Roman Catholics and Calvinists Together

It may not be ecumenical, but Michael Sean Winters understands what some of us have been sayin‘:

What is it about bathrooms? Throughout the Jim Crow South, there were separate restrooms for blacks and whites. When I bring my dad, my uncle and my niece to Puerto Rico every winter, my niece claims the one bedroom with the private bathroom and the guys share the other one. Three hundred years ago, it was a mark of honor to be able to accompany the monarch as he took his toilette. Now, privacy seems most significant, and therefore the most easily endangered, when we discuss bathrooms.

Still, even I have been taken aback by the current “bathroom wars,” fought over the issue of whether or not transgender persons should use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender at the time of their birth or to the gender by which they now identify themselves.

I am surprised, first, that this issue has seemingly become the next frontier in the civilizational struggle for equality. I understand that the issue is of great concern to the sliver of the population that is transgender. A family I know has a child that just changed his gender, and the process, and the result of the process, has certainly not been without anxiety and stress. The fact that the legal struggle seems focused on schools, when all kids are going through puberty, seems especially designed to throw gasoline on the fire. My sense is that this issue has less to do with the people it ostensibly concerns and more with those who are professional culture warriors on both the left and the right.

It baffles me that the Obama White House has latched on to this issue as a key part of its legacy. The fact that his administration has done so does not evidence the breadth of concern for other human beings and their travails. No, it evidences the degree to which some on the left, especially those with power, glom on to whatever issue seems trendy and cool at the moment. As Thomas Frank points out in his new book Listen Liberals, the “creative classes” that dominate the liberal establishment are far more animated by the need to get someone an abortion than they are to get people a job. Furthermore, how is this a federal issue?

It also baffles me that conservative critics of any accommodations being made for transgender people use such false and inflammatory language to describe the situation, warning darkly that the Obama Administration rules would allow men to prey on your daughters in the bathroom. (What is to prevent predators from doing that now?) A transgender person who now identifies as female and desires to use the women’s bathroom is probably going to cause less of a stir in the ladies’ room than in the men’s room. Think of Caitlyn Jenner. The way she looks now, I can’t imagine feeling comfortable if she walked into the men’s room.

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5 thoughts on “Roman Catholics and Calvinists Together

  1. Under the Old Hidebound Patriarchal Laws established by our ancient ancestors no one would be concerned if, say, a 40 year old woman went into a ladies restroom that was occupied by only female children. The Old Timers would be greatly concerned if a 40 year old man did the same – they would then politely escort him out of the premises and even call the police if he resisted. Now any man who choses to merely “identify” as a woman can enter a ladies room that is only occupied by young female children. He need not be a predator who intends to physically assault children. Maybe he likes being around young girls in those situations. He is committing no crime. Any man can now claim that he identifies as a woman – this is not like getting a decal for handicapped parking privileges. The law does not just apply to “transgendered persons.”

    Opposing this now makes you a professional culture warrior.

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  2. Heaven help us, another one of these?

    Convert, guys, if you want. But our drama is not ours… The arguments are nothing new, no matter what hat tricks Ratzinger and the Comminio crowd throw down.

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  3. Why Tim Challies isn’t Roman Catholic:

    I am not Roman Catholic because Rome denies the gospel. Rome has a gospel but not the gospel and, in reality, their gospel damns not saves because it explicitly denies that justification comes by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Rome accurately understands the Protestant position and unapologetically anathematizes it. To the work of Christ it adds the work of Mary. To the intercession of the Savior it adds the intercession of the saints. To the authority of the Bible it adds the authority of tradition. To the free gift of salvation it adds the necessity of human effort. In place of the finished work of Christ on the cross it demands the ongoing sacrifice of the mass. In place of the permanent imputation of Christ’s righteousness it substitutes the temporary infusion of works righteousness. In so many different ways it explicitly and unapologetically denies truth and promotes error. The Roman Catholic gospel is a false gospel.

    Is that simplistic? What would CaCers say to Tim?

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