Don’t Take the Bait

Lots more hue and cry doom and gloom about President Obama’s “letter” (is that have the same authority as an apostolic exhortation?) that instructs all public schools to make bathroom provisions for transgender students. I’m not sure how the president has the stomach for this kind of helicopter presidency when he has time for stop-and-chats with Marc Maron and Marilyn Robinson. Is he really prepared to send federal troops into schools — a la University of Alabama under George Wallace — that don’t comply. If the IRS lets $20 billion get away every year in unclaimed, unpaid, or fake returns (I hear), what’s a bathroom or two to the cause of transgender rights? Heck, is President Obama going to write a letter that specifies the most environmentally friendly way for bathroom users to dry their hands (in the light of climate change; has transclimate as an identity dawned on anyone, a hot planet trapped inside a cold earth?).

But culture warrior Christians feel embattled and are itching for a chance to show the state is tyrannical, wicked, and liberal. Denny Burk’s blood is boiling anyway:

The Obama administration is announcing its intent to coerce through force of law every public school to accept this. He expects your local school to allow boys to use bathroom and shower facilities with girls and vice versa. So long as the child’s parents are willing to go along with their child’s new identity, the school has to let students into the bathroom and locker room of the opposite sex.

This directive is jaw-dropping. The Obama administration doesn’t care whether the local or state school system supports such a move. It doesn’t care whether parents want male students showering with the female students or vice versa. . . .

What is going on here? The answer is very simple. President Obama feels the wind at his back in advocating LGBT rights. Gay marriage is now the law of the land, and gay people are now serving openly in the military. Now President Obama is turning to the “T” in LGBT, and he’s making bathrooms and locker rooms the issue. As the Attorney General has made clear, those who refuse to go along will be treated like Jim Crow bigots.

This radical directive is a heavy-handed, unconstitutional overreach in order to force Americans to pretend that some boys are girls and some girls are boys. It is absurd and wrong. And I wonder if this may not be a bridge too far even for people who are otherwise liberal. Are fathers going to be okay with their daughters undressing in locker rooms where boys can see them? No matter how much one may support President Obama, what dad would go along with this?

Has Prof. Burk considered that a school principal could ignore this letter in much the same way that U.S. drivers ignore speed limits? And what if conservative pundits also decided to ignore the letter and not push the indignant button. After reading recently Andrew Hartman’s book on the culture wars, I tempted to think that conservatives overreacted to matters (like Serano’s Piss Christ) and by protesting gave such transgressive displays more weight than they would have had had no protesters shown up — like millions were going to see Serano’s exhibit without the politics of self-righteousness to motivate them.

If only Kim Davis would come back and lead the charge against bathroom reforms. That’ll work.

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201 thoughts on “Don’t Take the Bait

  1. I have to admit the whole girl inside a boy psychological gymnastics befuddles me. More so, when the girl inside the boy still digs chicks. That all requires some effort and medication and that’s before we ever get to hormone replacement and the surgeon’s scalpel. But, this post may inspire me to start a blog just of my father’s sayings through the years and here’s one that fits, though he said it in relation to being in business; “at any given time you’ll have thirteen wild horses barreling down the road at you, threatening to run you over, but, by the time they reach you twelve will have run off in the ditch and the one that’s left will be tired.”

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  2. Greg, how are you doing about avoiding gluttonous all-you-can-eat buffets? The people of Detroit need you to picket them.

    My question is, who in the heck cares about this stuff? It all feels like propaganda to serve the NPRs and Denny Burks of the world.

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  3. The trouble is that it’s a real issue as soon as the fed decides to withhold money from public school systems that ignore it. All it takes is one lawsuit. And the LGBTQAUVXYZ&%EIEIO movement is raring to sue.

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  4. How would you like to be the boy with the note from your mom that you’re a girl? I’m trying to picture these situations. It’s a really good way for the boy/girl to get beat up. I’m pretty sure there’s not droves of he/she’s in Elementary, Jr. High and even High School looking to have this out in front, so to say, all day every day at school. Does the note from your mom have to be corroborated by a note or scrip from a licensed therapist or physician? Do you change your child’s name to Pat?

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  5. Susan, I think the best place for deep thought on this topic would be the National Enquirer. That’s about all the more attention it deserves. Is there really nothing of more importance to dominate headlines in the country in your opinion?

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  6. Plus, and this would be my big fear, what about buyer’s remorse? So, you go through stages as an adolescent but now one of your potential stages comes with a therapist, meds, and possibly some surgery. What happens when you hit sixteen and that’s not the hip thing to do or be anymore? That’s a rough deal. What about Caitlyn? Bruce is in his sixties? If you were Bruce/Caitlyn would you trust yourself? Would you say, ” I’m stable enough to make this kind of commitment.” Bruce was still into girls and hadn’t thought all the way through how his ‘change’ was going to effect his prospects on that front. Man, girl, I’d be going through more half-stops, and backpedals and re-thinks, you’d have to get blotto just to work up the courage to make the appointment. How does this work at work? I mean I understand the law, but do you really wanna saddle yourself with that additional obstacle? Isn’t this one of those limiters like neck tattoos or those big earing gap things? It’s all foodservice and bartending after that, right? I mean how many folks make it in Hollywood. Talk about stacking the deck against yourself.

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  7. Joel,

    The problem is this is so bizarre that it sounds like it belongs in The National Inquirer, right along with “Mom Gives Birth to Alien”.
    Is there credibility to the idea that a person with particular sex organs can be the opposite of what empirical science denotes? No, but the President of the free world is trying to sell you an alien baby.This is a historical moment in insanity.
    If no one fell for it that’d be great, but people are buying it.

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  8. Our public schools have become dependent on federal $$. Federal $$ mean federal control, just as conservatives predicted (& liberals pooh-poohed as unimaginable) when federal “aid” to local schools was first proposed a couple of generations ago. Your principal who ignores the letter may find his budget slashed and himself therefore unemployed. The penalty for ignoring the speed limit is rarely that draconian.

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  9. Election year crapola morphs into bilateral cultural righteousness and paranoia. Looking around in the men’s room has always had it’s pitfall for the scandalous. Love more posts on food!

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  10. Dan, conservatives are foolish to think that socialized schools are a good idea, or that they are even all that conservative. That the money and regulations about them are coming from D.C. instead of state capitals is trivial compared to the fact that they are immune to anything beyond political calculation.

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  11. Didn’t all states adopt the 55mph limit because of the threat of losing highway funds? I suppose a state could always say the wouldn’t enforce the law, but then there is reality.

    School administrations basically exist for compliance (read keep from getting sued or losing federal funds). This letter will lead to the kind of inanity that leads kindergarten kids getting expelled because the bite their sandwich into the shape of a gun and third graders getting the boot for bringing in a Japanese maple leaf and telling kids at lunch it is pot.

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  12. @Susan ” Is there credibility to the idea that a person with particular sex organs can be the opposite of what empirical science denotes? No, but the President of the free world is trying to sell you an alien baby.This is a historical moment in insanity.”

    Not sure it is that simple. Some are born with both sets of sex organs. Which are they? What about cases when both function? Some are born xxy instead of xy or xx. What does the empirical science denote? If male-ness and female-ness are more than just genitalia, presumably those born with both sets can be one or the other, no? It certainly seems to me that there is male and female “software” that is not learned. That would indicate that a woman could be born with male genitals and vice versa (i.e., the intersexed). Why is it such a non empirical leap to think that there could be a mismatch between the sex organs and other things that make one male or female in those born with one set of genitals? There might be a good answer (I’m not asking rhetorically), but that answer isn’t obvious to me.

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  13. Sdb,

    Nature has two sexes for the propagation of the species. Let’s limit our way of talking about it to a materialistic evolution kind of way with no mention of the soul. Can a human body be other than male or female? What it feels is not important. If you had Grace Kelly sitting in front of you and she said that she identified as a male, would you accept that she was male?

    Do we have to wait for a person to tell us what sex they are when we meet them? Does Bruce Jenner have a genetic flaw as in a wrong amount of x chromosomes? How would anyone ever know when a person had Body Dismorphic Disorder or if they were in fact telling the truth about their sex? Are you buying it that “identifying” as such and such, changes reality?

    “There are some genetic and developmental disorders which disrupt the normal activity of the sex chromosomes. Men with Klinefelter’s Syndrome, for example, have an extra copy (or copies) of the X chromosome; females with Turner’s Syndrome have only one X chromosome. Abnormal levels of sex hormones (such as testosterone) during embryonic development may also cause genetically XX fetuses to develop as males, or genetically XY fetuses to develop as females. Individuals with these kinds of conditions are almost always sterile, and often suffer mild to severe developmental abnormalities.”

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  14. This is all DNC base motivation. Have to have a way to get at least some of the Sander’s crowd back on side. So far Trump isn’t playing, but provoking a storm now might lead to a platform fight in Cleveland, where the “haters” in the GOP will be on full display. Smart move on Obama’s part- Trump wants to downplay culture war issues, so make it hard for him to do so. As far as the substance of the issue of men using women’s bathrooms is concerned, around these parts there is a solution- concealed carry. And trial by jury.

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  15. Dan R., but don’t the schools receive funding on the basis of student enrollment. If you make parents opt for homeschooling or charter schools, schools also lose funding (I think).

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  16. Nature has two sexes for the propagation of the species.

    Not all species have two sexes, though mammals are generally male and female.

    Let’s limit
    our way of talking about it to a materialistic evolution kind of way with no mention of the soul. Can a human body be other than male or female?

    Yes. One can be intersexed. Rare but real.

    What it feels is not important. If you had Grace Kelly sitting in front of you and she said that she identified as a male, would you accept that she was male?

    Not sure what this has to do with the reality that there are people who are not Grace Kelly.

    Do we have to wait for a person to tell us what sex they are when we meet them?

    Not sure what your point is here. Of course, there are people whose gender is less than clear. Just ask Pat.

    Does Bruce Jenner have a genetic flaw as in a wrong amount of x chromosomes? How would anyone ever know when a person had Body Dismorphic Disorder or if they were in fact telling the truth about their sex? Are you buying it that “identifying” as such and such, changes reality?

    I don’t know what is up with Bruce Jenner or what bearing that has on my question. We know that one can be born with both sets of sex organs and that such people can be fertile. We also know that there does seem to be an intrinsic “boyness” or “girlness” that kids develop very, very early that is not simply cultural conditioning. Presumably intersexed people would also have either a male or female psychology such that their psychology and one set of their genitalia is mismatched. If that can happen, then why is it such a leap that a person with one set of genitalia could have their psychology mismatched? I’m not sure pointing out that Grace Kelly is definitely a woman sheds any light on my question.

    “There are some genetic and developmental disorders which disrupt the normal activity of the sex chromosomes. Men with Klinefelter’s Syndrome, for example, have an extra copy (or copies) of the X chromosome; females with Turner’s Syndrome have only one X chromosome. Abnormal levels of sex hormones (such as testosterone) during embryonic development may also cause genetically XX fetuses to develop as males, or genetically XY fetuses to develop as females. Individuals with these kinds of conditions are almost always sterile, and often suffer mild to severe developmental abnormalities.”

    Ok. I agree with all that. Some very small subset of our population has something wrong with their sex organs and most (but not all) are infertile. What about the ones who are fertile? Why is it a leap that or denial of reality that there is a mismatch between the hardware and software? If we know that they are necessarily mismatched in the intersexed, why is it so crazy to suggest that they can be mismatched among some other small subset?

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  17. The Bathroom battles of the culture wars are a distraction. Liberal leaders use them to try to persuade their rank-and-file that they are crusading for progressive values while conservative leaders use them to convince their troops that they are defending tradition values. In the end, neither liberal nor conservative leaders say much of anything about our exploitive economic system, our destruction of the environment, and our wars and militarism. These items get a pass as people become enraged over the question: Guess who’s coming to your bathroom?

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  18. Joel says: My question is, who in the heck cares about this stuff?
    Joel says Ali, so you think that God was happy with the bathrooms at Target before, but now he’s not so much?

    Hi Joel.
    If you don’t care, you might try caring for the sake of your children.

