Stop Using the Bible to Dehumanize Transgender People
One of the truly strange aspect of the current anti-transgender activism is the far right Christians attempts at demonizing transgender people.
I know a lot about the origins of the Christian religion and the development of theology, and one thing is absolutely clear: Jesus, whoever and whatever he was, preached a gospel of love: Love for your neighbor, love for the poor, love for the outcasts, love for those who were considered “unclean” by society, love for children, love for everyone. Not once did he attack gay or transgender people.
So why is it that so many people who call themselves “Christians” are so full of hate?
It seems to me that Christianity has been hijacked by people who do not understand the basis of their own religion.
Jesus was not a nationalist
American right wing “Christians” are, for instance, desperately trying to portray Jesus as an American nationalist who wants to protect a white, conservative, hegemony. But he was not American. He was not “white”, at least not in the “Nordic” sense so many right wingers imagine, and he did not care about nationalism. In fact, the reason Christianity became such a success was that it was not anchored in one ethnic group, geographical location or state.
Jesus respected women
Nor was he a conservative defender of traditional gender roles. He respected women. Listen to them. Cared of them. He used their help.
Conservative Christians have desperately tried to downplay the role of his female disciples, but the gospels are very clear in their presentation of his female followers. Jesus was not a defender of the Patriarchy. And it was this radicalism that made the Roman and Jewish establishments so angry that they had him killed.
Jesus was not a transphobe
Serene Jones, a theologian and minister, points out what should be obvious: The Gospel of Jesus does not support transphobic politics.
As a Christian theologian, a minister, and the president of a seminary with many transgender students, I am horrified by the continued use of Christianity and the Bible to viciously attack the transgender community. The Bible never said that being transgender is wrong. This extremist, wrong-headed belief is simply based on shaky extrapolations of the text.
In contrast, nearly every page of the Bible tells us that we must love and care for one another, not degrade and harm each other. This message of love and care is clear, not a false extrapolation. But in this legislative onslaught, a biblically false hate-message is the prized weapon of attack.
I will add here that there are parts of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, that are both bigoted, prejudiced and hateful. But the message from Jesus was not.
This is important for all, even if you are not a Christian or religious at all.
The compassionate and inclusive side of real Christianity played an important role in the development of the humanistic side of modern democracies. The transphobic “Christians” are now actively attacking the vey foundations of those democracies, foundations that are partly indebted to that religion.
Their activism i not only anti-human. It is, as I see it, anti-Christian.
The Medieval Transgender Woman
Was Jesus transgender?
5 saints that reveal the surprising history of transgender acceptance in early Christianity
Judaism: The Eight Genders in the Talmud
The Little Known History of Transgender Christian Saints
Brazil’s first transgender pastor: ‘All humans have flaws, being trans isn’t one of them’