About Marsha West

Marsha West is the general editor of Christian Research Network (CRN). She is also co-founder of Berean Research. For two decades Marsha was the owner and managing editor of Email Brigade website and EMB News Report, a bi-weekly report for conservative people of faith. Marsha is a regular contributor for several blogs including CRN, RenewAmerica, News With Views, and Web Commentary. Her articles have been translated into many languages and distributed worldwide. Visit Marsha's blog, On Solid Rock Resources. http://onsolidrockresources.com

Homosexual activist Matthew Vines wages war to make InterVarsity inclusive

According to Amy Spreeman of Berean Research:

matthew-vinesMatthew Vines, Author of “God and the Gay Christian,” has been working hard to infiltrate churches across the United States to convince leaders to relax their biblical stance against the sin of homosexuality. Now Vines is personally waging war against one of the largest evangelical organizations on college campuses nationwide because of its stance against homosexual marriage.

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA recently released its new position statement on sexuality, telling its 1,300 staff members that they will be terminated – with severance –  if they voluntarily wish to ‘fess up to personally supporting gay marriage.  Starting November 11th, InterVarsity will begin its process for “involuntary terminations” for any staffer who comes forward to disagree with its positions on human sexuality, which hold that any sexual activity outside of a husband and wife is immoral.

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The old “moral majority” are the new moral relativists

In a blog post entitled To My Sisters In Christ, Todd Pruitt, co-host of Mortification of Spin, expresses his view that Jerry Falwell Jr, Mike Huckabee, Robert Jeffress and Dr. Ben Carson’s continued support of Donald Trump demonstrates that the old “moral majority” are the new moral relativists. He writes:

locker-roomOver the weekend the world was given the distasteful surprise of the now infamous recording of Presidential nominee Donald Trump bragging in the crudest terms about his adulterous sexual conquests. He even bragged about his success in groping women. Later he explained it away as nothing more than “locker room talk.” By now we have come to expect this sort of disgraceful behavior from Mr. Trump.
However, what is even more disconcerting than Mr. Trump’s fond reminiscences of his lecherous behavior are the vigorous apologetics offered up by his “evangelical” supporters. They have explained away his words by appealing to the fact that the NBC recording was 11 years old (Trump was a carefree youth of 60 years at the time). They have even echoed Trump’s “locker room talk” explanation.

An Unborn Baby’s 1st Heartbeat Occurs 16 Days After Conception

According to Breitbart:

Baby in womb - ultrasoundA study finds an unborn baby’s first heartbeat occurs as early as 16 days after conception.

A research team funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) at the University of Oxford says a baby’s first heartbeat is now far earlier than was previously understood, reports the Daily Mail.

“We are trying to better understand how the heart develops, and ultimately what causes the heart defects that develop in the womb before birth and to extrapolate to adult heart repair,” said BHF professor and lead researcher Paul Riley. “By finding out how the heart first starts to beat and how problems can arise in heart development, we are one step closer to being able to prevent heart conditions from arising during pregnancy.”

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Why Does the Holy Spirit Keep Falling Down?

Andy Snider of ParkingSpace23 has constructed a biblical way of thinking about the Holy Spirit’s role in corporate worship and offers three do’s and a don’ts:

worship-musicWhile listening to worship music recently I was struck again with the particular category of songs asking the Holy Spirit to “fall on us,” “come down,” or something similar. I can say just from my own experience that there have been a steady trickle of such songs at least since the Jesus music of the 1970s. I’ve always held these more or less at arm’s length, not hating or loving them, thinking they’re too Pentecostal or—something. But when I realized how relatively unformed my criticisms of these songs were, I decided to think it through a bit more.

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New Study Confirms Marijuana Use Up Drastically in Workforce

The Daily Signal reports:

MarijuanaThis November, there are a record number of ballot initiatives in at least nine states regarding so-called medical marijuana or outright legalization of the Schedule I drug. The pot pushers, both small businesses and large, want more people smoking, eating, and consuming more pot because it is good for their bottom line.