    And despite DG’s opinion, other post, that Christians do appropriately engage in these things- there’s your comment, which seems unfortunate, because if you don’t care, you aren’t ‘outraged’, you don’t engage in the greatest way; and if you don’t pray, you don’t know if you don’t have for lack of asking; ‘course you’ve got to want what you ask for and also then agree His answer is supreme.

    Genesis 18: 21 I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”
    James 4:2You do not have because you do not ask.
    Luke 18:7 now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

    And dear sdb, sheesh, thanks for calibrating how unreasonable we’re been for centuries but now how enlightened and advanced

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  19. Dear Joel,
    1) God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. From the beginning of creation, God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE.
    2) bathroom change agenda: denigrate our Lord

    1 My son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you,
    2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding;
    3 For if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding..
    4 If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures;
    5 Then you will discern the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God
    6 For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding….Prov 2..etc

    so I agree with a point of yours, if you only have limited time, skip too much news media for enough time for the essential (see above)

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  20. oh Joel. I should probably quit taking the bait. I see that you don’t really mean to ‘not care’ ; you mean to care enough to join in with its promotion.

    Again, as the Lord says all over His word even unto Revelation – “This calls for a mind with wisdom “. Or then even as Dr. Phil says; You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. If you don’ think this bathroom change call is part of an agenda, then go in peace,peace.

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  21. Ali,
    If you need male and female bathrooms to live up to God’s standard, I wonder how outhouses and unisex bathrooms fit into that.

    There is a lot of more important stuff going on in the world right now, and the media and religious right are trolling you. Did you notice how *that* agenda is affecting you?

    Everyone has an agenda. I don’t get worked up when things are done according to peoples’ agendas, or I’d have to emote about everything. I certainly don’t trust people who make their livelihoods stirring things up to set my agenda, like you seem to.

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  22. Joel says: Everyone has an agenda.

    Agreed.

    Like I said Joel, believe what you want, acknowledge what you want, read your Bible, try to learn to acknowledge everything the LORD says, pray alot, maybe even read CS Lewis Screwtape Letters; As you say, everyone has an agenda, and then everyone serves agendas – some of light, some of darkness, some to disguise as light ,etc.

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  23. I interrupt this dialog for the following public service announcement. Guys like Joel are a loud blinking, living, breathing neon object lesson in why actually biblical worldview, epistemology and systematic thinking are so important to God. Joel thinks this is about what bathrooms people use 😀

    Thank you and I now return you to your regularly scheduled dialog.

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  24. Greg, right, because only then will one be sufficiently led around by the nose by sensational headlines in order to piously hyperventilate like the younger brother whose cage is easily rattled by big brother. But have you considered how that ironically comes across as not having much hope in the things to come, as in the city built whose architect and builder is God? Why so worried about this life? Are you way too attached?

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  25. Ali, so you are going to let the CEO of Target and Obama’s worldly agendas dictate your actions?

    Greg, how does your favorite all-you-can-eat buffet correspond to Proverbs 23:20-21? Should I be a teetotaler of them or anxiously join in with the gluttons?

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  26. DGH: Has Prof. Burk considered that a school principal could ignore this letter in much the same way that U.S. drivers ignore speed limits?

    Not your finest argument.

    The number of people inspecting speed limit compliance (police + spouse) is significantly smaller than the number of people inspecting bathroom compliance (every “concerned parent”).

    The cost of failing to follow the speed limit is substantially less than that of failing to follow a federal mandate.

    And speeding is an occasional violation with limited opportunity for being caught. Local policy would be a 24/7 violation.

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  27. ZRIM, none of what you say here has any application to me whatsoever. I continue to hold out hope that one day, while we’re both still alive, you’ll understand that.
    ====================================================================
    Jeff tells Dr. Hart: “Not your finest argument.”
    To say the very least and here is yet another confusion of categories. The legal speed with which one operates an automobile is open to the discretion of each jurisdiction because it has no innate moral content in itself. Anything related to sex and gender is by biblical definition a morally charged issue and therefore subject to the word and law of God.

    Of course the world doesn’t care, nor should we expect them to, but to compare a traffic violation that lawfully fluctuates from place to place, and even in the same place depending on which stretch of road, to the designed decimation of God’s created order as normative, is a symptom of a conscience not informed by gospel principles.
    ====================================================================
    Joel, gluttony, like drunkenness is a practice, not an event. Your feeble attempt to discredit me, like all others you may ever try, has failed with a muffled squeak..

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  28. Greg the Glutton, so when you belly up to the all-you-can-eat bar, you aren’t practicing gluttony alongside everyone else eating all that they can?

    I think DGH should borrow your line here. Every time you complain about his TV viewing habits, the reply could be, “Your feeble attempt to discredit me, like all others you may ever try, has failed with a muffled squeak.” Funny stuff.

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  29. @ Greg:

    Be fair to dgh. He argues that the superintendant may safely ignore the administration’s directive, which is what you want, right?

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  30. “Be fair to dgh. He argues that the superintendant may safely ignore the administration’s directive, which is what you want, right?”
    I want the CHURCH that spawned the reformed standards Jeff. Without that, it doesn’t make a bit of difference what else happens or what else anybody does.
    ——————————————————-
    Joel, you’re clueless. Have a nice day.
    ——————————————————
    Gotta go guys.

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  31. Conservative culture warriors have been warning about boys and girls being forced to use the same bathrooms for 20 years or more. They thought “unisex” was coming. And they were sorta right, though Brucelynism was not on their radar. But here’s the question: Were they prophetic or did they signal to their lefty opponents what they were afraid of so the lefties knew what to push for just to piss them off most, aka bait taking? It’s a reasonable question. Get mad, lose your mind — sure. But consider which issues and why. Otherwise, you’re in for a lifetime of shrieking and teeth gnashing. Ain’t nobody got time for (just) that.

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  32. Would the progs have lost interest and moved on to something else if predictable segments had not gone nuts over Target bathrooms? That’s the question. Was it wise to participate in the collective meltdown? Sure, Target revenues have fallen, but don’t quiet boycotts have the same effects as loud ones if it’s all about the bottom line? Can we do anything quietly anymore?

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  33. Since we have talked enough about Christ and Him crucified, now we need to figure out what “the Christian” worldview says about plumbing, both anatomy and architecture…

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  34. Jeff, come on, do you really think this will really be enforced with any seriousness, or is it all political theater in the wake of Bruce Jenner? But how about leash laws instead as the analogy instead? Like the officer who stopped me recently for not leashing in the cemetery said, “We don’t really enforce the ordinance but since someone around here has nothing better to do than spy and report on their neighbors and was lucky enough to connect with dispatch who was lucky enough to get a bored officer nearby, I have to do my due diligence here and take your name and number (scribble, scribble, type, type) and wag my finger a little. That dog doesn’t look like a menace to me. There, done, have a good day, sir.”

    Greg, so no? But if you ever write that book, here’s hoping I’m listed in the Forward with gratitude.

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  35. Zrim: Jeff, come on, do you really think this will really be enforced with any seriousness …

    It doesn’t have to be. Superintendents have an anaphylactic reaction to the possibility of lawsuits. Universities are already saying that they will comply because they can’t afford the risk of losing Federal funds.

    Read the letter.

    Besides, it doesn’t take any effort to enforce. It just takes a complaint, and DOE holds the cards.

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  36. Zrim: But how about leash laws instead as the analogy instead?

    It’s not a great analogy, just as speeding laws were not.

    A better analogy would be the 55mph speed limit. States toed the line until they had enough collective power to revolt. They didn’t surreptitiously slip in 65 mph signs and hope not to get caught.

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  37. Jeff, so you don’t care for the analogies. But what exactly is the worry here? That schools will start disallowing male transgenders to use women’s rooms? I’m not so sure restrooms are being actively policed in that way in the first place, in which case isn’t it business as usual?

    Still, doesn’t this all feel like wedding cakes, florist, and contraceptives, all of which pop up and everyone gets in a righteous dither (in either direction) and then it all goes away and nobody’s lives are actually altered too much?

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  38. Jeff, why isn’t every driver also someone who counts as monitoring the roads? I notice ALL the time that people park it up left in the passing lane. I don’t call the President or the state police.

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  39. “Jeff, why isn’t every driver also someone who counts as monitoring the roads? I notice ALL the time that people park it up left in the passing lane. I don’t call the President or the state police.”

    I have to sit in gape jawed awe at this level of the confusion of categories and unsound reasoning from a man who has earned 5 degrees from major institutions. PLEASE Darryl, you simply must believe that this is not a cheap insult. You’re better than this man. I’ve seen it. How is it possible that you can’t grasp that these two things are nothing like each other?

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  40. Oh, the big concern will end up being fraud. If and when it happens. I actually want to see the lock up when a self identifying female with male parts is ‘harassed’ by a gaggle of eighteen year old girls who don’t want to shower at the same time she-he does. It’ll happen, but the occurrence will be so infrequent that it still won’t be worth the level of outrage. And I want to see the DOE bring the hammer down on that college who have to deal with that situation. To those who are sincere in their self-identifying, here’s betting they aren’t interested in making enemies of their sisters or brothers with whom they are desperate to be accepted. I’m sure there will be a few cases that make national headlines but the transgendered group isn’t a large enough population group to make much of a dent, and, like I said, those who are sincere, won’t want to alienate their chosen sexual peer group. Regardless, it’s an idiotic piece of attempted social engineering. But, there’s a lot of juvenile, criminal and otherwise bad decisions that get cover on college campuses in the name of tolerance, that don’t get tolerated much when you leave.

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  41. Zrim: But what exactly is the worry here? That schools will start disallowing [allowing?] male transgenders to use women’s rooms? I’m not so sure restrooms are being actively policed in that way in the first place, in which case isn’t it business as usual?

    Right, so that’s an interesting question. I think that what more or less happens right now is that if a man shows up in the ladies’ room, the occupants do the policing: “Hey, you don’t belong in here!”

    The effect of this policy is to put those occupants in the wrong. It essentially has a chilling effect on self-policing, which is why I think it’s bad social policy.

    Zrim: Still, doesn’t this all feel like wedding cakes, florist, and contraceptives, all of which pop up and everyone gets in a righteous dither (in either direction) and then it all goes away and nobody’s lives are actually altered too much?

    Your life may not be, but both our church and our school have altered relationships with the community and the state of Maryland as a result of the gay marriage cases. So I’m not quite so sanguine.

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  42. “Seems like you’re secretly arguing my side here.”
    This is almost no joke. I have to like wipe my eyes and refocus on my monitor to make sure I’m seeing some these comments from him and Zrim right. This is a blitzkrieg of moral realignment. A full frontal assault on the created order of the Lord God almighty, being being hammered into place by hack politicians and degenerate libertine Marxists right before our eyes and these guys are talking about speeding tickets and dog leashes.

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  43. Be reasonable, man. DGH and Zrim are trying to keep Christians from getting too heavily invested in the rise and fall of culture as if it were the kingdom of God.

    Think about the Middle Ages: did the Christianizing of culture keep the church from becoming corrupt? Absolutely not, and that was the best shot anyone has ever taken or could hope to take.

    This assault on the created order is, so far, a few decades old. It is a blip compared to the assault on the created order that was race-based chattel slavery of the 16th-19th centuries. It is a symptom, not a cause, of the reconfiguring of the church from roughly 1800 to the present around subjectivist and anti-Confessional lines of thought. Long before Obergefell there was Joseph Fletcher.

    Take the long-term view.

    Meanwhile, my pushback against DGH and Zrim is simply to put forward what seems to me to be a realistic assessment of costs. If it turns out that those costs are what must be paid to continue to be Christian, so be it.

    I oppose transgender bathrooms because it’s bad social policy, not because it is an existential threat to my faith.

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  44. Oh good gracious!! I’m NOT talking abut Christianizing any culture Jeff!! 😀

    And this is 1000 times more basic and foundational than any form of slavery and I myself have said I don’t know how many times, that the assault on God’s created order is decades old. There’s; no such thing as a threat to my faith!!! I don’t know anymore. How can PRESBYTERIANS not get this? Nevermind.

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  45. Greg
    What are you talking about? I find it useful to apply principles to less emotionally wrought topics to examine how the principle holds up. Your criticism is that it is a category mistake. You need to justify why different principles apply.

