I was reading, as usual, Halliday (1925-2018) when I came across the following statement which had nothing to do with linguistics: “There are many ways of finding patterns among people. Some patterns are obvious: everyone is either male or female, with a fairly clear line between the two” (Michael A. K. Halliday et al. Linguistic Sciences, 1964:76).
Halliday, when he was writing it, didn’t know what was coming. What was “obvious” to him then isn’t anymore to many in today’s world. The perspicuous statement of Genesis 1:27b “male and female He created them” (NASB) is facing an unprecedented challenge in today’s confused world; many (if not all) have changed their minds on what the Bible teaches about human sex: first, it is binary; second, they are separate so you do not cross the line.
Halliday passed away a few years ago, so I have no idea what Halliday would have to say about his 1964 statement if he’s asked to comment about it in 2022. Would he stand his ground and reconfirm his brave statement? Or would he publicly admit that he was stupid and wrong back then and join the rebels? Or would he act like Galilei to recant his 1964 claims and murmur “And yet the male-female line is obvious”?
I think that people do not know where this is leading them: When the Canadian actress Ellen Page (b. 1987) publicly came out as female-to-male transgender in December 2020, the media only praised it as “historic”; in March 2021, a Canadian father was jailed after he kept calling his daughter his “daughter.” These are just a prelude to what is to come. The Apostle Paul’s poignant diagnosis, therefore, holds so true: “Professing to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22 NASB).