Child with pronoun sticker
Is using a transgender child's preferred pronouns a defilement of God? One teacher thinks so.

A Virginia teacher is on paid leave after objecting to a new policy in his school district requiring teachers to use the correct pronouns for trans students.

Byron Tanner Cross, a gym teacher at Leesburg Elementary School, voiced his opposition to the gender-affirming language policy at a school board meeting:

"I love all of my students but I will never lie to them regardless of the consequences. I'm a teacher, but I serve God first, and I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa, because it's against my religion."

Cross is now suing the school district, arguing that he’s being punished for voicing his sincerely held religious beliefs.

Common Courtesy or Child Abuse?

The particular proposal Cross opposes is draft policy 8040, which would allow transgender students to use their preferred pronouns and a name that better reflects their gender identity.

School staff would be required to use those pronouns when referring to a student, and staff (or students) who intentionally and repeatedly misgender students would face disciplinary measures. 

The policy would also allow transgender athletes to participate in the athletics department that is consistent with their gender identity.

“It will damage children, it will defile the holy image of God,” Cross insisted. "It's lying to a child. It's abuse to a child. And it's sinning against our God."

Just a few short days after making those comments, Cross found himself called into the superintendent’s office, where he was suspended (with pay) for “disruptive conduct” following complaints from several parents who didn’t want him to have any contact with their children. 

A Boy Named 'Sue'

The recently filed 45-page lawsuit against the Loudoun County School District alleges that school officials are retaliating against Cross because of his moral and religious views.

In the suit, attorneys claim the issue is not about pronouns in schools, but rather that Cross’s right to free speech and free exercise of his religion have been violated:

“[This] is about whether public schools can punish a teacher for objecting, as a private citizen, to a proposed policy, in a forum designed for the purpose of considering whether to implement such policies, where the policy would force him to express ideas about human nature, unrelated to the school’s curriculum, that he believes are false.”

The lawsuit includes several pages detailing Cross’ religious views, including that "God immutably creates each person as male or female; these two distinct, complementary sexes reflect the image of God; and rejection of one‘s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.”

It also states that affirming a transgender child’s gender identity “would violate biblical commands against dishonesty and lying.” The suit demands Cross be reinstated and that he cannot be punished moving forward for “expressing his views on gender-identity education policy.”

Critics have a different view, however. They argue that not only is using a person’s preferred pronouns a basic sign of respect, but that a public school teacher should not be invoking God as an excuse for offensive behavior in the first place. 

What is your reaction?

31 comments

  1. James Pace's Avatar James Pace

    I've been sitting on this for a while. It's amazing how little 'Christians' know of their own religion.

    Jesus fulfilled levitical law. He literally said as much. In it's place he left us with one commandment. One. And most don't even know what it is, and I don't know any that actually follow it.

    Can you gues? Did you have to look it up?

    It's simple. Love your neighbor as you love yourself.

    If you follow levitical law, you are not Christian. You are Jewish. If you are Christian, you follow Christ's commandment. Wrap your brain around that.

  1. Dave J's Avatar Dave J

    “It will damage children, it will defile the holy image of God,” Cross insisted. "It's lying to a child. It's abuse to a child. And it's sinning against our God."

    This is a violation of the establishments clause of the 1st amendment to the US constitution. Which god are you referring to? Krishna? Jehovah? Odin? I assume the christian god since he professes christian "values". So he's pushing christianity on youth from a public school. That's a clear violation.

    Not to mention being rude, being judgmental, being arrogant, and being wrong.

    As James Pace quoted above,"Love your neighbor as yourself." In other words call people what they want to be called, just as you would like to be called I'm sure that Byron Cross demands that people call him Byron or Mr. Cross, rather than who he is emulating, Rahovart.

    Adeline

    1. John P Maher's Avatar John P Maher

      I AM 100% with ALL you GUYs, THE WORDs of JESUS if they R TRULY from JESUS ? ARE HOW HUMAN BEINGs SHOULD LEARN to LIVE in HARMONY with ALL, and if JESUS did NOT ACTUALLY SAY THESE WORDS,LOVE THY NEIGHBOR it DOES NOT MATTER CAUSE THIS IS THE WAY JESUS CHRIST SUPER STAR ! ! !

    2. William R Clapie's Avatar William R Clapie

      Amen brother Dave J. Which GOD indeed. Maybe pagan? Gotta love people that because of "beliefs" they will not support a child. Yes, I agree, biological boys should NOT participate in female sports. I say this based on science. As an example there is a biological male that is in tennis. He tends to overpower his female oppenents. Gee. Wonder why?

