At Odds: Sexual Expression and the Human Spirit

Summers are for relaxation and suntans, right? Well, they used to be. Now, these months are the backdrop for contentious culture wars.

June is “Pride Month,” which means many companies proudly unfurl rainbow flags in celebration of LGBTQ identities. This June, Rachel Levine, the transgender-identifying assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, declared the first months-long “summer of Pride” celebration. At the same time, Levine claimed that genital-altering surgeries and hormone therapies for minors are “suicide prevention.”

On the other side of the aisle, many pro-lifers celebrated June 2023 as the first-annual Life Month, commemorating the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade last year. This ruling allowed states to determine their own abortion regulations.

While some activists and politicians claim to be both pro-life and LGBTQ-affirming, they are few and far in between – generally, it’s conservative Republicans and Christians versus Democrats and the non-religious.

Why are these two ideas in conflict? Let’s explore the worldview connecting these divisive issues.


Nancy Pearcy, scholar in residence at Houston Baptist University, wrote the book “Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions about Life and Sexuality,” which analyzes the secular ideology of dualism. As Pearcy explains in an article from The Gospel Coalition, dualism is a philosophy that splits human beings into two parts: body and mind. Dualism clams that the mind, or spiritual part of a person, is superior to and thus more important than the body, or physical part of a person, because it is immaterial and immune to laws of nature.

The root of dualism is materialism: the idea that nature was created by chance, not by a loving, involved God. With this mindset, matter does not convey a moral message or self-evident purpose. The material world, including the body, is just a collection of cells and organs available to be used as the mind sees fit.

Dualism might sound abstract, but in a culture without regard for the Judeo-Christian God, it quickly influences mainstream views on personal identity.


One intellectual defense of abortion is the personhood theory, which claims that one can be human without being a person. Thus, unborn babies before a certain level of development are not people, and therefore, their legal protections should not trump a woman’s desires. As Pearcy puts it, “a fetus has to earn the right to life by… [gaining] a certain level of self-awareness and cortical functioning.”

This exaltation of the human consciousness over the human body is the exact definition of dualism.

As for LGBTQ identities, most people with homosexual attraction do not deny that male and female reproductive systems are designed to work together, and most people identifying as transgender do not deny that their sex at birth is evident through biology. In fact, the definition of gender dysphoria relies on the fact that the body and mind are at war. It is not the facts at issue, but whether the facts matter.


For the dualist worldview, biology has no built-in purpose that should inform someone’s psychological identity or actions, because the most important part of a person is his or her immaterial mind.  But according to the Judeo-Christian worldview, God created each person’s body with a distinct telos, or purpose, that is more important than any feelings or desires. Below are three points showing that rather than oppressive, this Biblical outlooking is ultimately a better way of viewing the world.

1 – If body and mind are separate, as dualism teaches, what is the basis for universal human rights? Separating personhood from humanity may easily rationalize genocide, organ-harvesting and slavery, putting vulnerable populations at risk.

A Judeo-Christian worldview respects the body as an equal part of the person. Throughout the Bible, God shows us that each person’s body has value and dignity as part of their whole being (1 Thessalonians 5:23). God created all matter, and after creating humans, He deemed the material world very good (Genesis 1:31).  Psalm 19:1 teaches us that all created things, even space, have a design that declares God’s glory. Why would human bodies, made in God’s image as male and female (Genesis 1:26-27), not also be made to glorify Him?

2 – The inner separation preached by dualism creates conflict between mind and body. This creates self-alienation, which may lead to depression and anxiety, among other issues .

God’s Word shows that human beings exist in what Pearcy calls “psycho-physical unity.” God tells us that sin and moral corruption originate in the heart, not our bodies (Jeremiah 17:9-10). “Heart” in this context means our inner motivations, not our modern understanding, emotions. But Scripture also shows us that our physical actions originate from the human will (Matthew 12:32-40). Being in right relationship with God and others brings health to our entire being, while internal pain can cause physical suffering as well (Psalm 32:2-5).

3) Some Christians adopt dualism, thinking that the material realm is the source of all corruption, and therefore inferior to the spiritual realm. These Christians misunderstand the Gospel as Jesus rescuing us from the material world, and they can begin to view all physical pleasures as unholy. Sexual sins become seen as the most wicked of all, and those guilty of them as the worst sinners.

Although sexual sins can have the most obvious or lasting consequences, as sins against our own bodies (1 Corinthians 6:18), God makes it clear in His Word that all sins separate us from Him (Romans 3:23). The good news of the true Gospel is that God came down to earth in the flesh, as Jesus, to pay our sin penalty and restore all matter to the goodness intended at creation (Revelation 21:1). After dying, Jesus returned to the material world through physical resurrection, giving us hope that the redemption that started in our spirits will one day be finished in the body as well (Romans 8:22-24). The Bible teaches that when those who trust in Jesus center their minds on God, He will empower them to fulfill His commandments in the body (Ezekiel 36:26-27).


As you sift through presidential candidates, deciding who to vote for in 2024, consider supporting ones that take a strong position against both abortion and LGBTQ ideology, especially when it comes to instructing and protecting children. All children will be indoctrinated with some worldview. Wouldn’t it be better for this set of ideas to advance wholeness and healing?

Many on the “Right” reflect on the broken messages of mainstream culture, but you can also partner with organizations that are fighting back, even in Vero Beach. For example, at crisis pregnancy centers like Care Net of Indian River County, volunteers give time and money to equip local women that face unplanned pregnancies, showing them a Biblical way to view their bodies that promotes an abundant life.

Finally, find ways in your everyday life to send a message of true, self-sacrificial love into a culture of selfish pride, and stand with others who do. As 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ” (AMP).

Mary Harrison

Berry College, class of 2025

Cairo High School, class of 2021

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *