Katherine Kersten examines the increasingly common idea that individuals should be free to choose their “gender” and the concomitant trend toward encouraging young children to switch sexes with the help of medical intervention. She writes:
How can our nation, so proud of its allegiance to science, have fallen prey to an ideology founded on the false claim that a human being is free to choose whether to be a man or a woman? The transgender crusade is closely linked to the recent crusade for same-sex marriage. Both spring from the same philosophical source—a decisive shift in our society’s idea of the nature of the human person.
The Judeo-Christian vision . . . holds that God created man—body and soul—with purpose and meaning in an ordered universe. But the post-Christian worldview fast replacing it has no place for God, and perceives no purpose in nature. Christian man has become “psychological man” and the soul has become the self, in the words of Philip Rieff. The free-floating self—unconstrained by reality—is now believed to forge its own “identity” through a creative assertion of will.
Post-Christian man views his body as a tabula rasa—a canvas on which to express his identity and exert his will. In fact, the more contrary to nature one’s new self is, the more “authentic” it can claim to be. The recent mania for tattoos and piercings is a case in point. . . .
Today’s transgender crusade can be seen as the latest manifestation of this denial [of nature]. It is inherently authoritarian, . . . because it has to be. . . . Soviet authorities silenced dissenters with late-night knocks on the door. In the U.S., the tool of choice is weaponized civil rights. Critics of transgender ideology are denounced as bigots—guilty of the only sin left in our post-Christian world.
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