This essay gives evidence why the media stereotype of Christian parents is wrong, misleading, and unfair.
Around the beginning of the year, headlines told of the suicide of Josh “Leelah” Alcorn, a teen who self-identified first as gay, then as transgender. In the wake of this unspeakable tragedy, Josh’s suicide note was made public. In the note, he blamed his parents and their Christian faith for failing to adequately respond to his needs.
Immediately, venomous attacks were leveled at Josh’s parents. Internet commenters, bloggers, and journalists loudly blamed evangelical Christianity, and its failure to affirm transgender identities as something biblically moral, as a factor in Josh’s suicide. Sex columnist Dan Savage went so far as to suggest that Josh’s parents should be prosecuted.
These accusations have long been employed by LGBT-rights advocates and repeated by a largely unquestioning and sympathetic press. The narrative goes like this: Bible-believing Christians don’t like gays. Some Christians’ kids come out as gay to their parents. When they do, at best they get scolded. At worst, they’re kicked out of the house and told never to come back. This makes kids with Christian parents feel worthless, hopeless, and rejected. Suicide becomes their only option.
(7 min read; 1,743 words)