Speaking of Labels

We do have an industry that supplies us with human identity — it’s called the medical profession. And it might be of help when it comes to people want to decide whether to let a sexual proclivity determine their personal identity. Here’s one blogger who rejects straight as an identity:

1. Publicly declaring that I am “straight” counts as ‘too much information.’

I’ve been asking myself what is the real point of coming out as “straight”? Is that really the kind of thing other people are really interested in? Don’t we all have a vast range of sexual impulses and attractions? Does my deeply personal effort to respond chastely to my sexual attractions really qualify as something I should share with others? To what end? Lots of questions about this—if we’re all human and all doing our best to cope with our own call to chastity, why does it matter whether anyone else knows that my particular discernment has to do with my attractions to the other sex? Rather, it would seem more conducive to personal holiness to strive to align my responses to sexual attraction by seeing a confessor or spiritual director. The parish or the general public? Not so much.

Meanwhile, Carl Trueman observes the latest example of sexual politics that desperately needs to buy a vowel:

Wesleyan University has taken the ever-expanding list of initials used to refer to sexual identities to new heights of absurdity or sensitivity, depending on one’s perspective. We are now apparently up to fifteen letters: LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM.

It is easy to laugh at such gibberish on the grounds that it is as absurd as it is self-regarding. Yet that would be a mistake. First, there is the long-established inability of such groups to laugh at themselves. Indeed, the new libertinism often makes the old Puritanism look comparatively self-effacing and gently playful. . . . Second, there are surely grounds for congratulating folks at Wesleyan on their consistent honesty in the cause of sexual liberation. Liberation, that is, of sex from any intrinsic moral significance. As Luther said to Erasmus in very different circumstances: You and you alone have placed your finger on the hinge on which everything turns.

The good thing about medicine is that a doctor’s determination of sex confirms what nature, Nature’s God, or the God of the universe (you can choose your god, not your sex) does. People come into the world either male or female, not straight, homo, confused, transgender, or even as believer or unbeliever. Sexual preferences are mere accidents of history.

Even better, the most basic human identity is still linked to the genitalia that God made:

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them. (Gen 1:27)


15 thoughts on “Speaking of Labels

  1. Black Mirror on Netflix. The episode “The Entire History of You” was particularly disturbing (in a good way). Maybe you’ll learn a thing or two about your social media presence.


  2. Erik, I can see you aren’t going to let me slip out the back with my amigo Michael here.

    Michael, you are too kind. If only you were more specific of where on the west coast you are, I could keep this going longer and longer. However, we’ll both defer to Erik here, it’s his fault I’m posting this.

    Again, you manage to crack me up – don’t ever change!


  3. People like to say that the first poetry in the Bible is at Genesis 4.23-24. No. The first poetry is at Genesis 1.27. I think most modern translations (I know the ESV does) scan that verse as poetry.

    You’re welcome.


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