I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
For those who didn’t spend their childhood summers in Vacation Bible School, here is the Bible passage:
Luke 10:25-37 New King James Version
And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”
So he answered and said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”
But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certainSamaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, “Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.” So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”
And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
When I think of the priest passing the injured man by, I can’t help but think of the religious leaders who are providing cover and sanction to the current administration’s actions that are anything but merciful. They are very much guilty of crossing the road to avoid those wounded by the White House policies and the practical consequences of Trump’s bullying pulpit.
When I think of the Levite, I think of our lawgivers who showed such disdain and derision to survivors of sexual assault during the confirmation hearings for Kavanaugh. They, too, would walk on the other side from the injured. Heck, they might even think his condition is his fault for falling victim to thieves because of what he was wearing or if he had been drinking!
But when I think of the injured person, I can’t help but think of my transgender brothers and sisters who will be left as naked and vulnerable if the proposed change to federal legal protections becomes policy.
The federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is seeking to redefine sex as “a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth. The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence.” The agency is promoting this redefinition of “sex” across other federal agencies, including the Departments of Justice, Housing, Education, and Labor, which implement and enforce key nondiscrimination laws across the country.
We who are cisgender are called now to step up to help create a safer and more just community for all LGBTQ people. We must express our personal support to our transgender friends and our opposition to elected officials and decision makers. During the comment period on the proposed federal regulations, follow the Transgender Law Center and the National Center for Transgender Equality for information on submitting comments opposing this policy change.
Organizations like the Louisiana Trans Advocates have put forth petitions, like this one, for us to stand with transgender Louisianans in their fight for core human rights of self-determination and expression. Check in your area and support your local trans rights organization.
Many cities are having solidarity marches (here is the link to one to be held in New Orleans on Saturday, October 27) and they are a good way to show up for our trans and gender non-conforming colleagues and community beyond just words.
They need for us to be Good Samaritans: to show up, to fight anti-trans prejudice and violence and to put our best efforts toward healing our world by loving our neighbors.
Together, we can make sure our trans loved ones will not be erased.