Tag Archive for: sexuality

‘What Is a Woman?’ Katie McCoy’s New Book Provides Biblical Clarity

Conversations surrounding gender and sexuality are seemingly inescapable these days, and Christians today are increasingly being labeled as “hateful” by those who disagree with a biblical worldview. In these contentious times, it is more necessary than ever that Christians approach these topics both biblically and lovingly.

Despite the ubiquity of these topics, many Christians shy away from the conversation for fear of being “canceled” or for lack of knowledge about what has become a complicated battlefield of ideas. However, Christians must join the discussion because gender ideology is causing real harm to the most vulnerable among us: children.

Although gender ideology has a detrimental effect on children of both sexes, it is having an outsized effect on young women. As our culture’s answer to the question “What is a woman?” becomes more and more uncertain, young women are being inundated with contradictory ideologies that lead to harmful physical consequences. At her March 2022 confirmation hearing, Ketanji Brown Jackson epitomized our culture’s confusion when the future Supreme Court justice declined to define the word “woman.”

Katie McCoy’s new book “To Be a Woman” is an important contribution to the conversation about how Christians can answer the day’s toughest questions about sexuality and gender with love, compassion, grace, and wisdom. McCoy sheds light on what has become a difficult topic, specifically addressing how young women are disproportionately affected.

If we are going to respond to our culture with love and knowledge, we must first properly understand the basics of the conversation we are undertaking. McCoy seeks to explain the “confusion over female identity and how Christians can respond” with a five-part model: the How, the Why, the Where, the What, and the Who.

The How addresses the social catalysts that have created an environment that cultivates disorder and confusion about gender and sexuality. The “epidemic” that has become known as rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD) affects young women more frequently than young men, and the influence of online resources that encourage ROGD means that the standard of care is causing increasingly more harm.

The Why analyzes the ingredients and ideologies that have combined to create a world that sustains these influences and discussions. From the rise of the postmodern worldview to the growing distrust of society and authority and, more importantly, the separation of God from culture, our society has broken down the fundamental attributes of gender, and this has become a harmful recipe that results in “toxic, dangerous, and corrosive” behavior.

The Where presents the science behind “treatment” for rapid-onset gender dysphoria and how the validation of gender identity leads to harmful physical consequences that society views as “loving treatments.” However, these validations, ranging from fake periods to new pronouns, attempt to separate the connection between biology and gender, to which McCoy responds well by clarifying, “Gender is distinct from biology, but it is still derived from biology.”

The What breaks down the biological differences between the sexes that are so stark they cannot be ignored. Contemplating the many physiological and neurobiological differences present in human anatomy helps readers navigate the labyrinth of gender topics and remind us that we should be in awe of and not overwhelmed by the complexity that God created in us.

The Who connects the meaning of gender and womanhood to the context of the Bible and the healing that society needs to undergo in order to repair women’s relationships with their physical bodies. Commenting that “maleness and femaleness have a purpose,” McCoy brings the discussion back to God’s plan for humanity and reflects on the deeper meaning of being “made in His image.”

Chapter Six rounds out the conversation by offering more evidence on why the topic of womanhood ought to be important to Christians and places this conversation in the reality of the family unit and everyday life.

In the final chapter, McCoy charges Christians to have compassion and love for others. God commands His people in Leviticus 19 to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Christians are called to follow these commandments given by God even when it is difficult.

With so much confusion and ambiguity plaguing our society’s conversations about gender and sexuality, it is important for Christians to maintain a solid understanding of the battle of ideas that is taking place. Katie McCoy provides a straightforward and clear introduction to the topic that can help believers navigate these conversations effectively and graciously.


Abigail Odom

Abigail Odom is an intern at Family Research Council.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

10 Things for Christians to Remember during Pride Month

We all know it’s coming and in various ways we are bracing for it. You’ll be navigating workplaces, city streets, social media feeds, and corporate events celebrating it. The first thing to understand is that “Pride month” does not mean the same thing to everyone.

For many, Pride month is seen as a month of inclusivity and tolerance where people are seen and reminded that they matter. In significant ways, these are values that Christians share. But there’s so much more to it.

The message of Pride is not that you matter because you are created in the image of God, a message Christians not only agree with but started. No, Pride is a declaration of independence against nature and nature’s God. It is a claim that we can do whatever we want and no one can stop us. Live your truth. Live authentically.

In addition, for many, the symbolism has come to represent oppression, intolerance, and hate. The rainbow flag, which has now become much more than a rainbow, represents a movement that is pushing speech codes, that has closed businesses, and harassed people because they did not share a commitment to the sexual revolution or would not affirm that men can become women and get pregnant.

It’s interesting that Pride month falls right in the middle of Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. On Memorial Day, we celebrate those who gave their lives for our freedom. On the Fourth of July, we celebrate our independence from tyranny and those who pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor so we could live as free people. Our nation, and those who died for it, get one day. But the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence get an entire month. If that doesn’t seem right, it’s not.

But let’s not get angry or panic. How do we think soberly, act biblically, and maintain our joy as we wade through this month-long celebration of sin?

Here are a few things to remember.

1. Pride celebrations are not new.

Although pride parades down the streets of America’s cities are a relatively recent development, people making a declaration of independence from God is so old it is almost cliché.

In the Garden of Eden, God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:2-3). However, Eve, with Satan’s help, convinced herself that doing things her way would help her become like God. Perhaps she decided she was spiritual, not religious.

She observed that the tree was good for food, that it was a delight to the eyes, and that it was desirable to make one wise (Genesis 3:6). She convinced herself that her rebellion would not be rebellion at all but virtue. She had followed the old rules long enough and found them to be stifling of her individuality. She was ready to chart a new path and live her truth and even convinced her husband to join her celebration. They may have even felt a sense of pride as they freed themselves from the bondage of God’s rules.

Basically, Adam and Eve started these parades and we’ve all participated in various ways and with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

2. You can love the way God wants you to or the way the world wants you to, but not both.

Much will be said about love this month. T-shirts, memes, and parade signs will declare that “love is love” and that “love wins.” Whether Christians can agree with these sentiments depends on how “love” is defined. Proponents of the sexual revolution would have us believe that we show love for someone by affirming identities, indulging desires, and encouraging each other to “live your truth.” But God’s definition of love is very different.

Scripture reminds us that “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). But then it goes on to remind us that love “does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6). This crucial verse is where God’s understanding of love and the world’s understanding of love diverge. God’s love forbids the celebration of things God does not celebrate. The world’s understanding of love requires it.

This means that a Christian’s unwillingness to celebrate Pride month will be seen by the world as an act of hate and by God as an act of love. Christians must choose whose definition of love they will accept.

3. No one is beyond the love or reach of Jesus.

While Christians are right to separate themselves from celebrations of sin, we should be equally careful to avoid a different but equally bad kind of pride — self-righteousness. If Christians have any goodness within ourselves, we do not deserve the credit. After all, “[God] saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5).

Rather than a sense of self-righteousness, Jesus modeled how our hearts should respond to people who are lost:

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest’” (Matthew 9:36-38).

When we see crowds who are lost, we should be moved to compassion, not self-righteousness.

4. Don’t be afraid.

This month, some will encounter a city street lined with rainbow flags or unwittingly expose their child to sexual revolutionary propaganda on “Blues Clues” and be prone to despair. Don’t despair.

Fear is never from God. (2 Timothy 1:7). Whatever situation you are dealing with, God is not surprised by it, nor is it beyond His control. However, He knows we are prone to worry, which is why Peter encourages us to cast all our anxieties on him (1 Peter 5:7). The same God who formed the mountains and put the planets into orbit is aware of the situation and handling it.

The good news is that our moments of weakness are the moments God does His best work in us. While the culture takes pride in their independence from God, we should boast in our dependence:

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Maybe we should start our own pride parade; it would be kind of the same but also very different.

