When Bathrooms Were Safe Spaces

Driving cross country and using rest stop facilities made me aware once again that just because a bathroom is male or female is no guarantee of comfort. What if another patron is attracted to men and finds me(eeeeEEEE!) particularly handsome? What am I supposed to do?

In fact, a recent piece in Christianity Today by a gay Wheaton College alum confirms those the plausibility of these questions:

By far the worst aspect of my college experience was the dorm’s group bathroom. At the beginning of the year, most shower stalls had two curtains. One hung past the entrance to the water spout, and the other hung a few feet farther out, past a small bench where we could put clothes and a towel. As the year progressed, some of the curtains would rip and fall down. I always tried to use an area with both curtains intact, because I feared falling into sin. Afraid of homosexual thoughts, I felt that I could not form close connections to the other men on my floor. Such a compulsive paradigm isolated me further from people who would have wanted to help.

So, well before the rise of transgender self-consciousness and legislators quarreling over access to bathrooms, men and women, boys and girls, have been sharing facilities with people whose sexual orientations make them uncomfortable. Truth be told, I even shared a suite of rooms in Divinity Hall (at Harvard) with the man who led the Gay-Lesbian Caucus. And I turned out okay (right?).

If we can share bathrooms with gays and lesbians, can’t we do the same with trans?

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65 thoughts on “When Bathrooms Were Safe Spaces

  1. Would you feel comfortable sharing a public shower facility (at a pool or gym changeroom) with a woman who decided she was a man but hadn’t had the surgery done to make fake genitalia for her? How would your wife feel?

    If you had a teenage daughter, how would you feel about a man presenting as a woman, who hasn’t had surgery done to remove his equipment and grow him fake breasts, using the changeroom beside her? How would she feel?

    Changerooms and showers, not mere bathrooms, are ultimately what this is all about. And it is precisely these kind of scenarios that already have occurred and will increasingly occur, unless jurisdictions legislate against them, and people stop being gutless cowards, surrendering in the culture war and/or trying to sympathize with The Other (who cares about the experience of gays at Wheaton, not the issue).

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  2. Darryl,

    In most cases, I suspect that the one who finds you attractive might say nothing about it. And if he were to take any action, a punch in the kisser would be in order. But as Will points out, what about the locker room and changing room issues. How is it not sexual harassment for a man to disrobe in front of a young girl regardless of what gender he thinks he is? Will that girl have the same right to take action as you would? Something tells me the SJWs would say no.

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  3. Will and Robert, so how far are you willing to take it? May a known homosexual be allowed into sex-aligned rest/locker rooms?

    And, Will, the culture war has been lost. Al Mohler even says so. Time to re-think things. Might there be a middle space between raging warrior and gutless coward? Or is cultural fundamentalism our only choice?

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  4. Robert, I don’t mean to minimize this, but like Woody Allen, I don’t like to get naked in front of other men. There’s something awkward about sharing public spaces that reveal private parts.

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  5. @ Zrim: I’m not talking about them; I’m talking about people who refer to themselves as transgendered. As for homosexuals, they are either male or female, and so they already have sex-aligned restrooms and changerooms to use – same as they always have.

    I don’t care what Al Mohler says. The only reason the culture war has been lost, insofar as it has, is because you, Dr. Hart and your ilk have refused to fight. Remember Pastor Niemoller, and what he said, about who they came for first, and why he didn’t fight? Then they came for him, and there was no-one left to fight. So it goes…

    @ Ah yes, Dr. Hart; your usual kind of cheeky, flippant non-answer when you don’t have a good one.

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  6. Fear is a powerful motivator, wielded by conservative right-wing groups, radical feminists and MRAs to cultivate an environment where we should worry the person in the stall beside us means us harm in some way. The obvious fact that we have all likely shared public bathrooms with homosexual and transgender individuals on multiple occasions just doesn’t seem to register with those opposed to anyone who is different from themselves.

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  7. @ darthtimon: The obvious fact that those of us who object based on the rational grounds I brought up in my first comment, who know and aren’t bothered by the obvious fact that we’ve doubtless shared bathrooms with homosexuals and transgendered (some of us even have friends who are within such categories), just doesn’t seem to register with progs who have an axe to grind and an agenda to promote.

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  8. Will S., ah yes, if only Zrim and I had joined forces with Falwell, Robertson, Dobson, and Palin, then we would have “won.”

    You may overestimate my power or influence. I won’t presume to diminish Zrim’s abilities.