      1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

        You do not understand biology enough to try and use it as a reason for your bigotry. Let me ask you a question to test your grasp on the subject. Is there such a thing as a boy calico cat? If you think yes, than you are so woefully ignorant on the subject of biology that you should never even dare to try and apply your opinion to any topic involving the subject and just listen to your betters.

  1. Walter Eugene Curtis's Avatar Walter Eugene Curtis

    Render unto Caesar (civil law and authorities) the things that are Caesar's, and unto God (faith and its expressions) the things that are God's

    1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

      Regretfully, the bullies of this world who claim to worship the god whose son commanded that, refuse to obey it. Go figure.

  1. Katelynne Shouse's Avatar Katelynne Shouse

    He should be fired immediately!

  1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

    As a matter of employment, which is not a matter of religion, a teacher is quite free to refuse to conform to his employers operating policies. In turn, his employer is free to regard that decision as voluntary election by the teacher to terminate his employment. If he wants to behave in a certain way and a particular employer does not allow it as a matter of policy, he is free to seek employment with an employer who does. Certainly he has a right to ask Court to adjudicate the matter.

    1. David Arthur Lewis's Avatar David Arthur Lewis

      However, it turns out that Education Law is quite a bit more complicated than that.

  1. Angel's Avatar Angel

    Sorry Charlie but you get paid by taxpayer money who are not only in charge of the children you babysit everyday but also your paycheck. Believe as you wish, but also expect to be treated like any other employee, you don't follow the rulesand policies of your job, you get fired. You canbelieve as you wish and they can terminate you for violating their new policies.

  1. Dave J's Avatar Dave J

    Comment removed by author.

  1. John's Avatar John

    "God immutably creates each person as male or female; these two distinct, complementary sexes reflect the image of God; and rejection of one‘s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.”

    Oh I wish it was that easy. What of the children who are born with XY chromosome but the genes they trigger are either mutated or absent. Is the person a male developing as a female, or the opposite, or something in between. It never ceases to amaze me how intelligent people who have great responsibility, have such a myopic view of the world. This person may indeed be a good teacher; but he'll never be a great teacher and role model so long as he allows religion to be an ideology that leaves him ignorant and blind.

  1. Rev. Jonathan Peebles's Avatar Rev. Jonathan Peebles

    I think what "Defiles" God most of all is his so called "Christians" who seem to believe that all these things "Defile " him and put words in his mouth. They seem to be too quick to forget about Jesus

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Being as Christians have a thought that Jesus was also God, would that be Jesus He/Him, or Jesus They? 🤷🏼

      🦁❤️

  1. Larry Mager's Avatar Larry Mager

    I will say this: God is so far above this petty piss ant argument that He must think it's a joke. Arguing about preferred pronouns...REALLY!!!!!!!! As a kid, I changed my mind about how I wanted to be addressed as often as I changed my socks: One day I wanted to be called MR. Mager, another day by my first name only, yet another, by my middle name and yet another by my nickname "Hawkeye" ( and NO, it's not after the MASH character, It was because as a Youngster I could see things my Dad couldn't, hence the Nickname). My point is this: God is so far above us and our petty arguments that God couldn't care less and that kids change their minds about all sorts of thing on a regular basis and God knows this. That's why God gave us Free will. I would tell the teacher to "take a Chill pill". as my kids and grandkids say.

  1. Clifford's Avatar Clifford

    As Above So Below As Within So Without Earth is a reflection of Heaven As God created it in his and her image. Gender imbalance is a psychological issue. Not a Social one. 🙏🏻

  1. Pastor Doug MacPherson's Avatar Pastor Doug MacPherson

    Everyone has a right to express their opinion, you may agree or disagree that is your right. I know many will disagree with me - Their are only 2 genders, Male & Female. People want to be called according to their identity? You are born Male or Female. My opinion you cannot put a cat suit on a dog and call it a cat. Born a dog no matter how you dress them. If we had less fighting and more reading and following of the Bible it would be a less scary world. This is my opinion agree or disagree.

    1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

      If you truly sought less conflict you wouldnt say ignorant things that make those who stand as your better look at you as a bane upon society and civilization. Your woeful ignorant attitude strips you of the right to expect to be treated as anything other than an enemy of humanity and servant of the ancient enemy.

      Since you brought up animals, nice by the way to try to denigrate people and make them Other while comparing them to animals, I shall use animals to try and help you understand your ignorance and why you are not just wrong but bring shame to the God you claim to serve by failing to show greater wisdom of this world.

