Protesting Preferred Pronouns
There is an increasingly common social phenomena spreading through our culture today and it is the demand by many to use the “preferred pronoun” required by any individual person rather than what may be biologically obvious to anyone else about that person. The idea is that how someone self-identifies is more valid and should be dignified over top of anyone else’s view of that person’s identity. At first glance it seems reasonable to say that identity should not be forcefully cast upon the unwilling. After all, I have been “identified” as everything from a moron to a mouse over the years and I know it is unpleasant to have such an identify thrust upon me.
Nevertheless, there is a difference between the false identity a bully may wish to throw on the person they pick on and an individual’s gender identity that may contradict biological reality. For example, a biological female, born with two X chromosomes in the genetic code and corresponding human female genitalia, may self-identify as male, or as unidentifiably “non-binary” or even as a plurality of persons. Consequently, this person may insist that everyone refer to “her” as “him / he” or even “they / them.” How is dignifying contradictory gender identity the same as avoiding the unpleasant “identity” a bully (or a bully culture) may thrust upon someone?
It is not the same, because what is physically real is different from an uniformed or irrational opinion.
The gender identity and preferred pronoun issue, however, extends beyond any debate about physical reality because our culture leans toward the idea that giving into the demand of any person to be called by the preferred pronoun of that person is a form of civil and social decency. Thus, using “preferred pronouns” as required by any person is sometimes seen as an example of providing social dignity and equality so the thought becomes “preferred pronouns should be a common part of decent society.” It follows, then, that anyone protesting the use of preferred pronouns must be unwilling to be decent, stubbornly refusing to give dignity and equality of value to persons. Such persons are often characterized as backward religious bigots or some similar noxious purveyor of hate so, does it surprise anyone there is growing sentiment that such resistors should be shunned in decent society?
On an aside, it is ironic that protestors to the growing “preferred pronoun” social rules are often characterized as intolerant. After all, if the use of preferred pronouns is a demand based on a need for tolerance toward those who identify outside the mainstream, how is intolerance of those who do not accept preferred pronoun use anything less than - intolerance? How is intolerance for the sake of tolerance anything less than absolute hypocrisy? Nevertheless, despite this irony, there is apparently little room for rational discussion about the reasons some people resist the preferred pronoun movement. It is as if there is no valid counter argument, so there is nothing to discuss.
The truth is that those of us opposed to the use of preferred pronouns view the social pressure to use them as a form of tyranny. Tyranny is normally associated with government oppression (and this movement could slide into that sort of tyranny), but the definition of tyranny includes: “the oppressive or unjust use of power.” Social and cultural tyranny happens when a mob (social or physical) overwhelms opposition to its demands by threat of physical or social violence. Examples include churches vandalized, church websites hacked, being shouted down into silence, doxing, social media trolling, libel, Facebook or Twitter “jail” and other forms of silencing. Such mobs loudly attempt to simply drown out any opposing argument rather than engage in any reasonable debate and, unfortunately, mob tyranny has been a common response to those opposed to preferred pronouns. The thrust of this article is an attempt to get around the shrill scream of the mob, to make a few rational points on the matter and persuade the reader to at least consider these points.
In the first place, demanding preferred pronouns that contradict what is biologically determined, is a violation of truth. Truth is that thing which corresponds to reality. It is “telling it like it is” and “matching the description with the actual facts.” Any attempt to get around the definition of truth as correspondence automatically uses correspondence! If one says “truth is relative – there is no such thing as absolute truth” then it follows that this statement is either true or false because if it is NEITHER true or false then the statement is meaningless, has no value and determines nothing. If it IS true – then at least one statement is absolutely true and that is the statement that all truth is relative! But if that is the case then by definition, it cannot be true – because if all truth is relative then the statement “all truth is relative” must NOT be absolute and around and around we go. In the end, truth is that thing which corresponds to reality – and that is true regardless of what anyone feels about it. Thus, if a person is biologically male but demands to be called female, this is a demand to violate truth itself and as a Christian I am called to uphold the truth. I cannot therefore comply, in good conscience, with any such demand.
Secondly, since truth is correspondence with reality, what is true about all human beings is that at conception human DNA has only two options in the chromosomes that determine gender – you either have two “X” chromosomes or you have an “X” and “Y” chromosome. Two X chromosomes mean you are biologically female. An X and Y chromosome mean you are biologically male. It does not matter what you chop off your body or what you sew onto it – this genetic identity at conception is the truth about you. It does not matter how many hormone pills anyone takes or how anyone feels emotionally about the gender situation, gender is what it is from the DNA upwards…(A common response to this argument today is the counterchallenge “Are you a biologist” - as if you must be a biologist or at least qualified in biology to have this opinion. Ironically, this means the “are you a biologist” challenge admits that biology determines gender! One way or another, DNA wins - but for the sake of argument – I have passed the state administered exams to have “biology” and “general science” added to my teaching credential and I have taught 10th grade biology - including sex ed - so, in effect, I am qualified in biology to make this statement).