Before voting yes, voters—and, in particular, employers—should take a look at more disturbing data that was released two weeks ago at a national conference.

At the annual Substance Abuse Program Administrators Association conference, Quest Diagnostics—one of the nation’s largest drug-testing companies—unveiled the results of its Drug Testing Index. The index examines illicit drug use by workers in America each year.

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FBI, DOJ roiled by Comey, Lynch decision to let Clinton slide by on emails, says insider

Malia Zimmerman and Adam Housley of Fox News inform us that the DOJ insider who spoke to them on the condition of anonymity told them that “FBI Director James Comey’s dramatic July 5 announcement that he would not recommend to the Attorney General’s office that the former secretary of state be charged left members of the investigative team dismayed and disgusted. More than 100 FBI agents and analysts worked around the clock with six attorneys from the DOJ’s National Security Division, Counter Espionage Section, to investigate the case.”


Hillary Clinton“No trial level attorney agreed, no agent working the case agreed, with the decision not to prosecute — it was a top-down decision,” said the source, whose identity and role in the case has been verified by FoxNews.com.

A high-ranking FBI official told Fox News that while it might not have been a unanimous decision, “It was unanimous that we all wanted her [Clinton’s] security clearance yanked.”

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WikiLeaks: Podesta and Left-Wing Activist Plot “Catholic Spring”

“Longtime Clinton confidante discussed infiltrating the Catholic Church with progressive ideology to foment revolution” claims PoliZette. According to Edmund Kozak:

revolutionA newly leaked email shows Hillary Clinton’s current campaign chairman John Podesta and a Left-wing activist casually discussing fomenting “revolution” in the Catholic Church.

“There needs to be a Catholic Spring, in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the Catholic Church,” Sandy Newman, president and founder of the progressive nonprofit Voices for Progress, writes to Podesta in an email titled “opening for a Catholic Spring? just musing.”

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Joyce Meyer Undead, David Barton Buys A Ph.D & Conan O’Brien Is Ordained

Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pen ties up all the loose ends:

headstoneThe concluding line from the Charisma News article that reported on the erroneous announcement of  wolf Joyce Meyer’s death is itself a perfect example of rhetorical touche.

“And please remember, not everything you see on the Internet is true!”

(Insert melodic drumroll of ignominy here while pondering exactly how much on Charisma News can actually be deemed as trustworthy! Another source on Meyer’s rebuttal about her rumored death is HERE.  Frankly, given that this sheepishly-clothed charlatan so grossly distorts the Truth of God, I cannot confirm that her denial about her death is not, in fact, itself deceptive.)

Despite the Internet announcements that reported her demise last Thursday, Joyce Meyer isn’t dead. On the one hand, then, there remains time for this charlatan to repent of her theological wickedness and seek salvation by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. On the other hand, countless souls will continue to be the gullible targets of her damning false gospel. But if Meyer’s hope – and that of her followers – is in the word-faith, prosperity gospel heresy she hurls, together they remain, as Jesus said in John 3:18, “condemned already.”

But … speaking of prosperity … heresy pays, doncha know?

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Man at Center of “Church Plant” Tattoo Fundraiser Video Back in Rehab

This is a sad turn of events.  In June, Christian News Network ran a piece entitled Tattoos For Jesus?  Group Raises Funds For “Church Plant” By Tattooing Members, Sampling Booz. The group mentioned is Apologia Church in Tempe, AZ.  JD Hall of Pulpit & Pen blogged about this in When “Reformed” Theology is a Cloak for Debauchery.  Seth Dunn of P&P followed up on JD’s article with A Dash of Discernment and a Pinch of Aggravation: James White and Daughter Respond to Negative Coverage of Apologia Church.  Dunn revealed the following:

