I feel bad at times that these people were used to provide amusement for viewers. I feel worse for them because they somehow have come to fervently believe something that is obviously not true. Because of this they end up being literally ridiculous, worthy of ridicule. They are living, breathing demonstrations of a hugely important truth. That truth is that being unable to perceive reality and failing to live in line with it is a bad thing. Buying one’s own personal illusions to the point that one cannot see obvious truth is dangerous. It will do harm to the deluded person, but can also lead to harm to others as well. If we cannot perceive reality accurately and live in light of it there will inevitably be negative consequences.
In John 8:32 Jesus said, “the truth will set you free.” It is not believing our own illusions that will make us free, it is seeing the truth and living in light of it. In particular this had to do with accepting the truth about Jesus, which is the ultimate truth. But the principle applies in every area of life. This may seem obvious, but in our culture there are abundant examples of large segments of our population failing to grasp this. It is happening in economics, energy policy, international relations and human sexuality, among others. Today one obvious and controversial example has to do with sexual identity. The concept of “identity” is replacing the concepts of sex or gender. The key element, we are now told, is whatever a person deems his or her sexual identity to be.
The message coming from the elite levels of academia for some years has been that biological sex and “gender” are mere ideological constructs, “imposed by a Eurocentric, heteronormative power structure.” Last summer The New York Times ran an editorial that declared “the oppression of the transgendered by the biologically obsessed heteronormative majority is our most pressing civil rights struggle”!
Here’s the problem: an individual who has a Y chromosome in his DNA is male. That is reality, whatever that person feels or deems his “identity” to be. Dr. Paul McHugh, professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, says that this idea that our sexuality is a matter of choice is an opinion “without biological foundation.” He also says that it is extremely damaging. Not just harmful, but “extremely damaging.” However, our society says to treat someone with compassion we must affirm them in their chosen identity. That sounds kind and good, until we remember that any time we do not live in line with reality we are hurting ourselves and possibly others as well. In fact our society’s insistence on affirming what is patently not true is doing great harm to its victims.
What this tells me is definitely not that I need to go on a crusade against people who are making this error. God calls on us to love all people and treat them with dignity and compassion, regardless of their particular form of sin. This just reminds me that there are certain truths one cannot avoid. We cannot ignore the laws of gravity even if we live with the illusion that we are able to flap our arms and fly. Living out that illusion will have painful consequences. So it will be with some of the cherished illusions of people in our society. They need my sympathy and they need me to pray for them. And maybe most of all, I need to apply this truth in my own life. I need to make sure that what I claim to believe actually is put into practice in the real world.