A Gender “Storm”

I remember hearing on Wednesday about the Canadian couple who have decided to keep the gender of their newborn child a secret. Only the midwives and immediate family members know the sex of baby Storm. Since then, I’ve read Al Mohler’s take on it, an article in the Globe and Mail, an article at God Discussion, and Storm’s mother Kathy Witterick’s  extensive response to the whole business in the Vancouver Sun. Here’s the original story at ParentCentral.ca.

My reaction to the whole thing was at first detached and curious, even though everyone in the newsroom who heard about it at the time reacted with an understandable disgust and disdain. I figured that I was operating as a journalist at the time, which means trying to look at stories even as crazy as that with a cool, careful, objectivity.

I’ve wondered over the past several days, though, why I was able to do this so easily. My beliefs scream that everything about it is wrong, and I do believe that Storm’s parents deserve most of the harsh criticism they’ve taken.

The main thing that gave me pause at first, I think, was this: I couldn’t–off the top of my head–come up with a good reason within the system of secular thought that they shouldn’t do it. My knee-jerk reaction was based almost entirely on my understanding of gender as part of God’s creation and in relation to imaging God’s character as originally reflected in creation. All I had was “God doesn’t like that, it goes against his will.” Without that Christian view (or some sort of theism that sees social institutions as instigated by God), well, I don’t see what’s to keep any sort of family unit, including gender roles, from disintegrating.

Now that I’ve thought on it a little more, though, I think there are three general problems with the line of thinking in the parents’ decision to keep Storm’s gender private.

ONE, they assume that we have the freedom to choose who we are and become. Witterick asks: “When will we live in a world where people can make choices to be whoever they are?”

The answer, I’m afraid, is “never.”

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Welcome to the Blog

Welcome to ACwords! This is my second attempt at blogging. My first try had its highs and lows, but mostly lows. I never achieved much of a readership besides a handful of friends and family members. I posted inconsistently and, last summer, decided to completely abandoned the whole thing.

So here’s the goal this time around. I want to post my own original content at least once by the Sunday of every week. I think that’s reasonable: one post a week that I write myself. I will also occasionally post links that catch my eye, maybe offer a bit of commentary on things, etc. Substantial posts of my own work will center on personal philosophical/theological musings, art analysis and criticism like film and music reviews, political commentary, criticism of news coverage, perhaps the occasional poem or short story, and whatever else inspires me.

This blog will not be another one of those public diaries where I post things like insignificant personal ramblings or pictures of me and friends. Hopefully, it will be a place for intelligent commentary and conversation. After a few months, I want this to have developed into something that I can use for my portfolio.

I also plan to repost some of my work on the (hopefully) rare week that I can’t get something of my own up. I wrote a few decent pieces at my old blog as well a some things for school that may end up resurfacing here.

It will probably help you to get an idea of where I’m coming from personally. I’m a Christian, sometimes a bitter, confused and cynical one, but a Christian nonetheless. I struggle with my faith, I have doubts, and I make lots and lots of mistakes. My core beliefs are rooted in the Bible. I’ve been influence quite a bit by people like C.S. Lewis, John Calvin, Charles Spurgeon, Timothy Keller, and Albert Mohler (among others). But I also want to be a writer and a thinker in the public square. I’d like to be a journalist, teacher, and perhaps even screenwriter eventually. My concern in this regard is with the truth and understanding how the world works. I believe I can bring all subjects under the Lordship of Christ without necessarily bringing in the Bible or any explicit mention of God.

Understand, though, that all that “religious” stuff will come up eventually because I care more what God thinks of my writing than anyone else. I just don’t want to be that one-sided, fundamentalist Christian metaphorically beating people over the head with a “Jesus brick.”