On Friday, our local paper reported that our local library had removed certain LGBTQ books from the kids’ section. These included the picture books “My Two Dads” and “My Two Moms,” as well as children’s novels featuring a transgender elementary school student. According to the article, over a dozen library patrons asked for the removal of these items from the children’s department, stating that the LGBTQ content was “unacceptable for viewing by children without their parents’ consent and input.” The books can still be requested for checkout by an adult.
As expected, this provoked angry commentary on social media. Some of my friends criticized the library’s decision as “censorship” by a “tiny, but vocal group of hateful people.” Those who objected to LGBTQ content on display for children were described as “stupid and mean,” “backwards and sad,” even “inexcusable and unforgiveable.”
In the spirit of building bridges, I would like to explain why people who object to LGBTQ books in the children’s section of the public library are not acting out of hate or ignorance. They are courageously standing for their religious convictions.
As people of God’s word, Christians have a distinct view of marriage and sex. We believe God created sex as a powerful, purposeful force. Specifically, sex binds together man and woman in marriage and results in the fruitfulness of children and family life. The Bible clearly teaches that sex outside of marriage, including adultery and homosexuality, is forbidden. It is the duty of Christian parents to teach their children these foundational truths.
In America today, many people and powerful institutions are opposed to these Christian beliefs. They view men and women as interchangeable. They claim same-sex unions and marriage are equivalent. But opposition does not make the Christian stance on marriage any less true. We believe human flourishing depends upon training our sexual urges toward their creational purpose: the natural family. When the natural family breaks down, chaos and suffering result.
Meanwhile, LGBTQ advocates have been very successful in promoting their views in media, education, and government policy. Most Christians believe it is non-controversial, a no-brainer, to extend anti-discrimination laws to protect those with alternative lifestyles. As an employment law attorney, I have advised many clients on how to comply with those laws and treat members of the LGBTQ community equally and fairly. But today, Christians are being pressured to positively affirm what the Bible condemns. This includes calling same-sex unions “marriage,” and using pronouns that differ from biological gender.
While we cannot affirm sin, Christians must affirm the dignity of all human beings, as image-bearers of God. Many believers are reaching out to those who identify as LGBTQ, while remaining true to Scripture. It is my hope that the controversy at Lincoln Parish Public Library will spark conversations that point to Christ, the one who came to save us all from sin and give us all new identities.
[This op-ed was published in the Ruston Leader, behind a paywall. You can download a .pdf of my letter, as well as an opposing point of view, below.]