Joan or John? My Answer: Part Two

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Before you read this post, be sure you’ve read the question to which I’m responding here, and the first part of my attempted answer. Otherwise, you’ll be very, very confused.

On the question of whether “Joan” should go reverse her so-called “gender reassignment” surgery, my answer is no. First of all, no surgery can reassign gender. The surgery mangled John, and sought to create an illusion of a biological reality that isn’t there. There is no way that this surgery can be “reversed,” only another cosmetic illusion created on top of the old one.

Additional surgery would only compound the problem. He should see himself as the equivalent of a biblical eunuch, someone wounded physically by his past sin, but awaiting wholeness in the resurrection from the dead.

He should, though, stop taking the female hormones, allowing his body to revert to its (relatively) natural state.

The issue for John is honesty, it seems to me. This means that he should present himself as what he is, a man created by God as such. This means he should identify himself as a man, and should start dressing in male clothing. This is going to be very, very difficult for him, and he will need his pastors and congregation to bear with him through all the stumbles and backsteps that will come along with this.

The most difficult aspect of this new honesty, however, is not what restroom John uses or the name on his driver’s license. It is how he presents himself to a young daughter who has only known him as “Mom.” I’ll address this part of the problem in the next post.

Only when we see how lost we are, we can find our way again. Only when we bury what’s dead can we experience life again. Only when we lose our religion can we be amazed by grace again.


About Russell Moore

Russell Moore is Editor in Chief of Christianity Today and is the author of the forthcoming book Losing Our Religion: An Altar Call for Evangelical America (Penguin Random House).