My twitter feed lately has been full of advertisements and articles for the 2018 March for Life, a series of protests and rallies to be held in Washington, D.C. late next week. As this event is intended to speak up for the unborn in the face of threats like abortion, the narrative surrounding it is what one would expect: “We stand for the most vulnerable among us!” There is, however, a contradiction here, one that hints at hypocrisy and which needs to be explored.
As those in the church who are pro-life, you fight for the rights of unborn children. You care for them enough to speak up in a very public way. What if, however, one of those same children you care so much about now comes out at age 4 as transgender? Will you still care for him or her (or they) then? That child will be incredibly vulnerable much as they are right now. Sadly, if your actions over the last year are any indication, you won’t help to make them less so. You’ll probably say that the child in question is confused. You might even call it child abuse for the parents of the child to accept him or her or they the way they are. Any attempt to have their peers be more accepting of who they are will be an “aggressive homosexual agenda.” In short, your words and your actions will take this child, the same one you were so passionate about standing up for in their vulnerability, and make them even more vulnerable now.
The term “pro-life,” by definition, implies that these children matter throughout their lives and not just before they are born. And yet the love and concern you show will stop the instant they become something you don’t like, something that doesn’t fit your worldview. Oh you’ll say it hasn’t, that you’re still acting out of love, but if I’ve learned one thing from books like Andrew T. Walker’s God and the Transgender Debate it’s that when fear takes over you can justify any action as loving if you try hard enough. Trans people are a threat to the evangelical status quo and trans children most of all. For too many of you that’s all we’ll ever be.
I know that this post is likely to fall on deaf ears. After all, I’m asking you love people, trans people, lesbians, gay people, and any other gender non-conforming people whose very existence is something you don’t accept. If you really want to stand for the most vulnerable in society then you have to do it for all of us. Just as James 3 tells us that blessing and cursing should not come from the same mouth, that the same spring cannot bring forth both fresh and salt water, neither can you love and support one vulnerable group while at the same time you actively work to make another such group even more vulnerable. You do it for both or not at all.