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Letter to Ed Seidel, President of the University of Wyoming
As mentioned on our last episode, “They Tried That in a Small Town,” OFAD co-host Andrew Smyth wrote a letter to Ed Seidel, president of his alma mater, the University of Wyoming, regarding two cases involving transgender ideology that have occurred during his administration. As our world continues to descend into spiritual and moral chaos, it is important for Christians to speak the truth into the various spheres and institutions of society.
August 29, 2023
University of Wyoming
Ed Seidel, President
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071
Dear Mr. Seidel,
I am writing as a University of Wyoming alumnus (class of 2010) who is deeply distressed at recent developments that have occurred at the university under your administration.
First, your administration has attempted to bar Todd Schmidt from carrying out Christian evangelism at the Wyoming Union. Todd is a man of faith, truth, and integrity that has borne witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ at the UW campus for decades. He was removed from campus for espousing basic Christian belief concerning issues of gender and sexuality. Todd has rightly sued your administration as these actions not only violate God’s sovereign rule over all things but the U.S. Constitution. The university should cease all hostilities and restrictions against Todd immediately.
Second, one of the sororities at UW, Kappa Kappa Gamma, has admitted a biological male to its membership and allowed him to live in the sorority house. As though this is not egregious enough in itself, it is reported that this man is sexually aroused by watching female sorority members dress. The university claims that it “…is dedicated to providing our students, faculty, staff, and visitors with a living and learning environment that is safe and secure.” Permitting such an egregious violation of safety (and violation of the dignity and persons of female students) on campus is entirely unacceptable. If KKG is unwilling or unable to address this matter internally, they should be barred from operating on the UW campus, and UW should enact and enforce clear policies prohibiting such dangerous and deviant behavior.
It does not escape me that both of these developments pertain to the new transgender orthodoxy. As a Christian minister, I would like to remind you that the sovereign God of the universe has spoken very clearly to these matters:
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)
And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’” (Matthew 19:4)
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:26-32)
God created humanity male and female. These are fixed, natural, biological characteristics assigned at birth. While a very small number of persons suffer from physiological conditions and deformities as a consequence of the Fall and sin on the earth, these cases are extremely rare and largely unrelated to any current developments in gender theory and transgender ideology. Sex is natural, given by God, strictly binary, and immutable. Those who believe they can or have changed their sex (or “gender”) have sinned against God by violating His law and rejecting His created order, and they have embraced destructive deception and delusion. Those who enable them in such practices also share in this sin and guilt. It is not good, loving, helpful, or kind to confirm people in sinful delusions.
I would anticipate that in addition to allegations of bigotry and transphobia (for again, espousing basic Christian biblical belief which has stood for all of human history), one might object to my argument based on the fact that UW is a public and ostensibly secular institution. Those who serve in any kind of public office ought to be reminded of the words of Psalm 2:10-12:
Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
Though you may not acknowledge the God of the Bible or His sovereign rule over your life, your office, and your campus, you cannot change the fact that He made you as He made all the heavens and the earth. He rules over you and all the people and things within your care. Furthermore, you are ultimately accountable not to me, not to higher-ranking government officials, not to taxpayers or students or other university administrators, but to Jesus Christ, who is the King, Ruler, and eternal Judge over all things:
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. (John 5:24-27)
But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
I write to you not out of mere concern for your administration’s actions at UW but out of concern for yours and their souls. For though you may not acknowledge Christ’s rule now, there will come a day when there will be no other choice. I would urge you not only to amend the actions and policies of your administration at UW but to heed God’s word for your salvation:
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
Mr. Seidel, be reconciled to God! And amend the policies and practices of your administration so that they are pleasing to Christ and in accord with His will as expressed in His word. Do not allow the proclamation of God’s word by faithful and courageous individuals such as Todd Schmidt to be suppressed. And do not let gross perversion and sexual immorality have a place on campus. You will ultimately answer for your actions (or non-actions) not to me or to anyone else, but to Christ on the last day.
The Rev. Andrew Smyth
B.S. Business Administration, 2010
Pastor, Westminster Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Hamill, SD