5. Being a Christian is supposed to feel weird.

One of the challenges of Pride month is that Christians often feel different. Most of us would prefer not to feel different. We want to blend in and be noticed only for how nice we are to people. But when someone at work is going from office to office asking people if they want a rainbow sticker for their window, the only way to blend in is to conform. So now you feel different.

But that’s how it’s supposed to feel. This is not our home. “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul” (1 Peter 2:11). We aren’t supposed to do or love the same things as the world around us. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). If being a Christian makes you feel different than other people, good. You are different. The real problem would be if you never felt different.

6. Don’t give an inch.

It’s possible to avoid feeling different, just do what everyone else is doing. Just provide your preferred pronouns or tolerate a rainbow flag in your office window. Other times, all you must do is keep your mouth shut. But don’t do it. The path of compromise only seems easy, but it’s not. After all, “The fear of man is a snare. But whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe” (Proverbs 29:25).

It’s easy to rationalize seemingly small compromises. All Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego needed to do to avoid being thrown into a furnace was bow (Daniel 3). Surely, God would understand that they weren’t actually worshipping the idol. Right? They could have easily told themselves they needed to stay alive and maintain a good relationship with the king who had shown them so much trust. After all, God couldn’t use them if they were dead. But remember, it’s not you who is going to do the work, it’s God. God did change the heart of the King, but he did not use their influence, he used their obedience. Give Him your obedience.

7. Remember what you’re saying “YES” to.

During Pride month, Christians are required to say no to some things. We can’t participate in sin (Ephesians 5:11) nor can we celebrate evil (1 Corinthians 13:6). So you may be accused of being “anti” everything. These are moments it’s helpful to remember that anytime you say “no” to one thing its because you’re saying “yes” to something else. Something better.

When we say “no” to doing whatever you want sexually, it’s because we are saying “yes” to virtue, discipline, delayed gratification, and the satisfaction and intimacy that comes from forming relationships God’s way. When we say “no” to the idea that boys can become girls, we are saying “yes” to finding our created purpose. When we say “no” to surrogacy so that a child can be placed with two dads, it’s because we are saying “yes” to each child being known and loved by both their parents. When we say “no” to bad ideas, it’s because we’re saying “yes” to better ideas. Every time.

8. Pray for those who curse you.

One reason Christians shouldn’t be surprised when we are misunderstood or mistreated is because Jesus spent significant time telling us what to do when it happens. “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:28). Our responsibility is not to avoid every conflict, but to respond to it correctly when it happens.

That means we have to pray for those who treat us poorly. “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27). Praying for those who treat us poorly helps us love people, even if they don’t love us back. “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” (Matthew 5:46) This is the goal of every day of every month. Pride month changes nothing, it just gives us more opportunities to love people the way Jesus does.

9. Pride comes before a fall.

It’s ironic that those who started “Pride” events used the term “pride” to describe them. They named their entire movement after one of the seven deadly sins; a sin that Proverbs assures us is the prelude to our destruction: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). It is almost as if God was looking to make it obvious what was actually happening here. Just as we would be wise to avoid celebrating “Wrath Month” or a “Lust Parade,” Christians should be wary of celebrating pride. After all, we know what happens next.

10. God will have the last word.

In Daniel chapter 5, Belshazzar, the king of Babylon, throws a party while an invading army is gathering around the city. He was so confident that the walls that had protected him his whole life would continue to protect him that he mocked an invading army by inviting his military to party rather than prepare for battle. Belshazzar was very confident, or at least he wanted to project confidence. Then God interrupted his party.

In a scene that gives us the phrase “the writing on the wall” the hand of God showed up and wrote a message on the wall. The interesting thing about the message is that Belshazzar was not able to read it, after all, he summoned Daniel to interpret it for him. Nevertheless, “the king’s face grew pale, and his thoughts alarmed him; and his hip joints went slack, and his knees began knocking together.” What we see here is what happens when fake power meets real power. The world is filled with people who have some form of cultural or political power, but when they are confronted with real power, their confidence disappears immediately.

Pride month is fake power celebrating its fake power, and it will survive only until God decides He has had enough. And that moment is coming. Our job is to make sure we’re doing what we can to remind people where the real power is and that opposing Him will never be a good decision — which is the opposite of pride.


