Nearly half of Americans now believe it's morally acceptable for people to "identify with a gender different from their bith sex," according to a LifeWay Research survey released earlier this month.
"A majority of Americans reject the view of a Creator giving them a gender that shouldn't be changed," said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research.
"We freely change many things about ourselves — we have cosmetic surgery, we use teeth whitener, we dye our hair, we get tattoos. Many Americans view gender as one more thing on that list," he added.
LifeWay Research asked 1,000 Americans by phone last September whether they agree or disagree that changing one's gender or identifying as a different gender is morally wrong. Respondents also had the option to choose "It's Not a Moral Issue," or "Not Sure." The research employed random digit dialing and the sample of 1,000 provided a 95 percent confidence that the sampling error does not exceed plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
Just over a third of Americans (35 percent) responded that it's wrong for people to self-identify with a gender different from their birth sex, while 45 percent disagreed. As for actually changing ones gender, 42 percent said that it is morally wrong, with 43 percent disagreeing.
The LifeWay survey also found that 14 percent of Americans replied that self-identifying with a different gender is not a moral matter at all, and about that same number (11 percent) responded that altering ones gender through surgery or hormones is also morally acceptable.
According to a study conducted in Sweden in 2003, people who change their gender through body mutilation or hormone therapy have a higher suicide rate than the general population.
The study, which followed 191 male-to-female gender reassignments and 133 female-to-male gender reassignments from 1973-2003, found that suicide attempts and in-patient psychiatric treatment actually increased in Sweden among those who had a sex change.
McConnell added that the LifeWay survey "reflects a changing worldview."
"A growing percentage of Americans don't believe in right and wrong," he said. "They don't believe there's absolute truth — and if there's no absolute truth, then they're reluctant to talk about morality."
Although the survey also reveals that evangelical Christians are much more likely than other Americans to express concerns about transgenderism, only about half of evangelicals (54 percent) unequivocally said that it is morally wrong to identify with a different gender.
In an interview Tuesday with The Christian Post, Chelsen Vicari, evangelical program director at the Institute on Religion and Democracy, said it's foolish to think churches are immune from this chaos.
Vicari, who also authored the book Distortion: How the New Christian Left Is Twisting the Gospel and Damaging the Faith added that "it seems hard to imagine male-female sexual complementarity norms are now controversial. But this is the next step in our fallen society's attempt to break down moral absolutes within Judeo-Christian teaching."
"Even some young evangelical Christians I know are buying into the fallacies that sex isn't sacred, marriage is modifiable, and gender is fluid. But what do you expect when the 'Christian Living' section of our favorite bookstores and blogosphere are filled with popular, prolific Christian authors who tell us to relax on gender binaries or otherwise be dubbed a hateful bigot," she qipped.
Transgender issues have been front and center in American politics in recent months, particularly on May 13 when President Obama issued a directive mandating that public schools allow boys to go into girls' bathrooms if they identify as female.
A Family Research Council petition objecting to the Obama administration's directive for schools quickly gained over 82,000 signatures, CP reported on May 20. The petition was subsequently sent to House Speaker Paul Ryan and called on Congress "to take action to protect our children and stop the Obama administration's radical overreach."
In an interview with CP in March 2013, Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council, addressed concerns over the lack of counseling for gender-identity issues.
"Unfortunately, LGBT activists have been so successful in establishing ideological hegemony over the professions of psychology, psychiatry and increasingly, all of medicine, that when a child [or adult] has gender identity problems, it's difficult to find competent counseling to help overcome, rather than solidify, these problems," Sprigg said.
"Essentially, society is being forced to affirm a clear, physical, biological falsehood — the idea that someone with healthy male sex organs and normal male chromosomes can become a female, and vice versa," he said. "We are being told that when there's a conflict between a person's objective biological reality and their subjective feelings, it is the body that needs to be 'fixed.' This is utterly bizarre, and we should not be afraid to say so."