Before 2015 little was known about transgender issues. Within a year transgender issues were on the front pages of newspapers every day, at least in the western world, and schools everywhere were scrambling to put into place policies for bathroom use that would satisfy students, parents, and the government. The pace of the sexual revolution was not just rapid. It was accelerating all around the world. Why?
Walter Shrumm, Professor of Family Studies and Human Services at Kansas State University in the United States, believes that there are certain aspects of our culture, deeply ingrained, that play into the transgender issue:
1. Proponents of sexual “freedom” have often been loose with the truth. The whole story is not being told.
2. Western society seems vulnerable to emotional appeals or words. As long as you say you are promoting equality or equal rights, few will dare to challenge what you are saying.
3. How one creates and sustains one’s identity as a special person. The hard way is to develop your character, love others, and actually create useful products or services through your intelligence and effort. However, it is much easier to develop an identity based on minority status and therefore deserving of special attention: I am special because I am oppressed.
4. Personal motivation. Do we let our emotions drive our cognitive decisions?
5. Our feelings determine our identity or factual status. So if you don’t feel like you are a male, well perhaps then you are not, regardless of the biology of the matter.
What can we do about these attitudes, which are strong drivers of the transgender movement? Shrumm is concerned that the church isn’t training its people to engage constructively in the culture wars. How can it be more effective in influencing our culture’s sexual values? Using an illustration from his military career, Shrumm shows the necessity of every individual knowing what to do and doing it correctly, in spite of challenges from local circumstances. His soldiers were doing this to uphold the honor of the United States.
In order to uphold the honor of our God we all need to be able to explain how his plan for human sexuality puts “long-term good ahead of short-term pleasure and superficial appearances”, in Shrumm’s words. To achieve this we need “more light in terms of vision, goals, and tasks.”