Thad Pinch receiving a tattoo. Photo credit Christian News Network

Thad Pinch receiving a tattoo. Photo credit Christian News Network

On June 28th, ChristianNews.net published an article about two church-planting fundraising events in Tempe, Arizona.  In the first event, participants were offered a flight of craft beers in exchange for donations.  In the second event, tattoos were offered to help raise funds.  Apologia Church, led Jeff Durbin, and its associated ministry Apologia Studios, which helmed by Durbin’s friend Marcus Pittman, were behind the overall fundraising project. The beer and tattoo fundraising events were met with contempt by popular polemicist and Pulpit & Pen founder, JD Hall, who offered scathing commentaries on the events in a blog on his website and on his podcast.  A recent joiner of Apologia Church is Summer Pinch, daughter of notable podcaster and Apologist James White.  Pinch and her father published a response to the coverage of the booze and tattoos events on White’s personal blog. In this response, White accused ChristianNews.net editor, Michael Marcavage (who did not actually write the article), of “yellow journalism” while Pinch accused Hall of being a “schoolyard bully.”  Due to the nature of White and Pinch’s response, Pulpit & Pen offered a forum in which Marcavage and Hall can respond to these issues.  Below are Q&As with both Marcavage and Hall. (Read the Q&As here)

Dr. James White addressed the brouhaha in his podcast entitled Apologia Church, Jeff Durbin, JD Hall, and “the Controversy.” Pastor Jeff Durbin of Apologia Church was Dr. White’s guest.  For nearly two hours they discussed “ReformCon, beer tasting at the Boulders, Christian News [Network], Marcus Pittman, a Thursday night tattoo session, JD Hall, holiness, sanctification, Christian freedom, and the role Internet polemics plays in creating simple falsehoods and controversies over fictional events.”

Now CNN is reporting that Thad Pinch, who appeared in an Apologia Church fundraising video receiving a tattoo, has entered a long-term recovery program. At the time of the video, Thad was Summer’s husband and James White’s son-in-law.  According to CNN’s Heather Clark, the couple has divorced.

So with this background in mind, here’s CNN’s recent report on the infamous Apologia Church:

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Pope Francis “Dismayed” by Wedding of Two Lesbian Nuns

Breitbart reports:

pope-francis-4The news of the marriage of two former religious sisters has saddened Pope Francis, according to the Vatican Undersecretary of State, Archbishop Angelo Becciu.

On Friday the Italian daily La Repubblica published an interview with the two ex-nuns, identified only as Federica and Isabel, in which they describe their love as a “gift of God” that no one can prevent.

Pope Francis, who has been a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, was visibly distressed on reading the news, according to the Archbishop. “What sadness on the face of the Pope when I read him the news of the two ‘nun’ brides,” he tweeted.

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A Recipe for Humble Pie

Clint Archer of The Cripplegate shares the three ingredients for his Humble Pie recipe “so you can cultivate humility in the presence of true greatness…”:

humble-pieIn elementary school I was really bad at playing soccer. But my school tried to be inclusive and didn’t want any kid to feel left out, so they had as many teams as there were players.

The coveted “A team” was kitted out in glamorous, white, satin shirts and shorts with golden trim, while the rest of us had itchy yellow and brown shirts. But at least we got to play. I was too maladroit to qualify for the talented B or promising C team, or even the undaunted D team. No, I was cast down to the freakish menagerie of hopeless misfits known as the E team.

We seldom actually played games since few other schools even had an E team, but when we did, we played our uncoordinated hearts out!

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Gender-neutral bathrooms, high-quality ethnic studies class and other changes coming to California schools

According to the Los Angeles Times:

Transgender bathroom signAnyone looking for confirmation of the nation’s cultural divide can add education and gender-neutral bathrooms to the list of proof points.

North Carolina sparked a national furor by requiring transgender people to use bathrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificates, citing risks to children in schools as a primary justification. California has been shifting the other way with little fanfare.

A gender-neutral bathroom law, Assembly Bill 1732, was one of many measures with an effect on education that Gov. Jerry Brown signed during the legislative session that ended Friday.

