Norrie is loved and valued. That’s my message to Norrie, who has won the right to be registered as neither a man nor a woman in the High Court.
But this is a decision with far-reaching implications across Australia and what I want to ask the high court is what it actually means? And where does it end? This is an artificial category that we have created to satisfy people’s preference. It’s not a category based on reality, but rather it is based on a person’s preference. This case came about because Norrie was born a male but decided to have a sex change to become female, but now doesn’t wish to identify as either. As reported, the court’s ruling only applies to someone, like Norrie, who had sex reassignment surgery to become a woman, and now has decided they wish to be non-specific.
Norrie’s lawyers argued that forcing Norrie to choose male or female was to maintain a fiction. To put in law that Norrie is gender neutral is what is maintaining a fiction.
As I write I can’t even shift in my comment to refer to ‘he’ or ‘she’. There is no gender neutral pronoun in English to refer to a person apart from the usually plural ‘they’. Online suggestions include ‘it’, which I refuse to use as it implies that Norrie is not human. Norrie IS human – made in the image of God and loved by God and loved by humanity. But Norrie is very confused. And the High Court has cemented that confusion. Not only for Norrie, but for our society as a whole. We are sowing seeds of great confusion for our future generations.
Already in 2013, the Qld Government has been legally challenged to provide separate toilet facilities for students who identify as transgender and gay. Schools are now assessed on a case by case basis to assess the need.
A person choosing to identify as having no gender at all is another category altogether.
Our culture has largely rejected God and what it means to be male and female in the image of God. But it will never succeed in obliterating gender differences between men and women. I pray that God will enable me to be a woman who bears his image for his glory.
The Noah blockbuster has had a huge response and many commentators. I have put my thoughts down to simply join the conversation. It’s good that there is all of a sudden a peaked interest in the story of Noah. If there is to be any eternal mileage to be found in this movie it will be as God’s children grasp the opportunity to set the record straight about our Creator, God.
Googling around the story of Noah has jumped +1,100%. It appears there are two main phrases being searched. “Noah’s Ark” with the results being varied, but including christianity.about.com within the first ten referrals. And “Noah Prophet” had as its fourth referral the bible passage.
I digress, but it has always bemused me that the story of Noah is found in baby clothes, curtains, cute children’s books and wallpaper. When it really is a horrific tale of death and destruction. Animals are cute and mostly cuddly, right? And this is a story about lots of animals in a floating zoo – what’s there not to love? But this is not a story about animals. And this truth is lost in the blockbuster movie. For the movie character Noah, it was ALL about the animals.
But this misses the point and I believe it misrepresents God. And that is a serious thing to do. In the movie, Noah wasn’t sure what the ultimate aim of the Creator was and so he interpreted the flood as a means to annihilate the human race.
This was never God’s intention. The Ark was a picture of our ultimate salvation in the Lord Jesus. God was very clear with his purpose to Noah. ‘Then the LORD told Noah, “Come—you and all your household—into the ark, because I’ve seen that you alone are righteous in this generation”.’
The Bible tells us clearly that Noah’s family, eight people including his sons and wives, were saved and that they were to have children with this new start.
We misrepresent God to our peril. We who know the true God have a a very real opportunity to open the conversation about Noah and tell the true story of a gracious, kind and merciful God, who offered salvation to Noah in the past, and offers salvation to each one of us now.
1 Peter 3:20
Jesus said to go into all the world, starting in your own neighbourhood. In many of our so-called middle-class communities, families are incredibly isolated. The Church has the answer.
In Brisbane this year, twin toddlers from a middle-class suburban family in Brisbane starved to death. The Australian newspaper said that this should be a disturbing “wake-up call” for middle Australia and should spark a debate about the difficulty of parenting.
The 35-year-old father of six was sentenced on Monday this week to eight years’ jail for his twins’ manslaughter, a month after his ex-partner received the same punishment. The Queensland Supreme Court was told the severely depressed Brisbane woman had refused to let friends and family into the twins’ bedroom for fear they would be removed from her care. She withdrew from social situations as her relationship with her high-school sweetheart collapsed, a result of his excessive drinking and gambling. Brain and Mind Research Institute director, Professor Ian Hickie, is one of Australia’s mental health commissioners. He said that such tragedies were becoming “all too common”, as communities became less connected. “We’ve seen situations of families living in middle-class suburbs in reasonable places coming to tragic ends and grief and death, without anyone in the surrounding suburbs or wider community being aware of the desperate state of affairs”.
If you think a friend, neighbour or colleague is struggling to cope psychologically, reach out. If we know someone is at home dealing with cancer, or severe arthritis, and really struggling, we don’t say, ‘let’s give them some space’. But mental-health remains very difficult to understand.
The Church understands how difficult parenting is and we have answers. Go into all the world.