Jeff Robinson at Gender blog relates a story from The Oregonian that could only happen in our modern culture of plastic sexuality. Apparently a “woman” in Bend, Oregon had partial surgery and treatment in order to become a “man.”
“The parent-to-be was born female but identifies as a man, he writes in his first-person account posted this week by The Advocate, a national gay publication. He legally changed his name to Thomas Beatie and married a woman named Nancy…About 10 years ago, Beatie underwent breast-removal surgery and started male hormones, he writes, but kept the uterus and female genitals…Nancy couldn’t carry the child because she had had a hysterectomy. So Beatie stopped testosterone injections, and menstrual periods returned within four months. He says he conceived through artificial insemination at home with sperm bought from a sperm bank and that he didn’t take fertility drugs.”
After reading this again I am stunned as to even know what to write. I believe, though, that “Mr. Beatie” proves the point that one can not really change who God has created us to be. This woman was still a woman, as she was created to be, even though she tried to change herself into a man because she probably “felt like” a man. True, if she/he had taken her/his surgery to the full extent, then “he” would have been less of a “she.” But “she” still was trying to make herself what she truly was not intended to be. Our culture truly believes, at least in some circles, in plastic sexuality, as Daniel Heimbach describes it in chapter 10 of Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood. Robinson says it well:
“the irony here is that, in spite of a “gender reassignment” procedure, the female body of “Thomas Beatie” is functioning precisely according to God’s design.
“Despite his sinful machinations, man cannot finally and fully altar the transcendent and biological realities that define a family; according to God’s all-wise design, only a man and woman together can procreate and all the pronominal gymnastics in the world cannot get around it. Sadly, Thomas Beatie’s daughter will be raised by two mothers, and never know her actual father, an anonymous donor.”
What is our response? The article closes with a quote from an expert in the field:
The rarity and bizarre details of a case like this can obscure what’s at stake, says OHSU’s Nichols.
“You hope this kid will grow up with two adults who care very much for her, and that’s great,” he says. “It’s a decision best left to the individuals in privacy.
“My inclination would be to wish them good luck, hope it all goes well and leave well enough alone.”
Two adults is not God’s design; a male father and a female mother are God’s intention and design. I never imagined that I would have to state it this specifically. Our first response should be all the more to teach the biblical truth about manhood and womanhood so that this little girl born to this man/woman and woman in Bend, and all the little boys and girls that we know, will understand the truth of creation and design in God’s image, as male or female.
Our second response should be to lovingly, graciously, and winsomely, but also honestly, live, model, and proclaim the truth before our culture, before believers and unbelievers. We cannot “leave well enough alone,” as Dr. Nichols suggests. Neither can we go into the gay couples’ home and verbally berate them for their sin. The work of conviction is the work of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8-9). We should, though, proclaim through word and action before the church and community the truth of manhood and womanhood. No matter how we try to change them like play dough, manhood and womanhood are part of God’s good creation and are eternally fixed by the loving author of creation.