This is about Truth. This is about God’s law and gospel, which calls school board members to repentance—not just in their personal lives but also in their offices. Civil servants are to repent in their offices because of Christ and His office.
Editor’s Note: This is a descriptive essay to help Christians to understand what is happening in our public schools and how to do something constructive about it at the school board level. The authors have included a link to the Wake County School Board meeting they attended near the end of this article. It begins with Andrew’s comments and Rosaria’s pick up at 1:25:25. The meeting opened with reverent silence and ended in plaintive wails and heaving sobs.
No, this was not the funeral of a dignitary.
This was a school board meeting in Durham, North Carolina, where residents shared opinions about a newly passed parental rights law. The new state law prohibits the county school system’s current posture of concealing a child’s transgender identity from parents.
And tonight, the only place we heard the word “perverted” was from a school board member—about Christians.
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Our journey to that night in Durham began months earlier as Andrew learned firsthand that local votes addressing the foundation of reality could come up without much warning. An ordinance that bans you from acting as if male and female are real distinctions is no longer controversial enough to make headlines. Andrew realized if you want to know what’s being discussed, you have to read the local agendas yourself.
So Andrew messed around with a free version of WordPress to make accessing local government agendas and public comment rules less daunting. The Triangle Reformation Banner & Record exists to “facilitate Reformed Christian awareness and witness to the civil magistrate.” How can a family stay in the loop of the town council, county commission, and school board in an age when the very definitions of “male” and “female” are now political? Could such a website be a diaconal tool facilitating Christians to proclaim the gospel to the civil magistrate? We began to talk about what he was learning.
In May, Kent Butterfield, pastor of First Reformed Presbyterian Church of Durham, Rosaria, and Andrew prepared speeches to testify before the state legislature in defense of bills that took the LGBTQ+ lobby head-on. When those bills became law in August—including a parental rights measure—Andrew surmised that upcoming local school board meetings could be a spiritual battlefield.
What if Christians went?
In a room bursting with rainbow pride, we prepared speeches to deliver to the monthly school board meeting. We signed up on a sheet of notebook paper held to a clipboard on the front table.
The meeting opened with a moment of silence for those “targeted” by the state legislature’s actions.
The first speech supported LGBTQ values and spoke against parental rights, thanking the public schools for the emotionally healthy queer children they are churning out. The supportive crowd cheered, clapped, and celebrated being on the right side of history. Later, a man with the pronouns “he” and “they” reiterated his defiant rejection of the law and celebrated the Biden administration’s support of “transgender girls” (boys) playing sports with girls as part of Title IX. All of these speakers were in uniform agreement on a matter that requires a giant leap of faith: that there is such a thing as a “trans kid.” In truth, the “trans kid” is an invention of an evil age.
Rosaria was called up.
She shared her history as a retired, tenured professor of English, Women’s Studies, and Queer Theory from Syracuse University. She told the room that she lived as a lesbian activist for a decade and understood this community’s challenges. To all of this, the school board nodded and smiled. But when she shared that, no longer a lesbian, she was grateful she made no irreparable medical decisions that caused harm to her physical body during her decade of lesbian confusion, a sense of tension—and opposition—rose from the board and audience.
Rosaria explained that children who experience either the medical condition of gender dysphoria or the ideological, social contagion of transgenderism need guidance from their parents—the people who know them best, love them most and can help them heal. She said the transgender movement’s rejection of the stable biological categories of male and female renders it junk science.
When she said, “junk science,” someone gasped.
When the red light on the podium flashed, indicating her time was up, she left the podium and returned to her seat. The rainbow room looked grey, like they were all seasick. The LGBTQ+ movement demands affirmation. Betrayal from one of its own is too much to bear.