What to do about those people who feel they don’t belong in the body they were born with? Those who disparage the vehicle that carries them through life? Should we ban them, shun them? Prevent them from using the same bathrooms – to use that ridiculous euphemism for places never known to include baths – as those of us who accept the body we’ve got? Should they be side-lined, castigated and ridiculed?
Well, no. Let’s go easy on Christians who believe they are somehow separate from the bodies that house them; who regard their bodies are inferior to the spiritual being God intends them to be. Christians who look forward to the day when they’ll be relieved of their physical bodies, which will then be transformed into spiritual ones, and who, in preparation for this miraculous change, claim to resist the demands of the body – the lusts of the flesh as the Bible puts it (1 John 2.16). Yes, those Christians, the same ones who disparage people who find themselves in the wrong bodies and want them to conform to the sex they know themselves to be; transgender people.
The Christians are wrong on every level of course:
- They are not designed to be spiritual beings;
- None of us is separate from our bodies;
- The illusion of the self is a product of the brain and wider society, and we demonstrably do not have souls or spirits;
- Bodies, while frail and susceptible to illness, injury and ageing, are all we’ve got; they don’t survive death and are not refurbished or replaced after it.
- The demands of the body can be managed but not entirely ignored, not even by Christians who eat, drink, have sex, sleep, defecate and generally indulge their carnality in the same way the rest of us do.
Still, none of this prevents Christians from thinking they’re prisoners of a temporary yet strangely inhospitable body while here on Earth. You’d think that would make them empathetic to people who are also in the wrong bodies, but you’d be wrong. They ridicule them and tell them that they’re sinful aberrations; they object to their use of the ‘bathroom’ that corresponds to the gender they know themselves to be.
What was it someone once said? ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone’. There sure seem to be a lot of sinless Christians about these days.