Known as eunuchs in the bible transgender people were welcomed by God, blessed by Jesus and saved by the Holy Spirit. But this is hard to remember while suffering from the discriminatory rhetoric being broadcast from the Texas Legislature. We must be mindful that the persecution of transgender eunuchs by cisgender Christians is nothing new. It was written about in the earliest passages of the Bible as “conservative” Christians tried to purge the earth of gender diversity and kill our faith in much the same way it’s being attempted today.
The far right faction of the Tea party known in Texas as the “Freedom Caucus” led by the uber right Lt Gov. Dan Patrick, has been central in the push for anti-transgender laws. Having failed during the regular session to pass a bathroom bill Patrick manufactured an excuse to recall the legislature for a special session, which has since introduced three more bathroom bills. Of the three SB 3 presently excludes card carrying trans adults, instead, preys on transgender children . SB 3 has advanced through the Senate and is pending a hearing in the House.
This week we learned that the two other ant-LGBT bills in the house which lay dormant are now also being pushed by Lt Gov. Dan Patrick.
This well-orchestrated expenditure of political capital and waste of taxpayers money is unheralded even when compared to North Carolina’s disastrous HB2, a debacle which is still haunting the tar heel.
Dan Patrick released an updated list of bathroom bill supporters in an effort to counter the ever expanding list of opponents including police unions representing 36,000 officers, Police chiefs and mayors from Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, New Hope and El Paso, teachers, counselors, politicians, Business leaders employing tens of thousands of Texans and thousands of Texans who have registered and spoke against it.
Dan Patrick’s updated list of supporting organizations published on July 25, 2017. includes five organizations of which three are identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as Anti-LGBT groups. “Texas Values”, the Concerned Women of America, Texas” are listed as Anti-LGBT as is the Texas Eagle Forum which is also listed as “Anti Government”. Although Patrick’s list didn’t include The Family Research Council, a known hate group, he has allied with them since the beginning.
Last but definitely not least on the Patricks list of supporting groups and the glue that holds together all this hateful messaging is The Southern Baptists Convention of Texas(SBC) which accused the Texas Association of Business and other corporate and tourism groups of taking pro-LGBT stands “for the sake of their bottom line.”
But it’s a lot more than a fiscal issue for the SBC, it’s a religious mandate and one that these amoral ambitious Texan politicians find irresistible. I submit for your consideration the leadership of the “Texas House Freedom Caucus”.
- Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Senate President, KingPin, occasional Pastor and member since 1992 Second Baptist Church in Houston
- Rep. Matt Schaefer (Tyler) Chairman, member Green Acres Baptist Church
- Rep. Bill Zedler (Arlington) Vice Chairman, chairman of the board of elders at the Park Springs Bible Church in Arlington, member Tarrant Baptist Association
- Rep. Matt Shaheen (Plano) Grassroots Liaison, is a deacon at the Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano.
- Rep. Jeff Leach (Plano) Policy Director Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano.
- Rep. Tony Tinderholt (Arlington) Secretary-Treasurer Endorsed by known hate group Texas Eagle Forum
These Freedom Caucus members are pushing the Southern Baptist resolution authored by the transphobic extremist elder Denny Burk and adopted in 2014 which instructs followers to attack transgender people in the workplace, socially and in politics which reads in part:
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, June 10–11, 2014, affirm God’s good design that gender identity is determined by biological sex and not by one’s self-perception—a perception which is often influenced by fallen human nature in ways contrary to God’s design (Ephesians 4:17–18); and be it further
RESOLVED, That we grieve the reality of human fallenness which can result in such biological manifestations as intersexuality or psychological manifestations as gender identity confusion and point all to the hope of the redemption of our bodies in Christ and be it further
RESOLVED, That we oppose efforts to alter one’s bodily identity (e.g., cross-sex hormone therapy, gender reassignment surgery) to refashion it to conform with one’s perceived gender identity; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we continue to oppose steadfastly all efforts by any governing official or body to validate transgender identity as morally praiseworthy (Isaiah 5:20); and be it further
RESOLVED, That we oppose all cultural efforts to validate claims to transgender identity.
Of course, Denny Burk and the Southern Baptists will argue that eunuchs weren’t transgender. Indeed the word eunuch hasn’t been translated into a modern terminology as most of the bible has, so it’s high time we do.
So we’ve learned who the modern day heretics are and the mandates they are following. Since this is a faith based argument I ask you to bear through the theological rationale for understanding that the Holy Trinity embraces Transgender Eunuchs and that we should understand and embrace the similarities of the words ‘transgender’ and ‘Eunuch’.
Rev. Lawrence Richardson wrote in the Salt Collective that “Gender is a socially constructed term that categorizes people by real or perceived physical/sexual characteristics. The word transgender is a relatively new term that encompasses a multitude of gender identities and expressions inclusive of those identities and expressions that most closely resemble the eunuchs we read about in the Bible.”
“Eunuchs are people who, for various reasons, live a different kind of sexual reality.” Richardson wrote. “Some eunuchs are that way because they are born with ambiguous genitalia. Some eunuchs undergo genital modification and are made eunuchs by others. Some eunuchs make the conscious choice to alter their own physical realities out of a desire to live more congruently with a higher reality.”
In the Old Testament…..
Isaiah 56 the prophet said “Do not let the foreigner joined to the LORD say, ‘The LORD will surely separate me from his people’; and do not let the eunuch say, ‘I am just a dry tree.’ For thus says the LORD: To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths . . . I will give, in my house and within my walls, a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. And the foreigners who. . . hold fast my covenant — these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer. . .for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples” (56:1-7).
Contrasting Isaiah verses can be found here which “Conservative” Christians use to validate their hate of all that’s different. In the book of Deuteronomy, “No one whose testicles are crushed or whose penis is cut off shall be admitted to the assembly of the Lord” (23:1). A similar passage in Leviticus declares that “no one who has a blemish shall draw near” the sanctuary, including one with “crushed testicles” (21:18-20).
What is clear is the there are a number of men who presumed to speak for God and on Christianity’s behalf. Some were exclusionary going as far as to exclude a person with a blemish but in my opinion, the vast majority of Christians, as attested by Dan Patricks failure to get more than a few Baptists to attend the bathroom bill hearing, welcome all who have “Blemishes” and understand our diversity as gods blessing.
Jesus teaches welcomes and acknowledges the difficulties cisgender people would have in understanding transgender people. In Mathew 19:11 and 12 He said to his followers, “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given 12: For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.”
After Christ was crucified true to his promise God made his will be known through the holy spirit by saving a transgender man after he had been rejected by the Conservative Christians after trying to be baptized in Jerusalem. Acts 8:26-40 Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuchthe holy spirit commands Philip a successful pastor to travel down the road leading to Gaza. This road was a desert road rift with criminals and without a doubt a road less traveled.
I believe this was the original occurrence of what has become universally understood within the transgender community as our “road less traveled”. Our path is one less taken but one that we share giving us an opportunity to communion with one another and most importantly, God. It’s what keeps us together when sometimes hate surrounds us. When we see our family slain and when we share joy and when we are faced with seemingly unending hate as we have in Texas and nationally Trump’s White House.
Taking this one step further I believe when Philip and the Eunuch were brought together it was for more than just their benefit, it was for every transgender person who followed.