    As far as assault on the created order, consider the “art” unearthed from the ashes of Pompeii and tell me that there is anything new under the sun. If Paul didn’t feel compelled to judge those outside the church in that environment, why should we in this.

    Further , I am still at a loss over how we can be so certain that the concern for transgender have no merit given the reality of intersected people and hardwired gendered social characteristics.

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  46. Jeff, you may want to call it bad social policy but I’m saying it’s all just silliness and theater. I’m fairly sure I’ve shared a public restroom at some point with a transgender, and, lo and behold, I am alive and unscathed to tell. In which case, I’d be happy for the state of NC to sit down and shut up in the first place so that the Obama Admin doesn’t feel the need to get up and shove back giving rise to the Christian community feeling the need to beat its chest over something so.damn.silly. and giving the rest of us (even shinier) black eyes.

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  47. @ Zrim: the city of Charlotte fired the first shot.

    I probably have shared a restroom with a trans, and I don’t care much. I’m not actually worried too too much about genuine trans folk as much as the frauds. And in high school and college, there will be frauds.

    But if you think people’s lives don’t get affected, read this.

    It’s a scorched earth out there.

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  48. Jeff, but lawsuits go both ways and Letmesplain says. What will parents do who don’t want Joey or Jill upset by a transvestite?

    Plus, have you notice? This is merely a letter, not even an encyclical or Supreme Court opinion.

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  49. Greg, first you’re not talking about “Christianizing” any culture to Jeff and now you’re talking biblical and reformed standards to Zrim.

    My jaw is firmly in place — tight even — my mind is in somersaults.

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  50. Greg, you are clearly a Reformed believer trapped in an Evangelical church. I too once suffered from transdenominationalism and I hope you can one day fully express your true identity.

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  51. Jeff Cagle says: Be reasonable, man. DGH and Zrim are trying to keep Christians from getting too heavily invested in the rise and fall of culture as if it were the kingdom of God.

    ..or…. maybe just providing friendly advice – ala screwtape to wormwood – on these small petty matters
    and we can’t figure out why our kids are confused

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  52. D. G. Hart says: Ali, who’s this “our” white woman?

    first of all, how do you know I’m not identifying as a man DG , or that feeling black, that is what I am– perfectly legitmate, ordinary, no big deal, everyone has their rights, just read the Bible, God wants me to be my own person, happy, free

    D. G. Hart says: Are you presuming Zrim’s kids are confused?

    you’re saying it , not me, thank you

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  53. Ali, see the difference between . and ?

    I wouldn’t presume to know Zrim’s kids on the basis of what he comments. You. (notice the punctuation.) (notice no bible verse)

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  54. D. G. Hart says: Ali, see the difference between . and ?

    mere formality (just ask my friend cw about my punctuation application)

    DG Hart says: I wouldn’t presume to know Zrim’s kids on the basis of what he comments.
    DG: (notice no bible verse)

    You mean you? Oh, surprise, surprise

    You mean me?…
    These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deut 6:6-9 (unless you don’t want to or are blog commenting, just hoping they never notice)

    A (child) is not above his (parent); but after he has been fully trained, will be like his (parent), (posting personal opinions, no worries ,even if they contradict the Lord, whatever, it’sa free country). Luke 6:40

    I (Zrim) have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. 3 John (you know, relative truth, that whatever-you-think is truth – is your personal truth)1:4

    ! sheesh

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  55. DGH, your comment re: the timing, mostly agreed, but going nowhere? I am sure the Dems got at least a few more votes than the GOP out of the Rush Limbaugh/Sandra Fluke tempest. Same with this if Trump takes the Bai.

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  56. Jeff, there are frauds everywhere all the time. Do you really think a fraud whose intention is to harm is waiting with baited breathe for the law to tell him he can now don a dress and prey on women in restrooms? Sorry but I find this reasoning a bit paranoid and in league with the meme’s getting passed around by Christians of the tranny from “Little Shop of Horrors,” propaganda meant to incite even more fear and loathing.

    You call foul on Darryl for speed limit argumentation, I call foul on your fraud reasoning. Gong.

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  57. DGH, the schools around here will be back in session late August. The meme machine is just getting geared up. GOP = bigotry. A mild taste of things to come: http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/12/opinions/north-carolina-restroom-law-markell-weingarten/index.html.

    But our youth Minister was fillling in this morning and preached a great sermon appropriate for Pentecost. We are truly blessed with the presence, as promised by Jesus, of the Holy Spirit.

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  58. maybe just providing friendly advice – ala screwtape to wormwood –

    Comparing people to (fictional) devils? Sheesh.

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  59. Zrim: Do you really think a fraud whose intention is to harm is waiting with baited breathe for the law to tell him he can now don a dress and prey on women in restrooms?

    Do I think predators (not trans) are keenly aware of what they can get away with?

    Yes.

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  60. Hi SDB,

    I dropped the ball on our conversation on Friday because talking more was just becoming tiresome. I want to throw my hands up in the air, “I quit!” But, one of us is right and one of us is wrong.
    Do you believe that we as creatures with reason should be able to reach the same conclusion if the empirical science is useful, which I believe it is in biology.
    An appeal to psychology is only as good as far as phychology’s correspondence with knowledge of biology is good. Otherwise, we are all forever at the mercy of our own or other people’s opinions and pathologies.

    This is what you said:
    “Further , I am still at a loss over how we can be so certain that the concern for transgender have no merit given the reality of intersected people and hardwired gendered social characteristics.”

    There is no such thing as intersected people. There are two sexes only.
    There are males with feminine characteristics and female’s with male characterists because they have a genetic disorder. Notice the term “disorder”?
    If an “intersected” person is fertile it’s because his or her sex organs are working as they should,which means they are either male or female.

    When a hermaphrodite is born, a blood sample Is taken to find out what sex they are, and then surgery Is done to make that clear.
    The person isn’t both male and female.The are predominately one sex.
    That’s just science.

    Scientifically speaking, what does it mean to be trapped in the wrong body?
    How do you know when they have a mental disorder or are young and confused?

    Regarding the bathroom laws. I don’t care what other people’s opinion are; that is, whether they think it’s rage porn or shrill or a waste of time…..
    I find common society important. I consider the family important. Yes, there is always going to be wrong ideas and sins affecting society, but we live here and our kids love here. Do we despair no, of course not. We do have an obligation to learn the the truth and tell other’s of their error. I wouldn’t want my neighbor to start sex changes on their little girl because she prefers to have a penis like her two brothers.So of I could get them to listen to reason and not commit child abuse, I would at least try.

    As far as who is in the ladies room, it matters whether or not they are killers or molesters. If they are completely “changed” physically or still in “progress” it doesn’t matter, they are still genetically male.[ Left alone without surgery and hormones they would revert back( except for the surgerical changes)].
    As males they have no lawful right to see women and girls sitting on toilets, adjusting our bras, pooping and peeing, changing tampons, and pads, putting on lipstick…!!!
    They may not harm us physically, but it harms our dignity.
    Do you seriously want perverted men “just”watching your wives, daughters, and mothers? Its sick yet it ranks as an important right for miniscule number of our population. Why do they have rights even though they impinge on those of women?

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  61. Do I think predators (not trans) are keenly aware of what they can get away with? Yes.

    Jeff, there are already laws aimed at predators who assault. It’s already just as illegal for man (wolf) dressed in women’s (sheep’s) clothing to assault women in a women’s room as it is for a man dressed a man to go into a men’s room and assault another man. Predators don’t care about laws and laws don’t keep predators from preying.

    Laws aren’t actually made based on extraordinary phenomena (i.e. there are frauds aiming to assault so let’s write a law about only men in men’s rooms), but rather on ordinary phenomena (i.e. there are law abiding transgenders who want to cross use restrooms–odd perhaps but since some folks are writing weird laws that would seem to require the policing of genitalia, let’s formulate a policy that would seem to keep that from happening).

    Since the fraud argument doesn’t work, and since you say you have “no worries about genuine trans folk,” then what exactly is your worry such that you think it’s worth the energy to, well, take the bait (or at least run some interference for those who have, though thanks for some interference in the other direction)?

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  62. There is no such thing as intersected people…I find common society important.

    Susan, if you really think common society is important then you’ll need to also understand that means people do intersect. That’s what a society is.

    Do you seriously want perverted men “just”watching your wives, daughters, and mothers? Its sick yet it ranks as an important right for miniscule number of our population. Why do they have rights even though they impinge on those of women?

    You’re assuming transgenders are also perverts. Sounds like how all homosexuals are child abusers. I thought Christianity was supposed to improve human attitudes? Where’s yours? That’s not so say I’m wild about men in women’s restrooms, but does bigotry really help make the case against it? Like I said to Jeff, laws already exist to curb assault, but have you considered you’ve been oogled by gay women in a restroom at some point? Laws don’t cure these things so why do you seem to speak as if they do?

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  63. Zrim,

    That was supposed to be “intersex” not intersect.

    “You’re assuming transgenders are also perverts.”

    No I’m not. I’m certain there are not people who have more than one sex. So that means that if a male who thinks he’s a female is in the bathroom with real women, he’s still a guy( with body dismorphia or some other mental illness) able to see women do what women do in the bathroom.

    What would be your ( if any)objection to men being in the ladies room?

    Why can’t we agree that this is an attack on women’s rights, and dignity? Do you think this is decent? Would you permit this in your bathrooms at church?

    Please get real.

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  64. Zrim,

    Say your 8 yr old daughter goes into the women’s restroom at church and then a minute later you notice a guy in female dress whose “Male organ” is clearly recognize beneath the fabric, goes in after her. Say that she recognizes ” something’s different” about this “lady”. What do you tell your little girl? What does your church consistory do.
    I think we should be loving and compassionate towards these very disturbed souls, but we shouldn’t buy into the idea of transex or rights to go where the real sex should have privacy and protection.

    That’s as far as my faith has to go. To accept it all is to act like I was ignorant of reality. Reality that God made. Its bad for the individual and had for society. Two sexes only corresponds to my Christian faith but I can prove it by science and reason if the public square doesn’t agree with my religion.

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  65. Jeff Cagle says:Comparing people to (fictional) devils? Sheesh.

    Just a follow-on about always having agendas and serving agendas, Jeff. We either serve the truth or serve lies and we ought be careful about that. These are perilous times. And thinking still about- it’s a free country- and being ‘free’- we are allowed to decide to prefer fiction over truth (or if not prefer, at least, meh, whatever); Maybe our two top presidential candidates,both challenged truth-tellers, reflect getting what we want.
    No wonder our kids are confused.

    ps. re comment, they are not fictional, names just provided
    back-at-you-sheesh

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  66. Zrim,

    I don’t want to be concerned about things only when they directly affect me or my lived ones. Transexuslism either is real biological condition, or it’s not. If it is then there should be no boundries at all since it’s purely biological and can’t be helped. The sexes should all shower together, right? If there is no such thing except in the mind of the person, then others don’t have to accept it( except as a mental disorder) and can therefore draw appropriate boundaries.

    In the meantime, please try not to be outraged about my outrage.

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  67. Carl Truman—How does one judge that one is growing old? I have a sneaking suspicion that it is when you read cigar aficionado D. G.Hart and find yourself nodding in agreement…..It is time to drop the cultural elitism that poses as significant Christian transformation of culture but only really panders to nothing more than middle class tastes and hobbies.
    http://www.alliancenet.org/mos/postcards-from-palookaville/cigar-smoke-and-mirrors-and-transformation#.Vzj6QJErKM8

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  68. I’m certain there are not people who have more than one sex…Transexuslism either is real biological condition, or it’s not. If it is then there should be no boundries at all since it’s purely biological and can’t be helped.

    Susan, you’re sounding like the fundies who say homosexuality isn’t real, just all in someone’s head. How dismissive and a way to wave your hand to make something difficult just disappear. And your assumption is the same: if it’s real then it’s to be affirmed as normal. But even as autism is real nobody affirms it as normal. And who goes around saying autism is just in someone’s head? Disorders really do exist, of either physical or mental or physiological or emotional or sexual natures. They may boggle your mind but that doesn’t mean they aren’t real. And instead of falling into the one ditch that makes life easier by saying anything and everything should just be affirmed or the other in saying these disorders don’t really exist, the harder but more realistic alternative is to say at once that they’re real but not to be affirmed so how do we all co-exist?

