Published February 23, 2023
It is a well-established trope today that evangelical Christians were on the wrong side of cultural debates in the past and that present generations must therefore do public penance, whether the issue is racism or sexism or whatever. That raises the question of what issues the evangelical establishment might be misjudging today that will lead to future disdain towards this generation of evangelical leadership. Here is my suggestion: the issue of transgender ideology.
Why do I say this? Two reasons: first, transgender ideology is leading to the promotion of medical practices that mutilate the bodies and permanently ruin the lives of children too young to elect to have a tattoo. Second, it is destroying women’s rights through its impact on private spaces, safety, and (trivial but true) sports. Given that both the political and the medical establishment are fully on board with this madness, we might say that we are living at a moment when the institutionalized abuse of women and children is not just grotesque. It is also catastrophic.
And if anyone thinks that the politicians pushing this vicious garbage are operating from a position of knowledge and informed nuance, they should read the recent transcript of former Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon explaining why trans women are real women unless they happen to be vicious male rapists. In short, trans women are women unless that identification might prove to be a liability at the ballot box. Sturgeon, like most pro-trans politicos, has merely been reciting a liturgy that plays well to a certain lobby group—a liturgy, however, that has harmful real-life consequences for real women.
Carl Trueman is a professor of biblical and religious studies at Grove City College and a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
Carl R. Trueman is a fellow in EPPC’s Evangelicals in Civic Life Program, where his work focuses on helping civic leaders and policy makers better understand the deep roots of our current cultural malaise. In addition to his scholarship on the intellectual foundations of expressive individualism and the sexual revolution, Trueman is also interested in the origins, rise, and current use of critical theory by progressives. He serves as a professor at Grove City College.