To the editor:

In the May 4 issue of the Stevens County Times, Evelyn A. Guggisberg suggests that my April 27 letter to the editor l in defense of the transgender community is misguided because I am "too tolerant and accepting of things that are not 'normal.'" To refute my view and to clarify what is normal, she quotes the Bible: "Male and Female He created them." Guggisberg raises an important point here. Defining what is normal is certainly no easy task, especially in relation to the Bible.

For instance, it was normal in the 16th century for people to believe that the sun is revolving around the earth. But in 1610, when Galileo discovered the telescope, he was able to prove that the earth revolves around the sun. This was a problem for the Bible, because in Joshua 10:13 it says that "the sun halted in the middle of the sky; [and] not for a whole day did it resume its swift course." Galileo's work proved that there was an error in the Bible-the sun could not have been halted, because it was not moving. The important point here is that the normal flipped. Before the 17th century, it was normal for Christians to believe that the sun revolved around the world, but today it is normal to believe that the earth revolves around the sun.

Slavery is another issue in which the normal flipped. Leviticus 25:44 tells us: "Slaves, male and female, you may indeed possess." Before the 19th century, it was normal for Christians to believe that slavery was a God-sanctioned institution because the Bible supports slavery and never condemns it. But after the 19th century, it was normal for Christians to believe that slavery is evil and wrong, despite the Bible's clear support of slavery.

Science provides us with new information, and that information enables people to change their views. Educated Christians now know that there are many errors in the Bible. But this has not led many educated Christians to reject the Bible. It just means that most educated Christians read the Bible in a different way than they did in the past. For now, Guggisberg may be right that only male and female is normal for many Christians. But if the lessons of history tell us anything, then it is that in twenty years from now the trans community will be a new normal, even for Christians.


Michael Lackey


To read Evelyn Guggisberg's May 4 letter to the editor, click this link: