Gender Assignment as Russian Roulette

Have We Reached a Tipping Point?

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Sometimes you have to follow an idea to its logical conclusion to find out if it’s crazy. And a recent article on gender proves the point.

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Eric Metaxas

There are times when you have to read something two, three, maybe even four times to make sure it’s actually serious and not a joke—and even then you’re not certain. Such was the case with Christin Scarlett Milloy’s recent article for Slate, breathlessly titled “Don’t Let the Doctor Do This to Your Newborn.”

Don’t let the doctor do what?

Here’s how Milloy describes it:

“It's called infant gender assignment: When the doctor holds your child up to the harsh light of the delivery room, looks between its legs, and declares his opinion: It's a boy or a girl, based on nothing more than a cursory assessment of your offspring's genitals.”

Yes, she’s saying—she’s actually, seriously saying—that a doctor who tells you the sex of your baby could be doing the baby irreparable harm, by not taking into consideration that in later years, that child might not want to belong to that sex.

In fact, Milloy suggests that infant gender assignment, that practice that takes place after every birth, is playing “Russian roulette with your baby’s life.”

Why am I taking this kookiness seriously, even enough to mention it? Because I think we need to recognize what got this culture to the point of such absurdity—and where we might go from here.

For years now we’ve been hearing ever louder arguments that we need to free children and daily_commentary_08_06_14everyone else from the tyranny of gender, with all the practical implications that argument has—laws that say that boys can use girls’ bathrooms if they identify as girls, for instance. Or parents who trot out their five-year-old daughter and announce that she’s decided to be a boy.

There’s a reason, as my friend Karen Swallow Prior points out in a recent article at Think Christian, that “Facebook offers 56 gender options for user profiles.” No kidding.

Prior goes on, “While [Milloy’s] article is clearly intended to be shocking, its argument has, in fact, been a long time coming. Theories about the ‘constructedness’ (as opposed to givenness) of human sexuality … have been trickling down from the ivory tower for decades.”

And not just trickling down from the ivory tower. How about trickling down from the highest court in the land? Chuck Colson often said that Justice Anthony Kennedy’s 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v Casey was a watershed cultural moment. “At the heart of liberty,” Kennedy wrote, “is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”

As Chuck always said, “Worldview matters.” Ideas have consequences. What Chuck rightly called “Justice Kennedy’s absurd statement” sums up the spirit of our age.


And Milloy’s article is simply taking all this to its logical conclusion.

And even people who get Milloy’s logic are appalled with that conclusion. Like the commenter who wrote: “I totally think it's wrong and weird to push a child to like ‘boy things’ or ‘girl things,’ and I'd genuinely try to be open and accepting if my children turned out to be transgendered. That being said . . . this article is bonkers, right? [It’s] not just me?”

To that commenter and the others who expressed similar sentiments, I would say: It is bonkers, and no, it’s not just you. But you may have helped us reach this point, whether you meant to or not.

Maybe, in the long run, we’ll all have cause to thank Christin Scarlett Milloy for ripping away the blinders and making people face facts. Maybe, unwittingly, she’s brought us to the tipping point we so desperately need to reach.

Further Reading and Information

Gender Assignment as Russian Roulette: Have We Reached a Tipping Point?

Human beings alone have the distinct honor of being made in the image of God. To gain a deeper understanding of what that means and how it relates to gender, check out the links below.


Don’t Let the Doctor Do This to Your Newborn
Christin Scarlett Milloy | Slate | June 26, 2014

It’s a (tbd)!
Karen Swallow Prior | Think Christian | July 2, 2014

Bathroom Wars: Potty Politics
Chuck Colson | BreakPoint.org | June 6, 2008

An Experimental Casualty
John Stonestreet | ThePointRadio.org | June 16, 2014

'I am Ryland -- the story of a male-identifying little girl . . .'
Lindsay Leigh Bentley| blog | June 30, 2014

Gender Matters
Chuck Colson | BreakPoint.org |June 21, 2011

The Image of God and Gender
Dr. Glenn Sunshine | The Colson Center | June 16, 2010


Transgenderism & Skin Bleaching
@Jeff J

You hit the nail on the head that transgenderism is a form of self-hatred. It's comparable to how some Black people so hate their race that they will bleach their skin to become "White."

However, in our PC age, denouncing the self-mutilation of skin bleaching is compassionate, but not supporting the self-mutilation of transgenderism is deemed "hateful."
Intersex vs. Transgenderism
Hi Zoe,

Your facts are confused. You conflate transgenderism and intersex issues. Yes, some people are born with a birth anomaly, such as an extra chromosome or the inability to process testosterone.

