DAYTON, Ohio (LifeSiteNews) — A Protestant professor at a Catholic university in Ohio claimed in an op-ed this week that the Bible presents “gender as a colorful spectrum, not a rigid binary.” The educator used the inaccurate claims to undergird an argument against a new law in the state to shield children from destructive transgender drugs and surgeries and protect female sports.
“As an Ohioan and a Christian, I want all to have the right to flourish in their own gender identity,” Dr. Esther Brownsmith wrote in a Thursday article published by the Dayton Daily News.
Brownsmith is an assistant professor of Hebrew Bible at the University of Dayton, a private Marianist Catholic college. She is not herself Catholic (she has stated she is Episcopalian, a Protestant denomination that has caved to transgender ideology), and much of her research and academic work has focused on left-wing sexual theories, including “non-binary” identities and “queerness.”
“I didn’t expect to end up at a Catholic university,” Brownsmith told the Dayton Jewish Observer in August. “I’m not Catholic in any way in my religion or my heritage. I put in my job application because they were hiring for Hebrew Bible and there are just not a lot of Hebrew Bible jobs out in the world.”
Brownsmith argued in her January 25 article that the Holy Bible “was written in a patriarchal time,” but nevertheless “recognizes that people reimagined and reshaped their gender identities back then — just like they do today.”
To bolster her perspective, she made several oblique Biblical references to suggest that modern left-wing gender ideology is compatible with Scripture. That claim comes despite the fact that homosexuality is flatly condemned in both the Old and the New Testaments, and that the Jewish and Christian traditions strongly uphold the biological reality of sexual difference.
Brownsmith then pivoted to decry a recent bill passed in Ohio to ban destructive transgender drugs and surgeries for minors and prohibit men and boys from competing on female sports teams.
As previously reported, the Ohio Senate on Wednesday voted to override Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s December veto of HB 68, the Saving Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, which will now take effect in 90 days. DeWine has also issued an executive order creating guardrails around transgender interventions. Some conservatives have argued the order doesn’t go far enough, but the Ohio chapter of the left-wing ACLU has decried it as a “de facto ban on care [sic] for transgender youth and adults.”
“Here in Ohio, we are in the midst of a battle over the rights of trans people,” Brownsmith wrote.
The assistant professor contended that the Ohio state government’s actions surrounding transgender ideology “constitutes clear discrimination against our trans and non-binary neighbors.”
Brownsmith also repeated the inaccurate claim that mentally and physically destructive transgender drugs and surgeries are necessary for emotional health and the prevention of suicide in gender-confused people and urged readers to tell their representatives that “Ohio supports access to gender-affirming health care [sic].”
Despite Brownsmith’s claims, the alleged “benefits” of surgical and chemical interventions have been repudiated by credentialed medical experts, and numerous European countries are now moving to restrict the procedures.
Moreover, as extensively reported, transgender surgeries and drugs have been linked to permanent physical and psychological damage. In addition to asserting a false reality that one’s sex can be changed, they have been linked to cardiovascular diseases, loss of bone density, cancer, strokes and blood clots, infertility, and suicidality.
Further, Brownsmith’s allegations concerning supposed gender fluidity and the Bible fly in the face of both historical Judaism and 2,000 years of Christianity, particularly Catholicism, the religion from which the University of Dayton derives its foundation and identity.
Last year, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released a document making clear that “gender transition” surgeries and drugs may not be prescribed by Catholic medical providers, upholding traditional Catholic teaching on human sexuality and dignity.
In the statement, the bishops denounced transgender ideology as a form of “dualism” that rejects the true nature of man as being both body and soul, LifeSiteNews previously reported. The document affirmed that, for human beings “to find true happiness, we must respect” the “created order” made by God and the fact that “humanity occupies a singular place in the created order, being created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27).”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church also upholds the complementarity of the sexes, male and female, with the telos of marriage and family, stating that “[e]veryone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity.”
“Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life,” the catechism states. “The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out.”