America's culture war grew more intense last month after Florida's governor, Ron DeSantis, signed the Parental Rights Law, which prohibits educators from teaching about gender identity or sexual orientation to kids from kindergarten to third grade. The bill has broad support from parents, who believe teachers have no business talking to grade-schoolers about sex. But some employees at the Disney company staged a walkout to protest the bill, claiming that it promotes hate.
The furor reached a boiling point when videos were leaked to the media of Disney executives discussing plans to promote the LGBTQ+ agenda in children's programming. One of those executives, Karey Burke, president of General Entertainment Content, vowed during a conference call with other employees that 50% of Disney's characters will be either LGBTQ+ or racial minorities by the end of this year, as part of something described as the "Reimagine Tomorrow" campaign.
Latoya Raveneau, executive producer of Disney Television Animation, said on the Zoom call that she assumed Disney would keep LGBTQ+ themes or characters out of children's content, but that she was pleasantly surprised when they didn't. Raveneau admitted to having a "not-at-all secret gay agenda." Meanwhile another Disney employee, production coordinator Allen March, said in the recorded call that his team is committed to "exploring queer stories" to make sure the shows include enough "gender nonconforming characters."
Vivian Ware, a Disney executive who is in charge of diversity and inclusion, announced that the company will no longer address guests at Disney's theme parks as "ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls." Those words reportedly will be replaced with the phrase "Dreamers of all ages" to show sensitivity to people who don't identify with traditional genders.
What is happening here? It wasn't that long ago when educators followed the science and agreed that there are only two genders, male and female. Most of us today are left scratching our heads when we hear that Hollywood actors are encouraging their young children to "choose" their gender, or providing them with puberty-blocking drugs or even surgery to change their gender. And parents are getting understandably riled when it becomes obvious that some teachers, school administrators and entertainment companies like Disney are seeking to indoctrinate kids.
Last weekend I preached at a men's event at River Church in Mobile, Alabama, and my primary text was from Deuteronomy 23:1, which strictly prohibits gender bending. It says: "No one who is emasculated or has his male organ cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord" (NASB).
You have probably never heard anyone read that verse in a church service, because we Christians are so careful not to address sexual topics in mixed groups. But I told those men last Sunday night that we can't afford to be prudish about these issues. Too much is at stake to remain quiet, especially when young children are at risk.
This verse from Deuteronomy is proof that the transgender movement is nothing new. Even in the days of ancient Israel, pagan cultures promoted transsexual behavior as part of their idol worship. Jezebel, the high priestess of the god Baal, convinced her prophets to be sexually neutered in order to serve as her eunuchs.
Ancient Baal worship included orgies, ritual prostitution (both gay and straight), transsexual behavior and child sacrifice. When you read about what really went on in a pagan temple in the land of Canaan, you can understand why God commanded Israel to stay as far away as possible from those practices, which the Lord described as "abominations" (see Lev.18:22). God set up His moral barriers to lovingly protect His people, not to show hate.
But it's not popular today to talk about moral barriers. We're supposed to nod and go along with any "progressive" agenda. If you muster the courage to question it, you risk being canceled or labeled a hatemonger.
Last week, a video resurfaced of a sermon clip from Mark Robinson, who now serves as Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina. The African-American politician, who is a conservative Christian, made some bold comments about the transgender movement during his message at the Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh, North Carolina, in August 2021.
Robinson said: "You can go to the doctor and get cut up, you can go down to the dress shop and get made up, you can go down there and get drugged up, but at the end of the day, you are just a drugged-up, dressed-up, made-up, cut-up man or woman," Robinson exclaimed in his sermon. "You ain't changed what God put in you—that DNA. You can't transcend God's creation. I don't care how hard you try."
Members of the predominantly black church in Raleigh can be heard shouting their amens in response to Robinson's bold comments. I have to say amen as well.
To question the concept of gender is to challenge God's fixed order of creation. To question whether God made us in His image, male and female, is to arrogantly rail against God's authority. And to groom innocent kids to embrace perversion should be called what it is—child abuse. May God deliver our country from this demonic conspiracy.
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J. Lee Grady was editor of Charisma for 11 years before he launched into full-time ministry in 2010. Today he directs The Mordecai Project, a Christian charitable organization that is taking the healing of Jesus to women and girls who suffer abuse and cultural oppression. Author of several books including 10 Lies the Church Tells Women, he has just released his newest book, Set My Heart on Fire, from Charisma House. You can follow him on Twitter at @LeeGrady or go to his website, themordecaiproject.org.
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