From C.A. Harris, MD, FACS
“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” – Colossians 2: 8
When I first read nurse John Phillips’ letter to the editor on February 15, 2023, invoking God’s “creation of gender diversity,” it seemed so bizarre to me that I doubted if it should even be dignified with a response. But it is an example of an extremely confused perspective on the straightforward subject of gender, and is part of the problem today.
Thus, my response.
The genders of male and female have been easily understood for millennia. Why the confusion now? It seems it is the ultimate form of rebellion to deny our gender. Phillips uses the rare mutation of hermaphroditism as a premise to make his case, which is using the exception to make the rule. When ever is disease or mutation promoted as the norm?
True hermaphroditism is one of the rarest causes of sexual ambiguity and occurs when there is damage and loss of the long arm of the Y sex chromosome. The baby is born with male and female gonadal tissue, and generally raised as female. It is a disease; not a choice.
Phillips invokes “God” repeatedly but not the God of the Bible, who made us male and female (Gen.1:27). As pastor Kevin DeYoung has noted, “Far from being a mere cultural construct, God depicts the existence of a man and a woman as essential to His creational plan. The two are neither identical nor interchangeable…. The anomaly of intersex individuals does not undermine the creational design, but gives another example of creational “groaning” and the realities of a fallen world.”
The “God” that Phillips refers to is that of New Age mysticism, betrayed by his reference to Barbara Heider-Rauter, a practitioner and purported expert in aura-soma, a form of divination, in the same category as tarot card reading.
The tactic of using the exception to make the rule is used when moral law, originally designed for our flourishing and freedom, is recast as a means of our oppression. The irony is that if we were to follow Phillips’s philosophy to its logical conclusion and are “liberated” by “gender diversity,” then we would find that we actually transgress the law of God, in the name of “social justice, equity and equality.” The hypocrisy should be clearly evident.
This response is submitted in the hope of warning away those who may be confused by the self-righteous tenor of Phillips’s letter and his multiple references to “God” on gender diversity. It is important to understand that his chosen worldview prevents him from seeing otherwise, even if it means his disengaging from rational thought.
Chuck Harris is a retired general surgeon and Associate Professor of Surgery at Carilion Virginia Tech School of Medicine. He is a past President of the Virginia Surgical Society and a past President of the Virginia Chapter of the American College of Surgeons. He is a former Chief of Staff and attending general surgeon at Carilion New River ValleyMedical Center.