Starting next March, any one-toilet bathroom in a California school — or in any other government building, public place or business — will  have to be designated as all-gender, open to anyone.

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Glenn Beck, conservative pundit, endorses Hillary Clinton for president

AOL News reports:

Glenn BeckNoted conservative pundit Glenn Beck thinks Donald Trump has gone too far and has officially decided to endorse Hillary Clinton for president, to the shock of many.

“It is not acceptable to ask a moral, dignified man to cast his vote to help elect an immoral man who is absent decency or dignity,” Beck wrote in a Facebook post Saturday. “If the consequence of standing against Trump and for principles is indeed the election of Hillary Clinton, so be it. At least it is a moral, ethical choice.”

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Bethel Church: Pimping Heresy

The culture of Bethel Church in Redding CA “is one that is defiantly non-orthodox and non-biblical,” warns Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pen.  “So experience-driven and Word-avoiding are the faithful at Bethel that it is reported that Johnson’s wife, Beni, engages in ‘grave sucking,’ a maneuver that presumably allows one to absorb ‘the spiritual anointing of deceased Christians by lying atop their graves.'”

Ahlheim begins with a quote from Charles Spurgeon: “That very church which the world likes best is sure to be that which God abhors.”  Now see why he believes God abhors self-professed “apostle” and lead pastor Bill Johnson’s “church.”


bill-johnsonBethel Church of Redding, California was founded in 1952 and was affiliated with the Assemblies of God until 2006, when current pastor Bill Johnson led the church to dissociate itself from the denomination. The current attendance at Bethel’s Redding location is just under 8,700 each Sunday. The now denominationally independent church operates on a $9 million annual budget.

But Bethel’s impact in terms of numbers of souls it touches is far beyond the confines of its Redding headcounts. Bethel is, like Hillsong, an international influence, gaining traction for the prosperity/dominion theology that undergirds it through the primary mechanism of music.

In March 2016, Billboard Magazine noted that, since its first top ten hit on the Top Christian Albums ranking, Bethel Music has had a total of nine Top Ten appearances since that initial 2012 entrance. The album Have It All: Live At Bethel Church sold 25,000 copies in the first week of its release, placing it at number two on the Top Christian Albums chart and taking the twelfth spot on the overall Billboard 200.

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Lysa TerKeurst’s book Unglued is Un-biblical

From Berean Research:

unglued-bookRebekah Womble of Wise In His Eyes reviews Lysa TerKeurst’s book Unglued.  Womble says she wants to like the book but finds much of what it contains decidedly unbiblical, thus her advice is unhelpful to women who are searching for biblical answers to life’s pressing problems. “Never once does Terkeurst (sp) emphasize the fact that when we sin, we refuse to give God glory and instead, please ourselves,” says Womble. “She completely neglects the fact that the absolute, most significant goal of our lives should be to glorify God—because that is what He is most considered about. “

Sadly, sin and repentance were omitted and the true Gospel of Jesus Christ wasn’t emphasized either.   According to Womble, TerKeurst’s attempt to share the gospel with her readers was “weak, it was man-centered, it was without Christ’s atoning death, and therefore, it wasn’t the gospel at all.”

Now listen to Rebekah Womble’s review of the book…

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American Pastor Formerly Imprisoned in Iran Announces Divorce From Wife

Christian News Network reports:

divorceAn American pastor who had been imprisoned in Iran for three years until he was freed in January in a prisoner swap with the U.S. has announced that he is divorcing his wife out of his belief that they are “different people” and that the “only path toward healing is apart.”

“My heart is deeply saddened to be sharing the news that Naghmeh and I will be divorcing,” Saeed Abedini publicly posted to social media on Wednesday.

“There are no words to describe the ongoing effect of the trauma I experienced and my family has experienced both during and in the aftermath of my imprisonment. We are different people, and we are hurting people. It pains me to say, but I have decided the only path toward healing is apart, and not together,” he said.