    To be honest, I don’t see much harm in accommodating transgenders, because even before all the recent political theater and brouhaha we’ve always done that–we’ve always had transgenders and they’ve always used the facility of their choosing, and most of us never knew it, and most of the time it’s worked pretty well with little incident. But then along comes North Carolina and wants to score culture war points and all of a sudden otherwise decent folks like you are TAKING THE BAIT and tossing out little horror hypotheticals about “male organs clearly recognized beneath the fabric.” Good grief, Susan, you’re ironically losing your dignity in the breathless and misguided efforts to protect it.

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  69. Steve,

    Okay then, they are disordered desires ( or mental disorders)and people” really” have them. What can’t be scientifically proven is that Joe is really Jane stuck inside a male body or Jane is really Joe stuck inside a female body.
    And people DO want us all to affirm it as normal, hence transexuals using the bathroom of the opposite sex of what nature have them.

    And you didn’t answered my question about the scenario of your 8 yr old daughter and a man in ladies clothes in the women’s restroom of your church.

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  70. Zrim,

    Forgive me, but I think there’s a whole bunch of naivety here:

    Jeff, there are already laws aimed at predators who assault. It’s already just as illegal for man (wolf) dressed in women’s (sheep’s) clothing to assault women in a women’s room as it is for a man dressed a man to go into a men’s room and assault another man.

    But the law is a restraint on at least some people. You have the predator who is going to hurt somebody no matter the law. Then you have the one with predatory desires/fantasies who is held back by the existing law and/or societal acceptance that if you have a beard and show up in a ladies room, you are going to be told on.

    Predators don’t care about laws and laws don’t keep predators from preying.

    So no laws at all then. Good idea. Murderers, thieves, etc. don’t care about laws either.

    Laws aren’t actually made based on extraordinary phenomena (i.e. there are frauds aiming to assault so let’s write a law about only men in men’s rooms), but rather on ordinary phenomena (i.e. there are law abiding transgenders who want to cross use restrooms–odd perhaps but since some folks are writing weird laws that would seem to require the policing of genitalia, let’s formulate a policy that would seem to keep that from happening).

    Are you saying that transgenders is “ordinary phenomena”? Especially when they compose less than one percent of the population.

    For the most part, this really hasn’t been an issue as far as its societal affect. Most people who would fall into the transgender category, assuming they’ve “transitioned” enough, could easily use the restroom of their choice. Maybe they get an odd look, but The problem is that these new laws are saying anyone regardless of what identity they choose at the moment and regardless of whether they can even potentially pass as the opposite sex can do their business wherever they want and that if you see a man in the woman’s bathroom, you are the hateful bigot if you feel a bit concerned for your safety or the safety of your wife and daughters.

    Since the fraud argument doesn’t work, and since you say you have “no worries about genuine trans folk,” then what exactly is your worry such that you think it’s worth the energy to, well, take the bait (or at least run some interference for those who have, though thanks for some interference in the other direction)?

    But the fraud argument most definitely works. Now you have big brother mandating that if Buff Joe enters the ladies restroom and claims to be transgender, he gets to stay.

    There’s already been at least one voyeur in Target since they went public with their policy of letting anyone use any restroom they choose. Would he have gone in the restroom had this not gone public? Hard to say. What I do know is that now a Target employee, security guard, and female bathroom visitor have been told not to worry when they see a teenage boy/young man get in the bathroom. And by the time anyone notices he’s filming, it’s too late. There goes a picture of your wife or daughter on the Internet.

    I suppose Target has the right to enact such an asinine policy, but the implications for public accommodations is staggering.

    I get the not wanting to join in the “outrage porn,” but let’s have a little perspective here. Are you really fine with rules that would have prevented such a thing as the Target example from happening, or at least would have caused people to question the guy’s presence now being set aside? What happened to good old common sense?

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  71. Darryl,

    Jeff, think about the timing. A lame duck president in his last 7 months of office (and 3 months of summer). Then a 2 month campaign. This is going nowhere.

    Because of course, President Hillary Clinton isn’t going to continue trying to appease the progressive base. I mean, she hasn’t reversed her opinion on gay marriage or anything else like that yet, right?

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  72. Robert, I’m betting more Americans agree with you than with the President’s letter. Base or not, that’s quite an electoral gamble to make bathrooms for less than 0000001. percent of the population a campaign issue. Not even President Obama campaigned on gay marriage.

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  73. Darryl,

    Robert, I’m betting more Americans agree with you than with the President’s letter.

    Maybe in some regions of the country. I suspect that in most parts of the country people aren’t paying attention, and won’t pay attention until there’s some serious problem. Meanwhile, the law teaches the children that gender is whatever you feel like at a particular point in the day.

    Base or not, that’s quite an electoral gamble to make bathrooms for less than 0000001. percent of the population a campaign issue. Not even President Obama campaigned on gay marriage.

    Obama campaigned on gay marriage in 2012 when it became clear that it would not be a hindrance to his reelection for him to reveal his true opinion on the matter. Do you not remember the interview with ABC? Gay marriage, something applying to a minority of the less than 3 percent of people who are homosexuals since most homosexuals aren’t really interested in marriage. I’m not so sanguine. We’ve got the president, the media, and the justice system all beating the same drum.

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  74. Not that many years ago when I wanted to change the fluid and filter in my car’s transmission I’d go down the the auto parts store and ask for a “tranny kit.” I’m beginning to wonder how that would be received nowadays. I think I’d better order on-line…

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  75. Susan, it’s not about what science can or can’t prove. They just want to use a restroom. If a woman wants to use the stall next to me, weird but fine. Public restrooms can only be so secure and comfortable anyway–just because they guy next to me looks normal doesn’t mean he won’t assault me. I know that going in, which is why I avoid public restrooms anyway.

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  76. Robert, we’re all vulnerable every day and in all places. Assaults will and do happen. The point isn’t to remove or relax laws against assault, it’s to not expect crimes will always be prevented by them. It’s also to say that I can see place for rearranging the way our society is structured ad carried out in this regard. The Target incident seems like one for the active advocates of the new rules to field. I’m not one of them. But it does seem to me to be something of an outlier and I’m not sure policy should be set by outliers. At the same time, maybe the active advocates need to concede strict policing has to be in place at least until the dust settles and there is a cost to wanting such a big change in public accommodation and you can’t simply rely on the feeling that you’re on the morally superior side, etc. I don’t know, I’m just spit balling, but the point is that if you really are against the outrage porn then maybe you show some ability to sort out the question with some seriousness instead of pushing back with horror stories.

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  77. Well, it was another weekend of full on assault by the left leaning contingent of the media. They’re chumming the water hard looking for issues to galvanize Hillary’s campaign around and find the assortment or even solitary issue to beat Trump and his base into oblivion over. Even GOT has got current political issues baked into it’s storylines. If the right is politically savvy, they’d recognize all of that as desperate activity and not give them anything. Meanwhile, I was talking to a college administrator about the bathroom issue, to which I received a roll of the eyes and a look and remark of, ‘we have so many groups we cater to the transgendered can get in line, but I have a swipe on my bathroom and nobody will be changing bathroom policy on those doors.” IOW, there’s enough fiefdoms on a college campus and not enough money riding on this issue, that it’s not making a ripple, at least, yet.

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  78. I dropped the ball on our conversation on Friday because talking more was just becoming tiresome. I want to throw my hands up in the air, “I quit!” But, one of us is right and one of us is wrong.

    Or we are both wrong. But I haven’t offered a position, I’m simply trying to make sense of yours. Hence my questions.

    Do you believe that we as creatures with reason should be able to reach the same conclusion if the empirical science is useful, which I believe it is in biology. An appeal to psychology is only as good as far as phychology’s correspondence with knowledge of biology is good. Otherwise, we are all forever at the mercy of our own or other people’s opinions and pathologies.

    Well, empirical science can be underdetermined, so reasonable people appealing to imperfect, incomplete, underdetermined data may indeed arrive at different conclusions.

    This is what you said:
    “Further , I am still at a loss over how we can be so certain that the concern for transgender have no merit given the reality of intersected people and hardwired gendered social characteristics.”

    Don’t you love autocorrect?

    There is no such thing as intersected people. There are two sexes only. There are males with feminine characteristics and female’s with male characterists because they have a genetic disorder. Notice the term “disorder”? If an “intersected” person is fertile it’s because his or her sex organs are working as they should,which means they are either male or female.

    This is false. There are in fact intersexed people with both sets of genitalia. Usually such people are sterile, but rarely one can be born with both sets of organs functioning. Of course, being born intersexed is not the same thing as being transgender, and I apologize if I was unclear on this point. Given the reality of people born with both sets of sex organs and either a male or female psychological nature, it is relatively easy to simply surgically assign them with the set of organs they identify with. I don’t think any of that is controversial, but I could be wrong and if you have evidence to the contrary, I’d be happy to look at it. Now given that a person can be born with an extra set of genitalia that do not match their psychological make up, why is it in principle impossible for a person born with male genitalia to have an otherwise female make up? I think we agree that this is a disorder, so the question is what to do about it. Why do we assume that the problem is in the head and the psychology needs to be adjusted to match the physiology? Why couldn’t be the other way around?

    When a hermaphrodite is born, a blood sample Is taken to find out what sex they are, and then surgery Is done to make that clear. The person isn’t both male and female.The are predominately one sex. That’s just science.

    That may be true for hermaphrodites, but I don’t think that capture the full range of intersexed people. My understanding is that it is mostly guess work, particularly when the blood sample is not dispositive (which it often is not).

    Scientifically speaking, what does it mean to be trapped in the wrong body? How do you know when they have a mental disorder or are young and confused?

    That’s the question isn’t it. I suspect that if one has normal physiology, it is a very bad idea to change it – particularly when they are children.

    Regarding the bathroom laws. I don’t care what other people’s opinion are; that is, whether they think it’s rage porn or shrill or a waste of time… I find common society important. I consider the family important. Yes, there is always going to be wrong ideas and sins affecting society, but we live here and our kids love here. Do we despair no, of course not.

    Okey doke.

    We do have an obligation to learn the the truth and tell other’s of their error. I wouldn’t want my neighbor to start sex changes on their little girl because she prefers to have a penis like her two brothers.So of I could get them to listen to reason and not commit child abuse, I would at least try.

    Curious how that contrasts with what Paul says about such things. Though I agree that sex change procedures on minors and hormone therapy is a terrible idea.

    As far as who is in the ladies room, it matters whether or not they are killers or molesters. If they are completely “changed” physically or still in “progress” it doesn’t matter, they are still genetically male.[ Left alone without surgery and hormones they would revert back( except for the surgerical changes)]. As males they have no lawful right to see women and girls sitting on toilets, adjusting our bras, pooping and peeing, changing tampons, and pads, putting on lipstick…!!! They may not harm us physically, but it harms our dignity.

    Perhaps, but do you really want someone born with a vagina, who now has a beard and a penis using the women’s bathroom? Seems to me that if you can pee standing up, you should use the men’s room and if you can’t, you should use the women’s room. Or we can go with the Korean approach and do away with gendered bathrooms altogether.

    Do you seriously want perverted men “just”watching your wives, daughters, and mothers? Its sick yet it ranks as an important right for miniscule number of our population. Why do they have rights even though they impinge on those of women?

    Do you seriously think this what this is about. If you push forward with this kind of rhetoric, you can rest assured you will be steamrolled. It is like we social cons learned absolutely nothing from our failed fight against ssm.

    Of course, the big problem, is that social stigma and stern words from clerks won’t keep perverts from conveniently identifying as female to get a peak at undressed women in lorckerrooms and so forth. This means that we will use the force of law to keep order and protect privacy when social pressure took care of things. That isn’t a good shift.

    Perhaps much of this could have been avoided had NC not overreached the way they did. Maybe a better approach (given the reality of women with penises and men with vaginas) is to restrict bathroom use on the basis of genitalia rather than status on a birth certificate. Then require access to a private bathroom in public places for people who need various accommodations (folks in pre-op transition, various handicaps that require assistance, parents with kids, etc…). We could call them “gender inclusive” restrooms. Bathroom problem solved… I fail to see why affording dignity to obviously troubled people needs to be so controversial.

