Thursday, August 22, 2013
The religious right’s new target: transgender people
Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge, in her column for Religion Dispatches, expresses concern about an article Dr. Russell Moore wrote for the “On Faith” section of The Washington Post recently. Commenting on Moore’s emphasis, Chellew-Hodge says: “One of the most frustrating, and often infuriating things about religious conservatives is their stubborn penchant for dividing the world into either/or categories. People are either straight or gay, white or black, male or female, religious or atheist. And of course if you’re on the right side of the dichotomy, you’re on the right side of God. Anyone else is at best inferior and at worst, a sinner damned to hell.”
Related: Several years ago, I remember reading about a final exam Dr. Moore gave to students in his seminary ethics class. Students were asked to tell how they would minister to a woman who came to their church who eventually shared the news that she had been born male and had transitioned from male to female, both through hormonal treatments and surgically. She asked what she needed to do to follow Jesus as a faithful disciple. Complicating her situation was the fact that she had raised an adopted child from infancy who knew her only as “Mom” and had no knowledge of her past life. You can read more about Moore’s troubling suggestions for handling such a situation and his underlying beliefs here.