Welcome to G3 Weekly—a summary of this week’s top news stories on Christianity and the public square.
This week, lawmakers called for an investigation into Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where officials encouraged gender transitions to minors in the interest of profitability. A bill approved by the state of California legalized the composting of human remains. Meanwhile, the most recent State of Theology survey from Ligonier Ministries reveals that American evangelicalism saw a radical progressive shift over the past two years.
Vanderbilt Medical Center Pushes Lucrative Gender Transitions on Children
“The love of money is a root of all kinds of evils” (1 Timothy 6:10).
Vanderbilt University Medical Center was exposed by Daily Wire commentator Matt Walsh for pushing transgender drugs and surgeries on children due to the practices’ high profit margins.
In videos obtained by the conservative pundit, one official was seen explaining that the gender transition business is a “big money maker” because the surgeries require many “follow ups.” Another official called religious objections “problematic” and said that any staffers attempting to opt out of the surgeries would face “consequences.” Vanderbilt even recruited volunteer “trans buddies” from the Nashville area who would pressure doctors to comply with the procedures.
As a result, many state and federal lawmakers—including Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, a Republican—called on the Food and Drug Administration to investigate Vanderbilt.
“Using children for profit and political gain is deeply disturbing. Experts agree that there have not been enough clinical trials conducted to prove the safety and effectiveness of using these drugs on kids,” said the lawmaker. “These drugs have not been approved for treating children experiencing gender dysphoria, but the left insists on experimenting on these children anyway.”
Gender transition hormones and surgeries are presently permitted in all fifty states.
California Legalizes the Composting of Human Remains
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).
The state of California passed the Cemetery and Funeral Act, which permits the “natural, organic reduction” of human bodies.
The new law, which gives regulators five years to draft precise guidelines, permits funeral establishments and cemeteries to transform “a human body into soil using the natural decomposition process, accelerated with the addition of organic materials.” Among other techniques, the organizations can churn bodies with natural materials and air such that the bodies are reduced to a soil material.
Recompose, a startup based in Seattle, has already begun offering decomposition services. The company’s website explains that bacteria are used to break down bodies in a container “surrounded by wood chips, alfalfa, and straw,” creating one cubic yard of “nutrient-dense soil” within thirty days. Loved ones can use the “soil” to enrich garden beds or plant a tree.
American Evangelicalism Shifts Strongly to the Left
“Some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1).
The biennial State of Theology survey, a joint project of Ligonier Ministries and LifeWay Research, determined that American evangelicalism saw a massive shift toward progressivism over the past two years. On nearly every theological and sociological matter—from salvation through Jesus Christ alone to the affirmation of homosexuality—professing evangelicals grew more liberal in their outlooks.
Between the 2020 and 2022 editions of the poll, the share of evangelicals claiming that “God accepts the worship of all religions” rose by 14%, while the percentage of those supporting the notion that the Bible “contains helpful accounts of ancient myths but is not literally true” increased by 11%. Though more evangelicals said that abortion and extramarital sex are sinful practices, another 17% agreed that biblical “condemnation of homosexual behavior” does not apply today, while another 15% said that “gender identity is a matter of choice.”
The unprecedented shift away from Christian orthodoxy occurred as churches closed their doors in response to government lockdowns and social justice ideology grew in popularity throughout the broader American cultural landscape.
“These results convey the ongoing need for the church to be engaged in apologetics, helping unbelievers by providing a well-reasoned defense of the Christian faith, and helping believers by strengthening their clarity and conviction regarding why they believe what they do,” Ligonier Ministries commented. “Additionally, the people of God must continue to obey the Great Commission by communicating the whole counsel of God in biblical evangelism and discipleship. The need is great, but the power and promises of God can equip the church to bring truth and light to a deceived and dark world.”
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