Hello BLASTers! We welcome you back to Episode 21 where we discuss the raging issue of the hour - Transgender bathroom rights! What do we do? How do we respond?
But first, we want to give a big THANK YOU to Pastor Brian Lowery for donating the professional-grade radio microphone to TheBLAST! It has greatly improved our sound quality.
You may have heard a great deal about the issue of trans-gender persons having "equal restroom rights" in the news or on social media lately, and you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. So we wanted to offer a brief history (which turns out to not be so brief) not so much in regards to trans-genderism, but the bathroom issue specifically. We will discuss trans-genderism a little later in the episode.
It started when California Governor Jerry Brown signed the "School Bathroom Bill" into law back in August of 2013. Yes, this issue is that old. The bill allows students to compete on sports teams and use facilities like showers and bathrooms based on their gender identity, regardless of what is listed on the student's records. This is essentially where the issue started. Since that time other states have taken up similar measures.
More recently Andraya Williams, a transgender student at Central Piedmont Community College in North Carolina, was detained by security officers and escorted off campus after she used the women's bathroom. The LGBTQ Law Center is demanding that the college apologize and affirm her right to use the women's bathroom, which would be consistent with her gender identity. This event spurred the Charlotte City Council to approve a "non-discrimination ordinance" (NDO) which included a provision allowing transgender residents to use either a men’s or women’s bathroom, depending on the gender with which they identify.
For most people the issue came to the forefront of the news when the State of North Carolina rejected and overturned Charlotte's ordinance. As a result the state and Governor Pat McRory has come under tremendous pressure from over 90 big-name businesses including Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter as well as mayors and governors in other states, the media at large and of course LGBTQ activists. Yet, he has not wavered as of this writing.
If you hadn't heard about that, you have probably heard about this. In April international retailer Target came out with an article on their website which says,
“In our stores, we demonstrate our commitment to an inclusive experience in many ways. Most relevant for the conversations currently underway, we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”
Yes, you read that correctly. Restrooms AND fitting rooms.
Maybe you've even seen Target's commitment to the cause which they've made apparent by altering their famous logo:
In response the American Family Association issued a petition to boycott target until their bathroom & fitting room policy changes. In only 3 weeks the petition had garnered more than 1.2 million signatures. Target executive leadership agreed to meet with the AFA and the petition was presented to them. Unfortunately Target was not persuaded and their policy remains in tact. Sign the petition here.
Just when you think it can't get any worse, the U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch held a press conference in which she said that the U.S. Government would be suing the State of North Carolina. She went as far as to compare the transgender bathroom issue to Jim Crow laws!
But wait! There's more! Following the press conference President Obama sent a letter to every public school in the country giving them "guidance" to allow transgender students to use the bathroom and locker room of their choice. Although it does not have the force of law, failure to adhere to the guidance could result in a stoppage of federal funding to schools that don't comply. Ladies and gentlemen, if you have been considering taking your kids out of the public school system because you don't agree with the curriculum, now you have another reason - the safety of your child!
And speaking of child safety, let's take a look at a result of this policy:
“A man choked an 8-year-old girl until she passed out inside the bathroom of a South Loop Jason's Deli last weekend, according to Chicago Police. She was with her mother at the restaurant in the 1200 block of South Canal when the girl went to the bathroom alone about 1:15 p.m. on May 7, according to Chicago Police.The woman then heard a scream from her daughter and went inside to find 33-year-old Reese M. Hartstirn carrying the unconscious girl into a stall, police said. He had choked her with his hands, police allege.”
But that's in Chicago at a Jason's Deli. We have been talking about California, North Carolina and Target. What gives? Well, Illinois is another place in which, according to Equality Illinois:
As a general rule, you can use the restroom consistent with your gender identity. If confronted, you are not obligated to produce identification to prove your gender, and you are protected by public accommodations laws in Illinois.
The man who choked the 8-year-old girl in the ladies room will doubtlessly be prosecuted for attempted murder among other crimes (we hope), but he will NOT be charged at all for being a man in the ladies room. All he has to say is that he felt like a woman at the moment and there's nothing they can do. The reason we tell you this is that similar legislation may already have been passed in your state (please do your own research), though you may not have heard about it. The only reason you may have heard about North Carolina and Target is because someone stood up and said NO to the insanity.
