One of the lead stories in South Africa over the weekend was the much-anticipated ‘wedding’ of Somizi Mhlongo to longtime same-sex partner Mohale Motaung.
Somizi is a flamboyant socialite who is very open about his homosexual lifestyle. He once caused a stir when he stormed out of Grace Bible Church during a sermon by Ghanian evangelist Dag Heward-Mills, after taking offence at comments the outspoken preacher made concerning homosexuality.
But this past weekend the Idols judge was in a celebratory mood with a star-studded wedding that featured huge golden thrones and a massive eight-tier centrepiece cake.
The lavish wedding was billed as a traditional ceremony but it shone a spotlight on LGBTQI issues and how the Church deals with them.
Frankly, it is untenable for the Church to remain mere spectators as traditional views concerning gender and family are being redefined. We are leaders of society and also have members who need pastoral care and guidance regarding complexities brought about by gender dysphoria.
From the onset, I must tell you that the current and fervent discussions around gender are not brought about by new knowledge. The main driver is an ideology that is vigorously enforced by gender activists who campaign for radical expressive individualism while also harassing anyone who dares to dissent from their gender ideology.
In my previous piece about gender identity I mentioned that research in the relationship between biology and sexual orientation is inconclusive.
Subsequently, a study on homosexual behaviour published at the end of August debunked the idea of a single “gay gene”. This scientific study was the largest of its kind with close to 500 000 people participating and it concluded that it is mainly non-genetic factors that are behind homosexuality.
Gender activists are not dissuaded. In fact, their cause has somehow morphed into a civil rights movement. But is it? For a start, they tell us that gender is a social construct. A dichotomy is created between biological sex and gender and the two (biological sex and gender) are seen as distinct from each other.
And yet we are also expected to believe that gender is innate and immutable. Do you see the contradiction here? Ryan H.Anderson, PhD illuminates things further when explaining the transgender worldview. He says: “The transgender worldview combines a new form of the ancient philosophy of Gnosticism in which the real self is something other than a material body. While at the same time embracing materialism in which nothing but material bodies exist.”
Dr Anderson argues further that gender is a “social manifestation of bodily sex and that biology isn’t bigotry”.
It is Margaret H McCarthy who helps us to see why the false dichotomy between gender and sex is strenuously maintained. In the book, Gender Ideology and the Humanum, she posits,
“Gender” now belongs to the realm of the disembodied will, which stands over its body and chooses (“assigns”) an “identity” without any need for justification, especially when such choice is in opposition to its given sex.”
The big word with this ideology is “choice.” Gender activists are waging a war against anything that limits their freedom to self-determination. Their understanding is that gender exists in a continuum and thus a person has limitless possibilities to choose from.
But the biggest problem for these activists is that all of these new “gender identities” are unmoored from biological reality. Dr Anderson is correct — biology is not bigotry but it is the only objective determinant of sex.
From science we learn about hormones, chromosomes, internal and external reproductive organs, etc. And these are the indicators of biological sex.
If self-perception and feelings determined a person’s sex or gender (I see no distinction between the two), then gender could not be innate and immutable. Because innate things — such as age, ethnicity or height — are never subject to how a person feels. They simply are. In any case, what does gender really feel like apart from a body? In other words, apart from having a male body, what does it feel like to be a man?
And if some people can have a discordant gender identity what stops others from being transracial? In other words, to exist with a conflict with their race. Let me end with an open letter that Somizi wrote to himself. Yes, to himself and published on his Instagram page for his 2.5 million followers.
He wrote: “I owe myself a huge apology. This is an open letter to Somizi: ‘I’m really sorry for not loving you the way I should and the way you deserve to be loved. I’m sorry for not putting you first before anything and anyone. I promise to prioritise your needs, your wants; and give you more attention than I’ve ever given. But most of all I will love you better. I hope my apology is accepted. I love you.” He added that he was also sorry for doubting how awesome, powerful and important he was.
The letter was given further traction when it was picked up and published by various media organisations. Many of them coined it “self-love.” Which “self” they are referring to is difficult to tell.