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  9. @ Dr. Hart: I’m not a fan of Palin, nor much of the others, but I give them credit for trying. I do know that if, in a war, one side doesn’t fight at all, they definitely lose, whereas if they do fight, they at least have a chance.

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  10. But, Will, by your reasoning (someone is uncomfortable based on the sexuality of the other in the rest/locker room setting), shouldn’t you BE talking about them?

    But who’s refusing to fight? Here I am with you. I hope that’s a candy bar in your pocket.

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  11. Will, but you assume I don’t fight for the Lord. I do. I use the means he’s appointed (how holy of me). You think I should use strange fire to enlarge the kingdom of grace?

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  12. Men’s rooms are safer now because of the rise of Cottaging in the 1950’s and 1960’s resulting in increased plain clothes policing and security measures in public rest rooms. (There was a public restroom in the Springfield mall in the 1970’s called Rum, Sodomy and the Lash” quoiting Winston Churchill’s caricature of the British Navy). Cottaging is a sexual perversion ( consensual and anonymous between man in public bathrooms), The perversion was popular with straight married men. Often the arrest records for cottaging include men of the highest social class, judges, ministers, teachers, politicians etc. Sexual perversion and madness of every kind has been using the public rest rooms as far back as i can remember, (57 years). This is a political pseudo-issue which the Church should remain silent. As private citizens, report suspicious activity in men’s rooms, make police reports and send letters to whoever is running the rest room. This is how the cottaging problem was brought under control.

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  13. “As private citizens, report suspicious activity in men’s rooms, make police reports and send letters ”

    Lady: “Officer I’d like to report something suspicious in the ladies’s room.

    Officer: What do you mean by “suspicious”?

    Lady: ” There’s a obviously make person in the second stall.”

    Officer: “How do you know he doesn’t identify as transgendered?”

    Lady: ” So you do agree that he’s a “he” then?”

    Officer: “Ma’am, I just do what they tell me. Take it up with those who are in charge of making the laws. All I do Is enforce them. Is there anything else suspicious that you’d like to report?”

    Lady: “You mean MORE suspicious than an adult male in the ladies’s bathroom?

    Officer: “I mean, a crime lady.”

    ….”to whoever is running the rest room.”

    Do you mean the janitor?

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  14. “Do you mean the janitor?”
    Yours is the mockery of naivete. Ladies rooms have been commonly frequented by trans-females and cross dressers for decades. What is your solution and what should your church do about it?

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  15. Hi Jeff,

    “Yours is the mockery of naivete. Ladies rooms have been commonly frequented by trans-females and cross dressers for decades. What is your solution and what should your church do about it?”

    If something is wrong with men being in the ladies room posing as women( rather than using it because there is no other place to relieve themselves)and wanting society to affirm them in their absurdity then “something” should be done. And if something should be done on the spot in the instant that the wrong is occuring( as you also suggest) then that means that something should be done, or kept from being done, on the higher level.
    So this means being concerned and doing what we can.
    It does not mean saying that the church( individual members)should stay out of it.
    And it doesn’t mean that denominational leaders( pastors) should have to go with the flow if a wrong is being foisted upon them, their congregation and the rest of society.

    It’s one thing to have transvestites and other perverted minds walking around, but it’s another to make laws respecting that they are women( because they say so).
    As a true feminist, I’m offended.

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  16. Susan, that last line is the key to your argument. Not against truly transgendered folks looking to use the restroom but against inane public policy, impossible enforcement and pervs. I want to see the outcome of a dustup where the girls sue, complain and otherwise object to sharing the showers/locker room with a dude.

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  17. Sean,

    I think that we are in agreement. If I had to go terribly and I couldn’t wait, I would go into the men’s bathroom but only if there were no men in there at the time.
    In fact, I’ve gone in accident my before and was mortified when I discovered my mistake.
    I don’t believe that anyone is truly transgendered( what does that even mean?) but instead, mentally ill.
    Then there are the sexual perverts( and sometimes the mentally ill that think they’re transgendered can also be sexually perverted), who will use this looseness to their advantage, however little or greatly they can manuever it.

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  18. Dr.Hart, your comment seems oddly naive. The policy laid down by the government is that anyone who wishes may use any restroom he/she chooses and no one can even question that she/he is “transgendered,” whatever that may mean. In other words, any man can use the ladies’ room when your granddaughter, if you have one, is using it. That is not even remotely the same as your having a homosexual roommate & it is difficult to believe that you think it is.

