It’s hard to believe that a year has gone by since we started this series about the war on children. Our focus is on how Christians should respond to this war. We first looked at the war from God’s perspective, then from the world’s.
The war begins before children are born. The war continues as a child is introduced to his or her parents. The war escalates when children begin their public education.
Parents and their children are facing many challenges in both public and private schools. We looked at the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the last part of our series. We move next to the challenge of transgender students in your child’s school.
Keep in mind that our goal in developing a Christian response is to be reasoned (logical), informed (fact-based) and thoughtful (loving and kind).
The Transgender Challenge
Let’s begin with a basic definition of transgender:
of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity differs from the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth .. Merriam-Webster
Identifying as or having undergone medical treatment to become a member of the opposite sex .. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
An umbrella term for people whose gender identify differs from the sex they were assigned at birth and/or whose gender expression do not match society’s expectations with regard to gender roles .. Transgenderhub.com
Christians have different views about transgenderism even as they do about abortion and critical race theory. What is your view? Do you believe that gender is based on sex assigned at birth or self identification?
I like to ask what God thinks about something before reaching my final conclusion. What does God think about transgenderism? Is God for it, against it or neutral about it?
We addressed God’s design for children in an earlier part of our series, so I’ll review it quickly.
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27
Interestingly, the Hebrew word for “man” is āḏām. That’s the word for “mankind.” The Hebrew word for “male” is zāḵār and the word for “female” is nəqêḇāh. God’s design is that mankind (humanity) would have two types: male and female. Why two types? Because each one has a different purpose in God’s design. Basic biology explains the reproductive purposes for male and female humans. Nothing in the Bible changes that biological fact of sexuality or reproductive purpose.
The question becomes can human males and females change their sex by “identifying” as a different sex? Can they change their sex by going through a medical process? The answer would seem to be how sex is determined biologically. I can say that I identify as an 800-pound gorilla, but is that true because I self identify that way? The answer depends on what I am biologically.
I remember a scene in the 1990 Kindergarten Cop movie where a child says – “Boys Have A Penis And Girls Have A Vagina.” A person’s sexual identity seemed pretty simple 30+ years ago. It’s more complicated now. Medical procedures now can change a person’s reproductive organs, but does that change their sex? What I mean by that is whether a medical procedure can change a person’s chromosomes so they actually are a different sex than how they were born?
The short answer is “no.” A human’s genome has 23 pairs of chromosomes. 22 pairs of autosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes. God designed females to inherit an X chromosome from their father for an XX genotype. Males inherit a Y chromosome from their father for an XY genotype. Mothers pass on X chromosomes. As you can see, the presence or absence of the Y chromosome is critical to whether the child becomes female or male. Two X chromosomes make a female. An X chromosome and Y chromosome make a male.
Humans carry their sex chromosomes with them throughout life. They are biologically the sex they had in their mother’s womb. Changing reproductive organs through an artificial medical process doesn’t change the biological sex of a human. However, there are some scientists who believe it may be possible to change sex chromosomes post-natal in the future. How could they do that? While there are some theories that sound a bit like science fiction, trying to change the sex chromosomes in a person’s body would run into a lot of physical challenges.
At least for now, a male is a male and a female is a female for life. Identify in whatever way people want, they still cannot change their biological sex. Wear different clothes, go through hormone therapy and sex surgery, but a male is a male and a female is a female. That’s science.
Transgenders and Sex
Transgenderism is about sexual orientation. That means sex is involved. Transgender people have sexual desires. The question many parents have is how that might impact their children. Do transgender males want to have sex with males or females? Do transgender females want to have sex with females or males?
The answer is complicated. Doctors and mental health experts have been studying this for some time and the results are mixed. Sexual desire can be different from one trans person to another.
