Conservative evangelicals apparently have lots to pray for these days.
Same-sex marriage rights are quickly spreading across the country, Obama declared an International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, a Fairfax, Virginia school board recently implemented a transgender rights policy, and Robert Gates of The Boy Scouts of America urged his organization to lift the ban on gay leaders.
To top it off, The Girl Scouts of America is officially trans-inclusive.
Girl Scouts is proud to be the premiere leadership organization for girls in the country. Placement of transgender youth is handled on a case-by-case basis, with the welfare and best interests of the child and the members of the troop/group in question a top priority. That said, if the child is recognized by the family and school/community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, then Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe.
This marks a welcome change for civil-rights minded people and a likely nightmare for Colorado Springs evangelical machine Focus on the Family, which has been condemning the growing trend of transgender inclusion in Colorado Girl Scouts’ troops for years.
Focus on the Family’s Jeff Johnston wrote about the issue in 2012. He blamed trans identity on everything from Marxism and Communism to feminism and the sexual revolution. In the gentlest language, he proposed a political attack:
“In education and the political arena, we should advocate — with all respect, truth and kindness — for curriculum and laws that acknowledge male-female distinctions, which are not just rooted in Scripture, but in biology and human experience.”
These days, the evangelical right isn’t so docile.
Last week, Rev. Pierre Bynum of the Family Research Council – a Washington D.C. based anti-gay, anti-trans, anti-choice political force – described what he sees as Obama’s “transgender tyranny” and encouraged evangelicals to join school boards to fight transgender rights in education. He wrote:
A nationwide strategic initiative is now underway, coming to your community soon. Believers across America need to select godly people to serve on school boards and strengthen the backbones of their existing members to prepare them for this onslaught. They should be willing to protect children’s safety and moral innocence at whatever cost.
Bynum assured the Colorado Independent that “whatever cost” does not include physical violence.
“There is no call or justification for anybody to harm anybody; neither is there call for those threatened by wrongful, immoral, irrational policies that are potentially harmful to their children, to submit to such policies,” he wrote. “If they cannot successfully effect their correction, they should either remove their children from the threat, and, if necessary, move their family from the community or state to a community or state where those in authority take their trust to teach and protect the children within their jurisdiction seriously.”
In other FRC news, last week, Josh Duggar, the Executive Director of Family Resource Council Action resigned after reports surfaced that he had molested children.
Photo credit: JD Hancock, Creative Commons, Flickr.