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  19. Dan, the great thing about ladies rooms, as far as I know — aside from those lounges outside the rooms with the plumbing — is that ladies get to eliminate waste in stalls. I couldn’t sleep in a stall. #livesbehindsafespacesmatter

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  20. Hello Mr Hart,

    You said, “If we can share bathrooms with gays and lesbians, can’t we do the same with trans?”

    There is a fundamental difference between a lesbian and a man who identifies as a woman – only one of them is female.

    How would you respond if you had a daughter, and her school permitted biological men who said they felt like they were female to share the changing room with your daughter?

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  21. I agree with this post. But having used public bathrooms in Philly and NYC, I wouldn’t say they were safe. One time, I saw a hand reaching under the stall with pills.

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  22. Jonathan, if it were a Christian school, I’d be disappointed. If it were a public school, I expect I would have made all sorts of allowances by now.

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  23. To: Susan Vader,
    Thank you for your respectful response. The point I was trying to get at is… why take the bait now? This is a real question in light decades of complete silence on the issue of perversion in public restrooms, (people having sex in the public restrooms). Nothing has changed…. no that isn’t even true; it’s greatly improved since the early 1990’s. Why play into the hands of those who are baiting conservative protestants for political purposes. It is obvious they know it will work in their favor. The goal is to make us look like bigots. They already know we don’t affirm the absurdity of what they are proposing. Why not let it stand alone quietly in it’s own lousiness and absurdity. Moral outrage and militancy will not wake up the libertarians because they don’t care, ( their philosophy is not rooted in loyalty, faith and love, it’s rooted in amoral self interest). (If there is something to be done, vote the libertarians and the liberals out of office) The last thing we need to do is push for Jim Rainbow restroom laws. This is exactly what the Rainbow left wants us to do. They want to disrupt the peace of the Church and distract it from preaching the gospel. We need to keep preaching a clear Gospel and not shroud in the dust of election year moral outrage. It only makes sense to address crime in the restrooms as a public safety issue, when a crime is detected.

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  24. BTW, I am not a professional Christian. I have spent my adult life working in the middle of the mess that is America. A Trans-female cuts my hair and another one cleans my teeth. I wouldn’t have known unless they told me. i have had transsexuals as bosses, co-workers, clients, professors and acquaintances. I have had wonderful Christian fellowship with transsexuals and every other sort of brokenness in Church, (it’s really hard surgically to change back). God’s electing love is an amazing thing.

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  25. Jonathan, I have daughters. The gut response would be resistance. But I think part of the point here is perhaps to take the gut into consideration but also think a little bit. For example:

    Do the facilities provide reasonable privacy for individuals? if yes, check. if no, gong.

    Would there be a mechanism in place to prevent abuse of the policy, i.e. just like anywhere else nobody may assault anybody? If yes, check. If no, gong.

    But if you’re content to stick with the gut (which so often in these discussions seems like a way to indulge worst case scenarios, which also makes one wonder what’s on the brain of the gut-only party), ok.

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  26. If everyone just used portables, no one would ever share. IOW, one stall per bathroom. Portable bathrooms dont discriminate on gender, so why not just become a “portable-only” land, and we can get back to whatever problem we were solving in our nation before it was bathrooms. Get me Obama on the line..I’ll hold.

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  27. Zrim,
    “makes one wonder what’s on the brain of the gut-only party”
    I don’t appreciate the ad hominem attack and what it insinuates about my the my character and the others you disagree with. Use your head and stick with the argument.

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  28. Jeff, take a breath. It’s not ad hominem. It’s a subtle comment about being fixated on sex (ironically like the culture some are wanting to resist). if you can’t take the elbow…

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  29. I’m going to re-ask my original two questions that weren’t actually answered, and see if they get answered this time:

    Would you feel comfortable sharing a public shower facility (at a pool or gym changeroom) with a woman who decided she was a man but hadn’t had the surgery done to make fake genitalia for her? How would your wife feel?

    If you had a teenage daughter, how would you feel about a man presenting as a woman, who hasn’t had surgery done to remove his equipment and grow him fake breasts, using the changeroom beside her? How would she feel?

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  30. Hi Jeff C.

