Preferred Pronouns Are ‘Ideological, Not Terminological’: Butterfield
Homeschool mother, author, and speaker Rosaria Butterfield did not always associate with the title “follower of Christ.” In fact, her identity was formed by feminist philosophy and LGBTQ+ advocacy as she pursued her career as a tenured radical professor and identified as a proud lesbian. But in 1999, she had an encounter with Christ and shortly after converted to Christianity, leaving her old identity behind.
Before her conversion, Butterfield “advised the LGBTQ+ student group, wrote Syracuse University’s policy for same-sex couples, and actively lobbied for LGBTQ+ aims alongside her lesbian partner.” Her activist career change from LGBTQ+ advocacy to proclaiming her faith in Christ on every platform created controversy, but ultimately opened the door for her to share her testimony. Butterfield’s love for words never ceased, but the content of her words has drastically changed. Her first book, “The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert,” tells the story of her transformation.
Early last week, Reformation 21 published one of her pieces titled “Why I No Longer Use Preferred Pronouns – And Why You Shouldn’t, Either.” Butterfield joined “Washington Watch” guest host Jody Hice to expand on this topic as well as emphasize the need of repentance.
“In some ways my article wants to do two things,” Butterfield began. “It wants to deal with the content of the problem — transgender pronouns [are] ideological, not terminological — but it also wants to deal with another problem. Those of us, like myself, who have either used this carelessly or, worse, promoted it intentionally.”
Having promoted transgenderism and homosexuality for several years of her life, Butterfield felt an obligation to use her platform to “spell out what repentance looks like.” In the opening of her article, she wrote, “My use of transgendered pronouns was not a mistake; it was sin.”
Expanding on this idea, Butterfield told Hice, “One of the reasons why it’s really important to think about this in terms of [a] violation of commandments is transgenderism is itself the sin of envy. Transgenderism is the breaking of the 10th Commandment. You are not to covet your neighbor’s wife, and you’re not to covet your neighbor’s sexual anatomy. And therefore, Christians who buy into this are failing to remember that we’re really at a crisis place right now. Any culture that grows in its homosexuality and its transgenderism is a culture under judgment.”
To avoid a culture under judgment, Butterfield discourages believers from using preferred pronouns, saying,“We are called to, of course, be salt and light. But we’re not going to get there by being a ‘soft presence.’” To further prove this point, she stated that adhering to the pronoun narrative is “about conceding the moral language to the Left’s understanding of identity politics rather than offering a biblical understanding of morality and hope.”
It’s a little bit, she said, “like playing on the enemy’s turf — and it makes no sense. You know, the house always wins if you go into this debate and you concede the moral language that the Bible offers, and with that, the power of the blood of Christ to transform lives. You are really being hopeless, and very therapeutic. And that’s what you really see here,” Butterfield warned. “You see that instead of the gospel that really changes people, that transforms people’s lives, you see a kind of gospel of pluralism and therapy. And so instead of loving your enemies under the gospel of pluralism and therapy, you’re called to just pretend that your enemies are your friends. And that’s vile. That’s dangerous. And it’s cowardly.”
Butterfield concluded her time with Hice by sharing a humble reminder, “Repentance simply acknowledges that when sin is not mortified, Christ is not glorified. I’m not a professional Christian. I’m a sinner saved by the blood of Christ.”