agree. Recently transgender people especially have been accused of being predators. A small percentage of them are, but by far most predators are not trans or gay. It’s wrong to assume that anyone who is trans or gay must be some kind of predator.

Luckily only a small but loud minority of people automatically assume that gay or trans people are predators. The vast majority of Christians are more concerned about men who aren’t trans taking advantage of a law that will allow them  easier access to women’s restrooms and changing rooms.

I’m tired of reminding you that the number of times Jesus spoke about gender identity and sexual orientation in the Gospels—is zero.

Even if Jesus never directly addressed those subjects, so what? I see this point raised all the time, and I don’t understand it at all. If you follow a Red Letters Only version of Christianity, where you discount the rest of the Bible, you are not a Christian. That’s simply a heretical view. Besides, why would you think you could trust the red words if you can’t trust the other words?

One reason why Jesus didn’t address homosexuality more directly (that we know of) is that there wouldn’t have been any question at that time as to what His response would be. And while crossdressing (which is addressed negatively in the Bible) is not the same as being transgender, the idea that a person’s gender could be different from their sex is really new and wouldn’t have been on anyone’s radar in Bible times.

There is a lot more to say about this, so please check out the article “Jesus Didn’t Say Anything about Homosexuality” by Alan Shlemon.

I’m tired of having to explain to people that although I am a Christian, that I’m not that type of Christian; the kind that is generous with damnation and stingy with Grace.

There are Christians who are generous with damnation and stingy with grace. The kind who are truly judgmental (unfairly or excessively critical) and harsh. The kind who are quick to coldly tell people that they’re going to Hell, instead of kindly sharing the truth of the gospel with them. I’m not that type of Christian either. That would not be setting a good example of how Christians are supposed to act.

We are, however, supposed to be generous with truth and stingy with compromise. If you think someone is being stingy with grace because they tell you that the Bible says homosexual relationships are sinful, your real problem is with the Bible, not the person who told you what it says.

I’m tired of LGBTQ teens cutting their forearms and jumping off buildings because they’re told by their church friends that God hates them, because their Christian parents told them, because their Christian pastors told them.

I agree! God doesn’t hate them. God loves them and wants what’s best for them, even if they hate God for telling them they’re wrong.

Some Christians kick their own kids out of their house or kick their adult sons or daughters out of their lives. That’s absolutely the wrong response. You should be compassionate and patient as you talk through the issues with them and make sure they know that you love them no matter what, even if you disagree.

I’m tired of followers of Jesus who don’t seem interested in cracking open a book to see what we’ve learned about the brain and the body in 2,000 years, or to realize that gender identity and sexual orientation don’t equal the word “homosexuality” in the Bible.

I agree that Christians should stay updated on the latest scientific findings. There are many who do, and they are much better prepared to address today’s heated topics than those who don’t.

Gender identity isn’t the same thing as homosexuality. But the Bible gives us a clear enough picture to know that God does not recognize sex and gender to be two separate things that may or may not align. He created them male and female. He didn’t create some male except inside they’re actually female. That is an unbiblical idea.

I’m tired of all the time I have to spend undoing the damage the Church has done to queer kids and their families.

I’m tired of religious folk who seem to want small government everywhere except the bedroom and bathroom.

I’m tired of Scientific ignorance being treated as if it’s a Christian virtue.

I agree. Christians who think science is evil or unworthy make me cringe. The scientific evidence actually points to God and has strengthened the faith of many Christians.

I’m tired of hearing you preach verbatim the gospel of Fox News.

I’m tired of high-profile pastors blaming gay people for 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina and ISIS and child obesity.

Some pastors blame gay people for those things? I hadn’t heard that, but it’s ridiculous.

I’m tired of waiting for you to show up in this world and actually show the freakin’ love of Jesus to people the way he did and told you to, without excuses or caveats or theological tap dancing to avoid it.

I agree, a lot of people need to get better at this! I also don’t help others as much as I should.

I’m tired of this wasteful, fruitless, mean-spirited, unprovoked, unbiblical attack on the LGBTQ community, that is squandering so much time and life and beauty in the name of a God who is supposedly Love.

God is love. Love means wanting the best for someone, not agreeing with everything they say. God is also just. He is the standard for moral values. If you believe the Bible, you should believe that sin is real and it’s a big deal. It is not “unbiblical” to point out that the Bible does not support LGBT ideas.

Mean-spirited attacks are unbiblical. I agree with that part.

I’m tired of so many people believing that “Christian” and “bigot” are synonymous—and not disagreeing with them.

All Christians are bigots? Then why would the author consider himself a Christian? There are many things in the Bible that he would consider bigoted and wrong. If he really believes that the Christian God is real and is the standard of morality, he should get on board with what the Bible says.

I’m tired of a Church which seems to be so ambivalent toward the teachings and example of Jesus.

I’m not sure what the author means by this.

