WASHINGTON — A former agnostic who became a Christian apologist is urging conservatives to build bridges with unlikely allies to combat the movement to normalize transgenderism, particularly the gender transitioning of young people.
Houston Baptist University professor Nancy Pearcey spoke Tuesday at The Heritage Foundation where she said the definition of what it means to be human and confusion about sexuality have become the "watershed" issues of our time.
In a world under the influence of postmodernism, where even the meaning of male and female is now called into question and deconstructed, she encouraged people to forge strategic alliances with people whom they disagree.
"I'm all for bridge-building," said Pearcey, author of Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions About Life and Sexuality, when asked to comment on the growing unity among conservatives and far-left feminists, and how such efforts might continue. In February last year, Heritage hosted a panel of ideologically diverse women who, despite their differences, are resisting trans-activism together, particularly government-backed efforts to replace "sex" with "gender identity" in the law.
"Some people have asked me, 'Should we do this?' Of course we should do this. We should always build bridges with anyone wherever we can," Pearcey said.
Although Love Thy Body argues that homosexual practice denigrates biology given the anatomical structure and intrinsic meaning of the human body, she added that she finds it interesting that bridges can "to some degree" now also be built with same-sex advocates.
"If you go to trans-critical websites many of them are oriented toward same-sex people because they have gay and lesbian children who are being pressured by trans-activists to go all the way and become trans," the author explained.
"They're being told that it's not enough to be gay or lesbian any more. If you are a girl, for example, who identifies as lesbian because you're more masculine than most girls, they say, 'Well, you need to acknowledge that you're really a boy.'"
Parents on these websites refer to this as a "gay genocide" and often recount how disturbed they are at the thought of their children undergoing hormone treatment and surgical procedures that have irreversible effects, and scars that remain even if the gender dysphoric feelings their child is experiencing goes away, she said.
"What is really heart-rending is when you see websites of detransitioners," Pearcey continued, "particularly women who have had double mastectomies, who have had the hormones — the broken voice and the 5 o'clock shadow that they'll never get rid of — because of what they were on ... and now that they've detransitioned they've reclaimed their [biological] identity."
During her 45-minute presentation about her book, in which she explored how a secular, "low view" of the body underlies everything from euthanasia to abortion to transgenderism, Pearcey highlighted the words of 14-year-old Noor Jontry, who lived as a boy for a few years before eventually reclaiming her identity as a girl. In November 2017, Jontry said in an interview with 4thwavenow that a crucial turning point in her journey came when she realized it was OK "to learn to love your body."
Everyone should build alliances wherever they can because that's about connecting and expanding your influence in areas where you never resonated before, Pearcey reiterated, stressing the importance to being gracious when doing so. She recounted a recent and ongoing exchange she had with a gay man on her Facebook page who ranted a lot but the two wound up having a friendly conversation in part because of how she chose to respond to him.
CP asked Pearcey where she saw the further deconstruction of the human body going in the next five years.
"I tend to think that civilizations follow out the logical implications of their worldview," she lamented.
"Once you accept certain assumptions about what it means to be human, it may be fast or it may be slow, but you do tend to live out the consequences of your worldview. So that's why it's so important to think in terms of first principles, not just in tactics and strategies, and that's what a lot of politics is."
We have to realize that "politics is downstream from culture," she added, "and culture means cultural assumptions from philosophical, science, and theology that tell you who you are, what is the meaning of human life, and what does it mean to be human."
"I'm not particularly optimistic because I think unless we challenge first principles you're going to the see the continuation of the logical implications of what we are already seeing."
Pearcey, who used to work for Prison Fellowship, is also the author of Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity and the co-author of How Now Shall We Live? which she wrote with Chuck Colson.