July 07, 2016

'Word Usage Reflects Worldview'

Since words reflect reality and shape our thinking, Marvin Olasky writes in a recent WORLD magazine column, it's important that we keep our terms straight. Take the word "gender," for example—"originally a grammatical term but now a common way of referring to maleness or femaleness without using the word sex." 
The World Health Organization offers a good distinction: “What do we mean by sex and gender? … Sex refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women. Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.” 
Using gender when we mean sex reflects the non-Christian view that the difference between males and females is essentially a human construct rather than one ordained by God, as Genesis 1:27 states: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” 
Thinking of gender as something constructed by man leads into the current headlines about “transgenderism”—but subjective assertions do not change the objective fact that God created humans male and female. If we accept the now-conventional practice of changing pronouns as soon as someone says, “I feel I’m a man trapped in a woman’s body,” we’re signing on to an unbiblical anthropology/physiology, because the difference between males and females is not just sex organs. 
At WORLD we can sympathize with the unease and dissatisfaction of those who feel trapped, but we should not twist words, and ourselves, into pretzels.

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