    You sound like a very compassionate person. Wish we all could start our conversations with love and compassion for the other. We are all broken people otherwise we wouldn’t need our lives redeemed. The problem is trying to live how we as individuals want to live and how that works in a collective world.
    The good of the group is always better than of the individual. If the real collective good is to be maintained than that means setting aside my individual wants. The easiest example of this is the family. Yes, divorced and hurting men and women deserve compassion, but the better way would have not to be divorced at all for the sake of the children. Of course there are special circumstances where the best thing is to get far away from an abuser or addict, but just like in the case of “easy” abortion the exceptions become the rule( to be consistent with the who of a human person, I don’t believe there are any exeptions for the practice of abortion).
    So, the big question is, “does a hurting but small segment of the population have rights that supersede those of others?”.
    If they don’t like injustice done to them why do they believe that they can do harm to others?

    I’m sure that I have come into personal contact with people who believe that they are really the opposite of what their sex organs denote. But regardless of whether I come to know them( and I do know one and he is a very gentle soul), does that mean that they should be allowed to share the bathrooms and showers with those of the sex opposite of what they were born with?
    I seriously take offense that a man can believe that his soul is female. The true nature of femininity isn’t tied only to the physiology, as radical “feminists” of today would have us believe. Their agenda is the antithesis of feminity.
    God created us male and female and that reality is what the world through the instigation of the devil wants to turn on its head.

    There are always people willing to be nominalists and will buy that a disorder must be the way people were created.
    (Funny how they would appeal to a creator but deny the bodies they were given.) And there are doctors who are willing to capitalize on other people’s pain. They will turn a male in a female or a person into a dragon.
    Just like with every illness, there is no substitute for knowing God’s love for us, and that’s why unhappiness doesn’t disappear with the physical change.
    I think our conversation has run its course.

    Nice talking to you:)
    http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com

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  31. Will,

    Man is a social animal, to be sure, Dr. Hart does say some provocative things. Good thing is we are free to disagree; and that most Christians don’t follow his apolitical- policies.

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  32. Will, I attempted answer already. I have teenage daughters. Are they being assaulted? Is their own privacy reasonably preserved? If no and yes then what’s the beef exactly?

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  33. Will S., why is it hard to admit that lots of situations where we get naked or eliminate waste around other people is awkward? Heck, we even want privacy at home. Does trans make things more awkward or can it be abused? Sure. But don’t make it seem like everything was comfortable with bathrooms until trans showed up. You do know that girls share bathrooms with men at home and sometimes that doesn’t go well.

    You might reply I’m switching subjects — apples and oranges. I’m not. The subject is awkwardness and discomfort with what happens when people do private things around others.

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  34. Isn’t it the statistic that 93% of adolescence children are sexually abused by people they know? 3 out of 4 rapes are carried out by someone known to the victim. Those kids of facts make all the ‘Stranger Danger’ angst seem silly, No? Listen, I know this isn’t as big a political football for the left/right to take and run with. Understandable. However, isn’t there much bigger fish to fry if we want to “think about the children”?

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  35. Will S. – Maybe the reason you are getting crickets is because it’s a question based in hysterics. How would you feel if you got stuck by lightning? uhhhh it would suck?

    If this unicorn scenario started to play it’s way out in the pubic then i would imagine I would have to take steps and educate my girls/wife based on a likely scenario. So what? Kids are exposed to a lot worse on the Internet than they will be in a public locker room. What do you I do now? Parental controls are employed, computer use is monitored by parents. yet still…#uncomfortablehappens. Where is your Internet outrage? Would you feel comfortable if little Johnny clicked on the wrong link and was exposed to things he shouldn’t be exposed to? How would Johnny feel?

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  36. Will, got it. Does alcohol produce drunkenness? Yes. So don’t worry about any complications with banning alcohol. No dodges when things are simplistic.

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  37. Could we at least all agree that comparisons between a public locker room and home bathroom are a bit contrived. Most of the time in a home bathroom, you don’t have two people in there at once. And people would be rightly concerned if father and daughter or mother and son are both in there together when the child is older than about 4. It’s not an apples to apples comparison when various jurisdictions allow adult men to sit around naked in public locker rooms.

