The Development of Children and the Transgender Debate

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Guest Post by Micah Russell


I’ve noticed a pattern in American culture as it pertains to social issues. Our culture tends to take an issue, champion for the cause of an issue, overstep their bounds, and then move on to the next one. The current issue under the “saving graces” of our culture is the LGBT movement. Recently, we have seen a tremendous upsurge in the platform and rights given to these groups. In a new directive issued in May of this year, the Obama administration has stated that students in public schools must be allowed to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, not their birth certificate. Additionally, the New York Times posted an article titled, “States Move Toward Treating 17-Year-Old Offenders as Juveniles, Not Adults”. Within this article, it is stated:

Seventeen-year-olds cannot vote, buy cigarettes or even adopt a dog from an animal shelter. But as of today, in nine states, including Louisiana, they are automatically handled as adults, rather than as juveniles. In two states, New York and North Carolina, 16-year-olds are as well. Now Louisiana and several other states among those nine appear to be on the verge of raising the cutoff to the more standard age of 18 – part of a national “raise the age” movement that has won bipartisan support, a result of concern about high incarceration rates and growing neurological evidence that young people’s brains are different from adult brains.

While on the surface these two ideas seem to be for good (e.g. preventing bullying of so-called transgender children or reducing severity of crimes committed by teenagers), there is a troubling worldview that hides beneath the veneer of social justice.

Why is it that we can say juveniles and prepubescent children cannot be tried for crimes as adults due to the differences in adult and child brains, while also being able to say that a child can adequately make a deeply fundamental choice such as changing their sexuality or gender identity? What a travesty that we would allow children the capacity to make such damaging and dangerous choices in the realm of sexuality and gender, while not holding them accountable for atrocious crimes. It is disturbing to think that children can choose to change their gender in spite of (or some would argue because of) their biology, yet they cannot be properly held accountable for their actions for precisely the same reason – biology. The logic of the argument is alarmingly inconsistent and self-defeating.

Even if we were to assume that genders were changeable, and children could adequately make a determination in regards to gender change, why would we leave other children the avenue to do terrible things? What would stop children and prepubescent boys and girl from entering the other gender’s bathroom for terrible reasons? This is what happens when we allow relative truth to govern our thinking. You end up with a self-defeating ideal that is dangerous for everyone except those proposing the ideal, and nonsensical for all except those who allow for an absolute truth. This movement has, ironically enough, been a beacon for Christianity – to show that our worldview truly must involve God or absurdity.

When we forsake the God of the Bible, we forsake every right we have to argue and reason consistently. If we, as Scripture teaches, reject God and suppress the truth in unrighteousness, what could come from this but the relativistic chaos we are experiencing? Apart from an absolute God, we have no standard of absolute truth, and anything goes. We are seeing this play out in our wicked culture today.

Thankfully, we have a God who is living and active. He is the standard by which we judge truth, and because we are made in the image of God, we are able to adequately reason and live according to an absolute standard. The same God who established truth is the one overseeing the relativistic society in which we dwell, and He is the only one who will one day bring everything to its proper order. Our only hope for truth to prevail is Christ, and the only hope for those stuck in the mire of relativism is Christ. We must boldly proclaim the Christ who saves us, redeems our culture, and can redeem those wayward peoples.


Micah Russell is a senior at Blue Mountain College in northeastern Mississippi. He is pursuing degrees in Biology and Christian Ministry. Micah serves as a ministry intern at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He enjoys reading good books, drinking good tea and coffee, and playing frisbee and chess. You can follow him on Twitter @micahclay.

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