Bathroom Rules Must Protect, Not Enable

Billy 16 January 2017
Family First Comment: This is a superb commentary, and should be read by anyone who has daughters
“The world has convinced too many of us that truth is bigotry, real love is hate, silence is golden and if it feels good it is good.”
I wish I could tell you that my story is unique, but it’s not. Studies indicate that sexual abuse survivors represent one out of every five females.
So when my boss at our local YMCA asked me to draft talking points to sell a new policy that would effectively open our organization’s numerous locker rooms and bathrooms on the basis of gender identity rather than biological sex, it was these girls that I thought of first.
I thought of the innocent little ones getting ready for swimming class who might find themselves exposed to a predatory male. I thought of the girls who had already been violated and had worked so hard to reclaim their personal boundaries—and how damaging it would be for them to know that, at any moment, a male could invade their privacy and claim his right to be there. I thought of the numerous predators I had personally caught in our facilities trying to gain access to our girls. I worried about the implications for women’s sports teams and homeless shelters. The slippery slope was seemingly endless and cluttered with deeply harmful consequences for women.
So I declined the assignment and appealed to the good Christian men around me to defend my cause, but no one would.
And I got fired.
I was soon employed by the statewide campaign to repeal the open locker room law in Washington state. When I realized that we were strongly opposed by heavyweight companies, I knew we would need the help of the local church in order to be successful.
However, I was devastated by what I discovered next.
The church, it seemed, was in the midst of its own identity crisis. While a few faithful churches rose to the challenge, most of our requests for help were met with the same response: We don’t want to be perceived as being unloving to the broken.
One volunteer called more than 150 churches to ask for support, and only seven said yes.
Too many churches have come to embrace a flawed definition of love, and it’s killing our witness and our impact.
Since I first publicly shared my history of sexual trauma, I have heard from hundreds of women from across the country with heartbreaking stories. From lesbians to radical feminists to conservative Christians, one of the most painful but recurring themes in their stories is this: When I asked the churches to help me, no one would.
But, dear church, our need to feel loving cannot supersede our responsibility to truly love well. The world has convinced too many of us that truth is bigotry, real love is hate, silence is golden and if it feels good it is good. There’s nothing wrong with transgender ideology, right? After all, God loves everyone, doesn’t He?
But true love isn’t defined by the world; it’s defined by the One who laid down His life to redeem the world. And the Jesus model doesn’t always feel warm and fuzzy. Sometimes it’s unspeakably lonely and wildly unpopular. Jesus said “Come as you are,” but He never said “Stay as you are.” Instead, He said, “Go and sin no more.” In order for the church to be salt and light, we need pastors who are prepared to contend with the brutal reality that salt stings wounds and that light blinds those who are committed to darkness. True love looks as much like Gethsemane as it does like Heaven, and sometimes it will feel like death.

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