MYRNA BROWN, HOST: It’s the 2nd day of June 2023.
Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Myrna Brown.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. It’s Culture Friday.
Joining us now is Katie McCoy. She has a PhD in theology and is author of a book just released, titled “To Be A Woman.” Good morning, Katie!
KATIE McCOY, GUEST: Good morning to you both.
EICHER: So congratulations on the book, first of all. And I just want to note that I have a level of appreciation for the lead time necessary to have a book produced. So, given the lengthy timeline, did you really imagine that the issues you raise in the book would be so front and center, with the growth of trans identity issues? But before you even get there, did you at least plan the release for “Pride Month”?
McCOY: I did not. And that was entirely out of my hands. The publisher made that decision. And it wasn’t until my brother pointed it out. He said, “did you mean to do this for Pride Month?” I said, “no, I had no idea,” and did not even connect that. So to your first question: You know, yes, and no.
I had seen all of these things happening in the news and had been teaching on this in different venues for several years. And I have seen it evolving. At the same time, I remember turning in the manuscript in mid-September. It seemed like every week at that time there would be something that happened in the news. I thought if I were still writing, I would have to put that in my book; that would be a paragraph, or at least a section, because we saw mounting evidence and now it has all come to the surface in a way that I don’t think we’ve seen before.
Now something that was on the fringes is mainstream, it’s everywhere. In fact, it’s boring to be cisgender. Now you have to root your identity in something related to gender and sexual orientation. And so now, seemingly all of a sudden, it has exploded to the point that it is in the homes of average decent Americans who are not privy to most of these controversies. It’s come to their homes, usually through social media, but also through the entertainment industry and even education.
EICHER: Along these same lines of Pride Month: In previous years, and certainly this was the case last year, it seemed as though these four weeks were to be endured but this year we’re seeing a little pushback. Are you seeing the same?
McCOY: I would agree.
First of all, we have to remember Pride Month has been around for a long time. It started under President Clinton and was expanded under President Obama. Due to the policies of President Biden’s administration, I think we’re seeing this come up in the form of a new level of activism, especially corporate activism. It used to be argued that this was about tolerance, acceptance, respect: Things that every human being should be able to expect from their fellow citizen. Now it isn’t about tolerance any more. This is about recognition.
I think there’s a couple of things going on. First of all it seems like we’re seeing so much more that specifically targets children this year. We’re seeing campaigns targeting parents all over, whether or not they are religious; some of them are atheist, and they’re just saying, “enough, this is enough.” And that is exactly as it should be.
Because what gets lost in this, Nick, is how gender as a concept is based in our biology. It’s driven and informed by our biology. But we understand our sense of who we are as a man or a woman according to our relationships, beginning in our families, and then in society.
The other thing we’re seeing too in that corporate and political agenda is the reality of the spiritual source of so much of this darkness coming from gender confusion and the way that it is targeting vulnerable people. We see especially how the agenda is anti-God and specifically anti-Christ.
You heard about this nun group, these “Sisters of Indulgence?” Yes, some blasphemous thing. Honestly, I saw this mocking of the crucifixion, and the only thing I could think of is that if I were there, I’d want to be walking away before the lightning started to come down. I mean, it was breathtakingly blasphemous. And we have major sports franchise making room for them, giving them an award.
And now who are the opponents? Who are the bad guys now in society? Well, now it’s the Christians. Can you imagine any other world religion receiving this type of mockery and being dusted under the rug? No, if this were happening with people were making fun of Allah, we would have public outcry against Islamophobia. You don’t see them doing this without Allah, Buddha, Confucius, any other major world religion.
BROWN: Let me jump in there real quick. Katie, you know, not only is this so called Pride Month, its presidential campaign launch season. Republicans Ron DeSantis. And Tim Scott announced last week Chris Christie and Mike Pence are expected to announce sometime in the next few weeks. And you know, there's been a lot of focus on issues like immigration and abortion. But I'm wondering, what questions should voters be asking these candidates regarding issues of sexuality and gender?
