Stephen Measure

Divine Authority and "Gender Identity"
May 18, 2016

Everyone has a religion. Yes, I know some people dispute that fact. They claim that because they don't go to church or read leather-bound scriptures, they don't have a religion. But they are incorrect. Religion isn't church. Religion isn't scriptures. Religion is truth. More specifically, our religion is what we accept as truth—the truth about morality, the truth about the meaning of life, the truth about reality itself. Yes, everyone has a religion, and there is no better proof of this than the supposedly secular but actually quite religious ideology of "Gender Identity".

Have you ever deconstructed your beliefs? Have you ever broken them down to discover where they came from, what they are based on? If you have, then what I'm saying here should not come as a surprise to you, but if you haven't, then now is a good time to start. Down in the midst of all our thoughts and beliefs, you will find there are two main types: secular facts and religious truths.

Secular Facts
A secular fact is something you can prove to others, something you can measure. Basically, it's science. (Real reproducible science, not pseudoscience.) Observation. Results. Gravity is a secular fact. The sun rises in the east—that is a secular fact. Math is full of secular facts. And human reproduction—the human species survives because the sperm from a man unites with the egg from a woman—that's a secular fact.

Religious Truth
And what is a religious truth? A religious truth is something that is true because it is true, not because you can prove it to be true. Generally, it's something completely unprovable—like morality. Is same-sex sexuality morally wrong or is it morally right? The answer to that can come only from religious truth. But religious truth encompasses more than just the unmeasurable. It also includes truth that directly contradicts current secular fact. Consider resurrection. Does secular fact provide support for this belief? Of course not. Yet, millions and millions of Christians the world over believe it anyway. They believe it because it is a religious truth they accept, despite how it contradicts the secular facts they also accept. In effect, religious truth supersedes secular fact. When there is a conflict, we prefer our religious truths because they are true without a need to prove they are true, whereas secular fact is based only on the latest results and is always liable to change. Someday, we all assume, secular fact will catch up with all our religious truths, but in the meantime these two types of beliefs might conflict with each other; and when they do, religious truth always wins because religious truth is something we simply believe to be true, facts notwithstanding.

Divine Authority
Yet if religious truth is true because it is true, not because it is proven, then how do we know it is true in the first place? We know something to be true, something to be a religious truth, because we learn it from a source we recognize as a divine authority. For a standard church-going religious person, the divine authority is God. We learn religious truth from scriptures, from prophets, from the traditions passed down within our church; but ultimately the source of that religious truth, and the reason why it is religious truth, comes from God.

And what about those who don't go to church? What about those who don't believe in leather-bound scriptures, who claim to have no religion? Do they have a divine authority? Do they have a source of religious truth—of things they accept as true not because they are proven, things they accept as true even if they contradict secular fact? Of course they do, just like anyone else. But God isn't the divine authority of those who don't believe in God. Their divine authority is the crowd. What is right? What is wrong? Well, what does the crowd say? That is how they answer that question. That is their divine authority, and they will follow it wherever it leads them despite what secular facts have to say about it.

Consider what has happened with same-sex sexuality in recent years. Go back a decade or two and how did people think about it? Did they think it was moral? No. And today? Millions have shifted their moral views on same-sex sexuality. And it wasn't logic that caused that change. It wasn't science. It was their crowd, the Progressive Crowd. They accept the Progressive Crowd as a divine authority, as a source of religious truth, of things that are true without a need to be proven as true. And so, when their divine authority began to loudly shout that same-sex sexuality is morally right, of course they believed. And today they are believing the religious truth taught by the Progressive Crowd about "Gender Identity", even though that religious truth directly contradicts secular fact.

Gender Is Biological Sex (And, if not, it's pointless.)
The terms man and woman, male and female, originate from the reality of biological sex. That's the reason why those words exist. That's the reason why the entire concept of gender exists. Gender is not something different from sex. Yes, some claim that it is. They claim that gender is outward characteristics, that gender is how we appear—like an outfit that we can just put on or take off. Yet, they then use the exact same words for gender as for biological sex, making it a distinction without a difference. They are not asking us to treat a man who makes himself look like a woman like a man-who-makes-himself-look-like-a-woman, they are asking us to treat him like a woman, like an actual biological woman. To them, the "Women's" locker room is the locker room used by people who dress and act like women, not people who actually are. But we do not have single-sex locker rooms to separate people who dress and act like men from people who dress and act like women—we have single-sex locker rooms to separate people who actually are men from people who actually are women. This goes for everything else. The whole reason why we have a separation between male and female is because of biology, not identity. So, no—no matter how you define it— gender is not distinct from biological sex. It's just a synonym for sex. That is how the word is actually used. It's just a way to politely describe the two sides of humanity (man and woman) without using a word that others will mistake for the act of sexual intimacy. Gender is not an outfit. It is reality. It is the reality that someone is actually a man or someone is actually a woman.