I’m tired of a Christianity that is making me more and more embarrassed to be associated with it.

There are some Christians or professing Christians who really have the wrong idea about things and set a bad example. I’m saddened by that, but it doesn’t make me embarrassed to be associated with Christianity. It compels me to work harder to be a good example.

So I get that your feelings are hurt. I understand that you’re offended, and that’s not my intention.

My feelings aren’t hurt. I don’t take your opinions personally. I’m just defending what the Bible says.

But listen, if you’re going to tell a group of people that they’re going to Hell simply for existing, and you’re going to continually target those people through the Church and the Law and your social media accounts, don’t get angry with me when I tell you you’re being hateful and judgmental and ignorant.

No one goes to Hell simply for existing. That statement misunderstands our argument so much that it sounds like the author is unfamiliar with or rejects the biblical concept of sin. At the very least, he clearly doesn’t agree with what the Bible says about homosexuality.

People who “target” LGBT people for the purpose of being hateful and cruel to them are not acting like Christians should.

People who are just defending what the Bible says are not being hateful, judgmental, or ignorant.

It could be worse.

At least I’m not damning you for all eternity.

Any human who says, “I damn you to Hell” is beyond arrogant. However, a human who correctly interprets the Bible and shares what it says with others is not damning anyone. If you have a problem with God’s judgment, take it up with Him.

Sincerely,
A Very Tired Christian

Sincerely,
A Bible-Believing Christian

 

Recommended links:
The Bible and Homosexuality
If God is So Loving, Why Can’t He Be More Tolerant of Sin?
Intersex People Don’t Prove There Are More Than Two Sexes
Jesus Didn’t Say Anything About Homosexuality
Are There Any Errors in the Bible?

 

Defining Gender

I was assigned female at birth. That’s the new politically correct way to say that I am biologically female. Saying that a gender was assigned to me makes it sound like it was a decision that was based on the doctor’s personal judgment, which opens it up to disagreement. But the gender or sex that was written on my birth certificate wasn’t decided upon based on a doctor’s subjective opinion. A person’s gender is not “assigned,” it is observed. When defining something observable, the definition should match the observation. There’s no good reason to think that gender should be up for subjective interpretation.

The World Health Organization defines gender this way: “Gender refers to the socially constructed characteristics of women and men – such as norms, roles and relationships of and between groups of women and men. It varies from society to society and can be changed.”

That is not an accurate definition of gender. That is the definition of gender roles. If a man has characteristics that match with his society’s gender norms for women, such as being “sensitive,” staying home with his kids instead of being the provider, liking the color pink, etc, that doesn’t make him a woman. Having social characteristics that are normally associated with a certain gender doesn’t make you that gender. I’m sure most people would agree with that.

So if gender isn’t defined by whether you conform to your society’s gender roles, what is the definition of gender?

Option One: Some people would say that your gender is whatever you think it is, and the only way to determine someone’s gender is for them to decide which one matches how they feel. They would say that a person’s mind might not match their biological sex. By this definition, gender is completely subjective. One person’s gender could even change many times as the person’s perception of their gender changed. (This is called gender fluid.)

Option Two: The definition of gender that has been agreed upon by virtually all people since the beginning of humanity until recently is that gender is the state of being male or female, and that male and female are biological terms. By this definition, someone who thinks that their gender doesn’t match their biological sex is mistaken.

Option Two is scientifically verifiable and logically sound. It is a definition that matches the observation it seeks to define. For those reasons, Option Two has been considered common sense and self-evident throughout history until recently.

Option One is not based on scientific observation, but on emotion and subjective perception. It does not accurately define what is observed. It makes an unsubstantiated jump in reasoning: that because someone feels that they are a certain gender, therefore they are that gender, in spite of observable evidence to the contrary. What justifies the jump from the “because” to the “therefore?” In most cases, a claim that conflicts with observable evidence is considered incorrect. Why would it be different in the case of gender? When someone feels that their perceived gender isn’t the same as their biological sex, it makes more sense to try to get the subjective perception in line with reality than to try to alter reality to match the subjective perception.

This post is my attempt to explain why I can’t go along with society’s new definition of gender. It’s not hate or bigotry. It’s an unwillingness to accept an idea that I think is unfounded. I will accept new ideas if they appear to be rational and are supported by evidence. I have not found that to be the case with the redefinition of gender.

To be clear, my disagreement with the new ideas about gender does not mean that I support hostility toward trans people. Too many people automatically assume that people who disagree are just hateful. As I wrote in my post “Love, Hate, and the LGBT Debate,” understanding and compassion are needed here. I do not think that disagreement on this issue justifies aggressive and hurtful behavior. I know that there are a lot of people who have attacked the character and intentions of someone just because they’re transgender. That is completely unacceptable and unreasonable. We all need to be respectful enough to try to understand the other person’s perspective, responsible enough to strive for truth, and compassionate enough to treat each other with kindness.