McCOY: It’s a great question.
If parents wanted to turn the tide of all of this in one election cycle, they would ask every candidate to make a statement on where they fall on WPATH standards of care. You can go online and read about what these standards of care entail. They are an activist organization that includes doctors in its ranks, but they’re not a medical organization. It’s an activist organization lobbying for how transgender care should be carried out within the medical community. One of the stipulations that WPATH includes, for instance, is that only one doctor is necessary to approve the gender transition of someone. But then if that person wants to detransition… well, now we need to put some guardrails up. Now we need a multiplicity of voices to weigh into that decision. So essentially, it’s making it more difficult for the person to detransition.
Other things that people should be asking candidates specifically about is the role of gender education in public school systems. Every school district, every state: That is a school district by school district, state by state question. So as important as it is to keep our eyes on what’s happening at the federal level in Washington, it really is what’s happening in your local school district that you need to get very inquisitive about.
The truth is, parents still really do hold the power. They have the ability to hold the candidates feet to the fire on where they stand, not just on the kind of conceptual issue of things like women’s sports or, or the idea of men in women’s spaces, but specifically to ask them where they fall on the government involvement in endorsing things like WPATH standards of care. I would love to see people make this a litmus test issue, as so many other things are.
EICHER: Katie, we’re on our last day for WORLD Journalism Institute, and I wanted to make room for one final student question, and here it is:
JOHANNA HUEBSCHER: Hi, my name is Johanna Huebscher and I'm a rising senior at Bob Jones University attending WJI this week. My question is, as young Christians who are beginning to enter into marriage, how do we decide which forms of birth control are biblically acceptable and which ones are not?
McCOY: That's a wonderful question and one that many women have asked before.
So first, we know that we may not have a specific Bible verse to tack on to it. Instead, we need to take in the whole counsel of Scripture when we approach a question like that. So we know already that anything that would be in abortifacients. So something inducing an abortion is something that we should not participate in. Now, unfortunately, we've got to do our homework, because drug companies can get a little artful in how they define pregnancy and abortion.
So they may say things like, oh, no, it's not causing an abortion. But what they're really saying behind all of that research is, we're not actually acknowledging that a pregnancy at seven weeks is actually a pregnancy. So you've got to do your homework on how pharmaceutical companies are using those definitions. But I think even more than that, there's a broader question. And this isn't to say that people should just have children without having a plan for how to care for them or provide for them or anything like that, but, but I think we do need to consider a broader question. I heard a medical doctor say it this way that the woman's reproductive system is designed to be expressed, not suppressed.
And there is a lot of research coming out on the negative physical effects that the birth control pill has on women, you figure so many of these women have been on it for many years, they get off thinking they can get pregnant immediately. And it doesn't work out like that. Well, some other things that you won't find, again, unless you do your own digging, because birth control is big money. There's a lot of money to be lost if a lot of this information came out mainstream, is that there are a lot of significant side effects to a woman taking hormonal birth control, including on her mental and emotional health. It's linked to increase of stroke and blood clots. It's even linked to some studies demonstrating that it changes a woman's sexual attractions and sexual drive. And so some of these things that are billed as completely side effect free. It's not that case at all.
And not only do we have that moral question, but we even have that question of wisdom is this even best Is this the best thing for a woman to do for her reproductive system? Is is how God designed a woman's body to function. And anytime you're taking a pill that changes your hormone, you're going to have side effects. I'm no doctor, but I can I'm not I'm not the real kind of doctor.
EICHER: When we say doctor, we mean PhD.
McCOY: Thank you. That's good. That's good. I'm not the kind who can can get you out of a real crisis.
BROWN: Katie McCoy has a PhD in theology and is author of the new book “To Be A Woman.” Thank you, Katie.
McCOY: Thank you so much.
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