Hirs, zirs and xyr.
My head has been in the sand. Apparently the search for gender-neutral pronouns has been going on for years. The University of Tennessee is all over it, though. And so is New York City. But it wasn't until I got around to reading this piece by don't-care-what-you-think Doug Wilson that I caught up with the pronoun-cements (ha ha) myself.
I confess, as a son of my age, I was wondering what would be the loving thing to do as a Christian and as a Church (not that I'm a Church, you understand, but I'm part of the Church). I mean, the Bible is clear about binary genders, but we also want to meet people where they are at. Already we've had to struggle with how to respond to gay couples claiming step-children by virtue of a homosexual or lesbian partnership, how to acknowledge the existence of the legal creation of "homosexual marriage" among people we know, and many more unbiblical social creations. Just how far should we go if these alternative pronouns actually become widely accepted in our society?
How far should we go accomodating this in the church?
Then it occurred to me: No matter how lovingly we are to speak to people (and we are to speak lovingly to people), no matter how understanding we are to be of their issues with gender (and we are to be understanding), God has already instituted a silent tradition in the church that speaks to this with no compromise - there are two genders, and one is to wear a headcovering, the other not.
I wonder where the church is going to go with this one, because it's not just pronouns that will challenge the biblical teaching on gender and it's already unthinkingly given a lot of ground without even realising it.