This week has marked the end of a nearly month long research project, culminating in a post that I am quite happy to have finished. The cross referencing that was required to write this post was grueling, and every time I thought I had finished putting together the connections, things just got more tangled. But now it’s done, and I can move on to other projects. I’m excited for the posts I have coming up.
But with my own post out of the way, it’s time to focus on the work of others. There have been a wealth of excellent posts in the last week and I want to be sure to share them with you all as well. There have also been a number of absolutely terrible thing that have been said/written as well. I also want to take a moment to highlight those.
Most of all, I want to thank everyone for reading and engaging. It has been amazing getting to know some of you, and I look forward to getting to know more of you in the future.
- My friend, Dr. Christy Sim, has written not one but two excellent posts this week. The first is a look at the Christianity Today interview with Saeed Abedini. The second is a brief but insightful look at the ways we can instill concepts of consent in our children using popular movies and TV shows.
- Glennon Melton has put together an absolutely touch, profound, and tear-jerking post on young girls and body image (seriously, I warned you!). This may quite possibly my favorite post of 2016, so far.
- Dalaina May, one of the many people I have come to know through this blog, has written an excellent reflection on the Beatitudes. For me, the subtle yet profound distinction she makes it so freeing, allowing us to move from a God who stands over us and judges our every action to a God who is with us, empowers us, and pursues us in our day to day lives, calling us into himself and to embrace the community identity that entails.
- Another great post has been written by a friend, who blogs under the name Christian Janeway. In this post, she points out the hypocritical inconsistencies of Christians who obsess over what bathrooms transgender persons are using, but refuse to do anything about the sex predators and abusers inside the church itself.
5. Zack Hunt has written an excellent post reflecting on his cancer diagnosis and the way many Christians respond to tragedy and health crises.
- In an absolutely heartbreaking story, a young man attempted suicide while in the care of a Christian “counseling” center. The center required him to hand over his meds and cease taking them cold turkey. They then tried to treat his mental illness with Bible study and prayer. It is sad and sickening that Christians reject the creation God has given us, claiming that using its many medicinal blessings and the therapy techniques we have discovered is a “lack of faith.”
7. Today, Al Mohler decided to, again, talk about Transgender persons on The Briefing. He has a history of making inflammatory statements, and today was no different. Today, his logic was based on concepts of human dignity and the imago Dei. I will outline his argument quickly, but encourage you to listen as well.
1. God created humans in his image according to a strict and immutable binary of male and female.
2. Our dignity as human beings is rooted in the image of God which all human beings bear.
3. Transgender persons are an affront, then, to all notions of human dignity because they reject the image of God and assert themselves against his creation.
Now, as I see it, this is a deeply problematic argument. You cannot affirm the dignity of a person as a human being while asserting that they are also an affront to the dignity of humanity according to God’s image. In fact, as Mohler has established a gender binary, confused it with notions of declared birth sex (yikes!), he has argued that persons outside his concept of gender are less human than those that do. That is, he has declared that we cannot dignify transgender persons if they have rejected this binary because doings so is an affront to the rest of humanity.
As tends to be the case among so many Evangelicals, Mohler’s argument is based not in the cross as a source of meaning and dignity for all persons, but on a selectively literalist reading of Genesis 1 based more in his own prejudice and fears than in solid literary or biblical criticism of the text. Mohler, sadly, has a history of denigrating persons he considers other (see my post here).
8. Sadly Mohler hasn’t been alone in his troubling statements. Ann Graham Lotz has shown the degree to which certain strands of Christian feminism are woefully non-intersectional. In this particular interview, AGL declares that God is using terrorism as a vehicle for punishing the US for teaching evolution and the justice departments stance on transgender bathroom equality. I pray for the day that Christians realize that, even if they do see LGBTQ+ persons as enemies, they are commanded not to conquer or hate their enemies, but to love them (Matt 5:43-48). Insinuating that God causes terrorism to conquer trans persons is beyond a terrible and troubling thing to say.