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Jesus Always, the Sequel to Jesus Calling

Tim Challies has written many excellent book reviews.  This time he sets his sights on best-selling author Sarah Young’s just released daily devotional.  As in Jesus Calling, the Jesus in Young’s new book is clearly not the Jesus of Scripture but an impostor, as Challies makes plain in his review:

jesus-alwaysThis book is going to be big. Huge, even. Its predecessor has sold well over 10 million copies and more than a decade after publication has no less than 6 editions on the list of Christian bestsellers. Today, at last, comes the long-awaited sequel, releasing to great fanfare—a million-copy first printing backed by a huge $300,000 marketing spend. One way or another you will come across this book and so will most of your friends and neighbors. You will see it on Amazon, in Costco, in airport bookshops, and perhaps even at your church’s book table. It’sJesus Always, Sarah Young’s sequel to Jesus Calling.

Like Jesus Calling, Jesus Always is a little book—just 4.4 by 6.3 inches—and like Jesus Calling contains 365 short daily devotions. What makes Young’s little books distinct is her big claim: Her name is on the cover, but the words come from Jesus.

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NWHL’s Harrison Browne is first transgender athlete in pro team sports

Yahoo News reports:

transgender9Harrison Browne, a forward for the Buffalo Beauts of the National Women’s Hockey League, has publicly announced he is transgender, becoming the first athlete in professional team sports to do so as an active player.

Browne, who formerly identified as Hailey Browne, is now listed as Harrison Browne on the NWHL website. According to an NWHL official, he has informed the League that he won’t undergo gender reassignment surgery until after retiring as a pro hockey player. He will also not take any testosterone supplements while playing because it violates performance-enhancing drug policies for the League.

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Faults to Avoid In Public Prayer

Prayer - Charles Spurgeon

This piece by Nick Batzig of The Christward Collective is based on Samuel Miller’s thoughts on prayer.  Batzig reveals that “Miller set out 18 common mistakes that ministers, elders and deacons should labor to avoid when leading the congregation in public prayer.” The Old Life blog, where we came across this, quipped: “Not quite Rick Warren like, so not enough for forty days of driving your way to a life of purpose. But if Christians ever had to consider that praying in public does not come naturally to some believers, this post might get them started. And it really would throw a wrench into the praying patters of the seemingly intimate small group.”

Following are the first three mistakes:

1. Avoid vain repetition. The one leading in prayer should be careful not to say, “O Father,” “Holy Father” or “Lord” over and over and over again.

2. Avoid hesitation and stumbling. The one leading in prayer should spend time on the prayer prior to the service so that he does not come across unprepared.

3. Avoid ungrammatical expressions. For example, the one leading in prayer should avoid such phrases as “Grant to give us…” “Grant to impart to us…” Grant and give are verbs expressing the same thing. This is a redundant and inaccurate use of language.

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Can We Enjoy Heaven Knowing Loved Ones Are in Hell?

Blogger, author and pastor Tim Challies answers the burning question:

heaven-3Heaven is far too perfect, far too sinless, far too other for us to imagine in our fallen minds. Our attempts to put brush to canvas have led to depictions of cherubs on clouds, idyllic colors of dawn, Christ as a blinding light, a faceless adoring throng. Some of these attempts to capture heaven’s splendors are beautiful and even captivating, yet we know they are also incomplete. They are, at best, the barest reflection of what awaits. Our imaginations must always fall short of heaven’s glorious perfections.

Revelation 21:4 assures us that in heaven God himself will wipe away our tears, that there will be no death, no sorrow, no crying, and no pain. There is a deeply comforting certainty in our future—a certainty of joy, bliss, comfort, peace, love, and perfection. However, those of us with non-believing family members and friends can find this certainty an area of intense struggle. Why? Because we know that not everyone will be there with us. Many we love today will have an eternal experience of pain, torment, and separation. How could we ever enjoy heaven if our loved ones are in hell? R.C. Sproul tackled this question at a Ligonier Ministries conference years ago and I appreciate his answer.

