By Michael Ware – BarbWire guest contributor
We should all be saddened when there is a death. It should sadden us even more when that death is a suicide. This is saddening though it should not always lead to us blaming ourselves or society. This is usually the thing people do when such tragedies occur. This is what is happening in the case of Joshua Alcorn.
Joshua, a proclaimed “transgender” 16-year-old, lived in Kings Mills, Ohio. He had struggled with depression that was based in his desire to be a woman. Joshua reportedly struggled with this issue since he was six years old.
The teen reportedly was upbeat Christmas, but then Sunday morning he walked to Interstate 71. He was struck by a semi and killed. He left two letters on Tumblr that were first a suicide letter and then a farewell letter.
These, of course, have been picked up by the transgendered community and activists as proof that they are not treated as human beings. In his letter, he wrote, “The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren’t treated the way I was, they’re treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights.”
His friend Abby Jones said further, “She could not be who she wanted to be because of her home life.”
And here is the issue with this kind of thinking. What if He would have wanted to be a serial rapist or mass murderer? Would that then be the parents’ fault too?
Please do not misunderstand my intentions here. I do not want to minimize the tragedy that is the death of this child. However, the problem has to be seen in the think in the people around him. Joshua’s friends and family who thought they were doing this young man good were not. When we treat those around us who are in sin as if they are doing right we hurt them.
The attitude that says we should be able to be what we want, no matter what, is dangerous. This Abby is complicit in her friend’s death. She encouraged wrong behavior. This wrong behavior created bad feelings or depression. This furthered Joshua’s depression and desire to make himself happy.
Rather than saying gently and calmly that his problem was not that he was a girl trapped in a boy’s body, they should have said. “You’re a boy, in a boy’s body.” The confusion is that you are trying to be something that you are not meant to be, you’re not a girl.
Next is the blame on the Christian community in general. We are the problem. Joshua’s own words are being used to point the finger for his death at the church. He wrote:
When I was 14, I learned what transgender meant and cried of happiness. … My mom started taking me to a therapist, but would only take me to Christian therapists (who were all very biased), so I never actually got the therapy I needed to cure my depression. I only got more Christians telling me that I was selfish and wrong and that I should look to God for help.
Rather than looking for a change in himself for help with his depression, Joshua wanted acceptance. However, if this is all about counseling, it is worthless. Counseling should change who we are so that the things we do that are sinful that make us unhappy, we will stop doing (repent) and we will be happy.
Joshua will be used as a proof of the injustice of the church and our society, but we have to, with as much patience and compassion as we can, say “No.” Joshua’s death is on the hands of those who told him his desires were normal.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.