‘Trans’ debate in Sweden: “The pendulum has swung in the last year”
The alarming trends among teenagers have forced experts to raise their voice. Evangelical author Olof Edsinger: “Of course, there is a theological truth, but science really goes a long way in challenging the queer and trans ideology”.
STOCKHOLM · 10 MARCH 2020 · 11:20 CET
Sweden may be the first country in Europe in experiencing a significant change in social attitudes towards queer and ‘trans’ ideologies.
Throughout the last year, medical analysis, journalistic reports, public debates, and documentaries, have put the focus on the need to better analyse LGBTQ ideologies which have - many believe - harmed young people.
Statistics showing the exponential rise of gender dysphoria among teenage girls in the last decade, have forced experts to ring the alarm. A proposed law to lower the age for gender transition has lost momentum in the Parliament.
Olof Edsinger, an evangelical theologian and author serving as Secretary General of the Swedish Evangelical Alliance, is hopeful about the evolution of the social debate, but hopes more Christians will engage from a Biblical perspective on the issue of human sexuality.
Q. Has the opinion of Swedes shifted on the whole transgender issue, after it was known that the there was an increase of +1,500% of gender dysphoria diagnosis among teenage girls?
A. Yes, the pendulum has definitely swung the last year. The major reason for this is that several medical experts have reacted in public media, and that two documentaries about the issue in general, and about ‘detransitioners’ in particular, were broadcasted on the Swedish television last year.
Still, the LGBTQ movement is pushing the issue as much as they can, and many are still afraid of challenging them.
Q. The Board of Health and Welfare of the government will publish a new report on 31 March regarding the draft law that would reduce the age of gender transition from 18 to 15 without parental control. Will this law be passed? What is the political debate now?
A. My gut feeling is that they will not dare to go through with this. The MP’s that originally suggested the change had probably made promises to the LGBTQ movement about a coming law. But they are now out, and the new Prime Minister has obviously taken notice of the massive criticism.
On the other hand, there hasn’t been much political debate about this yet . Hopefully, that will come when the report from the Board of Health and Welfare is published. What has not been discussed at all is the suggestion to make it possible to change juridical gender from 12 years of age.
Q. At the Swedish Evangelical Alliance, what do you recommend as the best way to engage the whole public debate about gender transition among youth?
A. I have personally been quite vocal in this area, writing about it in several articles in both Christian and secular media. I also wrote a book about queer theory in Swedish schools and pre-schools some years ago, that addressed these issues and that was recently printed for the fourth time.
My strategy has all along been to rely mostly on scientific data, as those who push these issues are ruled by their ideological glasses. There is, of course, a theological truth in all of this too, but science really goes a long way in challenging the queer and ‘trans’ ideology.
Q. Are there any good examples of dialogue from a Christian perspective, which are at the same time wise and loving but also clear and 'prophetic'?
A. I hope to be one such example myself. And there are of course both good and bad examples in this area.
But the sad truth is also that big parts of the Christian community in Sweden are itself saturated by the third wave of feminism, and also very hesitant in the LGBTQ issues. The prophetic voice is therefore weak in Swedish Christianity as a whole.
And also, given the strong secularisation of Sweden, Christian voices are generally discarded as irrelevant in the public discourse – even when they don’t argue from Scriptures. But hopefully we can still influence other influencers, by providing them with arguments and facts that they can spread from their platforms.