Transgender activists aim to police the speech of Americans—particularly when it comes to preferred pronouns, but some of them do not extend the Almighty the same courtesy.
Charlotte Clymer, a biological male who identifies as a transgender woman, recently took to MSNBC to claim that conservatives “cynically weaponize” and “exploit” the deaths of children by pointing out the fact that the woman who massacred six people in a Nashville Christian school identified as transgender, according to police.
Of course, this shooter’s transgender identity does not implicate others who identify as transgender or those who advocate for redefinitions of legal rights along transgender lines, though it may illustrate the danger of exaggerated claims of a “genocide” against transgender people.
Clymer went on to misgender God and claimed that God made Clymer transgender.
“I served in the military, I go to church every Sunday, my faith is very important to me, but God made me in her image, God made me transgender,” Clymer said.
When I reached out to ask why Clymer referred to God as “her,” the activist asked for “evidence” and “scientific proof that God is male.”
God transcends human understandings of sex and gender, but the Bible and Christian tradition refer to God the Father in masculine terms and with masculine pronouns. Jesus refers to God as “the Father” (John 10:30, John 14:9, Matthew 28:19, John 14:6, Mark 13:32) or “my Father” (Luke 2:49, John 14:2, Matthew 16:17). The Hebrew verb forms describing God’s actions are masculine, and Psalm 68 and Isaiah 64 refer to God as a “father.”
Isaiah and Jesus do compare God to a mother, but both of these passages involve a metaphor illustrating depth of feeling more than a feminine identity. Here are the relevant passages:
As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.Isaiah 66:13
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!Matthew 23:37
Throughout small-o orthodox Christian tradition, followers of Jesus have prayed to God as “Our Father,” referred to Jesus as male, and used male word forms for the Holy Spirit.
The entire witness of Scripture and church tradition show that God refers to himself using masculine pronouns.
Confronted with this evidence, Clymer suggested that, because Christians use God’s preferred pronouns, they should use preferred pronouns for transgender people.
“So, in other words, because God presents as male and uses male pronouns, you honor that and don’t need anything further to do so? Interesting, what does that sound like to you?” the activist asked.
I responded by noting the basic difference between the Creator—who is beyond space, time, and human characteristics like sexuality—and the creatures whom He created male and female.
“God is God, He is beyond our understanding,” I wrote. “Human beings, made male and female in biologically sexed bodies that are capable of reproducing in a dimorphic fashion, have a clearly discernible sex with a clear reproductive purpose. The limit on our understanding of God does not apply to our understanding of sexed human bodies.”
Rather than address the gaping hole between creature and Creator, Clymer doubled down on using the female pronoun.
“God is all and everything,” Clymer wrote. “I don’t think it’s the least bit wrong to refer to God as ‘Her,’ and I’m sorry that this apparently upsets you enough to write about it in the aftermath of six human beings having been brutally murdered.”
Clymer did not respond to my question about what the activist meant in saying “God made me transgender.”
God made human beings male and female (Genesis 1:27) and the Mosiac law forbids cross-dressing (Deuteronomy 22:5). While some transgender activists have attempted to reinterpret obscure gender terms in The Talmud to claim that Judaism endorses transgender identity, the actual use of these terms reinforce the binary of biological sex as God created it, Rabbi Yaakov Menken explained in Newsweek.
God blessed the biological purpose of sex—reproduction—with the demand to “multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28), but he also dignified marriage by making it a symbol of the joyous union of Jesus and his Bride, the Church (Ephesians 5:31-32). The binary of biological sex is essential to both Judaism and Christianity, but transgender ideology suggests human beings know better.
While people genuinely suffer from gender dysphoria—the persistent and painful identification with a gender opposite a person’s biological sex—it remains unclear whether “affirming” a transgender identity actually improves their lives in the long run. More fundamentally, while cross-sex hormones and experimental surgeries can make a male body appear female and vice versa, they cannot change either the chromosomal makeup of a person’s DNA nor a man’s inability to produce eggs or vice versa.
Transgender identity will always represent a form of rebellion against what Scripture and Christian tradition have taught to be the nature of God’s creation.
In insisting that God makes people transgender, Clymer is suggesting that Clymer knows better than the clear witness of Scripture and tradition on these issues. By referring to God using a female pronoun, Clymer also suggests that Clymer knows God better than the biblical authors and the church throughout 2,000 years of history.
It appears Clymer made these statements to be provocative—to identify transgender identity with Christianity in a way that would shock orthodox Christians. When confronted on this, the activist has since suggested that these statements are unimportant compared to Clymer’s response to the Nashville shooting—a gun control op-ed entitled “It’s Time to Ban Cis People From Owning Guns” (Clymer argues that non-transgender people have disproportionately committed more mass shootings, but stops short of encouraging gun confiscation along the lines of gender identity).
Yet Clymer made those statements for a reason, and the activist made them in the wake of a shooting in which a woman who identified as transgender targeted an orthodox Christian school for mass murder.
These remarks illustrate the pride of Man saying he knows himself—and even God—better than God does. That kind of pride lies at the center of the transgender movement and it is diametrically opposed to the humility that should define followers of Jesus (Philippians 2:3-11).
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