How do conservative Christians regard transgender people?

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.

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.


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