Religion, Gender-Dysphoria, and Truth

In my many years discussing, debating, and defending the Judeo-Christian worldview I’ve come across countless objections from all directions.  Some tend to have broad appeal as a foundation but with minor differences, or angles, as it were depending on one’s worldview.  Specifically, ‘it’s all in your head’ takes on many forms.  From the skeptic it sounds more like ‘God/religion is an imagined idea and exists solely within the believer’s mind, but not in the real world’.  The Pluralist will assert ‘Ultimately, no one is correct (in an absolute sense) or wrong, everyone has their own set of truths’.  The key notion is: the only truth-making component of the premise (God exists) is the mind of the beholder.

In both cases, the critic is willing to allow that to the believer, it’s true.  Not in the real sense, of course.  As a fact of reality, in the real world, there are no gods, or, meh…there’s any number of ways to look at it and no one is actually right.  But, for the believer, they believe it so we will let them have their little fantasy and  accept that it’s true for them…even though it’s not true at all.

Now enter gender-dysphoria.  This is a condition, a disorder really, that takes place entirely in the mind.

Those willing to defend the idea that gender is fluid and determined wholly by the individual who feels it, grants that it is all contained within the individual’s mind.  They have a normally functioning male or female body with normally functioning sexual organs and reproductive systems, who believe, as a state of mind, that their body is biologically incorrect.  Moreover, the only way to correct this incongruity is to surgically alter the (normally and properly functioning) physical body and not try and change the mind. To suggest that the mind, which is universally accepted to be susceptible to malfunction (i.e. schizophrenia, dementia, degrees of autism, anorexia, bulimia, etc.) is hateful, bigoted, and all things horrible if the activists are to be believed.

Acceptance and the championing of gender-dysphoria is a cause almost exclusively taken up by those on the political left.  Statistically speaking, a religious skeptic is more likely to align with the political left, and anecdotally, my experience is that religious pluralists also swing heavily in that direction. I make this connection because gender-dysphoria is typically viewed as a political and social issue rather than a medical one. Which is why I couple these two seemingly unrelated topics together.

So here’s the rub: when it comes to religion/religious exclusivism, the skeptics are willing to allow the believer to play their little fantasy game so long as they don’t insist it’s a view of reality and all must assent and ‘play the game’:  keep it private, it’s your view, not ours, don’t insist we all take part.  However, when it comes to gender-dysphoria, its proponents make no bones about who must accept and believe it.  But even more than that, we are all expected to participate in the person’s mental state.  If they were born a biological male but now believes something different, we all must accept that and act according to their assertions.

According to the skeptics, both are states of mind, both are sincerely held beliefs.  Merely because one is related to sex and the other to God is not a substantive reason to assert we all ‘play the game’.

I recognize that there are people out there who truly believe their mind is correct but their body isn’t.  I’m not willing to affirm that their state of mind as accurate.  In fact, I believe it is truly unloving and unkind to foster that false belief.  We all have the innate ability to recognize the difference between men and women, and to say otherwise is a blatant act cognitive dissonance and willful suspension of disbelief.  For the same reasons if someone you knew insisted that they truly believed they were meant to have only one arm, you wouldn’t encourage them to amputate an arm; you should also discourage someone suffering from gender-dysphoria from surgically mutilating their body.  You’d rightly encourage them to seek help so that they would come to the realization that their mind is wrong and their body is right.


  1. Neil Kane says:

    Well reasoned and compassionate to anyone suffering this disorder. Similar to view of Walt Heyer.

  2. First, if I haven’t mentioned it already, welcome back to the sphere o’ de blog. Great to have you back.

    To the post, your thoughts should be taken for granted by reasonable people. Thus, my concern is directed more to those that insist on enabling the disordered to the detriment of all others. It is one thing to wish to make the disordered feel less anxious by humoring them in their false self-image, if imagining themselves in that way is what they insist on doing. But to force the rest of society to go along with the fantasy is another thing altogether. Why? To what purpose?

    I see it as an extension of the same thought process that demands we accept same-sex unions as akin to opposite-sex unions. It’s the same agenda. Where’s the benefit to mankind in forcing compliance with falsehood? That’s not to say we must force the disillusioned to do anything…though encouraging honesty will serve them well…but to force the culture, and by doing so impact legislation, can only end in our mutual destruction. Falsehood is fatal to a culture. Only truth…and learning to face it…saves.

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