“Why is the government planning to ban therapy to help people who want to change their sexual orientation whilst at the same time it is increasingly common place to let people change their gender? That’s one of the questions that’s been posed this week.
The response. You are missing the point. People don’t change their gender, they get surgery to change their physical sex to align with their real gender. A person may be male, female or ‘intersex and find themselves in either a male or female body, they can discard the unwanted body in favour of one they prefer. They can even swap backwards and forwards like a time Lord regenerating, or more to use a more mundane example, like anyone swapping their clothes. From that point, gender is a fixed identity even if your gender is “gender fluid” so you can’t change gender. In the same way, a person’s sexuality is considered a fixed part of their identity. They might be homosexual, heterosexual, bi-sexual or a-sexual but that sexuality is fixed. So, to be fair, rejecting therapy to re- orientate sexuality is consistent after all. This viewpoint would equally reject therapy to help some realign their sense of gender with their physical anatomy. You see, the true person is what they identify as, it’s about their feelings etc. This is essentially dualistic view of life, the true self is disconnected from the body.
This is essentially a Gnostic view of humanity, the spirit is completely separate from the body, there’s no connection. What is more, the body at best is unimportant and at worst is matter and therefore evil. Our goal in life is to escape from our bodies that have trapped us.
It’s not surprising to see a lot of people from Christian and even evangelical traditions going down that root because some expressions of Christianity encourage a dualistic world view.
However, the Bible takes a different view. We are more than our physical bodies but not less than. The physical world and our bodies matter. That’s why we have the hope of resdirection from the dead. This understanding of God’s creation and us is important. It’s essential to ethics and pastoral care as it encourages people to think about health, the environment etc. It helps us to show why self harming is never an answer, it helps us to make sense of suffering and it’s essential to a healthy and godly understanding of sex.
It is important to trace back contemporary ethical arguments to their roots.