Finally, demanding preferred pronouns that contradict what is biologically true about the individual is, from the Christian point of view, a form of “self-worship.” It is the rebellion of the individual against the Creator. No one asks to be born. No one first exists within a human mother in order to consciously select the X or the Y chromosome. It is absurd to suggest that anyone can exist before they exist, to determine HOW they will exist; thus, gender determination is made by the Creator via biological norms established at the creation of the human race. It is the Creator, therefore, who determines that roughly half of all conceived human beings will be female regardless of what human females think about that fact. The female or male who denies genetic reality once that person reaches an age of self-awareness is, in effect, in rebellion or defiance against the Creator. They want to create themselves and demand that everyone worship their choice rather than the choice of the true Creator. They are saying, “I will exalt my will (what I want) above the will of the Maker.”
For me, as an individual Christian, any individual demanding that I must use that person’s preferred pronouns, when those pronouns contradict known biological reality, are in effect demanding my worship. They are saying “you must give into and worship my choice rather than God’s (Yahweh’s) choice about me.” They are acting in some ways like a little god, so for me this is a choice between my allegiance to the one true God and some other entity shouting, “what Yahweh says will not be true about me.”
But I cannot and will not worship anyone or anything other than Yahweh, the one true God who created all things. He alone took on the form of a human being in the person of Yeshua (Jesus). He alone rose from the dead. He alone has the qualifications to determine what is right and what is wrong. In Exodus 20:16 (NLT) Yahweh (God) commanded, “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor” and it would be false testimony against my neighbor to say of that neighbor “you are male” when I know that neighbor is genetically female or female when I know that neighbor is male. In short, this demand to use preferred pronouns is a violation of my religious conscience – a demand that I break God’s law! First century Christians faced a similar dilemma – the Romans demanded they publicly declare “Caesar is Lord” (meaning their allegiance to Caesar was greater than any religious allegiance) but they were willing to give their lives rather than worship Caesar. Quite frankly, I too would rather die than worship a false god, so I will not comply with the preferred pronoun phenomena.
I have had my say in this article, but I am under no illusions that the preferred pronoun folks are going to give in and allow me religious freedom on this issue – not without insult and an attempt to silence me. The Romans did not do this for the first century Christians either. There is already threat to dissenters like me – just look at the news and read the articles on social media. There is already a consistent effort to silence us – just look at the number of Twitter and Facebook accounts canceled if you dare to say these things on those platforms. There is already video record of preferred pronoun folks screaming in the faces of anyone who refuses their demands, publicly insulting the resistant and even becoming physically violent. Why?
Because that is what little gods do.
False gods that do not get their way will get violent toward “infidels” that will not acknowledge their power. It has been this way since the beginning, but my Lord Yeshua (Jesus) said long ago that this would happen. He said, “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day…And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot.” (Luke 17:26,28)
The days of Noah and Lot are upon us – so how should we respond?
In the first place, our response cannot be in the same vein or manner as those who sneer at our beliefs. To do so is a violation of our Lord’s command to “love your enemies.” Proverbs 26:4 says, “Do not answer a fool according to his foolishness, Or you will also be like him.” In other words, if I answer this argument with the same invectives and anger and screaming demands that are being hurled at my side of this question, then I “answer according” to the same manner of foolishness. No, instead we need to think about 1 Peter 3:15 which says,
“but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, but with gentleness and respect; 16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who disparage your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.”
Our response then should be, as this article attempts, to make a reasonable explanation in a reasonable manner. Regardless of response, however, I for one will not comply with the preferred pronoun phenomena because it is a violation of my most sincerely held and deepest religious beliefs. It will take some courage to stand firm gently and respectfully against this, but the Bible says, “…God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (1 Tim 1:7)
In the end, the most loving thing I can do for my neighbors is to tell them the truth, even if the truth is something my neighbors decide to take offence at or does not want to hear. My Lord Yeshua said, “For this purpose I have been born, and for this I have come into the world: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.” (John 18:37) For this reason, those of us who listen to His voice will testify to the truth also, regardless of how loudly the truth is opposed.