For my own sake, I do my best to avoid the LCMS entirely, but sometimes the world likes to tempt me by dropping pieces of anti-trans Lutheran literature directly in my lap. This is one of those times.
This week I had the privilege of reading a free booklet distributed by Concordia Publishing House entitled “In the Image of God: Gender & Sexual Identity.” If you want to spare yourself from a discussion of the unmasked disgust with gender-expansive people that lies within these pages, just know that it says exactly what you think it says, and go about your day.
At 7:00 in the morning on February 14th, 2023, Megan Phelps-Roper posted a tweet. “Last year @jk_rowling responded to a letter I wrote her. I’d asked if she’d be part of a conversation seeking to understand her perspective and those of her critics. The result is a new audio series from @thefp: THE WITCH TRIALS OF J.K. ROWLING.”
The now-complete podcast series by The Free Press, hosted by Megan Phelps-Roper, purports to bring together the “two sides” of the “debate about sex and gender,” meanwhile investigating tribalism, discernment, and humanity. It seeks to do this by having an open conversation with J.K. Rowling, a legend-turned-villain who’s “been the object of intense backlash,” according to Megan.
Like Rowling, Megan “knew what it was like to be an object of intense hatred. But I also knew the value of good-faith conversation, and the role it can play in bridging even the deepest divides.” Thus, The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling was born.
Shon Faye’s The Transgender Issue: Trans Justice is Justice for All is the first book I’ve read that is solely dedicated to the trans issue. Only… trans people are not an issue at all. They are millions of people fighting to survive. Faye’s pointed and ironic title is the first way that she flips the mainstream treatment of trans people on its head.
The best deconversion stories involve shedding more than religion. I’ve talked before about how harmful beliefs like misogyny and being anti-abortion lingered with me long after my belief in God left. What I didn’t realize was that my transphobic views were the hardest to shake.
I was so thrilled to discover Bi: The Hidden Culture, History, and Science of Bisexuality by Julia Shaw last Nonfiction November. My shelves desperately needed some color, and I’d never heard of any other books specifically focusing on bisexuality.
After reading it, I’m wondering if my fellow bisexual readers would be better off without Shaw’s bi guide. She wrote it simply because it “didn’t exist,” so now the only new popular book dedicated to bisexuality is, in my opinion, not that great.
How many times have you heard an atheist say, “My nonbelief doesn’t hinder my values but rather it makes me fight even harder against injustice”? This is one of the things I love most about atheism. Most atheists know that since they only get this one life, they ought to use it for good.
One could argue the atheist community has an unspoken rule to respect the esteemed biologist and controversial atheist Richard Dawkins. People have several reasons to respect the man: he has advocated for atheism, he has communicated the science of evolution to the masses, he has written many beloved books; hell, the man invented the word “meme”. For many of us, there has been a lot to like about Dawkins. But a line must be drawn somewhere. Just because someone has done good things at their best, does that mean we can ignore the hurtful things they say and do at their worst?
Even though I attended conservative Christian Grove City College for four years, I have done my best since graduating in 2018 to avoid most things conservative, most things Christian, and all things Grove City College. Likewise, although I have written blog posts criticizing the detestable views of the champion of bigotry Matt Walsh in the past, I’ve since decided that responding to him any further was below me and a waste of time. I’m giving this rule an exception today. The presence of Matt Walsh at Grove City College this past Thursday, giving his usual presentation on “The War on Reality: Why the Left Has Set Out to Redefine Life, Gender, and Marriage,” taunted me to the point that I couldn’t help but watch.
This week, I finally did something I have been wanting to do for a long time: I put “atheist” on my Facebook profile. It was less of a dramatic coming-out than I had anticipated; to see it, you would have to go to my profile and scroll through my “About” section and find it listed under “religious views”. I could have made it into a post that will show up in people’s News Feeds, but I didn’t find that necessary. I did, however, follow a number of atheist pages, and maybe one day I’ll share some of their posts for all my friends to see.