Joseph Backholm

Joseph Backholm is Senior Fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement at Family Research Council.



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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Virginia School District to Remove 14 Sexually Explicit Books from School Libraries

On Wednesday, Spotsylvania County Public Schools (SCPS) in Fredericksburg, Va. announced that it would be removing 14 books that “contain sexually explicit content and themes that are inappropriate for young persons” from the school district’s libraries. With the move, SCPS joins a growing list of school districts around the country that have opted to remove school library books that contain graphic sexual content amid a growing movement of parents decrying the availability of “pornographic” books to minors.

In a press release, SCPS Superintendent Mark Taylor cited a recent state law put in place in 2022 as the impetus for the removal of the books. “These books contain sexually explicit material which makes it clear there should be parental notification,” he said. “State law sets the definition. The only way we can guarantee they’re not available to students without parental permission is to remove them.”

The measure, championed by Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (R), requires that parents be notified of books available in school libraries that contain sexually explicit material.

According to an SCPS memorandum from Taylor provided to The Washington Stand, the 14 books marked for removal include: “All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto” by George Johnson; “Like a Love Story” by Abdi Nazemian; “Dime” by E. R. Frank; “Sold” by Patricia McCormick; “Out of Darkness” by Ashley Hope Perez; “Beloved” by Toni Morrison; “America” by E. R. Frank; “Looking for Alaska” by John Green; “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky; “Water for Elephants” by Sarah Gruen; “Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe” by Preston Norton; “More Happy Than Not” by Adam Silvera; “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison; and “Nineteen Minutes” by Jodi Picoult.

The memo goes on to note that the books on the removal list can still be assigned by teachers with parental permission.

In an attachment to the memo, a compilation of extractions of the explicit content from the books is listed. In many of the extractions, sexual encounters between minors as well as between adults are described in graphic detail. The content also includes hundreds of instances of profanity and crude references to sexual organs and other sexual terms, as well as racial and sexual orientation slurs, which are all notably prohibited from being uttered in most schools.

A growing movement of parents protesting sexually explicit books in school libraries has taken place across the country over the last few years, with parents voicing their concerns at school board meetings in New YorkTexasVirginiaAlabama, and Florida, among others. At recent board meetings in GeorgiaTexas, and Alaska, parents who read content from sexually explicit books were told to stop reading due to the graphic content, with a speaker in Florida being physically kicked out of a meeting for reading the content.

Lawmakers in a number of states are responding to parents’ concerns, as explicit books have been removed from school libraries in MissouriFloridaLoudoun County (Va.)Texas, and elsewhere.

Critics, as well as many legacy news outlets, claim that the removal of explicit books from school libraries amounts to a “book ban.” However, the SCPS press release notes that the 14 books on the removal list remain available at local public libraries if students wish to access them. The press release went on to state that copies of the books being removed “will be stored securely until arrangements can be made to donate them.” Superintendent Taylor’s memo recommends “that they be donated to the Central Rappahannock Regional Library or another public library system.”

Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for Education Studies at Family Research Council, commended SCPS’s decisive action.

“It is great to see a school system take this issue seriously,” she told The Washington Stand. “Too often, school leaders delegate this task, or allow political pressure from activists to overwhelm the reasonable concerns of parents. To his great credit, Superintendent Taylor has removed books with sexually explicit content from school libraries. He will no doubt face hysterical accusations of the worst sort from LGBTQ activists, library associations, and publishing industry lobbyists.”

“Fortunately, most parents can understand that school libraries and public libraries serve different age ranges and that no child has an alleged ‘right to read’ explicit or pornographic content. Thanks to Spotsylvania County Public Schools, their school board members, and Superintendent Taylor for preserving childhood innocence and academic excellence,” Kilgannon concluded.


