Biden administration promotes Transgender Day of Visibility on Easter Sunday

Biden administration promotes Transgender Day of Visibility on Easter Sunday April 1, 2024

The White House became embroiled in controversy over the weekend after issuing a “Proclamation on Transgender Day of Visibility, 2024” for Easter Sunday.

Rev. Greg Laurie called the proclamation “a profound insult to the sincerely held religious beliefs of millions of Americans on our holiest day” and added, “It’s time to turn back to God, not turn our backs on God.” Others joined in criticizing the proclamation as assaulting the Christian faith. Proponents noted that the event falls on March 31 every year and only coincidentally aligned with Easter this year.

If the event had been rescheduled so as not to conflict with Easter, criticism would have risen in precisely the opposite direction: proponents would have supported the move while critics would have labeled it discriminatory and likely blamed Christians for being “transphobic.”

This controversy is nothing new: Easter has been dividing skeptics and believers since Jesus rose from the dead. The authorities who arranged Jesus’ crucifixion, when told by the guard of his resurrection, bribed them to lie (Matthew 28:11–15) and continued to persecute his followers (cf. Acts 5:40). While billions of Christians claimed yesterday that Jesus is “risen indeed,” billions more rejected or ignored our claim.

How can we persuade Americans not to “turn our backs on God” but to “turn back to God”?

Monday can be our most persuasive evidence for Sunday.

Would you die for a lie?

The historical evidence for the resurrection is remarkably strong (see my article, “Why Jesus?” for an extensive overview). For example, we know from ancient non-biblical records that:

  • Jesus of Nazareth was a real person of history.
  • He was crucified by Pontius Pilate.
  • His first followers believed he was raised from the dead.
  • They worshiped him as God.

We can also point to the empirical evidence of the empty tomb. No other explanation makes sense:

  • If the disciples stole the body, how did they overpower the Roman guards, convince five hundred people that he was alive (1 Corinthians 15:6), make his body appear through locked doors (John 20:19) and cook a meal for the disciples (John 21:9–12), then cause his body to ascend to heaven (Acts 1:9)? Would they then all die for a lie, some in gruesome ways? Would you?
  • If the authorities stole the body, wouldn’t they produce it when the disciples began preaching the resurrection?
  • If the women went to the wrong tomb, wouldn’t the authorities and Joseph of Arimathea, who owned the correct tomb, correct the error?
  • If Jesus didn’t really die on the cross, how did he survive a spear thrust that ruptured the pericardial sac of his heart (John 19:34) and an airtight mummified shroud, overpower the guards in his emaciated condition, make his way through locked doors, and then perform the greatest high jump in history at the ascension?

Of course, a postmodern relativist is likely to dismiss all of this with the rejoinder, “that’s just your truth.” We are objectivists with nearly every dimension of reality, from the laws of physics to laws against murder, theft, and the like. But when we confront reality that clashes with our preferences, we retreat to the shelter of subjectivism, claiming that “all truth is relative” (which is an objective truth claim).

The most compelling argument for Easter

You and I can choose today to become evidence for the most compelling argument for Easter in our relativistic culture: the changed lives of Jesus’ followers.

The apostles are our example. Men who abandoned Jesus when he was arrested, denied him when he was on trial, forsook him when he was dying on the cross, and then hid from the authorities behind locked doors soon became catalysts for the mightiest spiritual movement in human history.

Peter is Exhibit A. After boasting that he would never deny his Lord, he denied even knowing him three times. Even after he saw the empty tomb, he returned to his fishing profession (John 21:3). (Note that he went fishing at night, which was what professional rather than recreational fishermen did so they could sell their catch as “fresh” the next morning; cf. Luke 5:5.)

But when he met the risen Lord, he left his fishing nets behind to “fish for men” (Matthew 4:19). The other apostles joined him, spreading out across the Roman Empire to share the good news of Easter at the eventual cost of their lives. There is no other reasonable explanation for their transformed lives except that they met the risen Christ and were never the same again.

“From this, everything begins anew!”

So it can be with you and me. What we do today can show that what we celebrated yesterday is true. When others see the difference Christ makes in our lives, they will be drawn to seek that difference for their lives.

In his Easter message yesterday, Pope Francis proclaimed:

“The tomb of Jesus is open and it is empty! From this, everything begins anew!”

He noted that without the forgiveness of sins, there is no way to overcome the barriers of prejudice, mutual recrimination, and other conflicts that beset our broken world: “Only the risen Christ, by granting us the forgiveness of our sins, opens the way for a renewed world.”

This is “the path that none of us, but God alone, could open,” he stated.

If you and I truly walk this path with the risen Christ today, our world cannot be the same tomorrow.

Monday news to know:

Quote for the day:

“Fulfillment comes when we live our lives on purpose.” —Simon Sinak

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