Christians are divided on doctrine—and the stakes are high.
Last year saw the LGBTQ nightclub shooting in Colorado Springs, Colorado; a record-breaking number of anti-trans bills; the murder of at least 34 trans people according to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation; and 14% of LGBTQ youth attempting suicide, according to the Trevor Project.
Far-right embraces mass murderer’s pronoun choice to troll grieving LGBTQ community https://t.co/0VJJ6dOzco
— Starleto News (@StarletoNews) November 23, 2022
That was a thing of the past, There have been dozens of Anti trans bills passed texas now, one of the biggest was Don't say gay bill, and now its going way too far, the new bills are trying make it criminal to be gay or trans all together.https://t.co/pFMhORykl6
— That3dartist (@AlokYad91002169) January 22, 2023
Two church-oriented organizations, both primarily existing on Instagram, have responded to the growing representation of (and growing violence against) LGBTQ communities in polar opposite ways.
The Changed Movement is an online network that claims to support Christians in affirming their religion—and “leave” their LGBTQ identity. On the other end of the spectrum is the Unchanged Movement, which was created in protest of Changed and provides a platform for people to embrace both their Christianity and their non-cisgender and/or non-heterosexual identities.
"We are Christians with LGBTQ in our past. Many, like us, have changed. We left LGBTQ because we wanted to."
…leaving LGBTQ? Was one of y'all gonna tell me this was an organization I had to join or were y'all just gonna let me stand here like an idiot?https://t.co/1v8aSbhiqB
— khrys (@KhrysWilliams) June 7, 2021
Well-branded oppression is still oppression.
We believe God loves us UNCHANGED.
Just as we are.
No matter what.
— Q Christian Fellowship (@qchristianorg) May 29, 2019
While the Changed Movement has a larger following and, in some ways, a louder voice, its smaller opponent has data and possibly even theology on its side.
Vitriol against the queer community has been building for a while: Micah Melody Taberner, the program coordinator for Transmission Ministry Collective (TMC), said she thinks conservative, non-affirming Christians shifted their target to the trans community after the U.S. legalized gay marriage in 2015.
TMC is an online community of trans and “gender-expansive” Christians, which refers to nonbinary and precolonial gender identities.
“The movement of anti-trans legislation is concerning to many people in our community, whether it’s fear, sadness, anger or frustration,” Taberner told the Daily Dot.
In the past four years, U.S. legislators have passed 39 anti-trans bills, including trans youth sports bans in 18 states and gender-affirming healthcare restrictions for trans youth in three.
“It’s our duty as Christians to take care of our Christian nation,” said Arkansas Rep. Robin Lundstrum in an interview with Save the Nation. “Our Constitution came out of the Bible.”
Lundstrum is a right-wing Christian lawmaker who was behind Arkansas’ “Save Adolescents From Experimentation” (SAFE) Act in 2021. SAFE bans trans youth from accessing gender-affirming healthcare. This year, Lundstrum pushed for similar legislation in Missouri.
According to the Pew Research Center, a majority of white, evangelical Christians say society has gone too far in supporting trans individuals.
Attitudes about transgender issues vary widely among Christians, religious ‘nones’ in U.S. https://t.co/EorC7ETBkN
— ꧁Rhea꧂ (@TheTweetOfRhea) January 7, 2023
While there are Christians that are affirming, Taberner said conservative Christian nationalism tends to be behind the anti-LGBTQ legislation in the U.S. Christian nationalism is a viewpoint held by Christians who seek to add a religious agenda to politics and pass laws that align with their conservative views.
“They’re fighting really hard because there is such a swing towards acceptance in the broader culture that people who aren’t accepting almost feel like they have to double down and fight harder,” Taberner said. “We are seeing a backlash, both in the conservative religious community as well as the conservative political community.”
More than half of religiously unaffiliated Americans say society hasn’t gone far enough in accepting trans individuals, according to Pew.
Taberner said that the Changed Movement perpetuates the motives behind the anti-LGBTQ hate crimes and legislation that have transpired this year.
Changed spreads the narrative that queer and trans individuals are living in unholy sin and going against Biblical Christian values—and that it’s possible for queer people to change their LGBTQ identities to heterosexuality.
“This is a cultural assumption that being gay, being trans, or being part of the LGBTQ community in itself is disordered and away from what it means to be fully human,” Taberner said. “When you see someone as less than human, or you see trans people as a danger because they’re ‘invading bathrooms’ or various certain things, it’s easier to legislate them out of existence.”
READ FULL ARTICLE:
By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter