Underneath the skin- Jenna Talackova and a priestly calling

“Talackova went from local beauty queen to a headline-grabbing transgender rights activist in the span of just a few weeks after the Ms. Universe Canada pageant informed her that she would be disqualified from the competition because she was not a ‘naturally born female’.” -ABC News

I’m sure most of you have heard about the Miss Universe controversy in recent news. If not, I will give you a short summary. One of the contestants in the Miss Universe competition has been revealed as a naturally-born male. Jenna Talackova was originally born as Walter Talackova. A boy. By the age of 19, he was a she.

Walter said in an exclusive interview with ABC, “As soon as I was conscious, I just always knew that I was not what they were saying.  It wasn’t right,” … “I thought that I was in the wrong body.”

In summary, Walter was allowed to compete in the Miss Universe competition, and hopes to be an example to others in “her” situation.

The first time I heard about this controversy on the radio, I was indifferent. “Oh, another LGBT rights issue”, I thought, and turned off the radio. As I went to bed that night, I thought about the news story, but it didn’t really resonate fully in my spirit.

Today, the full realization of the gravity of this situation slammed into my heart. I feel sick. I feel heavy. I feel conflicted. Why? Walter was born a male, but has pushed away that life and our culture has made allowances for procedures to be in place for a full sex-change to take place.

I ask myself “why?” Why do individuals feel the need to undergo sexual reassignments? What happened to Walter that caused him to feel that being born a boy wasn’t “right”?

How should a Christ-follower respond to this controversy? What do we do, what do we say, what should we feel?  News reporters, radio DJ’s, and individuals are referring to Walter as a she, but deep down we all know she’s not a she. And somehow, we have (Yes, Christians are included in this statement) accepted that “fact”. Words carry authority- the Bible says the tongue is a double edged sword, and the smallest body part, but the one that carries the most potential to do harm or good. You might have noticed that I have never referred to Walter as Jenna; the reason being this: Deep down, “Jenna” is Walter. Our society has used the media or spokesmen/women to speak “She, She, She”… As a Christ-follower and therefore a speaker of truth, I am here to say “He, He, He”.

I think, after much contemplation, that the most sobering aspect of Jenna’s story is this: Walter has made his decision. He has taken the steps to ensure that decision carries finality.  I feel heavy with a deep sadness.

Below is a photo of Walter, masquerading as Jenna. I hope, as you look at his face, you feel the weight of our priestly calling to speak truth into our society.

This calling, burden and sorrow should drive us to action. We have the love of the Creator of the Universe in our lives. He is the one that brings clarity to confusion, love where there is hate, unity where there is discord. He is merciful, kind, good, just, jealous, omnipresent, omnipotent and all-knowing. Have we been bold with His name? Have we taken been a beacon where there is no light? We have truth. Speak it.

A question I ask myself quite often is this: “How can God still be merciful upon us?” We have walked so far outside of His love. Our society has pushed the limits. Over and over again. Yet, God still allows us to draw breath, to live life, to be His children. The definition of the full ramifications of unbridled sin is insanity. Insanity is the state of mind where our society has landed. We are so bridled by sin that we can look an individual born male, and call that individual female. “How can God still be merciful upon us?”

In Psalm 139, the Bible says that God “knit us together in our mother’s womb.” An article featured in Christianity Today shared the story of a man that struggled with his sexual identity. That man said, “God planned for me to be a man before I had ever been created,” … “There was not a woman inside my body longing to be expressed. There is no human condition outside the redemptive circle of God’s love and power.”

Truth. How hard is it to speak? God makes no mistakes.

Pray for our society. Pray for Walter. Speak truth regarding God’s redemptive love, His forgiveness and His purpose for life.

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