A nationwide poll released Thursday found that a strong majority of Americans (60 percent) believe that it is not morally wrong for individuals to self-identify with a gender that is different than their natural biological sex — a view that is not held by most evangelicals.
LifeWay Research also discovered that more than 50 percent of the 1,000 Americans surveyed do not see it as morally wrong for a person to undergo surgery or hormonal treatment to modify one’s body to coincide with his or her unnatural — or chosen — gender.
“A majority of Americans reject the view of a creator giving them a gender that shouldn’t be changed,” LifeWay Executive Director Scott McConnell stated from the findings, according to Christianheadlines.com.
Evangelicals stand alone
Despite the advent of transgenderism in the United States — as celebrated Olympic Gold Medalist Bruce Jenner changed his name and appearance to become “Caitlyn” Jenner before America’s eyes and as President Barack Obama pushes policies across the country to enforce special accommodation laws for transgenders — evangelical Christians aren’t on board when it comes to not honoring one’s God-given gender role.
The biblical conviction that transgender behavior is a sin is markedly higher among evangelicals than other world religions.
“Fifty-four percent of evangelicals believe it’s morally wrong to identify with a different gender,” Christianheadlines.com’s Emily McFarlan Miller reported from Lifeway’s results. “That’s significantly higher than among Catholics (26 percent), members of other religions such as Judaism and Islam (35 percent) and the nonreligious (20 percent).”
The divide is even more pronounced when Bible-believing Christians are compared to nonevangelicals, as 61 percent of the former group, next 32 percent of the latter, proclaim that it is wrong to switch from male to female or vice-versa by using unnatural surgical or hormonal procedures.
It is ventured that the latest wave of pro-LGBT laws sweeping the nation, along with the recent Islamic terrorist attack targeting homosexuals have fueled the belief that transgenderism is morally acceptable.
“The survey comes as several states have introduced legislation that would require people to use public bathrooms corresponding to the sex they were assigned at birth,” Miller points out. “And the murder of 49 people last month at Pulse — a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. — has highlighted concerns that LBGT people still are not safe and that religious teachings may be a contributing factor to hatred toward them.”
The shift in attitude is evidenced when one examines Americans as a whole, who were asked if it is morally wrong for people to identify with a sex that they were not assigned at birth, as Lifeway divulged that only 35 percent argue that such behavior is not right. A higher 45 percent believe that such a persuasion is not wrong, with 14 percent insisting that such behavior is not a moral issue at all.
Lifeway also asked Americans if transitioning from one’s natural sex to another is morally wrong. Slightly less (42 percent) agreed that it is, next to 43 percent who disagree, while 11 percent contend that it is neither right or wrong for people to go through such a process.
According to McConnell, the statistics on Americans’ attitudes regarding transgender issues is indicative of “a changing worldview” that is becoming more and more secular.
“A growing percentage of Americans don’t believe in right and wrong,” McConnell contends. “They don’t believe there’s absolute truth — and if there’s no absolute truth, then they’re reluctant to talk about morality.”
LifeWay maintains that only 22 percent of Protestants and 23 percent of Catholics know a transgender person — making them the least likely groups in the survey to have such acquaintances. The research group goes on to deduce that this lack of interaction influences their views on whether they believe being transgender is moral or not.
This observation is supported by the survey results.
“Among the 27 percent of all Americans who say they know someone who is transgender, 25 percent say identifying with a different gender is wrong and 28 percent say transitioning is,” Miller relayed from the LifeWay’s research. “Those numbers are higher among those who have no transgender acquaintances: 39 percent say it is wrong to identify with another gender, and 48 percent say it is wrong to transition.”