Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
This article can be found at:
Latest Posts

Professional heterosexual Jeff Johnston takes non-Biblical position on Facebook gender options

Daniel Gonzales

February 13th, 2014

Facebook has updated their site to allow users to select options for their gender beyond “male” and “female.”  In a surprise to no one Focus On The Family is worked up about this and trotted out their resident ex-gay-for-pay Jeff Johnston to provide quotes for an AP story:

“Of course Facebook is entitled to manage its wildly popular site as it sees fit, but here is the bottom line: It’s impossible to deny the biological reality that humanity is divided into two halves – male and female,” Johnston told the AP.

Except the Bible makes repeated reference to eunuchs* in both the Old and New Testaments.  Which gender box would Johnsnton force Heigai from the Book of Esther to choose? How about the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8? Or Ebed-melech who rescued Jeremiah from the well?  What box on Facebook would Johnston tell them to check?

Even Jesus spoke of eunuchs in Matthew 19:12

“For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.”

Johnston ignores a direct commandment from Jesus and Biblical record to falsely claim a two choice gender binary exists, when it clearly does not as recorded in his own holy book.  Focus seems to agree with Johnston’s position since their PR team tweeted a link to the article.   It’s unclear why Focus has adopted a non-Biblical position on the existence and dignity of transgender people.

 

*As modern medicine has given us hormones and surgery to supersede castration the term “eunuch” is rarely used today. The Biblical context of Matthew 19:12 makes it clear there are multiple reasons for a person being a eunuch beyond involuntary castration, I argue in Biblical times it is was an inclusive term much like “trans” is today. Also, one of the few continuing ancient transgender traditions are the Hijra of South Asia who still today often self identify as both eunuchs and transgender further supporting my assertion the terms are interchangeable.

Comments

POST COMMENT | COMMENT RSS 2.0

Paul Douglas
February 13th, 2014 | LINK

“It’s unclear why Focus has adopted a non-Biblical position on the existence and dignity of transgender people.”
Why is it unclear, Daniel? Christianists and their apologists cherry-pick from their buybull all of the time! All the while they claim they are following the full gospel or the inerrant Word, blah, blah, blah. They are bathed in the culture of Orwellian doublespeak, and continually change the meanings of words and inconvenient paragraphs written in their holey tome, to suit their theology. Its all about protecting what they believe, the truth be damned.

Nathaniel
February 14th, 2014 | LINK

More specifically, they are uncomfortable with the failure of the binary for several reasons. 1st, it makes people harder to box up in nice, neat categories, if they can choose things other than the clearly defined male and female. Further, if intermediate categories exist, that supports the legitimate existence of truly transgender/transexual individuals who identify as the opposite of their biological sex. The lack of gender binary also puts to the question their clinging to hetero-dominant norms. If genders are not determined at conception and strictly maintained through development, that would mean there is really no such thing as hetero- or homosexual, since we are all just people loving another person who’s ambiguously defined gender may or may not match our own. It is a scary world to them, because it is new, and full of people they can’t limit to rigorous categories, and they just can’t stand to let that happen. There is also the scary matter of men and women being equal. Without strict adherence to gender identities, they will have to treat women equally, with the same respect and dignity they currently restrict to men. Also, the men might have to change diapers and take care of the kids once in a while, while the women (God forbid) get to lead worship service. This whole sexist, homophobic deck of cards relies on the gender binary, and when that’s gone, they will have nothing left to support it.

Hue-Man
February 15th, 2014 | LINK

How is it any of their business if a public company offers choices for its customers to describe themselves? Which commandment covers Facebook?

These radical extremists would probably have protested this Johnny Cash song from 40 years ago. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1BJfDvSITY

Timothy Kincaid
February 15th, 2014 | LINK

Daniel,

Norwegian theologian Ragnhild Schanke argues that the term “eunuch” is more inclusive than those we might call “trans”. Eunuchs included all non-traditional sexual identities including gay men (women may not have been part of the term) and would be more similar to “queer” or “LGBT”.

Interestingly, extreme anti-gay activist and scholar Robert Gagnon also shares this view. Though, of course, Schanke and Gagnon come to very different conclusions about what it means.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.