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  79. “That’s naivete”
    Pretty wild. I speak and it echoes back Robert’s voice.

    Honor compels me to report that unforeseen circumstances have rendered me unable for the moment to give my promised responses to you Darryl and sdb in the other thread.

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  80. @ SDB: Why do we assume that the problem is in the head and the psychology needs to be adjusted to match the physiology? Why couldn’t be the other way around?

    That is certainly the crucial question.

    One reason might be that all the physical evidence rules in favor of the physiology. Try as we might to give a “trans woman” a female body, s/he will never have a first or last period, will never be pregnant, will never need the services of an OB/GYN. His/her primary care physician will use “male” as the baseline for diagnosis trees.

    And when his/her skeleton is dug up in 500 years, the archaeologist will rule the skeleton male because of the hips.

    Over against that, we have the person’s word for it that s/he is actually a woman and some dubious fMRI studies. Is that really any better than spectral evidence?

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  81. That is certainly the crucial question.

    Agreed, but I still haven’t seen a very good answer to it yet. I’m not convinced that the natural ability to bear children (or sire children) is dispositive. I think in addition to the fMRI studies and testimony, we have the rather tragic life choices that such people make. Clearly, *something* is going on there. Being a man (or woman) is more than just physiology. There really does seem to be something to innate maleness (or femaleness). If one accepts that (i.e., men are more than women without penises and vice versa), then it doesn’t seem crazy to at least consider the possibility that one with a male mind could have female sexual organs. Of course, this line of thought is why many feminists have historically been quite skeptical of trans (bed wetters in bad wigs is how I think it was Greer put it). The fall messed a lot of things up. I don’t see why this wouldn’t be one of those things.

    If it were to be demonstrated that it was indeed possible to have a male brain and a female reproductive organs, I’m not sure what that means frankly. I am pretty confident that the rhetoric coming from religious trads (such as Susan denying even the possibility on the basis of my recognition of Grace Kelly as a woman) is decidedly unhelpful.

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  82. @ SDB: then it doesn’t seem crazy to at least consider the possibility that one with a male mind could have female sexual organs.

    Right. I don’t think that “God created them male and female” logically necessitates “God created every single human as either male or female”, as Kleinfelter’s patients demonstrate. Having considered that, though, it is also not crazy to consider the possibility that we need to be broader-minded about what a “female mind” could be.

    But here’s the real rub. Do you believe in essence and accidents, or don’t you? If you do, then you will have to retract some earlier statements. If you don’t, then there’s absolutely no reason to privilege the brain over the body as determiner of gender.

    As a matter of science, I think gender studies are Lysenkoistic. Activists permeate the discipline and actively eliminate wrongthinkers. http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/02/fight-over-trans-kids-got-a-researcher-fired.html

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  83. Zrim: Laws aren’t actually made based on extraordinary phenomena (i.e. there are frauds aiming to assault so let’s write a law about only men in men’s rooms), but rather on ordinary phenomena (i.e. there are law abiding transgenders who want to cross use restrooms–odd perhaps but since some folks are writing weird laws that would seem to require the policing of genitalia, let’s formulate a policy that would seem to keep that from happening).

    We seem to be working from a different fact base.

    First, you seem to be under the misconception that NC passed a law out of the blue in order to score points in the culture war.

    Actually, the first shot was first by the city of Charlotte, who mandated that all businesses adopt the policy that people could use bathrooms — which would include locker rooms with attached bathrooms — of the gender they identify with.

    Pause right there. If it were true, as you said, that trans folk were already using the bathroom of their choice without anyone being the wiser, then why did Charlotte act?

    Option A: Some trans folk were unable to use the bathroom of their choice because those bathrooms were being self-policed by their other users. The city of Charlotte decided that this was unacceptable.

    Option B: Charlotte in coordination with activists chose to pick a fight, with the aim of getting support from the administration.

    In response, the state of North Carolina passed a law saying that local municipalities could not mandate bathroom use for businesses.

    Now, which one of those is trying to score points in the culture war?

    Second, I don’t know whether you appreciate the general atmosphere surrounding the US paranoia about predators. For all church events, for all robotics events, for all school events, there must be two adults present at all times BECAUSE to do otherwise is to fail to exert due diligence.

    That, over an event that you portray as “rare.” And rare it may be, but the consequences are severe enough that we as a society have seen fit to take drastic and expensive measures to prevent those events.

    Now contrast that with the lax attitude about predators in the ladies’ room. On the one hand, there is no verification of trans status (and how could there be? Spectral evidence…). And on the other, the administration policy explicitly makes the self-policers be in the wrong (“Hey, you don’t belong in here!” “I’m a woman” And the complainer gets kicked out of the gym: http://www.reviewjournal.com/trending/the-feed/court-dismisses-suit-against-planet-fitness-transgender-locker-room-policy ).

    Zrim: …what exactly is your worry such that you think it’s worth the energy to, well, take the bait (or at least run some interference for those who have, though thanks for some interference in the other direction)?

    I think it’s bad public policy.

    That said, you may be right that the wisest course is to not engage. My points are that

    (1) This is not bait being offered. This is territory being claimed so as to push people out of the public square. Maybe the wisest course is to let that territory go, but I think territory will continue to be claimed.
    (2) Many people (me) are not objecting on religious grounds, but on the grounds that this is insane public policy. If there were no such thing as voyeurs and flashers, then sure. But there are, and they aren’t rare. The first mechanism of defense against that has not been law enforcement, but general public disapproval (“Hey, get out of here!”). You know, reliance on natural law.

    The Obama policy completely dismantles that mechanism.

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  84. Bad tagging (and bad writing in general) in post above. Amended:

    Zrim: …what exactly is your worry such that you think it’s worth the energy to, well, take the bait (or at least run some interference for those who have, though thanks for some interference in the other direction)?

    I think it’s bad public policy.

    That said, you may be right that the wisest course is to not engage. My points are that

    (1) This is not bait being offered. This is territory being claimed so as to push people out of the public square. Maybe the wisest course is to let that territory go, but I think territory will continue to be claimed.
    (2) Many people (me) are not objecting on religious grounds, but on the grounds that this is insane public policy. If there were no such thing as voyeurs and flashers, then sure. But there are, and they aren’t rare. The first mechanism of defense against that has not been law enforcement, but general public disapproval (“Hey, get out of here!”). You know, reliance on natural law.

    The Obama policy completely dismantles that mechanism.

    Like

  85. @Jeff

    But here’s the real rub. Do you believe in essence and accidents, or don’t you? If you do, then you will have to retract some earlier statements. If you don’t, then there’s absolutely no reason to privilege the brain over the body as determiner of gender.

    I do not believe in essence and accidents. I agree that there is no a priori reason to privilege the brain over the body as a determiner of gender. I can imagine that there are pragmatic reasons to do so (or not). I don’t know enough to know which is acceptable and I agree that social science is in shambles. It isn’t just the problems with reproducibility, but the polarization of science is deeply problematic. The case of Zucker is chilling. Similar things have happened to researchers who question the conventional wisdom on homosexuality and related topics as well. I’m not so sure it is a stretch to say that there is no positive knowledge available from social science.

    Unfortunately, we give activists a lot of fodder for the their vitriol. I’m not saying they wouldn’t be on the witch hunt they are on otherwise, but we don’t have to help them along. The Obama policy is inane and there are good reasons to oppose the policies passed by Charlotte (for example), but there are much wiser paths forward. If the concern is perverts and privacy, rather than going by birth certificate, they should have gone with physiology and allowed cities to mandate gender inclusive private facilities. This would have taken a lot of heat out of the issue I think.

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  86. Sdb,

    It seems to me that since man wasn’t created as a solitary creature, but as male and female, that the reciprocity of the the two in mutual self-giving, is the way to think of the whole of human sexuality. I mean that gender( as the physiological component) should not be divorced from it’s purpose. As Pope John VI says, ” their companionship produces the primary form of interpersonal communication”.
    Mankind’s right sexual telos is towards pro-creation ( hence organs that are made to give seed or receive seed) and nature discloses this to us.
    So a progressive or aethist who doesn’t understand the meaning in Genesis 2 may argue according to some ideology, but they don’t have a defense in either science or philosophy.
    So, If we start again by asking, “how does a person know if they are make or female without appealing to their physiology?” As you note, accidents are determiners otherwise we could call anything whatever we wanted. But obviously the world doesn’t work that way.

    Also, my point about hermaphrodite was to point out that there is an obvious malformation in the body, and we know that because we know what the perfection of each gender is. Like we know that a clubbed foot is not healthy because we know what a healthy foot is.

    So when a child begins at conception his sex is determined. He cannot be two-sexed. His genes will tell one or the other even if he is predominately one( whatever that would entail). There is still a code in him ordered towards either of the sexes, but not both sexes.
    Man and woman as spiritual creatures( a little lower than the angels) were created out of nothing. His soul( same as spirit in humans) is given to him by God and is not imparted to him by the material that passes from his parents biology. This is how we were created in God’s image; something the brutes don’t have.

    But since our bodies are somehow related to our bodies( the incarnation makes this clear) then we should trust that in some way our souls have receptivity to our spiritual selves.

    What we are encountering today is people who are clearly a male or female saying they feel like they are the other. If they are female, how do they describe and know what maleness is? Can science put it’s finger on this well enough to say, Yes we can make “you” male( or female) on the outside since you know what it means to be male on the inside
    It’s all ludicrous.

    Prove to me that there are intersexed people.

    The problem is not understanding Trinitarian theology. And our twisted perceptions of self.

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  87. @Jeff That’s interesting. Evidently our media can’t even agree what the law is. That is disturbing in its own right.

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  88. Okay, I don’t know what happened here. Let’s try this again…
    “But since our souls are somehow related to our bodies( the incarnation makes this clear) then we should trust that in some way our bodies have receptivity to our spiritual selves.”

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  89. Sdb,

    Sorry, I’m in a rush. If you didn’t understand me, I’d be happy to make myself clear.
    I get a little confused bouncing back and forth on talk about the body and the soul.
    Especially when typing fast on a cell phone that keeps correcting me.

    May I recommend Theology of the Body and Gaudium at Spes?

    Like

  90. ” Also, my point about hermaphrodite was to point out that there is an obvious malformation in the body, and we know that because we know what the perfection of each gender is. Like we know that a clubbed foot is not healthy because we know what a healthy foot is.”

    Agreed. My question is that if one’s body can be malformed such that it presents both sex organs (e.g., ovotestes), then why is it obvious nonsense that one’s body can be malformed while only presenting one set of sex organs?

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  91. ” So when a child begins at conception his sex is determined. He cannot be two-sexed. His genes will tell one or the other even if he is predominately one( whatever that would entail). There is still a code in him ordered towards either of the sexes, but not both sexes.”
    This is not true. One’s genes may be xxy for example. Also embryos can fuse resulting different sex characteristics in one body.

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  92. ” What we are encountering today is people who are clearly a male or female saying they feel like they are the other. If they are female, how do they describe and know what maleness is? Can science put it’s finger on this well enough to say, Yes we can make “you” male( or female) on the outside since you know what it means to be male on the inside? It’s all ludicrous.”
    Well its the inside that counts, amirite? All kidding aside, I don’t understand this objection. Transgender activists are claiming there is no such thing as maleness. They are saying maleness is not reducible to sex organs. These can be malformed such that one has a female brain and male gonads. They might be wrong, but I don’t see why it is obviously ludicrous or somehow a repudiation of Genesis 2.

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  93. SDB: Transgender activists are [not?] claiming there is no such thing as maleness. They are saying maleness is not reducible to sex organs. These can be malformed such that one has a female brain and male gonads.

    Strike “mal” and you have the argument. The gender-theory claim is that gender dysphoria, like deafness, is not a defect.

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  94. sdb,

    “This is not true. One’s genes may be xxy for example. Also embryos can fuse resulting different sex characteristics in one body.”

    Yes it is true. The example you gave is Klinefelter’s Syndrome. The child is a male.
    I didn’t say that there weren’t different sex” characteristics”, I said that there are not two-sexes. They may have characteristics, but that doesn’t make them, genetically, the sex of the extra characteristics they exhibit.
    Besides, for the most part, we are talking about people who clearly exhibit characteristics of one sex, that also match their sex chromosomes.