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  38. Robert, I gotta push back the other way. If our concern is sexual predation on our children or adult women. Then the home bathroom and kid’s bedroom is where the problem is. I noted earlier, and amish noted it most recently, if you really want to deal with the threat of sexual predation, the transgendered person in the public bathroom isn’t where the potential lies, It’s in the family home of the good people in your pews. I’m willing to bet I could investigate the families of our NAPARC churches and find a greater than 50% incidence of churches who have an incestual relationship within one of the member families. It’s just how that crime is most often carried out. The predator creates a situation where he/she has access, respectability and control. Church membership is part of the façade the predator takes advantage of to grant himself cover for his activities. Clergy, law enforcement, doctors, teachers, administrators, social workers, coaches, any position that gives you access and cover attracts predators. It’s just how it works. The transgendered he/she has already drawn all sorts of attention to him/herself and is just not an activity that the sexual predator is going to engage to further his predation. It’s too obvious. Now, it doesn’t mean it’s not uncomfortable and weird and Caitlyn still comes off as a fraud, but it’s very unlikely they’re going to be the source of sexual predation outbreak.

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  39. Robert, if the comparison is a bit contrived then your conception of what happens in most homes is a bit naive–home bathrooms are shared more often than you seem to imagine by members older than four. Granted, awkwardness persists, but that’s the point. Those members tolerate and push through it when it happens. It’s those in the clan who whine as if they should be privileged enough to be spared the awkward who annoy. Do we all want privacy and comfort all the time? Yes. Are we entitled to it? Take a number.

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  40. Zrim,

    Perhaps I should have said shower or bathtub. But in most homes where criminal activity is not taking place, you don’t have fathers going into the bathroom with their daughters and getting into their birthday suit and lounging on the bench in front of their daughters. Or Mothers and sons.

    Unless you know something about what happens in most homes where criminal activities such as incest are not taking place that I don’t.

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  41. Robert, the goal posts keep getting moved and more and more specific–first it’s restrooms. then as the conversation goes on it’s not restrooms but changing rooms, then not changing rooms but the shower.

    But now you have people lounging comfortably in the buff among others. Huh? Nobody over here is assuming that. The point has been the inevitable awkwardness that comes in these places. I’m not assuming anybody is lounging comfortably in the friggin’ nude. Who’s doing that? Make your scenarios consistent and realistic and maybe the discussion can get somewhere.

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  42. Sean,

    Sure such things happen mostly in the context of the home. Who said otherwise? But “Therefore, don’t be so concerned that men can get undressed in front of your daughters in public locker rooms” is a non sequitur. Yeah, there should be heightened awareness and prevention policies for all those situations you mention. But as I said to Zrim, it’s not contrived to think that in most homes where criminal activities aren’t taking place that fathers aren’t parading around naked in front of their daughters or mothers in front of their sons. That’s why the example is contrived.

    The whole “Hey, but families share bathrooms at home” as a response to concern about public facilities seems more to be a “Quit whining you right-winger” than an actual answer to the concern that I, as a father, have that my 6-year-old daughter and wife not be subjected to seeing naked men at the YMCA locker room or Target.

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  43. Zrim,

    Others have pointed out the stories where people are lounging in the buff in locker rooms. So the goal posts aren’t being moved. The concern about bathrooms is less about bathrooms themselves (most have stalls) and more that the people pushing this crap won’t stop at bathrooms. Or is that not obvious?

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  44. Robert, the point is if we want to actually be engaged in protecting our wife and daughters(concern you noted) the Target bathroom and Y locker aren’t the battle field. Again, I go back to the actual genesis of this entire issue, which was, the violence being predicated upon transgendered men, particularly, when they attempted to use male only restroom facilities which is why they often sought ‘safe haven’ in a woman’s restroom when public accommodation was all that was available to them. So, my response to you isn’t ‘quit whining you right-winger’. Instead, it’s don’t get played by the red meat both sides are throwing into the public square to galvanize their bases. At least that’s part of my point. This did all start with an article on ‘don’t buy into the hysteria’, right?

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  45. I don’t really care who is standing at the trough or urinal next to me. I am concerned with two things: 1. A male with all the hardware undressing in sight of young girls, and, 2. The pervert who’s sole purpose is to peak at young girls trying on bathing suits and such. If a father takes his young daughter to the store to buy new clothes how is he supposed to stop a male from entering the dressing room? If said person claims he is a transgender and therefore allowed in, when in fact he is nothing but a voyeur hoping to see something, what is the father to do?

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  46. Robert, what’s becoming a little more obvious is the cynicism and frankly paranoia. “Won’t stop at bathrooms”? So you think the end game here is to turn public restrooms into bathhouses? The question right now is public facilities (where is the talk of dressing rooms, by the way?), but your side seems to want to speculate on what you THINK it all leads to. Why not just deal with the question at hand? If you don’t like being perceived as a cultural right winger then don’t speculate like one.

