Emmaline Carroll Southwell was left agape and couldn't counter her son's argument.
Jesus being non-binary and bi is not something I had on my 2021 bingo card, and yet here we are. Kids are the most curious lot, and sometimes, it takes the innocence of a kid to shed new light on things. Two kids from Australia have some opinions on who Jesus is and it's an interesting take on God. The video was posted by the kids' Mom, Emmaline Carroll Southwell. The video on TikTok shows Southwell listen in on a conversation between her two children about Jesus. She often records their conversations but this was different as the two kids discussed religion, god, gender and sexuality. “I want to talk a bit about God,” said her son, Levi at the start of the video.
“So everyone in the world loves him…but not me,” he announced. Southwell's interest was piqued and she looked concerned, but she waited for her son to elaborate. Levi explains that he doesn't know enough about Jesus, so there are not enough reasons for him to love him. He then goes on to explain the few things he does know about God. “So Violet, guess what?” he tells his sister. She responds, “What?” Levi announces, “He’s bi and non-binary.”
Southwell's eyebrows shoot up and an expression of shock is reflected on her face. She decides it's time to intervene. “Did they teach you that at school?” she asks the kid and he says yes. Southwell doesn't buy it and asks, "Why would you think Jesus is bi?” Levi calmly responds, “Because he loves everyone in the world.” Southwell knows there's no arguing with that logic and decides to move on to the next point and asks why he thinks Jesus is non-binary. Levi, without skipping a beat, says, “Because he wears a dress and he’s a man.” Wearing a dress doesn't make you non-binary, but interpretations of the Bible have always portrayed God as transcending gender, and as per the holy book Jesus is God, so, Levi does have a point there too.
Viewing Jesus as non-binary is not common but not unheard of either. As Ken Wilson, a progressive pastor, argues that Jesus didn't conform to the powerful masculinity norms of his day. He didn't get married, at a time when it was considered a man’s duty to God and country. He also preached non-violence to the people fighting brutal military oppression. That was considered very 'unmanly' at the time, especially when you consider the legends that were told about Abraham, Sampson, David, who were celebrated warlords. Even in the Bible, Jesus isn't restricted to gender. While looking over Jerusalem in sorrow, Jesus refers to himself as a mother hen longing to gather her chicks under her wings (Luke 13:34). Levi might have had a point after all.
The video got a host of responses with an overwhelming number of them being positive. Many were surprised to see the kids understand and use the terms non-binary and bi, and lauded the kids' parents for encouraging them to learn such terms at such a young age. One Twitter user wrote, "Those children have just won Twitter forever, can’t be topped: 'Jesus is bi and nonbinary' and then backing it up with facts. It just can’t be done! Mom is extraordinary!! She is every parent who knows when it’s time to stop trying to argue and just whisper 'ok.'" Not everyone was pleased with the conversation, with one person, writing, "Non-binary and bisexual Jesus. The West, and I really do mean this, are so ****ed if this is what our educational institutions reckon kids ought to be taught in 2021."