    Conclusion: there are not people who are genetically two genders.

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  95. DG,

    But don’t the schools receive funding on the basis of student enrollment. If you make parents opt for homeschooling or charter schools, schools also lose funding (I think).

    So are you promoting a boycott on Public Schools?

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  96. Susan,

    You said, “They may not harm us physically, but it harms our dignity.”

    I find that astounding. So, I’m curious, every time that Greg the Glutton steps up to eat an inhumane amount of food at Teppanyaki Grill’s all-you-can-eat buffet, do you lose dignity? Or is it just changing the symbols on the bathroom door that causes a loss of dignity?

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  97. Hey Joel, since you keep on this and no one is correcting you – did anyone ever suggest that you consider…
    looking at ships and how, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, they are still directed by a very small rudder ; or consider how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!
    Have you thought about whether a fountain can send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Can salt water produce fresh…I think the Lord is saying…no James 3

    Maybe DG might consider adding to his considerations of potential bigger problems for God’s people…… transgender bathrooms, celebrity………the tongue

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  98. Jeff, conceded on scoring culture war points. As I say, I’m no active advocate and I’m no culture warrior. So 1000 points deducted on whoever is trying to score points either way. But since the conversation has started, I’m just weighing in.

    To that end (and on your second point about our collective paranoia), isn’t there something to said for trying to add some sobriety to the paranoia as opposed to indulging it? Society may be taking drastic measures to prevent the rarity, but is that always a good thing? I don’t want my children assaulted in restrooms and I hope the adults to whom they are entrusted on my behalf take sane measures to prevent it, but I’m also not sure sending them to restrooms with two adults makes much sense–while a good preventative it also puts everyone on 24/7 high alert. Like Ali might say, sheesh.

    I get that assault is bad and to be prevented, but I also get that there are some in society who may need accommodation in ways I’ve never really considered because I’m not one of them. And just because some idiot dressed up as a woman and took pictures of women in a restroom in the wake of the Target thing doesn’t mean the whole question should get tossed out.

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  99. Ali,
    The question was for Susan, but obviously calling out gluttony bothers you too, so I have to ask if you have something on your conscience? Maybe it is time for you to turn over every square inch of your dinner plate to God.

    Have you considered that no one might have bothered to tell the most obese country in the world that they are practicing gluttony, a sin? Have you ever noticed how many obese pastors there are? Or that the most Christian states are the fattest? Do you think there is a connection?

    At least Obama is a good example here, he is leading by practice where Christians are failing. When have Christians ever praised Obama for being counter-cultural on this issue? Nope, we are concerned about the Target’s bathroom policy, not the 70% who are obese or overweight.

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  100. Joel: The question was for Susan, but obviously calling out gluttony bothers you too, so I have to ask if you have something on your conscience?

    again probably shouldn’t take a bait, or as Zrim says I should just say – sheesh,
    Is Greg a glutton, Joel? Does he step up to eat an inhumane amount of food, Joel? I didn’t think you liked him, but you guys are taking meals together? encouraging

    Anyway,It seems you have an obsession with this since you redirect so many discussions of other things to there.
    Yes, my conscience is bothered because assuming you are a brother (and I also love Greg), have you heard that revilers will not inherit the kingdom of God?
    Have you heard about the Lord’s instruction (not friendly suggestion): Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.

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  101. “This is not true. One’s genes may be xxy for example. Also embryos can fuse resulting different sex characteristics in one body.”

    Yes it is true. The example you gave is Klinefelter’s Syndrome. The child is a male.

    That’s one manifestation, but there are also mosaics. Evidently, there has never been a case where a human with both sets of organs was fertile in each, but it seems fertility is not a good bar for determining one’s sex.

    I didn’t say that there weren’t different sex” characteristics”, I said that there are not two-sexes. They may have characteristics, but that doesn’t make them, genetically, the sex of the extra characteristics they exhibit.

    If you have both sex characteristics and you have XX and XY genes (or XXY or XYY or some other combination), what does it mean to say they aren’t both sexes?

    Besides, for the most part, we are talking about people who clearly exhibit characteristics of one sex, that also match their sex chromosomes.

    Yes, but a person’s sex is more than just their genetic code and sex organs. These folks with both XY and XX maybe really be a man or a woman. Consider the case of Foekje Dilema. It seems to me that she was clearly a woman even if she needed to have her testicular tissue removed. This is not someone who was transgender. Rather she was someone with both XX and XY chromosomes – a chimera or mosaic or whatever. I agree that this is very rare. But I think we can also agree that such deformations happen. I think what these oddities point to is that our “maleness” or “femaleness” is more than simply a question of whether we are XX or XY or what kind of appendages we have. In light of this possibility, why is it obviously absurd that an XY person with male sex organs is not malformed in such a way that this person’s psychology is female. If this person’s psychology is female and outward characteristics are male, why is it obvious that it is the psychology that needs to change rather than the appendages?

    Conclusion: there are not people who are genetically two genders.

    What an odd statement. What is that concluded from? It looks like an assertion to me. I thought we were talking about sex. I don’t know that anyone disputes that someone is two sexes. Rather they argue that some are intersexed (containing characteristics of two sexes). People with a vagina and a penis or ovotestes or one ovary and one testicle exist. Rare to be sure, but they exist. So merely having a particular gonad is not sufficient to determine which sex one is. Further, some people have XX and XY or some other combination of XXX…YYY… That doesn’t seem to be sufficient to determine which sex someone is either. That tells me that there is something else going on that we don’t fully understand. Dismissiveness because you don’t like the political consequences is unlikely to be a helpful strategy moving forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  102. Zrim,

    I also get that there are some in society who may need accommodation in ways I’ve never really considered because I’m not one of them.

    That’s a fair point, but the question is why is society constrained to accommodate one group of mentally ill people in ways that may lead to problems and not another. I’m not sure that its justifiable to be adiaphora on an issue just because it animates certain segments of the religious right.

    Robert, we’re all vulnerable every day and in all places. Assaults will and do happen. The point isn’t to remove or relax laws against assault, it’s to not expect crimes will always be prevented by them.

    No one is expecting crimes will always be prevented by laws, so this is a red herring. No law is going to do anything for any hardened criminal who is hellbent on doing their dirty deeds. But laws, customs, etc. are a restraint on the majority of people who, because of law, are going to keep their sins in their minds and not act them out.

    It’s also to say that I can see place for rearranging the way our society is structured ad carried out in this regard.

    If this is such a big deal to a certain segment of the community, they can use the unisex/family bathrooms already available in many, many places. Why is the solution to mandate small businesses run their facilities in a certain way so that a segment of people with psychological issues can feel good about themselves? Because you realize this is what that is right. The real desire isn’t for the opportunity to use the bathroom of one’s choice. The real desire is for the law and the culture to say to the man in the dress that he is fine just the way he is and that anyone who might think otherwise is the evil bigot. Talk about feelings of moral superiority.

    The Target incident seems like one for the active advocates of the new rules to field. I’m not one of them. But it does seem to me to be something of an outlier and I’m not sure policy should be set by outliers.

    Maybe its an outlier because up until now, men didn’t know they had the freedom to enter female bathrooms at Target. Maybe, just maybe, its because there was a certain unspoken expectation that had governed society pretty well for generations that men go in one place, and women go in another.

    At the same time, maybe the active advocates need to concede strict policing has to be in place at least until the dust settles and there is a cost to wanting such a big change in public accommodation and you can’t simply rely on the feeling that you’re on the morally superior side, etc.

    That’s a fair point, but you realize that the laws have been passed because the government has essentially applied the same “separate but equal is not equal” reasoning. Any number of school districts and other places have had accommodations wherein a transgender female is not constrained to use the male restroom but either has some kind of separate facility or even allows him to use the female bathroom provided there is a separate area, curtains, or something of that sort. But that is not enough. Why? Because the push isn’t for access, it’s push for societal approval. Which gets me back to the question of why this and not approve of the minority of individuals who are convinced they are dogs, or the president, or the whatever.

    It’s not an issue of feeling moral superior.

    I don’t know, I’m just spit balling, but the point is that if you really are against the outrage porn then maybe you show some ability to sort out the question with some seriousness instead of pushing back with horror stories.

    The “horror story” is merely an example of potential consequences. Maybe sorting out the question with some seriousness also involves not having a knee-jerk reaction to outspoken conservatives/religious right that seems to animate a lot of your opinions?

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  103. No one is expecting crimes will always be prevented by laws, so this is a red herring. No law is going to do anything for any hardened criminal who is hellbent on doing their dirty deeds. But laws, customs, etc. are a restraint on the majority of people who, because of law, are going to keep their sins in their minds and not act them out.

    Robert, then if we can agree that most transgenders are law abiding then maybe stop with the examples that seem to suggest the opposite?

    If this is such a big deal to a certain segment of the community, they can use the unisex/family bathrooms already available in many, many places. Why is the solution to mandate small businesses run their facilities in a certain way so that a segment of people with psychological issues can feel good about themselves? Because you realize this is what that is right. The real desire isn’t for the opportunity to use the bathroom of one’s choice. The real desire is for the law and the culture to say to the man in the dress that he is fine just the way he is and that anyone who might think otherwise is the evil bigot. Talk about feelings of moral superiority.

    Fair point. I never said the LGBTers didn’t have agendas. I’m not wild at all about the agenda, but the questions being put forth do have implications for how we live with one another and should be answered. To give public restroom access to trannies per their choosing isn’t the same thing as affirming their psycho-sexual disorder. I’m afraid that’s the operating assumption among many (see Greg).

    The “horror story” is merely an example of potential consequences. Maybe sorting out the question with some seriousness also involves not having a knee-jerk reaction to outspoken conservatives/religious right that seems to animate a lot of your opinions?

    I repeat what I said above. Much of the co-called conservative response seems to perpetuate the idea that to be transgender is to be criminal, i.e. “it’s all a cover to give men ways to assault women.” Sure, it’s a psycho-sexual disorder (and I feel the groans out there for saying so), but that isn’t the same as being criminal. It’s a distinction one would like to see more so-called conservatives recognize.

    Liked by 1 person

  104. It’s interesting the lack of clarity about what exactly is being affirmed or confirmed or even acknowledged, including by those undergoing treatment, seems to all argue against the government taking a legal stand as if these things were decided and definitive. That determination can be true and yet it still be politically disadvantageous for social conservatives to choose it as a hill to die on. Though it’s still fair game as an example of the government making bad social policy. Maybe any and all groups need to reckon that there are some adversities that you may endure that may be unjust but might form in you a better character than you otherwise would have. Maybe that’s a better outcome for those unjustly discriminated against than overcoming the injustice.

    Liked by 1 person

  105. Zrim,

    I repeat what I said above. Much of the co-called conservative response seems to perpetuate the idea that to be transgender is to be criminal, i.e. “it’s all a cover to give men ways to assault women.”

    I agree that much of the conservative response has been inane. Conservatives sometimes run out the most inarticulate bafoons to articulate their positions. Gov. McRory, however, has been pretty good. The issue is not so much that a man will dress up as a woman and assault a man as it is that the Charlotte law promoted absolute anarchy.

    Wearing a dress or dressing as a “woman” (whatever that means!) is not a prerequisite for using the bathroom. One’s intuition of their gender fluidity dictates the law. Thus, men can enter a public facility, like a rec swimming area (as a man in Oregon did), and undress alongside women and young girls. The law cannot discriminate because gender is fluid and non-binary. There is no distinguishing the pervert from the sincere “transgender” or someone just looking for a cleaner stall. SouthPark, for some of its vulgarity, addresses the madness better than anyone I have seen (SouthPark Season 18 Episode 3 “The Cissy”).

    The Charlotte law raises an infinite number of problems and the state of North Carolina protected it’s citizens from Pandora’s Box.

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  106. Ugh,

    Meant to blockquote you Zrim and then say:

    The issue is not so much that a man will dress up as a woman and assault ***little girls*** as it is that the Charlotte law promoted absolute anarchy.

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  107. What’s the point of the NC law? To protect women and girls from creepers? I believe peeping, molesting, assaulting, and exposing yourself is already illegal. Making a law that states you can’t go into the restroom of the opposite sex to do these things seems redundant. If the law is to protect people from feeling uncomfortable, then it’s a silly law. The odds are that you’ll never have an encounter with a trans-gendered person in a restroom, and if you do, you probably won’t notice.