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What?? NBC’s Ron Allen Thinks Climate Deal Is “Designed to Stop” Storms Like Hurricane Matthew

According to NewsBusters:

hurricainePresident Barack Obama spoke to reporters on Wednesday afternoon on the Paris climate change agreement and, almost on cue, NBC’s Ron Allen connected global warming to Hurricane Matthew set to bear down on the Bahamas, the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida.

Speaking on MSNBC Live to host Kate Snow, Allen first gushed about how the President “believes so deeply in protecting the environment” that the deal marks “one of the most significant aspects of his legacy” before bringing in Hurricane Matthew as a intriguing “practical matter.” It was “what the president was talking about as the threat that the planet faces and this is what this whole climate agreement signed by 190 nations and now ratified by 60 or so is designed to stop.” [emphasis in original]

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Band-Aids vs. Chemotherapy: Why Suffering Women are Drawn to False Doctrine and 7 Things We Can do to Help

sadnessAuthor, speaker and blogger Michelle Lesley reminds us that when women are suffering the spiritual forces of wickedness are never far away. They often exploit a woman’s pain “and can make things worse by molesting them spiritually,” says Lesley. Angels of darkness will send “false teachers to whisper sweetly in their ears, ‘It hurts, doesn’t it? But I can make all that pain go away, now.’”  But does God always make the pain go away, as false teachers that line their pockets exploiting vulnerable women promise, if you’ll just do this…or that?

In this excellent piece, Michelle Lesley offers 7 biblical things we can do to help women who are suffering.

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Planned Parenthood President Says She “Doesn’t Know” When Unborn Have Constitutional Rights

Christian News Network reports:

psal-139-fearfully-and-wonderfully-madeThe president of the abortion and birth control giant Planned Parenthood told an Iowa radio station this week that she doesn’t know when a baby has constitutional rights, and that it’s “not the problem we are facing in America.”

Cecile Richards, daughter of former Texas Gov. Ann Richards, has been campaigning this week in Iowa for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and on Tuesday was interviewed by WHO Newsradio.

During the conversation, host Doug Wagner noted that Hillary Clinton has stated that the unborn don’t have constitutional rights under the law, and asked if Richards believes it should stay that way.

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Studying the Unstudiable

Jonathan V. Last of The Weekly Standard asserts that, according to a lengthy report by two esteemed psychiatrists, the scientific literature available on gender and sexuality “demonstrate that much of what has been foisted on the culture in recent years in the name of science has little solid basis in scientific research.” As previously reported, the doctor’s concluded that “a combination of biological, environmental, and experiential factors likely shape how individuals experience and express themselves when it comes to sex and gender.” The doctor’s dispute the media’s penchant for proclaiming homosexuality and transgenderism normal and natural.  In the September 12 issue of The Magazine, Last examines the report.  He writes:

Sexual confusionThere are two ways to challenge politically correct orthodoxies. One is to toss off outrageous remarks designed to épater les bourgeois. This requires little and accomplishes less. The other is to take the commanding orthodoxy, put it under a microscope, and dismantle it piece by piece. This is what Lawrence Mayer, an epidemiologist trained in psychiatry, and psychiatrist Paul McHugh have just done to the regime of gender and sexuality politics.

In a lengthy report for the journal the New Atlantis, Mayer and McHugh survey a broad expanse of the scientific literature on gender and sexuality and demonstrate that much of what has been foisted on the culture in recent years in the name of science has little solid basis in scientific research. Their conclusions: (1) “The understanding of sexual orientation as an innate, biologically fixed property of human beings—the idea that people are ‘born that way’—is not supported by scientific evidence.” And (2) “The hypothesis that gender identity is an innate, fixed property of human beings that is independent of biological sex—that a person might be ‘a man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’—is not supported by scientific evidence.”

It may sound modest, but this is earth-rumbling stuff.

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