Transgenders in School and Sports
That leads us to the current challenge many parents are having in public and private schools. Many transgender children who are biological males but identify as girls want to use girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms and showers. Some also want to be involved in girls’ sports. Many parents have a problem with that, which is understandable from their position. They want to protect their girls from seeing biological males in their bathrooms and showers. They also want to protect their daughters from possible sexual assault from biological males. We’ve already seen that happen in some school districts. We’ve also seen biological boys defeat biological girls in sporting events because the boys were transgender.
If you are a Christian, have children in a public school and this concerns you, what do you do? Biology supports the view that children are either male or female, so science agrees with you if you believe in God’s design for humans.
What about laws protecting your daughters from biological males undressing in front of them and taking showers with them? Many states and communities have adopted provisions that allow transgender people to use public restrooms that match their gender identities. Some have adopted provisions that prohibit it. What about in schools?
The Trans community points to Title IX, a federal law that makes sex discrimination illegal in most schools.
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. Title IX, 1972
Enforcement for Title IX is the responsibility for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Recent court challenges have been going in favor of the transgender community.
Here’s how the Trans community views Title IX:
Most courts who have looked at the issue have said that this includes discrimination against someone because they are transgender or because they don’t meet gender-related stereotypes or expectations. Several other federal and state laws also protect transgender students. Transequality.org
They go on to say that Transgender students have the right to be treated according to their gender identify, the right to be called by the name and pronouns that match their general identity, the right not to be bullied or harassed because they are transgender, the right to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity, the right to get the same opportunities to learn and participate in school life as anyone else, the right to dress and present themselves according to their gender identity, the right to protect their privacy and choose who they tell or don’t tell about being transgender, and the right to start an LFBT student club.
How do public school officials see the issue?
Educators know firsthand that school-based discrimination against transgender students harms them profoundly by stigmatizing them and denying them equitable educational opportunities. This guidance was developed to provide educators with a short overview about transgender students’ rights, followed by a description of the key best practices for schools in respecting these rights, a brief primer regarding transgender issues, and a full explanation of the legal rights which those best practices respect and how those rights play out in particular situations. National Education Association
School Board Meetings
It would seem that opposing transgender students using whatever bathroom and locker room that matches their gender identity is protected by law and courts. That doesn’t mean Christian parents can’t share their concerns to school administrators and school boards, but it does mean parents need to be informed about anti-discrimination laws in their state and community and how courts are interpreting those laws. Also, remember to share your thoughts with lawmakers since they make and can change laws.
Expressing your emotional outrage at a school board meeting may make you feel better, but it won’t accomplish much if you are not on solid legal ground. The better idea might be to talk with school administrators and board members privately about how best to provide a safe environment for girls. If you do speak publicly at a school board meeting, remember to make your comments reasoned, informed and thoughtful. Christian parents need to remember that they represent Jesus Christ when they speak out on any topic.
Personal safety is a primary reason parents are concerned about biological males using girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms and showers. That’s certainly something that educators and administrators can and should understand. If you approach conversations about your child’s safety with educators in a respectful manner, you may find they will be open to ideas that won’t cause legal challenges for the school system.
In light of recent physical attacks on girls at schools by biological males who identify as females, I recommend girls learn basic self defense. It begins with awareness and can be as simple as girls taking basic self defense classes. You can look at GraceMartialArts.com to read more about learning self defense from a Christian perspective. You might find this article helpful as to how to help girls understand situational awareness and basic self defense.
Talking With Your Kids
Christian parents need to talk with their children about transgenderism when the time is right. Parents know what is age-appropriate for their children. I recommend you begin by teaching them about God’s design. It’s also important for our children to learn that people with different beliefs have worth and value to God. They should also have worth and value to us. As the Apostle Paul reminds us:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:12-13
7 Facts About Christianity and the Transgender Debate
Gay Christianity: A Reasoned Response
God and the Transgender Debate: What does the Bible Actually Say About Gender Identity?
How Should Christians Respond to Transgenderism?
Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters
Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions about Life and Sexuality
Transgender and Sexual Orientation
Transgenderism: A Christian Perspective
When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment
In the next part of our series about the War on Children, we’ll look at the sexualizing of our children.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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