A movement to justify “transgender” and other sexual behavior using the excuse, “because it’s in the Bible” or is “the Christian thing to do,” continues in America.
When former president Barack Obama cited the “Golden Rule” in an effort to force children of the opposite sex to share bathrooms, he said, “he’s not trying to make it a big issue.” His executive order instructing public schools to allow transgender students use school boy/girl bathrooms according to their preferred gender identity was needed, he argued, because “schools around the country were struggling with the proper procedure on the issue.”
A court blocked his order after 13 states sued. Among other reasons, opponents to the policy argue states and public schools, not the federal government, have the authority to make such decisions.
Obama justified the order by saying:
“My reading of scripture tells me that that [the] Golden Rule is pretty high up there in terms of my Christian belief.
“What happened and what continues to happen is you have transgender kids in schools and they get bullied and they get ostracized and it’s tough for them.”
Another attempt to justify transgender behavior is a one-man play called, “Transfigurations,” in which the actor depicts who he describes are transgender people in the Bible.
In “Transgressing Gender in the Bible,” Peterson Toscano, a “Quirky Queer Quaker performance artist and scholar,” says there are many people described in the Bible who are “gender-variant” and have an “array of genders.” He explains:
“Transgender bible characters are those people who do not fit in the gender binary, and who in transgressing and transcending gender, find themselves at the center of some of the Bible’s most important stories.”
He identifies eunuchs in particular, specifically the first person recorded in the Book of Acts to have been baptized (a Black transgender African eunuch), and the eunuch from the Book of Esther. He also includes Joseph, from the Book of Genesis.
In response, Dale Martin, Woolsey Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University and author of Sex and the Single Savior, lauded his efforts, saying:
“Peterson Toscano’s work combines astute readings of the Bible with great story-telling and comedy. He offers interpretations of the texts and insights that even experienced biblical scholars haven’t seen before. When portrayed by Toscano, Bible stories and characters come to life with wit, sympathy, and humor.”
Noach Dzmura, editor of “Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish Community,” and Director of “Jewish Transitions,” said:
“As a Jewish Studies scholar, educator, and activist for TBLG inclusion in Jewish communities, it was a thrill to see confident transgender characters from the Hebrew scriptures given flesh via the performance activism of Peterson Toscano –and, more importantly, to recognize through his performance that those characters fulfilled social roles in Jewish communities as gender variant folk. Bring Transfigurations to your shul and create an opportunity to dialogue about present-day transgender people in Jewish communities.”
But the texts of Acts, Ruth, and Genesis do not describe or identify these individuals as transgender.
Instead, the Bible is quite clear about specific sexual acts, even defining, and prohibiting them.
Deuteronomy 18:22, for example, states:
“A woman shall not wear a man’s clothing, or shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.”
Leviticus 18 lists the blood relatives people cannot have sexual intercourse with and/or not “uncover their nakedness.” Leviticus also lists sexual prohibitions, which include homosexuality, sexual intercourse with a neighbor’s spouse, sexual intercourse with a non-human animal, among many others. Homosexuality is specifically prohibited:
“You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” (Lev. 18:22)
There are societal consequences to sexually immoral behavior. Both the person and the land are “defiled” and the “defiler” can lose his community, home, and land, according to biblical teachings in both the Old and New Testament.
In Romans 1, sexual sin is described as those who have chosen to “dishonor their bodies,” and as a result, have been “given over to degrading passions,” exchanging the natural for the “unnatural.” (Romans 1:26)
They are described as having “a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.” (Romans 1:28)
They also can fall into the category Paul describes in Romans 1:29-32, of those who are:
“filled with wickedness, greed, evil, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; those who practice such things are worthy of death, they also give hearty approval to those who practice them.”
The entire point of the Bible is salvation through Jesus Christ. After repentance and turning from a life in which God was not worshipped, the sin of these people–was not solely their sexual perversion–but that:
“they exchanged the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of [animals]; they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.” (Romans 1:23)
In truth, all behavior, including sexual sin, is a life and death matter with eternal consequences.
Everyone who chooses to believe God’s truth, who obeys God, the creator of the universe, can turn from wickedness and be forgiven by a just and loving God. But to be clear, sexually deviant behavior is identified as “an abomination” to God and abominations do not fit in the “Golden Rule.”
Abominations even led to God turning an entire city, and everyone in it, into salt in Gen. 19.