      Are you perhaps familiar with the Calico Cat? Do you understand why they are always female? Do you understand why even if one is born with male genitals, it is still genetically female? That we are layer upon layer of complex systems to form the ultimate creation that is a living ogranism, and if you think sexxing a person the way we might a litter of puppies is other than archaic and primitive with no relation to the advanced civilization we live in today, than you are less than nothing and have no value to humanity or civilization.

    2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      The bible was never meant to be taken seriously, Mc Pherson! It's best used for rolling papers, and ass wipes! I would never take the word of unmedicated, schizophrenic prophets. And it's too nasty and wicked to be funny. It's best to not read that trash at all! But, please go right ahead and roll some joints, then toke it up, until you get all that nonsense out of your head.

  1. Angel's Avatar Angel

    Perhaps you should work at a Private Christian school...problem solved....

  1. Rebecca L Tice's Avatar Rebecca L Tice

    I'm going back to the rainbow...... look.... they use a rainbow.... know who else used a rainbow? God.... could have kept Ham off the Ark..... Ham wouldn't have said something to Noah [his dad] while Noah was naked.... and Ham wouldn't have been cursed. God knew what was going to happen. God knows everything... past, present, and future. So.... we have a covenant.... God wants us to be kind..... trust Him. If God is ok with Ham and his jovial friends..... who am I to worry about what to call a child.

    Why not just call him "child"?

    Genesis 9: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind.

    Some people are just too busy keeping God in their little box.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    Y'all would never believe all the pronouns I've been called. And I've answered to most of them. And I've slung a lot of snot back their way too. I'll sling a lot more before it's over, and defense of myself, and others; those who aren't able to sling it themselves.

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    LOLOL, they fired the teacher for doing this and the teacher sued and not only got the job back but got a nice settlement from the school as well as forcing the school to change their policy.

    Seems not everyone is ready to change the whole english language and medical science just to make some kid feel better.

    1. Pastor Doug MacPherson's Avatar Pastor Doug MacPherson

      Yes

      1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        That's right, Daniel. So, down with the kids. We'll show them who's boss. We really don't need them now anyway. Just make sure we're nice to them, and address them as they want, before we get old, and need them to take care of us. Hopefully then, they'll be nicer to us than we were to them. But we'll have no one but ourselves to blame if they remove our dentures, and make us suck really hard, while we're strapped to our wheelchairs in the home, in the name of any god we choose. What goes around, comes around, and sooner or later they'll pay off their karmic debt, in no uncertain terms. Ofcourse, before Viagra, that was the date of old men anyway. So, if you won't address them as they prefer to be now, develop you're oral skills, and hope your payback comes in your preferred gender ( or atleast to the most part).

    2. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

      You sure do love to lie a lot dontcha DG. No he has not won any money, nor any lawsuit. Not only that but while he has some support online, locally he has found himself so lacking in support he is now going to therapy and citing deep mental and emotional duress in his BS lawsuit he is trying to use to take money from tax payers like a typical skeevy theiving christian.

      A true follower of the Christ would never sue anyone. Basically the man has destroyed his life, he is finding his students constantly and openly talking in a verbally abusive manner and outright not listening to him, making him unable to do his job. Granted as a gym teacher his job is basically to molest children.

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        really Turkey? Then explain this

        https://sports.yahoo.com/teacher-gets-job-back-despite-072430311.html

        "A court in Virginia has ordered a school to reinstate a teacher who refused to address a trans student with their chosen pronouns, claiming the issue relates to his religious liberty."

        https://wtop.com/loudoun-county/2021/06/judge-orders-loudoun-schools-to-reinstate-teacher-calls-suspension-unconstitutional-vindictive/

        https://abc11.com/judge-orders-virgina-school-to-reinstate-teacher-tanner-cross-virginia-transgender-students-preferred-pronouns/10767213/

        So I guess turkey that makes YOU the liar and has been proved as much.Especially since NOTHING in the court papers nor the claims state what you are claiming. So not only have you lied about this teacher, you are making up bulldroppings to try and enhance your lies.

        Give it up Turkey, you just destroyed your own reputation as now no matter what you post people are going to wonder if you are just lying again.

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    One out of every 200 people are trans.

  1. George Thomas Summerfield's Avatar George Thomas Summerfield

    Go back to the defining belief as to why we are here, in this forum; “ we are all children of the same universe”. God doesn’t judge us by our bodies, he sees our souls. Our thoughts and actions can poison or darken our souls. You lighten your soul through such actions as understanding, acceptance, empathy or sympathy; and ultimately accept (or love) the other for “who” they are on the Inside, not “what” they are on the Outside. So, how important is that pronoun now?

  1. Christian's Avatar Christian

    Skip pronouns, last name only, just like business & military. Flesh Rots, Souls are Eternal. Teach children how to protect their Souls.

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