Christian Worldview: Gender Identity and Bathrooms

For a few weeks now the topic of bathrooms have been an ongoing and heated conversation. The state North Carolina, led by Governor Pat McCrory, passed HB 2 (otherwise known as the “Bathroom Bill”) in response to a 7-4 approving vote by the Charlotte City Council’s for persons to use the restroom of the gender they identify with. HB 2 protects private businesses from government overreach, and maintains that persons must use their assigned gender in public restrooms.

Supporters of HB 2 have been put to public shame. Being called ignorant, bigots, discriminators, and I was even called racist (not sure how that applies). Filmmaker Michael Moore, artists like Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr, and Cirque du Soleil have all cancelled events in North Carolina. It is a bit ironic that they are refusing to do business with people they disagree with, but chastise Christians for doing the same thing.

So how should we look at this, and respond from a Christian worldview?

Accommodation Only Hurts

First, we must understand that accommodating to those who identify as a different gender than the actual biological make-up they possess are need of help. Currently about .3% of the population identifies as transgender. What is being fed to the American people is that if we are not willing to accommodate for transgender people then we are against them. However, I believe the exact opposite is true. Transgender people do need help because they are dealing with a skewed identity of who they are. Accommodating only hurts because we are telling them they are right, when we should be striving to get them the real medical attention then need. Many doctors agree that those who identify as another gender opposite of the reality of who they are struggling with mental illness. When it comes to any other mental illness we seek to get people help except for on this issue. Instead we want people to be forced to accommodate and only enable.

The American  College of Pediatrics recently wrote about children and gender identity. In the write up you can see many of the issues, and they liken enabling gender confusion to child abuse. Much of this can be applied to adults struggling with gender identity as well.  This is an a mental health issue we are turning a blind eye to while  41% of transgender people attempting suicide.  That is not normal and it is tragic and I believe we need to stop enabling, and them the help they need. Sex change is not the answer, nor does it biologically change gender, and suicide certainly is not the answer.

Most important, this is an attack on the imago Dei as well. The imago Dei translates into the image of God. The Bible teaches than man and woman are both made in His image. He created each of us as man and as a woman. In the womb God began a work in creating each person, and God makes no mistakes. To accept that one’s gender is not the reality of their identity is an attack on the imago  Dei and an attack on God.

It is Not LGBT Discrimination nor Equal to Racisim

Supporters of gender neutral bathrooms often claim this is LGBT discrimination. Many will compare the issue to slavery which is not only asinine, but incredibly offensive as well. The comparison of slavery against African-Americans in America, and LGBT rights are so far apart that any comparison should never be taken seriously. Those who make that comparison are playing of emotions. The two are no way comparable. African-Americans had basic rights taken away and were enslaved. The only perceived discrimination, in this regard, is that transgender people are having to use the restroom of their biological sex.

Still, this is not an LGBT issue but a “T” issue. These bills in no way discriminate against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, nor heterosexuals for that matter.The only people facing perceived discrimination are those who identify as transgender. The question is then is it discrimination for someone to have to use the bathroom of their gender? Do individuals have the right to use whatever restroom or locker room they feel like?

Open Door for Predators 

Many proponents for gender neutral bathrooms will try to belittle the arguments of their opponents. Saying transgender people just want to go do their business and don’t care about you. They will make it appear that all who are against gender neutral bathrooms believe all transgender people are pedophiles and are out to hurt everyone. That is not what supporters of bills like HB 2 are saying.

The stance that I, and most people against gender neutral bathrooms, take is that this is an open door for predators. Opponents will say that we are operating out of unfounded fear. To make that claim is either naivety or ignorance. We are already seeing multiple cases of this popping up here, here, here, and here. We already have four cases were predators have either taken care of gender neutral bathroom/locker room laws, or easily could if these laws were passed.