Dan Hart

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Transforming Education beyond Common Core: Getting the Word Out About “Gaming for Social Change”

The dangers of indoctrination become clearer when one considers the fact that the games being supported by the Department of Education focus on “social change.” Most of the presentations at the four-day Games for Change event involved lessons about tolerance of the Muslim “other,” global warming, sustainability, bullying, Native American culture, nuclear disarmament, and sexuality.

As recounted in my previous article, gaming, or the use of video games for classroom instruction, aligns with the goals of the current Department of Education and the Common Core initiative.  Gaming helps to overcome the “achievement gap” by enabling students to proceed at their own pace.  Poor readers have less need to improve their reading skills as they are given access to curricular materials through images and sound.

Abstract thought is replaced by presumed “real-world problems,” and proponents tout gaming as a way to give students experience in solving such problems.  Realistically, the problems are pretend problems, and students give pretend solutions.  There can hardly be an objective evaluation for a fourth-grader’s proposal for solving world hunger or global warming (the stuff of lessons these days).  Instead of measuring a student’s knowledge of the subject matter, points are given for such things as “creativity” and “critical thinking.”  Such subjective criteria give teachers greater leeway in evaluating students and closing the achievement gap.

But through constant auditory and visual stimulation, gaming stymies independent thought.  The constant noise and moving images make it impossible to reflect in the way one can with books.  Thus, gaming allows even greater opportunities for indoctrination.

The dangers of indoctrination become clearer when one considers the fact that the games being supported by the Department focus on “social change.”

Such common sense observations are supported by the facts: the research does not show that gaming has a positive effect on learning.  The lack of credible research, of course, has had no bearing on the Department of Education’s push for the increased use of “digital learning.”  For years now the Department has been doling out grants to game developers to teach everything from math and science, to social and emotional intelligence, to ethics, and history.

This year it took the step of co-sponsoring the “Games for Change” festival in New York.  This first-day session, attended by Department of Education representatives, was called “Games for Learning.”  The theme of gaming in the classroom continued, though, into the following days, when government employees continued to participate.  At the event, developers were invited to apply for grants from non-profit arms of technology companies and associations, as well as from the U.S. government.

The Department of Education also used its resources to promote the event.  An announcement was made by Chad Sansing, who “teaches technology and project-based learning at the BETA Academy in Staunton, Virginia,” and Antero Garcia, a “Teaching Ambassador Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education” and Assistant Professor at Colorado State University, at medium.com, where Secretary of Education Arne Duncan had promoted the event himself.  Sansing and Garcia announced that The U.S. Department of Education and Games for Change, “with support from the Entertainment Software Association,” would be hosting “the Games for Learning Summit April 21 at the 2015 Games for Change (G4C) Festival.” Expected participants (over 250) included “nationally recognized educators, the designers of some of today’s most popular video games, and members of the U.S. Department of Education.”

Sansing and Garcia recalled participating in the White House “Game Jam” with teams of game designers and some “amazing teachers” at the beginning of the school year.  Sansing’s game-design project, they claimed, demonstrated the benefits of game-based learning: “media literacy, soft skills like collaboration, and technical skills like managing an online repository of A/V assets, to say nothing of the logic, math, reading, and writing skills . . . in navigating tutorials, communicating online, and building . . .  games.”  They added excitedly, “Students even discussed gender norms in character design and traditional gaming narratives.”  They listed the same benefits of gaming as commonly ascribed to Common Core: “critical thinking, persistence, and problem-solving to master, critique, play, and make.”

Who participated in the event?  What kinds of skills were promoted?  Industry spokespeople, government officials, and game designers came together to discuss “partnering” with each other as they uncritically promoted the benefits of gaming. The partnering is much like the “partnering” that has been revealed in the production of Common Core curricula and assessment, the crony alliance between the U.S. Department of Education, technology companies, and their non-profit arms (that serve to advance sales of the for-profit companies).

In spite of Sansing and Garcia’s claim that games would teach “logic, math, reading, and writing skills” most of the presentations at the four-day event involved lessons about tolerance of the Muslim “other,” global warming, sustainability, bullying, Native American culture, nuclear disarmament, and sexuality.

The cronyism and disturbing indoctrination lessons will be discussed in following installments.