Earlier this month President Obama appointed Amanda Simpson as the Senior Technical Advisor to the Department of Commerce. This is such a big deal because Simpson is the first ever transgender person to receive a Presidential appointment. Most of you have probably heard about this appointment already. I waited to comment on this situation because I wanted to see how the Christian and the secular media would react. Here are a few thoughts:
Broadly speaking, as liberal as the mainstream media is, I was shocked at how derogatory some of the outlets were regarding Amanda Simpson’s appointment. Names such as “tranny” and “gal” were written in some not-so-subtle condescending ways. I believe this highlights a lot larger transgender push-back within society.
As much as the mainstream world says they’re ok with gays and lesbians, this is just another reminder of how transgenders are still a huge unknown. While I was speaking at the general session at Ball State University last week, a student came up to the front of the auditorium to ask a question and said:
“I’m transgender and I don’t feel like I belong anywhere. Although I feel love from the Spectrum (the gay group on campus), they still don’t understand me, and there is no one around like me. I feel so alone. Christians don’t understand, the gay community doesn’t understand. What am I supposed to do?”
Wow! The boldness it took for this person to stand up in front of a packed auditorium to communicate such a message was one of the most sacred and special moments I have experienced in a long time. I wish I had a great answer to the questions, but I didn’t. As honestly as I could communicate it, I believe peace and reconciliation can only come through Christ, along side a loving community of people to hold you up when you can’t hold yourself up anymore. It was an unsatisfying response, but it was all I could muster for something I really know nothing of.
As for the Christian world’s response to this appointment, I am not surprised about (generally) their vocal, slippery-slope-driven reactions. However, what does continue to surprise me is the question of why Christians are always so surprised by such things!
We do not live in a Christian society no matter how many of us like to think the opposite. Ours is that of God’s Kingdom; something we are commissioned to bring here to our world. However, our world is governed by a secular culture that governs in a secular fashion. Yet we still continue to place our worldview upon them, expecting that one day they will ‘wake up’ and see the boundaries we are placing upon them to be able to productively work with us. That is not going to happen. Instead, let us continue to hold on to our belief and start working within the mainstream worldview that has been placed upon us; to figure out how to peacefully and productively bring our Kingdom within the structure we have been given. Or, we could just keep expecting something different to happen by doing what has always been done? You know, whichever you think is best.
I urge you brothers and sisters, take the structure that has been given to us and work to find a way to bring Kingdom to that—not working to try to have Kingdom rule and dominate a culture unwilling to allow such a thing to happen.
What are your thoughts?