The rejection of God as Creator has tragic consequences, as shown by the January 2017 issue of National Geographic magazine.1 Some copies of the magazine featured Avery, a 9-year-old dressed in pink from head to toe. Avery is glad to not have to “pretend to be a boy”, as Avery is a biological male suffering from gender dysphoria.

Leave the kids out of it

How should Christians respond? First, we should be outraged that children are being used in this way. Regardless of whether one thinks it is right for Avery to be encouraged to dress in pink, no one should want a child plastered on a magazine as a front-lines warrior in the gender wars. This is an adult conversation and no nine-year-old is capable of weighing the very serious long-term consequences both individually and societally of redefining gender.

In fact, the NG issue overwhelmingly featured children, which is an odd decision if one wants to carefully weigh complex issues. A girl in Kenya is quoted as worrying about being seduced by men as she goes about her family chores (p. 36). A boy in Israel talks about how boys are stronger than girls (p. 45). Articles feature coming-of-age rituals in different places in the world for both boys and girls. But one is left wanting a more substantial conversation about the real issues involved. That’s a failure on the part of the NG editors, who made children the foundation of this magazine issue.

Civilized people are naturally repulsed by child soldiers, because we instinctively recognize children should be protected and not thrust into adult conflicts. Avery’s mom complains that she and Avery have received death threats. If anyone has actually made threats against Avery, that’s horrible. But who is ultimately to blame if not the people who put Avery on a national stage?

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