Postmodernism is spreading around the globe, bringing with it a new definition of sexuality and marriage. In fact, as the principles of postmodernism turn to policy, traditional concepts of human sexuality and marriage are being abandoned in favor of sexual orientation and gender identity. These changes seem not to be bound by borders, but are a growing worldwide phenomenon. In the USA, these new policies are grouped under the header of SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) laws.
The push to make sexual orientation and gender identity into human or civil rights presents enormous challenges to Christians and churches. How is the church to respond? Some leaders in the evangelical community are promoting the Freedom for All (FFA) initiative as a compromise with SOGI. Thoughtful and activist Christians need to understand these policy initiatives.
What is SOGI?
Ryan Anderson, Research Fellow of American Principles and Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation, provides a simple description of SOGI:
In the United States of America, people who identify as LGBT are free to live as they want. But SOGI laws, including FFA [the evangelical Freedom for All initiative], are not about freedom—they are about coercion. SOGI laws are about forcing all Americans to embrace—and live out—certain beliefs about human sexuality. They are not about protecting the freedom of people to live as LGBT, but about coercing everyone else to support, facilitate, and endorse such actions.
Behind any laws and policies are fundamental assumptions about human nature. What are the assumptions behind SOGI?
SOGI is rooted in a denial of truth
First, it must be remembered that postmodernism is a reaction to the meta-narratives of both modernism (atheism) and Judeo-Christian Theism. The postmodern begins by denying God and the Western concepts of objective truth and morality. In this post-truth, post-moral world, reason and reality have been replaced with narrative and illusion, truth by emotions. Morality has devolved to moral and cultural relativism.
Second, postmodernism regards nothing in nature or creation as fixed. Human beings establish their own identity. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy marked the turning point from principle to law when he wrote in the 1992 case, Planned Parenthood and Casey, “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” This language jettisoned biology and genetics (objective reality) to be replaced with imagination and subjective feelings of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Third, having recognized the right to “define one’s own concept of existence,” the logical next step was to establish this as a universal human right. This human-right requires everyone to respect that right. All must conform their thinking and speech to this new “human right.”
Originally, civil rights were meant to prohibit discrimination on the basis of one’s race, gender, national origin, age, religion or disability. Civil rights had nothing to do with a moral proclivity.
SOGI wants to enshrine radical new standards as law
With the rise of moral relativism, civil rights are now applied to what had historically been issues of morality.
- Homosexuality/lesbianism are no longer seen as moral issues. Today the language is “sexual orientation” which has become a civil right.
- The framework of complementary male and female sexuality is no longer a moral issue. This framework has been replaced by “gender identity” as a civil right.
SOGI is the movement to enshrine these perceived new standards into law.
In summary, SOGI creates a new protected class defined by personal preferences in sexual orientation and gender identity.
But civil rights are to be applied at the level of our common humanity, not at the level of an individual’s imagination. The notion of civil rights is grounded in the founding worldview of the West, Judeo-Christian theism, which holds that all human beings are made in the image of God and thus equal in dignity and value and are to be treated so before the law. This has certainly not been universally applied, but has been established as the high water mark in political principle in the US Declaration of Independence and Constitution.
The American founders would have regarded SOGI laws not only unnecessary but probably an abomination and certainly as an attack on the fundamental principles of freedom and human rights as described in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Human rights are intrinsic by definition, granted by God to all human beings. The notion of “special rights” for a particular class of people has no grounding in Judeo-Christian theism nor in the founding documents of the US.
In the post-Christian world of modernism (moral relativism) and postmodernism (epistemological and metaphysical relativism), fundamental atheists want to force every citizen to bow before their prevailing worldview and principles.
– Darrow Miller
… to be continued