Many are asking the question "Can religious freedom coexist with 'LGBT rights'?", not realizing the question is a false one that therefore cannot be answered. The two sides here are not religion versus "LGBT rights". The two sides are actually just two separate religious camps, and the phrase "LGBT rights" is nothing more than a battering ram being used by one camp to force its moral views onto the other.
But that is a topic for another day. Instead I want to point out that, while the acronym "LGBT" might make it appear the behaviors it represents are all bundled together and any opposition to those behaviors is also bundled together, that's actually not true. The L, G, and B stand for the words "lesbian", "gay" and "bisexual", all of which are identity shells used to force the acceptance of same-sex sexuality, and it is the religious belief that same-sex sexuality is wrong which causes opposition to that behavior. Yet, the T is very different. T stands for the word "transgender". And what is a "transgender"? A believer in "gender identity" claims a "transgender" is someone whose true gender doesn't align with their biological sex, which means that the religious opposition to that would be the religious belief that … that what exactly? That biology matters? That we shouldn't encourage behaviors which, if followed by everyone, would cause human extinction?
The truth is that, like the words "gay", "lesbian", and "bisexual", the word "transgender" is an identity shell, a man-made label used to manipulate people into accepting a behavior, and here's the behavior underneath "transgender": claiming to be a gender that contradicts your biological sex. Put simply, this is a biological man claiming to be a woman, or a biological woman claiming to be a man.
Now let's take a step back. Why do we even have the words man and woman, male and female, in the first place? Do we have them because of religion? Of course not. We have them because of the reality of biological sex and because of the fact that biological sex is critical to the survival of the human race. In other words, if it weren't for biological differences, there would be no reason to even have the concept of gender at all. And then here comes "gender identity", preaching that some people are "transgender" so we should ignore their biology and just accept that they are the opposite gender than their biology indicates, even though biology was the reason why gender exists in the first place!
And where in the paragraph above did I mention anything against "gender identity" that was even remotely religious? I didn't and that's the point: The opposition to "gender identity" is not driven by religion, it's driven by logic. We know what makes someone a biological male. We know what makes someone a biological female. There are objective rules, based on physical reality, and we logically expect them to be followed. And so, when someone claims to be the opposite gender than their biology indicates, it's not our religion that's offended, it's our logic. Which raises the question: If opposition to "gender identity" is driven by logic, what is "gender identity" itself driven by? And here comes the fun part: "Gender identity" is driven by religion. That's right. The very people who claim to be fighting for objective facts over religious belief are actually trying to impose religious belief over objective facts!
I believe in Noah. I believe he was an actual man, who built an actual ark to escape an actual flood. I'm open-minded about whether it was a worldwide or a limited flood and about what animals actually made the trip with him; but the fact is, due to my religious beliefs, I believe in the story of Noah despite any physical evidence to the contrary. Now let's apply that to the topic of "gender identity". Here we have actual men. Strip them and you'll see there's nothing special about them: They are biologically male just like other men. Yet, because they claim to be women, believers in "gender identity" say those men are women, despite all physical evidence to the contrary. And that, my friends, is some deep mystical s***.
And don't bother saying any nonsense about "male brains" or "female brains". You know as well as I do that if the scientific community ever objectively quantified a "male brain", there would be plenty of women with "male brains" who are quite content being women, thank you very much. In fact, here is a challenge for any who claim there is a brain difference that justifies "gender identity": Should we start using brain scans to determine gender? Should we say that a biological male who has this or that characteristic in his brain is actually a woman despite how he feels about it? Are you so confident in your belief in brain differences that you would be willing to do that? Of course not. Brain characteristics are only used to justify an opinion after the fact. Any brain characteristics that are thought to correspond to biological males who claim to be women will inevitably also be present in some biological males who are happy being men, leaving us with the question: Why the difference? Here's the bottom line: When it comes to the brain, "gender identity" believers are desperately grasping at straws to justify their belief, and when brain characteristics prove fruitless, they'll just keep looking elsewhere because, like a man fanatically determined to scientifically justify his belief of a seven literally-twenty-four-hour-day creation, they want to believe.
But, if it's not brains and it's not bodies that could make a man a woman, what could? I'll tell you: their souls. That's right: their souls, the unseeable, unmeasurable part of themselves, as described by religion, the part of themselves that is more truly them than even their bodies. In other words, believers in "gender identity" effectively believe that some biological males were born with a female soul and some biological females were born with a male soul. And that is a legitimate belief for someone to have, but here's the point that cannot be highlighted enough: That is a religious belief.
Why oh why are so many people trying to impose their religious beliefs onto others? Why is the NBA demanding that North Carolina change its laws to accommodate* the NBA's religious beliefs? Why is Target subjecting its customers to Target's corporate religious beliefs? Both the NBA and Target apparently believe in gender-mismatched souls, but do their fans and customers share that belief?
Some people, including myself, hold the religious belief that baptism washes away our sins. And some people hold the religious belief that "transgenders" were born with a gender-mismatched soul. Neither of those religious beliefs can be physically seen or physically felt. Both of those religious beliefs require faith on the part of the believer. Yet, I'm not hearing any complaints of people being forcibly baptized against their will, so why are so many activists trying to force everyone to pretend that a man is a woman when we don't share the religious belief that allows those activists to overlook all evidence to the contrary?
One more example: If a stranger on the street grabbed your arm and told you he's a prophet, would you believe him? Not unless you had a religious reason to do so. And if a biological male, naked in a womens locker room, claimed to be a woman, would you believe him? Not unless you had a religious reason to do so. In both situations, there are religious beliefs that might cause you to believe; but without those beliefs, you wouldn't. In other words: In the absence of religion, a biological male is a man.
So, yes, the conflict over "gender identity" is a case of religion versus secularism, but the conflict is flowing in the opposite direction from what is being reported. This is a case of the religion of "gender identity" imposing its belief in gender-mismatched souls onto those who believe otherwise. And we shouldn't put up with it.
• Divine Authority and "Gender Identity"
• Gender Identity Is a Self-Defeating Ideology
• Some Connected Thoughts about Gender
• A Modest Proposal for the Replacement of Our Outdated Gender Binary Classification System with One More Suited for Our Progressive Age
• Identity Shells and How They Are Used Against You
* "Accommodate" probably wasn't the best word to use here. The "accommodation" that the NBA and dozens of other smug, self-righteous corporations are demanding is that North Carolina base its laws around their religious belief in gender-mismatched souls. [April 30, 2016]
topic: gender identity