Transgender Airmen Describes departure from Christian Upbringing
A Nellis Air Force Base Air Traffic Controller, SrA Irene Nelson, recently posted an official personal interest article about his “transition” to a woman. He made the important note that he was raised in a conservative Christian household:
I grew up in a very conservative Christian household…
My parents had issues with my sexual orientation (surprise), and they took me to a gay conversion seminar when I was about 15 years old…
I spent endless hours studying the Bible and praying for God to give me clarity as to why I had these temptations or feelings. Why couldn’t he take them away? Nothing is as hard as your whole world telling you that you are wrong. Your existence is wrong.
Lost in Nelson’s religious and philosophical musings is an important point. What if the “whole world [is] telling you that you are wrong” because you are wrong? More to the point, “right” and “wrong” aren’t defined by what the world says, anyway. The “whole world” can say you’re right — and you’d still be wrong.
One of the more interesting things in his story is that as an adult he sought out and received “affirmation” in his sexual journey — but it does not appear anyone came along side him to reassure him as God created him.
Finally, Nelson made an illogical leap that to be wrong is equivalent to “your existence is wrong.” Everyone is “wrong” — because everyone is a sinner in need of a Savior. But even if the “wrong” is specified as a murder, theft, homosexuality, adultery, gluttony, or some such thing, there is no logical or theological basis to conclude that one’s existence is wrong. That is a tragic expression of self-hate and lack of hope.
Nelson’s truest hope was found in the faith of his family: God created him, and God loves him. It is because of God that Nelson exists. That isn’t “wrong.”
Now, what one chooses to do with what God has done — that’s another thing altogether.
Nellis AFB posted this on their Facebook page, which became exhibit 9,873 that the transgender issue is a divisive topic about which people have (and will long have) very strong feelings. One person asked who paid for his surgeries, and Nelson spoke up in the comments to say he hasn’t had any.
In other words, Airman Nelson — a physical, biological male — is now allowed to shower and bunk with women (an issue noted last year but just now gaining significant attention). By the way, if you don’t like it, you’re a bigot.
At least one person in the comments made an astute point and outright asked Nellis AFB Public Affairs to publish other “testimonies”:
When are you going to have a testimony, about someone that has a different perspective (this one obviously put down Christians). To be fair and equal, you need to include a story about someone’s changed life after they became a Christian.
It’s a fair question, and to their credit, Nellis AFB PA tried to answer it by linking to two articles: one from a chaplain in 2017, and one from a chaplain’s assistant in 2015. In a manner of speaking, however, religious discussions are part of the job description for those two Airmen, and neither of those two articles discussed the personal religious journeys of faith of those Airmen in any detail.
By contrast, sexuality and gender are not part of Nelson’s job description as an Air Traffic Controller. Nellis promoted his personal viewpoint without any connection to his professional credibility. Some would say that’s fine — if they do the same for others, including the opposing viewpoint. Thus, the question of the commenter: Where’s the Christian testimony from an Air Traffic Controller, or Security Forces officer, or pilot? And where’s the detailed Christian testimonial about conversion and finding the “right” faith?
Oh, there are a few, no doubt, though most of the time religious faith (of non-chaplains) isn’t the actual subject of official Air Force news articles. Rather, most of the time there’s only a passing reference to faith. Even worse, at least one commander who tired of the attention outright censored his Public Affairs by prohibiting stories of faith, something other commanders or PAs have likely done as well, even if unofficially, which has nearly eliminated testimonies of faith in official military articles.
Thus, most people only even hear about the faith of US troops mentioned in the press when Michael “Mikey” Weinstein complains about these men and women discussing their faith in God, demanding their court-martial.
By contrast, did any “non-profit charities” demand the crucifixion of Nelson and his entire chain of command because of his public testimony of sexuality? Where’s the official demand letter to the Air Force decrying his proselytization of neo-sexuality? (A few people did complain about his out-of-regs fingernails, but PA dismissed the “pink daggers” as bad lighting.)
Kind of gives you a picture of the disparate treatment of sexuality and religion in society today.
Yet, there is hope.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
– 1 John 1:9 (ESV)