“I am 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.” Loudon County physical education teacher, Tanner Cross, boldly made known his convictions before the county’s school board after refusing to use pronouns incongruent with students' biological sex. The Virginia school teacher was suspended indefinitely and banned from any school-sanctioned event.
There just doesn’t seem to be anything new under the sun, does there?
In Daniel chapter six, King Darius, the king of Babylon at the time, appointed Daniel to be a chief administrator over the local rulers and administrators of the region. This did not sit well with the local rulers as the king highly favored Daniel. So, in their jealousy, they devised a plan to, at the very least, have him charged and dismissed from his position.
The administrators and satraps, therefore, kept trying to find a charge against Daniel regarding the kingdom. But they could find no charge or corruption, for he was trustworthy, and no negligence or corruption was found in him. These men said, "We will never find any charge against this Daniel unless we find something against him concerning the law of His God" (Daniel 6:4-5).
Essentially, the administrators tricked King Darius into making a decree that anyone who prayed to any god or idol besides the king for thirty days would be tossed into the lion's den.
When Daniel learned that the document had been signed, he went into his house. The windows in his upper room opened toward Jerusalem, and three times a day he got down on his knees, prayed and gave thanks to his God, just as he had done before (Daniel 6:10).
The king loved Daniel, but the law was the law. When he received word of Daniel’s rebellion, he had him thrown into the den of lions.
The king said to Daniel, "May your God who you serve continually, rescue you!" … then the king went into his palace and spent the night fasting … he could not sleep (Daniel 6:16; 18).
In the morning, the king ran to the den and called out to Daniel. When he answered him, it was clear that God had honored Daniel’s obedience. He had shut the mouths of the lions and Daniel went on to lead an abundantly blessed life. One marked by integrity and steadfast devotion to the one true God.
According to a publication by WJLA, a Washington D.C. news outlet,
“In August 2021, the Loudoun County School Board adopted Policy 8040. This policy allows transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice despite their sex at birth. The policy also requires school staff to use students' preferred gender pronouns.
“Even more alarming, school regulations also allow staff and teachers to cut parents out of the equation entirely; concealing the fact that children as young as kindergarten are identifying as the opposite sex during school hours,” Loudoun County High School history teacher Monica Gill says somberly in a powerful piece published by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an American conservative Christian legal advocacy group. She went on, “There are no exceptions, no middle ground, no opportunity to compromise for the sake of conscience. Under 8040, you can only work at Loudon County public schools if you agree to become a mouthpiece for the reining ideology.”
As stated in a summary given by the ADF, three faculty members, Loudoun County High School history teacher Monica Gill, Smart’s Mill Middle School English teacher Kim Wright, and Leesburg Elementary School physical education teacher Tanner Cross, have challenged Loudoun County School Board Policy 8040.
Of the three, Cross made headlines after referring to “social transitioning” as “abuse to a child” and “sinning against our God.” Cross was subsequently placed on leave for refusing to stand by quietly while the school board implemented dangerous and asinine regulations. It was better to lose his job in the name of Jesus than gain the approval of his authority in the name of the world.
“Social transitioning,” by the way, is leftist lingo for changing one’s pronouns and presenting as the opposite of their natural born sex, using corresponding bathrooms, even going as far as permanently altering the physical appearance via hormone therapy and surgeries.
In June of 2021, following his suspension, Cross moved forward with a lawsuit against the Loudon County Public School Board as well as then-interim Superintendent Scott Ziegler for violating his First Amendment rights.
The suit stated, “Cross does not believe that every student or teacher in [Loudoun County] should have to accept his view. But he also believes that teachers should not be compelled to say things that they do not believe to be true.”
According to an online article by the Washington Post, “In a seven-page ruling, 20th Circuit Judge James E. Plowman Jr. sharply rebuked the Loudoun County Public Schools system for its treatment of the teacher, Tanner Cross. Plowman called Loudoun’s attempts to discipline Cross an ‘unconstitutional action’ … In his ruling, Plowman ordered that Loudoun County Public Schools ‘immediately reinstate’ Cross and rescind its ban barring him from school grounds while Cross’s lawsuit goes forward.”
Cross later reached an agreement with the school board and was awarded $20,000 towards his legal fees as well as the removal of any mention of the suspension from his personnel file.
Cross was obedient to Christ, he didn’t back down, and in turn, even though he spent the night with the lions, he walked out of the den without a scratch.
What is arguably the coolest part of the story?
Because of his boldness, Cross’ story caught the eye of pro-life activist, author, speaker, husband, and adoptive father, Ryan Bomberger. After a little online sleuthing, Bomberger discovered Cross and his wife Angela’s decade-long battle to become parents. Between infertility and fallen-through adoptions, the Crosses had become well acquainted with defeat and heartache.
Being one of ten adopted siblings, Bomberger, co-founder of the Radiance Foundation with his wife Bethany, also created The Henry & Andrea Bomberger Adopted and Loved Fund to “continue the legacy of love” his parents, Henry and Andrea Bomberger, left in their wake.
After much prayer it was clear that the Crosses would be the first-ever recipients of the fund, paying in full for the adoption of a future Cross kiddo! Just like that, with a call from a total stranger, God continued to honor the obedience and boldness of Cross.
In February of this year, Josiah Daniel Cross was born and adopted into the Cross family.
The King was overjoyed and gave orders to take Daniel out of the den. So, Daniel was taken out of the den, uninjured, for he trusted in God (Daniel 6:23).