    Liked by 1 person

  108. Zrim,

    Robert, then if we can agree that most transgenders are law abiding then maybe stop with the examples that seem to suggest the opposite?

    How is an example of a non-transgender man taking advantage of Target’s open doors bathroom policy an example suggesting that most transgenders are not law-abiding? I’m actually not at all afraid of a legitimately gender-confused person committing a crime against another person. My fear is the criminals who would ordinarily be restrained by what has heretofore been accepted as which restroom you get to use exploiting the liberal do-gooderness toward the favored minority group du jour. That’s the primary issue for me.

    I repeat what I said above. Much of the co-called conservative response seems to perpetuate the idea that to be transgender is to be criminal, i.e. “it’s all a cover to give men ways to assault women.” Sure, it’s a psycho-sexual disorder (and I feel the groans out there for saying so), but that isn’t the same as being criminal. It’s a distinction one would like to see more so-called conservatives recognize.

    To some degree this is true, but to some degree I think you are buying the liberal hype against the evil conservative bigots who question the wisdom of this. I’ve yet to know anyone personally say that the actual people suffering from the psycho-social condition of transgenderism want this law so that men can have a cover to assault women. The complaint I’ve seen is mainly fear of non-transgender perverts taking advantage of it.

    As far as I can tell, the people who actually suffer from gender dysphoria don’t have ill intent. You have some on the radical left exploiting them for the purposes of destroying all traditional notions of gender. Most who are supporting such things have “good” intent insofar as they think they will be safer, etc. What I see entirely lacking on the part of that community is any acknowledgement of potential unintended consequences, and for anyone to suggest they might exist, well that person gets labeled as saying all transgender people are sex offenders.

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  109. Robert, it’s an example for the very reason you say yourself–it’s your primary concern. So you are most concerned about the real or fake tranny assaulting others. But 1) there are already laws against assault and 2) it’s likely to be as often as assaults in other spaces. Why do you think it’s such an increased risk in a restroom?

    And so when you keep beating this fear-of-assault drum it sure comes across as fear-based and a way to keep trannies out of certain public spaces.

    But what do I know, I’m just a sucka for liberal hype.

    Liked by 1 person

  110. Zrim,

    Why do you think it’s such an increased risk in a restroom?

    You and a number of others completely miss the boat here. Bathroom concerns are issue #1. Public shower concerns are issue #2. Middle and high school shower concerns are #3. Upon what grounds are you going to deny a high school boy from the female showers when he claims he feels like a female after gym class? There is absolutely no standard for enforcement and liberals cannot point to one.

    And as the NC Governor has insisted over and over again–this wasn’t an issue until progressives made it an issue by attempting to force public institutions and private businesses to allow this sort of nonsense into their restrooms. That is government overreach and activism at its finest.

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  111. Brandon, that has seemed to be Robert’s #1 concern, restrooms and the special potential for assault therein. What boat have I missed then? It’s at the top of the list evidently. So my question stands.

    As far as whose agenda started the whole thing, I’ve already conceded that to Jeff. Charlotte started it, NC and the Obama Admin continued it. Culture warriors all. Still, here it all is.

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  112. Zrim,

    Robert, it’s an example for the very reason you say yourself–it’s your primary concern. So you are most concerned about the real or fake tranny assaulting others. But 1) there are already laws against assault and 2) it’s likely to be as often as assaults in other spaces. Why do you think it’s such an increased risk in a restroom?

    I’m actually more concerned about voyeurism and the videoing of people than I am about actual physical assault. As for why the increased risk, well, you don’t have people taking off their clothes in other spaces, typically.

    And so when you keep beating this fear-of-assault drum it sure comes across as fear-based and a way to keep trannies out of certain public spaces.

    “Trannies” are already free to use any public space they wish. Heck, they’re already using bathrooms they want to fairly incognito. That’s not the issue. The issue is a law that eliminates any incentive on the part of the public to report suspicious behavior.

    But what do I know, I’m just a sucka for liberal hype.

    No, it just seems you have a knee-jerk reaction sometimes to say “What’s the big deal” just because someone perhaps in some possible lifetime indirectly associated with the religious right might object. It comes across as a desire to be contrary for contrary’s sake sometimes. But maybe that’s just me.

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  113. Robert, I’m using assault to include any sort of unwanted behavior, e.g.voyeurism/recording or physical contact.

    How about dressing rooms? But I’m going by experience. Public spaces that inhere people being in potentially vulnerable positions may seem to invite assault in theory but not so much in practice. So I don’t see how the current way we handle assaults doesn’t cover your worry. Criminals can waltz into these places whenever they want.

    Why would a law eliminate any incentive on the part of the public to report suspicious behavior? If a real tranny is video tapping a woman he can still be reported. Nobody is saying he’s covered.

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  114. The sky is rising:

    Although the Court did not rule on the merits, it’s hard not to see yesterday’s ruling as a loss for the Obama administration. A determination that the dispute may not have been necessary at all is, implicitly, a judgment on the administration’s strategy in these cases. The administration has taken a very hard line on the contraception mandate, harder than it needed to in order to achieve its stated goal of providing cost-free contraceptive coverage for women. Two terms ago, in Hobby Lobby, the Court ruled that the administration could reach that goal without requiring for-profit corporations with religious objections to cover contraceptives in their health plans. Now, the Court has suggested that the administration can reach that goal without requiring religious non-profits like the Little Sisters to violate their religious convictions. So why did the administration take such a hard line? Why didn’t it accommodate the concerns of people with religious objections to the mandate—an extremely small group, it must be conceded—especially as accommodation wouldn’t have changed the ultimate outcome? It’s almost as though the administration had goals other than women’s health in mind.

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  115. sdb says: Curiously enough, according to our favorite RC theologian, Jesus was transgender.

    welll, am I thinking right; if someone (here) says: “Right. I don’t think that “God created them male and female” logically necessitates “God created every single human as either male or female” it could lead to saying things like that?

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  116. Jeff, well, I address divorcees I know by their preferred divorced name or their new married name, even if I’m not persuaded that their divorce is morally legit. Granted, they don’t threaten me with legal sanction, but I capitulate nevertheless. Am I a wuss?

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  117. @Zrim
    No, but it is indicative of good manners. I guess the question is whether you should be fined several thousands dollars for not doing so. NYC has decided that you must do so (and if you are a business owner, you require your patrons) under penalty of rather steep fines.

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  118. @Ali I’m not so sure about the causal connection, but I’m pretty sure that someone who believed something as asinine as our our favorite RC theologian would have to believe that. Keep in mind that rain always indicates wet side walks, but wet sidewalks do not always indicate it rained.

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  119. @ Zrim: Of course not, and there’s no intimation that you are. The point is the one that Volokh made: there’s a world of difference between good manners and a $150k fine.

    My focus is on a narrow point: this is not about bait proffered but about territory claimed. It may be the part of wisdom to not fight for this hill; and it is certainly correct to view this as a civil issue.

    But we can’t pretend that if we just use good manners, the territory claimers will leave us alone.

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  120. sdb says: Keep in mind that rain always indicates wet side walks, but wet sidewalks do not always indicate it rained.

    not sure I exactly follow sbd, related to the post discussion. I’m pretty simple. As are our children, I think, and so we need simplicity, clarity. The Lord is not impressed, and more strongly -is opposed – to speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God

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  121. @Ali – Sorry about that. Just a reminder about basic logic. The fact that “A” always causes “B” does not entail that “B” is always caused by “A”. The classic example is about the wet side walk. Every time it rains, the sidewalk gets wet. However, the fact that the sidewalk is wet does not imply that it rained (perhaps someone left on the water sprinkler). That applies to the comment you made:

    if someone (here) says: “Right. I don’t think that “God created them male and female” logically necessitates “God created every single human as either male or female” it could lead to saying things like [Jesus was transgender]?

    The fact that someone who believed that Jesus was transgender would have to believe that
    “God created them male and female” does not logically necessitate “God created every single human as either male or female” does not entail that everyone who believes “God created them male and female” does not logically necessitate “God created every single human as either male or female” concludes that Jesus is transgender. My suggestion is that you mixed up cause and effect…something even our children can understand.

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  122. Sdb:something even our children can understand.

    If our children can understand so much, why are they becoming so confused.

    My point – we are to teach them to destroy fortresses as commanded, as we ourselves model obeying the command to destroy speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
    That would also mean we definitely don’t, ourselves, be ones participating in the setting up of speculations.

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  123. Jeff, I was being facetious with the “wuss” thing. Agreed, though my mother always said good manners go a long way–call it naive (Greg probably does) but I like to believe that.

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  124. I’m gonna call them Pat. Particularly, If this is going to be ‘fluid’. What if they were Ze last week but this week they’re leaning toward hir? Pat is just a better catch-all and brings to mind a simpler time-nostalgia alert. Can we fine them for being greedy? What about nicknames? Nicknames were a big deal when I was in school. Most of them are unrepeatable on a family blog. Ze and hir. What a load. I’m gonna fine the owner for patrons who can’t get with it. I’m gonna sit down with my parents elderly RC group at the Egg and I and give this a run through. The enforcement will probably extend to a single block in Soho. What about the group that comes in from Staten Island or Jersey? That’s asking a lot.

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  125. Same goes for presidential letters?

    In all these “pee in peace” controversies, I’m struck by two questions. The first is practical. As pragmatic Americans shouldn’t we be asking ourselves, how in the world can one enforce a bathroom ordinance such as the one passed by North Carolina? Even if you granted legitimacy to the idea of assigning bathrooms by birth gender, how would you make it work? Would we employ someone for every bathroom in the US? And what would they do? Check birth certificates? Check genitals?

    And if a law or regulation is blatantly impracticable and unenforceable, what is the point of passing it in the first place?

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  126. If our children can understand so much, why are they becoming so confused.

    I can’t speak for your kids, but mine maybe so confused because I only allow them to communicate with me in hexadecimal code.

    That would also mean we definitely don’t, ourselves, be ones participating in the setting up of speculations.

    What does that sentence mean?

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  127. DGH,

    And if a law or regulation is blatantly impracticable and unenforceable, what is the point of passing it in the first place?

    Because the legislation is not intended to be “enforceable.” It’s meant to block the rabidly advancing constituent of Social Justice Warriors trying to coerce everyone, even those with reasonable reservations, to do exactly what they want. Charlotte would have mandated business and government institutions to allow Bob the Biker to shower with little Mary Lou and her mom at the rec center or local 24 Hour Fitness. McRory said if Target or 24 Hour Fitness wants to do their thing, whatever. The logic of HB2 is that government shouldn’t be getting involved. I’m floored that conservatives, liberals, and the fine folks here seem to miss the point.

    If you’re criticizing the religious right’s rationale for HB2 (like Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick [disappointingly, not *that* Dan Patrick]) then I’m right behind you. But that’s not criticizing HB2.

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  128. Brandon, glad to help, but you know what they say about humor–it’s funny because it’s true. Maybe some here aren’t missing (at least part of) the point as much as you’re fond of saying? I get that Charlotte’s was a blunder, but was NC really any more sensible?

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  129. Brandon, Mrs. Z was late coming back from intermission tonight because the women’s room was so backed up she had to use the men’s room. Good thing it’s Michigan.

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  130. DGH,

    Gotcha. I think the hysteria is overblown too. I’m exasperated at how poorly conservatives explain their positions and ideology. When conservatives don’t understand HB2 it gives progressives fodder to lambast and dismiss everything they have to say.

    Zrim,

    I get that Charlotte’s was a blunder, but was NC really any more sensible?

    Well, I think there is a broader cultural conversation that needs to happen here. Conservatives and progressives seem intent on strong-arming people who disagree with them, *but* as progressive garner broader influence, they are the ones pushing the issue. HB2 is not a perfect law because it’s not *really* enforceable, but then again, it prohibits legislation that would have legalized grown men entering public showers with mothers, wives, and children. In a few years such hesitation may be seen as passe, but I’m fine saying that HB2 is a success for keeping such men/teenage boys out of the female public/gym showers. That’s not saying it’s perfect legislation, but this was the intent of the law, as explained by Gov. McRory. Do you see that victory as anything less than sensible?

