During the past few years, members of the LGBT movement have been demanding that people refer to them with pronouns that differ from their biological sex. Thus, biological men “identifying” as women have demanded that female pronouns (she, her, hers) be used to refer to them, and biological females “identifying” as men have done likewise (with he, him, his). People identifying in other ways, such as “non-binary” (identifying as neither male and female) and “fluid” (identity can change from one sex to the other or along a spectrum of maleness and femaleness), have demanded to be referred to as “they, them, theirs.” Some local governments, universities, and private organizations have even made use of a person’s chosen pronouns independent of sex mandatory; fines or firings are punishments for violations. Yet in his book Church of Cowards, Matt Walsh explains that we must not give in to the demands of LGBT activists regarding pronouns because the truth requires that we refer to people according to their biological sex.
Walsh begins his argument by defining the main purpose of language: to convey the truth. He writes:
“My primary responsibility when talking to someone else or to you is to convey the truth. That is quite literally the entire point of verbal interaction. That’s why lies are such terrible things, because they deprive people who hear them of something they are owed—the truth—and because they sow confusion and undermine our ability to communicate with one another.”
The English language is clear, he continues, on which pronouns are to be used when referring to people:
“If you were to search for the word “he” in the dictionary, you would find that it is, by definition, a pronoun used to refer to a male human being or an animal. If you’re a male human or animal, that’s your pronoun. Or, should I say, that’s the pronoun that applies to you. You don’t own it. You can’t change it or reject it or outlaw it any more than you can change, reject, or outlaw gravity…Your feelings do not come into play here at all. They have absolutely no bearing whatsoever on the meaning of things.”
Thus, if we use pronouns that do not correspond with a person’s sex, we are lying. Walsh writes:
“If I intentionally call a man “she,” I have lied. I have conveyed something that isn’t true. Despite my polite intentions, all I’ve done is contribute to the confusion, dishonesty, and intellectual chaos rampant in our culture.”
Thus, our dedication to the truth overrides all other issues. How another person “identifies” or our desire to be “polite” simply do not count. Walsh concludes:
“Here’s what it comes down to: I am not morally or ethically required to speak nonsense or tell lies for anyone’s sake. On the contrary, my moral duty is to do exactly the opposite. I’m supposed to tell the truth, regardless of how the truth makes anyone feel. That is what both scripture and common sense dictate.”
In his book Church of Cowards, author Matt Walsh tells us why we must not use pronouns that do not correspond with a person’s sex: because the truth demands otherwise. Outside of fictional works and fantasy novels, words are meant to convey things as they are, not as we would like them to be. Thus, people do not get to choose their own pronouns; their biological sex already determined what they are. And it is our duty to recognize that reality. The truth demands nothing less.