What Dennis Prager Got Wrong About Transgender Identity

What Dennis Prager Got Wrong About Transgender Identity by Michael Brown for Ask Dr Brown

For more than 30 years, Dennis Prager has been one of the leading conservative voices in America.

In particular, with devastating clarity, he has exposed the destructive illogic of the left, often leaning on the wisdom of the Bible to inform his expositions. But in his recent article dealing with transgender identity, my esteemed colleague and friend has missed the mark badly.

(I sent this to him before posting it publicly.)

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The article in question was titled, “Why Does the Bible Say ‘Neither Sex May Wear the Clothing of the Other Sex?’”, discussing the biblical prohibition on crossdressing in Deuteronomy 22:5.

Prager stated that this was “an extraordinarily important Torah law,” since it pointed to the Torah distinction between male and female, one of the most fundamental distinctions in the Scriptures.

He noted (quite accurately), “In the Torah’s views, these distinctions reflect God’s design—and therefore a Designer. In the biblical worldview, recognition of this design makes civilization possible. The demise of these distinctions would mean the end of civilization as we know it.”

I could not have said it any better or with any more clarity.

As for Deuteronomy 22:5, he wrote, “The most recent distinction to be erased is the subject of this Torah law: the distinction between male and female. Its purpose is to maintain this distinction. How we dress is the most obvious way we declare our sex.”

This would apply, then, to a man who is clearly and indisputably male who dresses like a woman (or vice versa). As an example of this, Prager pointed to 2014 Eurovision winner “Thomas Neuwirth, a bearded Austrian man, who performed under the name Conchita Wurst.”

So far so good.

Where Prager errs, quite drastically and surprisingly, is when he writes, “an individual who identifies as a member of the other sex (‘transgender’ or ‘transsexual’), appears to be a member of that sex, takes on a name associated with that sex, and dresses as a member of that sex is not necessarily blurring the distinction God made. The individual who truly feels estranged from his or her biological sex is to be given sympathy, not condemnation. If that person does not publicly blur the male-female distinction, that person would not appear to be violating this law.”

To be sure, we should show compassion to those who are genuinely confused about their gender identity.

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