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  131. Apparently there’s a shower case at a high school in Indiana(?) where the new law is going to be tested against right to privacy(constitutional). The girls didn’t want to shower with a transgendered girl(male parts). Sidenote: Title IX money has NEVER been taken away in such a case. You just knew this was gonna happen.

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  132. Brandon, HB2 may be a “victory nothing less than sensible ” only if you really think that Charlotte’s legislation would have actually resulted in “grown men entering public showers with mothers, wives, and children.”

    You say you’re opposed to the hype, but your last remark seems to be assume that to legalize something would automatically resulted in all manner of social chaos, bedlam and hysterics. But maybe Charlotte was just careless political theater that wouldn’t have resulted in such falling skies, and maybe HB2 was more theater and won’t actually result in checking birth cert’s and genitalia at public restrooms?

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  133. Zrim,

    Well, given the fact that it has happened in other states with similar legislation, and given it would be considered discrimination for a school or even private business to deny those people access to the showers, I’m convinced HB2 was needed to prevent such unfortunate situations.

    I am opposed to hype, but I think we both know there is a reason movies (i.e. Animal House) tantalize teenage boys with the prospect of being the girls locker room. The Charlotte law provides a legal way for boys to realize this fantasy. IMO there is a difference between sensationalizing and putting your head in the sand. I don’t want to suggest the Charlotte law would have created a scenario where boys would be flooding the girls locker room, but even if there are a handful of cases, this exposes women and girls (and to a lesser to degree boys and men) to an unprecedented level of voyeurism.

    *AND* this is not hypothetical. This has happened. You do realize there are people who are obnoxious and walk down the street in cameo carrying rifles simply because they have the legal right to do it, right? Rest assured this ordinance would be abused not simply by perverts, but also obstinate people trying to make a point. But perverts would certainly have significant cover. It may not happen frequently, but if “flashers” know they can expose themselves in a female locker room carte blance what recourse is there to stop them from doing it? Unless you are aware of some provision in the Charlotte ordinance I didn’t see, there is nothing that can be done.

    My question to you is, how do you propose the state of North Carolina handle such a situation? You seem to not like either law, so what would you do in this situation, considering inaction is supporting the Charlotte ordinance?

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  134. Brandon, as a Michigan resident, I doubt the state of NC much cares what I think and my point isn’t that I have the solution anyway. I’m just talking over here, just like everyone else. And my point has been that this is a lot of political theater in both directions, and I would expect most thoughtful people to get that instead of running to and fro fretting about wild men in women’s restrooms or genitalia task forces. The immediate questions about the laws and their implications are interesting as far as they go but the theater is where it gets better.

    But I do wonder where you think “the hysteria is overblown” if you’re also worried about “grown men entering public showers with mothers, wives, and children.” That seems like an example of the hysteria to me. But maybe we think of it in different terms?

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  135. Being one who has some responsibility for the occasional plumbing problem in the occasional bathroom. If I ever see a woman using the men’s bathroom I’m kicking them out. Women’s bathroom behavior is reprehensible. Any guy who wants to have access to the women’s toilet stalls, has no clue. Didn’t anyone ever share a bathroom with sisters? That’ll cure you right up. As regards showers, I remember when Porky’s came out, it was a big deal. My parents managed to ruin it by enjoying it more than I did. You can’t watch Porky’s as a teenager with your parents. Traumatic.

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  136. Hey Zrim,

    Ya, I’m thinking of the hysteria like the meme you posted. I’m not completely unconcerned about having men enter women’s restrooms, but the way some conservatives are talking about it is as if this is a life or death issue. Truth is, transgenders have been going to the women’s restroom for a while and there wasn’t an epidemic of abuse.

    I’m not so much “worried” about such laws inevitably leading to widespread co-ed showers as I am concerned that a few people will be able to use the law to victimize people without recourse. I point out the shower example because McRory has cited this as an important reason HB2 was passed to begin with. For some reason people are fixated on the bathroom but I want to emphasize the issue is broader than the john.

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  137. Brandon,

    I agree with all your points. I wanted to add to this one:

    transgenders have been going to the women’s restroom for a while and there wasn’t an epidemic of abuse.

    Bingo. It was just something that quietly happened. The safety concerns I have are about the moral preening and public broadcasting that all bathrooms, locker rooms, etc. are open to all people. Maybe there wasn’t an epidemic of abuse because non-transgender men knew it was legal and socially wrong to be in the women’s bathroom?

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  138. “…I am concerned that a few people will be able to use the law to victimize people without recourse.”

    Like Robert. I get it and it’s part of why Charlotte’s first shot needs its critics. Critics, not chicken littles (not saying that’s you) that push back as hard as Charlotte shoved (HB2).

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  139. Robert and Brandon, right, so maybe repeal Charlotte instead of write and pass HB2? hey, look, maybe we can solve the problem right here at OL. Someone call North Carolina, we did it.

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  140. Zrim,

    In my understanding the only way to repeal the ordinance was for the state to enact legislation to superseded the city ordinance. Maybe I’m wrong though, in which case, let’s bring Gospel™ public policy to the executive and legislative bodies in NC. Lead the way for us, Zrim!

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  141. More sky ascends back into the sky:

    On May 19 history was made. The United Methodist General Conference, representing a 12 million member denomination, voted to withdraw its church agencies from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), a Washington lobby that opposes all restrictions on abortion.

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  142. Make liberals work harder:

    Why did Obama do it? The answer isn’t especially clear to me because I’m not the right kind of liberal.

    In purely political terms, the decision seems inexplicable. The number of transgendered people in the United States is vanishingly small — something on the order of 0.3 percent of the population. Many people, like me, who have no problem with allowing transgendered adults to use the bathroom of their choice nonetheless think it misguided to indulge the decisions of children in this area. (Kids aren’t allowed to drink alcohol, drive, vote, work, or volunteer to fight in the military, but they should be permitted to change their birth gender?)

    Then there’s the fact that in 2016, with both political parties contending with populist insurgencies, the stakes in this battle seem almost comically low. (We can all agree that, as President Obama put it, the “dignity” of transgendered children is important. Whether ensuring the legal recognition of that dignity is something that should concern the president of the United States is another matter.)

    But by far the most important reason why the president would have been wise to remain silent on the issue is that before the administration went out of its way to kick the hornet’s nest, those who oppose allowing the transgendered to use the bathroom of their choice were on track to lose the fight. Within hours of North Carolina passing a new law strengthening restrictions on the use of public restrooms, a long list of businesses and entertainers announced their opposition and intent to boycott the state, using a combination of economic leverage and moral shaming to nudge elected officials toward backtracking on the issue.

    For far too many contemporary liberals, that kind of informal, grassroots pressure from civil society never seems to be good enough. Too lazy and impatient to do the hard work of formulating arguments and trying to persuade, and too addicted to sanctimonious displays of moral righteousness, these liberals now prefer to use the ever-expanding edifice of anti-discrimination law to impose edicts from the top down.

    Such liberals get to enjoy the satisfaction of reenacting the civil rights movement every few years, holding up victims of ever-new forms of discrimination as heroes of a great moral saga and demonizing those on the other side as bigots. Once the courts accept the narrative, the logic of anti-discrimination locks in, new rights become codified, and the former victims of injustice get to enjoy total victory while decades or centuries of communally based norms, practices, and beliefs get pulverized.

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  143. Should pro-family people make arguments like this:

    Let’s be brutally frank here — young girls, teens, and women are going to enter a private room, away from security cameras, and take their pants down; and President Obama has just decreed that sexually confused and twisted men be allowed to follow them (or wait for them there) and take their pants down just inches away from the women and girls. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

    Aren’t bathrooms in homes transgender? Does anything “go wrong”?

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  144. But Darryl, How many home bathrooms feature both sexes in there at once after the kid turns about 5 or so?

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  145. Again, stupid policy. However, if the concern is sexual predation then the fight isn’t in the public restroom but in the home where parents, siblings, and immediate family have relatively unfettered access. Last I read, 4 out of 5 victims of sexual assault knew their attacker. So, if you’re really concerned about your daughters and spouses, keep an eye on the house. The Target restroom is a safe haven in comparison.

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  146. But isn’t the point of “gender” (vs. “sex”) that it is not biological but psychological (or invisible)? So why go all in on gender?

    But whether our culture sees the implications of this thinking, the progressive push can only go so far without hurting its own cause. Remove gender identity from the visible and place it in the invisible mental realm, and it will become a roaring lion, seeking to devour any non-liberated belief that comes near it. Think what gender fluidity does to women’s rights: When gender identity is a mental feeling, men can have babies and can claim maternal leave from work; women can be fathers; sports teams, both amateur and professional, have no consistent reason to segregate genders. Again, the point isn’t that this will happen in our lifetime or even at all; the point is that the U.S. government has removed all barriers to these now viable, permissible scenarios.

    After all, we do want to distinguish race from physical differentiation.

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  147. Well, if the worrisome potential is that they’re ‘fluid’ about their gender identity, maybe their porn use could be a useful, even comforting indication. “Have you seen his porn sites, honey? I think you’re good to go with this one.”

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  148. Dr. Hart says: Greg, explain why every driver on the road isn’t every parent at the school.
    Now rub your chin.

    Here is yet another confusion of categories. The legal speed with which one operates an automobile is open to the discretion of each jurisdiction because it has no innate moral content in itself. Anything related to sex and gender is by biblical definition a morally charged issue and therefore subject to the word and law of God.

    Of course the world doesn’t care, nor should we expect them to, but to compare a traffic violation that lawfully fluctuates from place to place, and even in the same place depending on which stretch of road, to the designed decimation of God’s created order as normative, is a symptom of a conscience not informed by gospel principles.

    How long should I rub my chin? Nothing’s happening 😀

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  149. Zrim,

    Why don’t more conservatives moan about such non-conservative advice?

    I suspect its because David Murray isn’t setting federal education policy or using transgender rights to club them into submission. But I could be wrong.

    Actually, it’s more likely that most conservatives don’t know who David Murray is. They do know who Obama is and how the federal government uses the power of the purse to transform social policy.

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  150. Pope Greg the Gluttonous wrote, “The legal speed with which one operates an automobile is open to the discretion of each jurisdiction because it has no innate moral content in itself. ”

    In other words, sex and gender are biblical categories with innate moral content, but obedience to superiors and the fifth commandment are at the discretion of the inferior.

    And Greg, before you respond, just know that your feeble attempt to debate me, like all others you may ever try, will fail with a muffled squeak.

    Liked by 1 person

  151. But, Robert, his grotesque advice can be found lauded in plenty of ostensibly conservative environs. It’s often held up as “hard-hitting” and what serious and muscular faith looks like when embodied in “a father zealous for the chastity of his covenant childre.” And any opposition would be ascribed to those negligible differences among good believers, tut-tut.

    But isn’t a seminary the place where the church’s leaders are being prepared to take care of God’s people with wisdom and maturity, and here’s a man suggesting he’d corner young men and women about being masters of their domain. What would grandma think? Can you imagine reading this blog WITH grandma?

    My point isn’t to huff as hard as the culture warriors puff. It’s to say not only how easily it’s done to get wound up and wind others in the process but also mostly useless. Still, if Christians should get bothered by anything, shouldn’t it be by the grotesque advice of a seminary professor instead of the silly declarations of a lame duck Administration?

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  152. Michael Sean Winters has a point about Trump’s unseriousness:

    Monday, when Trump delivered a speech outlining his economic views, we were told for the tenth time (or is it the eleventh?) that Trump had turned the corner, that he was going to take his candidacy seriously, that he would stay on message and not embroil himself in the kind of counter-productive controversies that have dogged him in recent weeks and set his poll numbers heading south. By 2 p.m. Tuesday, he had suggested that “the Second Amendment people” opened one possibility for stopping Hillary Clinton from appointing the next members of the Supreme Court. Nothing like suggesting the political assassination of one’s rival to demonstrate seriousness of purpose.

    But was President Obama vising Marilyn Robinson and Marc Maron unserious also? Or an unseriousness with more class?

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  153. Showing up on Maron toward the end of your second term is just a good-natured show that you don’t take yourself too seriously. Riffing about what “second amendment people” might do to your opponent when trying to gain your first term is ill-conceived buffoonery.

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