Author Tim Barnett
Published on 06/24/2024
Sexuality and Gender

Drag Is Not Holy

Tim responds to a progressive pastor who claims Matthew 23:37 supports men dressing in drag.


Original video: Drag is holy. There has been an assault on the rights of drag performers in this country, and we must call out the hypocrisy and the Injustice. Jesus called himself a mother hen longing to gather up her chicks. Gender is a construct, you see, and if Jesus can be a mother hen, then you can dress in drag. I’ve even heard it said that Jesus was and humanity is God in drag. So, let me say this again for those of you in the back. Drag is holy.

Tim: Drag is holy. That’s the controversial claim offered in this video. If we want to assess the claim, we need to look at the reasons he gives for the view. What’s his argument? Think of an argument like a simple house with a roof supporting the walls. The roof is the conclusion, and the walls are the supporting ideas that hold up the conclusion.

So, what are the walls or supporting ideas for this provocative conclusion? Well, he says Jesus called himself a mother hen longing to gather up her chicks, and if Jesus can be a mother hen, then you can dress in drag. Well, hold on a second. Jesus did say, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” Notice, though, that this verse is a simile, which is a figure of speech comparing two unlike things with the words “like” or “as.” Jesus longs to gather the children of Israel like—or as—a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. Jesus is not saying he’s a female bird with literal feathers, and he certainly isn’t using a simile to teach that gender is a social construct. That would be to read something into the text that isn’t there.

Second, this idea that Jesus would be okay with dressing in drag is false. In fact, making yourself look like the opposite sex is prohibited in Scripture. God explicitly forbids crossing the gender boundaries in both the Old and New Testament. Deuteronomy 22:5 states, “A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.” Though this is in the Old Covenant, the moral principle standing behind this prohibition also appears in the New Testament. For example, in 1 Corinthians 11, Paul says it’s a disgrace for a man to make himself look like a woman because of his hairstyle. In the same letter, Paul cautions the Corinthian church from accepting unrighteous activity, including effeminate behavior. This word is translated from a Greek word “malakoi,” which literally means “soft men.” It likely refers to men who act like a woman through their mannerisms, dress, makeup, and sometimes even castration. In light of what we see in Scripture, it is unlikely that Jesus would approve of dressing in drag.

Finally, this argument is a non sequitur. A non sequitur is when the conclusion—in this case, “drag is holy”—does not follow from the premises. So, even if the conclusion were true—which it isn’t—you can’t get to the conclusion from the argument as it’s presented here. In other words, none of the supporting reasons offered in the video logically get you to the conclusion “Therefore, drag is holy.”