And now a blast from the past with the original Man in Black...
After the break Pastor Adam offers a humorous exercise into identity insanity. If you can legally be whatever you say you are at the moment, then what stops people from declaring themselves university professors or spotted owls?
Of course, there are two sides to this issue. From the Left, there is the problem of compassion for the transgender person. From the Right there is the issue of public safety. The most frequently cited estimate is that 700,000 people in the United States, or about 0.2 to 0.3 percent of the population, are transgender, though some experts say the true number is probably greater than that. So, at the least, we are making everyone uncomfortable so that a tiny minority can be empowered. At the worst, we are endangering women and children and violating their privacy by allowing men into women’s bathrooms.
The Alliance Defending Freedom published a Youtube video of women who have suffered sexual trauma in the light of these new pushes for tolerance of biological men in women’s bathrooms. It is well worth your time.
And now for a break with a wonderful song by Jeremy Camp.
So, with all of this in mind how should we respond?
A great quote (paraphrased) by Dr. Everett Piper, President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University sums it up: When you lose modesty, you will lose morality. When you lose morality, you will lose meaning & identity.
Going a bit further, Dr. Michael Brown, President of the Fire School of Ministry and Host of Line of Fire Radio Show & Podcast published a tremendous article on Stream.org. Here is an excerpt:
“There was a time in our national history when our forefathers concluded, 'Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God,' launching the American Revolution. There was a time when the apostles told the national leadership, 'We must obey God rather than men' (Acts 5:29). There was a time when Dr. Martin Luther King told his hearers, 'A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true.'
We find ourselves in a similar situation today, one in which, to quote Dr. King again, a person 'must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.'
Today, our conscience tells us this is right.
As Americans, especially as Christian Americans, we want to be tolerant, loving and accepting. We want to help people in their struggles. We want to embrace those who are different. We want to reach out to those who are marginalized. Yet we can do this without sacrificing our children on the altar of political correctness and radical LGBT activism."
As fathers of daughters, husbands of wives part of our responsibility is to protect our families. Are you going to let your 10 year old girl go into the women’s bathroom at Target anymore? As Christians, as ministers of the Gospel, we still preach the same Gospel. We must stand up against the tide of immorality. Also, it is not helpful to shout down the other side, or do name-calling or ad-hominem attacks. Recognize that we are all sinners in need of forgiveness.
What about God’s Perspective? [Gen 1:27 KJV] "So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Pretty simple. Tinkering with computer software is never good unless you know what you are doing. Tinkering with God's software is what Trans-Genderism seeks to do. The problem is, when we tinker we screw it up! However, Trans-Gender individuals are in need of help not opposition and rejection.
We finish with an article by a former trans-gender man named Walt Heyer. He had a sex change operation in the 1980's and eventually came to the point of suicide. But then he got saved and converted. Since that time he has been helping trans-gender individuals be set free! Here is an excerpt from his article on thefederalist.com
"In the United States, the practice of treating the gender-confused with hormones and surgery was started by Dr. Harry Benjamin, an endocrinologist and sexologist who is credited with coining the term transsexualism. Benjamin’s New York gender clinic was in full swing during the 1970s. From that clinic emerged some of the first signs that unhappiness with one’s gender and the desire to change gender largely evolved from untreated mental disorders, which hormones and surgery did nothing to relieve.
"The leading endocrinologist at Benjamin’s clinic in the 1970s, a homosexual named Dr. Charles Ihlenfeld, administered cross-gender hormone therapy to some 500 transgenders over a six-year period. He came to the conclusion that the desire to change genders most likely stemmed from powerful psychological factors, and he left endocrinology (and Benjamin’s clinic) to begin a residency in psychiatry, a field in which he felt he could be a help to people with gender identity issues. Ihlenfeld said in “Transgender Subjectivities: A Clinician’s Guide,” “Whatever surgery did, it did not fulfill a basic yearning for something that is difficult to define. This goes along with the idea that we are trying to treat superficially something that is much deeper.”
Listen to an interview with Heyer here:
In conclusion, trans-gender people are not beyond God’s power to redeem! We should see them with compassion, not with hatred.
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Until next time, GODSPEED!