And this is part of the problem. You have people using the terms man and woman based on the reality of biological sex, and you have other people pretending to be using the terms man and woman based on their pointless definition of gender; and the two cannot be reconciled together without the aid of religion. Think about it. How else do you magically transform a biological male into a woman? And we're not even talking about "sex changes" either, nor are we talking about the rare cases of actual physical ambiguity. We're talking about someone who is unquestionably a biological male. Strip him and there is no difference with any other male. Yet we're supposed to believe he is a woman, why? More importantly, we're supposed to treat him like he is a woman—not like someone who simply identifies as a woman, but like someone who actually is a woman. Why? Why would we do that? Why would we believe a biological male is a woman? We wouldn't. Not if we're basing our decision on secular facts because the secular fact is that a biological male is a man. That is the whole point behind the word. That is why the concept exists. Yet many people are capable of believing in "Gender Identity", in "transgenders", despite all evidence to the contrary. How is this possible? It's possible because their religion, their divine authority. tells them it is true; and religious truth trumps secular fact.

The Religion of "Gender Identity"
Strip away all of the sophistry, and the basic idea behind "Gender Identity" is simply that some people are born with gender-mismatched souls: some men are born with female souls, and some women are born with male souls. Yes, most believers in "Gender Identity" wouldn't describe the ideology using those words, but that's what they actually believe. It's not biology that proves to them that someone is a man, and it's not brains; it's identity. It's the magical words: "I am a man". That is what makes someone a man to them. Nothing physically measurable. Nothing physically observable. In fact, more than just being unmeasurable, their belief is one that actually contradicts secular reality. Take fifty men and fifty men-who-make-themselves-look-like-women and leave them alone on a deserted island with plenty of resources. Then return a century later and find only skeletons. There is a secular reality here that "Gender Identity" believers are ignoring in favor of their religious belief in the mystical power of identity.

The word "man" means something. The word "woman" means something. They mean something concrete, something real. To say a woman is a man if she says she is a man is no different from saying that a woman is a park bench if she says she is a park bench. This is a belief based not in physical reality but in mysticism, in religion. It is a belief that there is an unseeable, unmeasurable part of ourselves that is more us than even our physical bodies, and the standard word for that unseeable part of us is our soul.

The Divine Authority of the Progressive Crowd
And so, believers in "Gender Identity" effectively believe in gender-mismatched souls. That is how they get around the contradiction with physical reality. The secular fact is that a biological male is a man. But they believe in the religious truth of gender-mismatched souls, and their religious truth trumps the contradicting secular fact, allowing them to believe that a biological male is a woman or a biological female is a man. And why do they believe in gender-mismatched souls? They believe it because their divine authority, the Progressive Crowd, tells them it is true.

But what about the millions of us who don't accept the Progressive Crowd as a divine authority? What about all of us who approach gender based on the secular facts of biology, not the religion of "Gender Identity"? We have no religious truths that allow us to overlook those secular facts. We don't have those religious truths because we don't believe in the divine authority of the Progressive Crowd; and we aren't interested in converting.

Here is the situation that millions of us find ourselves in now:
1. Secular fact indicates that a biological male is a man
2. That secular fact can only be ignored if overridden by religious truth
3. Our divine authority provides us no such religious truth

And that explains the conflict today over "Gender Identity". Those who are comfortable with the idea of "Gender Identity" are those who accept the Progressive Crowd as a divine authority; those who are confused or angered by the assault on reality are those who do not.

And that conflict isn't simply going to go away. Yes, many will eventually submit. They will bow to the Progressive Crowd and accept it as their new religion. (Human history, after all, is unfortunately full of cowards.) But many of us will never give in. Many of us will forever view this as a case of someone else's religion being forced upon us even though that religion directly contradicts secular reality, and we will forever view the aggressors as religious tyrants or as fools too blind to realize that 2 + 2 doesn't equal 5.

The Hubris of the "Non-Religious"
Those who pretend to have no religion are blind to the religious truths they actually carry within themselves. Having no reason to honestly examine themselves, they mix secular fact and religious truth together, arrogantly assuming that everything they believe is a secular fact rather than a religious truth. But those of us who are openly religious are well familiar with the difference. We believe in religious concepts like resurrection, yet we also believe in secular concepts like chemotherapy; and we understand the different realms of both, the different reasons why we believe.

This arrogance has caused the Progressive Crowd to expose themselves without realizing it. They march under the banner of "LGBT" yet, blinded by their hubris, they don't realize the two very different conflicts inherent in that acronym. The letters "LGB" represent a conflict between the religious truth of the Progressive Crowd versus the religious truth of many conservative religions. Is same-sex sexuality morally wrong or is it morally right? That question falls entirely within the realm of religion, and it is the religious beliefs of both sides that are in conflict. Yet the letter "T" of "LGBT" is very different. It represents an entirely different conflict, a conflict between the religious truth of the Progressive Crowd and the secular facts of biology. The Progressive Crowd have exposed themselves as the religious tyrants they truly are. They are using government power to impose their religious beliefs, not only over opposing religions, but over secular fact itself.

Related essays:
Opposition to "Gender Identity" Is Driven by Logic, Not Religion
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

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