Letter to the Editor: Submitted by Arthur Clocksin

To the Editor:

In reading about the International Transgender Day of Visibility event in Lansing March 31, I took note of the two main purposes of this event: to honor the joy and resilience of transgender and nonbinary people, and to raise awareness of discrimination faced by this same group.

The article notes that transgender and nonbinary youth experience anxiety and depression at a much higher rate than their cisgender peers, with an alarming attempted suicide rate of 29 percent. Is there resilience here which we can honor? Definitely. But is there joy that can be honored in this scenario? I don’t think so.

The central question that must be asked when it comes to LGBTQ issues is this: Is the adherence to such a lifestyle a result of birth (perhaps how one was created by God), or a matter of one’s own choice? If it is a matter of one’s birth and natural make-up, then that is how God created that person and it is apparently God’s will for things to stay that way. End of discussion. If, however, choice enters into the equation, then we have a lot to talk about.

I was born as a heterosexual male with no homosexual tendencies, so I may have limited appreciation for what some may struggle with. I was born with certain other tendencies, however, which I have struggled with all my life. As a young man I had to deal with extreme tendencies to live an immoral lifestyle. I prayed and asked God, “Why did You create me this way? Do You want me to become a fornicator?”

By divine grace I was enabled to somehow rise above my natural sinful tendencies which I was born with and bound by. I have nothing to boast about; back then all I knew how to do was to cry out to God in my helplessness and hopelessness. That same divine grace can do the same for anyone and everyone, as long as they are willing.

The way in which one was born and the circumstances of one’s upbringing can have a profound impact on that individual’s lifestyle choice, but these things do not have to be the final determining factors.

One can choose to live by the principles set forth in the Holy Bible, as difficult as that may be, or one can choose to live some other way. For those who choose to live some other way, I am not going to be hateful toward you, as some would charge, but I am going to ask, “Are you sure you want to make that choice?”

The advice I would give would echo the Apostle Paul’s words found in 1 Corinthians 15:34: “Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God...”.

Evangelical, fundamental Christians will continue to offer that choice to the LGBTQ community. We are not preaching hate; we want to make that perfectly clear. As concerned as we are about the wellbeing of those around us, offering “gender-affirming care to lead to improved mental health” is not our preferred solution. All we have to offer is Biblical solutions. Beyond that, our hands are tied.

Arthur Clocksin