Just because there are intersex individuals - who, again, have a birth defect of some sort - doesn't mean there are more than two sexes. Just as the sad reality of a child born without eyes doesn't mean that humans aren't intended and designed to have two eyes.

That is a completely different issue from those with transgenderism, who hate the sex they are born and desire to be or live in a fantasy that they are the opposite sex.

The brain studies are very weak and tentative and don't really prove that transgender-identified people have opposite sex brains.

I plead with you, Zoe, to come and follow Jesus. God loves you desperately and longs for you to join His family and live in His truth.

Some facts - whether your belief system accommodates them or not. Now what they mean from a moral or religious standpoint is another matter, and "outside my pay grade".


Some humans change sex. They're born looking mostly like one sex, and change to look mostly like the opposite. This isn't a religious, ideological or political opinion, it's an objective medical fact. (1)

Fact 2

Many humans - millions of them - were born with ambiguous genitalia - external physical anatomy that was neither male nor female. While *technically* 1 person in 60 is Intersex, usually that would take subtle lab tests to detect, it's only obvious for one in several hundred, and sex is truly indeterminate only one in a thousand times if that. But.. such people exist, and assigning them a sex by tossing a coin and wielding a scalpel accordingly is a recipe for disaster.

Again, an objective fact.

Fact 3

Transsexual people are born with mixed anatomy too, it's just not obvious except by their behaviour, sense of smell and hearing, instincts etc. All things determined before birth by neuro-anatomical development in the womb.

Trans women, like all other women, have feminised brains. Trans men, like all other men, have masculinised brains. Judging their sex based on superficial appearances alone is one way of doing it, but apparently not the best.

(1) http://www.usrf.org/news/010308-guevedoces.html
This deals with 5ARD syndrome. 17BHSD, 3BHSD, 45X/46XY MGD etc etc have similar effects. A natural sex change.

(2) http://www.isna.org/faq/frequency
Some older but still approximately correct figures for frequency of Intersex conditions.

(3) http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v378/n6552/abs/378068a0.html
"Our study is the first to show a female brain structure in genetically male transsexuals and supports the hypothesis that gender identity develops as a result of an interaction between the developing brain and sex hormones."
...and hundreds of other papers on the subject.
What is arrogant?
I'll tell you what is arrogant. There is a basic principle that when the Bible is silent, we must be silent. The Bible speaks in many places about homosexuality, and condemns it. So I am 100% with other Bible believers in opposing the gay agenda, including the lie that they are "born that way" (hey, that would almost make a good name for a song!). However, I have read the entire Bible at least 14 times and have not found one verse about transsexuality. To claim to know what God's view of that is without any scripture to back it up is arrogant.

I have always been sympathetic to transsexuals for the same reason I am about people of other ethnicities, the opposite sex, etc. I say to myself, "What if I had been born female? What if I had been born black?" etc. I used to add gay to that list, but that was before I was born again. The fact is that there is scientific evidence that transsexuality is real. Aside from that, there are people who are genetically of one gender and anatomically of the other. Which gender is the right one for that person? And furthermore, it is patently obvious that there are more than two genders; there are at least four. In addition to males and females, there are hermaphrodites (people with both sets of genitalia) and neuters (people with neither). I have heard non-thinking Christians argue that such people don't exist because God doesn't make mistakes. Please! By that argument, nobody is born blind, deaf, with missing or extra fingers, etc.

However, I do agree that looking at an infant and deciding in a few seconds whether it is a transsexual or not is arrogant, and extremely dangerous.

I could go on and on about this topic, but I will restrain myself.
Christin Scarlett Milloy
Eric keeps referring to the author of the article as "she." A simple search of the Internet reveals that Milloy is a transgender activist, born male but now identifying as a woman. So of course he wants the world to buy into the transgender ideology.
Christians must be compassionate toward those who have struggled with the pain of hating their sex and longing to be the opposite sex. But I don't think that we should collude with this gender theory by using female pronouns for someone born male.
Who Assigns Gender? (God)
The insanity of thinking there are more than two genders and that we are allowed to decide which of the human selected 56 types of gender we are is symptomatic of human arrogance toward God. It places us squarely back in the Garden of Eden. After eating the forbidden fruit we can easily, and do, declare that we know better than God. As a consequence of that kind of thinking our society will collapse into failure and obscurity. Hopefully our society will wake up to the reality that God is God and we are not, and stop trying to play God.