Any man could go expose himself in a locker room in front of children, and watch them change, if gender neutral bathroom laws are passed. There is no way to stop that. Cameras will be installed and the privacy of our spouses, children, and families may very well be attacked. You have to answer if you are okay with children and women being potentially harmed, like in the four cases above, so .3% of the population can use any bathroom they want? I will choose to side with Lt. Governor of North Carolina Dan Forest who said, “If our action in keeping men out of women’s bathrooms and showers protected the life of just one child or one woman from being molested or assaulted, then it was worth it.”

What About Women?

The claim is made that a transgender male or female will feel uncomfortable using the bathroom of their identity. Therefore, we must make accommodations so that they can be comfortable in public restrooms. What we have neglected to ask is, will females be comfortable knowing that men may be in the bathroom or locker room with them? Potentially showering and exposing themselves to these people. What about the comfort of children? Are we potentially going to sacrifice the comfort and security of 99.7% of the population for .3% and pave the way for predators to have easier access to harm individuals? I pray not.

In Ephesians 5 Paul tells the early Christian husbands to love their wife as Christ loved the Church. How did Christ exactly love the Church? He died for Her and protected Her. Christian men, we must be the leading voices in fighting for our spouse and our children. I

God’s Answer 

God’s answer is to run to Him. Transgenders, predators, and everyone in between can go to Him. In their going it will require the step of repentance and crucifying self. Finding their identity in the one who gave use our biological sex to begin with. Our identity will always be skewed when we find it on other things. What we own, what we do, what want others to thing, or what we perceive our gender to be. We need to find out identity in who Christ is. The perfect image of the invisible God. The spotless lamb, the sacrificed son, the giant slayer, the acceptable sacrifice, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, and God in the flesh.

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Christian Worldview: Gender Identity and Bathrooms

  1. I think you’re right to point out the specificity of this bill only to those identifying as transgender. But I think it’s maybe too neat to think that the way this story is handled doesn’t effect anyone else in the LGBT community. I’m hesitant to make declarative statements about this because of how new of an issue it is. Research is still being done, and long term effects are still playing out. I, personally, am totally okay with transgender people doing their business next to me and washing their hands next to me. But I totally understand the hesitancy, because the restroom is a private place. The worst part about all of this is that I feel like transgender people lose no matter what. If you allow people to use whichever restroom they prefer, then more than likely the people to abuse it won’t be members of that community, but actual pedophiles or people trying to prove a point. I understand your position that accommodation is essentially enabling, but my position differs because I don’t think that being tansgender is a mental illness or something worthy of using the same language as you would with a drug addict, or some other type of addiction/illness. I am in seminary with a few students who identify as such and they are brilliant people and just as together as I am. The main issue I think the church needs to take seriously is the suicide rate of transgender people. If it is to take the position of trying not to enable or accommodate, then I think there should be an equally strong movement to support transgender people in other ways. If the response is to continually oppose accommodation then there needs to be some way members of the transgender community are loved and given dignity/respect. This is certainly a different issue than the civil rights movement, but I think there are some parallels in the form of response and rhetoric used in the response of the church. The reality is that there are more and more people identifying as transgender every day, a reality that is not going to change any time soon. Thanks for your thoughts Jared, I appreciate your thoroughness and the research you did before posting. It’s a super interesting issue, one that has to be critically engaged.

    • Micah, thank you for your sincere reply. First, I hope you are doing well and that seminary is being both an edifying and encouraging time. I loved my time in seminary and am enjoying continuing that experience through my doctoral program.

      For many people who is next to them in the bathroom doesn’t matter. And like I said, and you affirmed, the people often pushing for these bills are sincere. However, as we both noted people will abuse the bill as well. It is worth noting that the man pushing for the bill in NC (he is now off the team) is a registered sex offender. That should raise eyebrows. The danger is what has happened in places like Washington state.

      Obviously, we will disagree on the mental illness aspect. I am interested in your thoughts however regarding the imago Dei. I agree this community, and all communities, need to feel love. There are many avenues churches can do that. At the same time I am of the persuasion with love comes hard truth.

      Thanks for your thoughts!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s