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  47. Zrim,

    I’m just not naive. Sure gay marriage won’t change anything, except now there’s a push to not allow students use federal student aid at Christian schools. Sure the transgender mob is no big deal, but New York wants to fine people if they don’t say Hir and Ze. And on it goes.

    There’s no speculating here. The slippery slope exists, and it’s actually more of a cliff.

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  48. Sean,

    That’s naive, I’m sorry. Yeah, there’s a point about not playing into the red meat hysteria, but the fact that more people are abused at home or at church or in the classroom is irrelevant as to whether or not it is sound public policy or a safety issue to open up the Y locker room to anyone who thinks he is a woman when he is a he.

    You honestly think there’s nothing concerning about allowing grown men to get naked in front of young girls in a locker room?

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  49. Robert, isn’t that what naive people say though? Joke.

    But I imagine this is the sort of reasoning used when revisions were made to the confessions in a non-theocratic direction (“Relieve the magistrate of his duty to enforce true religion and next thing you know you’ll have Mormons on your doorstep and mosques erected on every street corner, everywhere, freely. It’ll be madness. Remember, your covenant kids open those doors and walk those streets.”). Heck, even school integration. The list could go on but you get the idea. Sorry to play the card, but you dealt it.

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  50. Robert, naïve? I think it’s rather courageous to point out the real opportunity, incest. Now, to start going through all the church member’s dirty laundry. You go first, I’ll be right behind you.

    I’m on record as stating it’s stupid, asinine and inane public policy. But, I refuse to rise to the bait and raise the rhetoric to ‘merica is going to hell in a handbasket cuz transgendered bathrooms. One, because I know when I’m being pandered to. Two, it’s just so much political red meat. Three, for all the jackasses who will try something, there’s already laws on the books to handle them AND finally, this isn’t where and how sexual predation happens in any sort of volume. After that it just becomes so much fodder for somebody to attach their favorite sexual/gender specific hobby horse to. So, where do you want to spend your outrage capital? If we’re gonna get outraged about the safety, sexual purity, and desire for an untarnished childhood for our daughters, if that’s what really has us up in arms, then it’s time to look at our own immediate family and the family next to us in the pew.

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  51. Thanks Mr Hart,

    You typed, //if it were a Christian school, I’d be disappointed. If it were a public school, I expect I would have made all sorts of allowances by now//

    I agree. I guess the next question would be, what if it was an (a) government building with bathrooms (b) a private facility, such as a swimming pool with changing rooms that adopted a transgender bathroom policy?

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  52. Jonathan, if my kids or I are uncomfortable with the arrangements, I don’t use them. I don’t see the necessity of using a swimming pool (though public schools are the law, with provisions for homeschooling where bathrooms are bi-gender).

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  53. Sean,

    My Reformed church does that investigating, so check. But what no one seems to get is that while there are laws that in theory address such issues, who is going to report bad behavior when you’re pretty sure that the “trans” guy in the women’s bathroom isn’t really trans because, you know, bigotry? It’s Not as if the LGBTQRSTAFCEIEIO community is known for policing the predators in its community, particularly homosexual males where pederasty, if not pedophilia, is a fairly accepted norm.

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  54. Robert, your worry about theory and practice could be said for any situation. Suspected crimes aren’t reported all the time for all kinds of reasons. Your stated reason (bigotry) just reveals how much it’s culture war for you, which is fine but then why do you not want to be perceived as some breed of culture warrior?

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  55. When I was young and we went to the swimming pool, we always just wore our swimming suits to avoid changing. There was this one pool that you had to walk through the changing rooms to get to the pool though. When I was little my mom would take me through the women’s side with her. When I was older me and my little brother ran through the changing room as fast as we could. I’m not sure if we were racing to the pool or freaked out by the old dudes. Either way, crisis averted.

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  56. Zrim,

    So because suspected crimes are not reported all the time for all kinds of reasons, it’s a good idea to create another situation in which crimes may not be reported for some particular reasons? How does that follow?

    There’s “culture warriors” and then there’s culture warriors. It’s the difference between Pat Robertson/Jerry Falwell trying to use the Republican party to enact some kind of “Christian” society and pushing back when I don’t see much concern here for what laws like these do. I certainly see no reflection on the fact that the law is a teacher, and that if the civil law says that anyone who questions the transgender agenda is a bigot, the culture will agree and come down hard on dissenters. I’m really not big on inviting such things for the church. We have enough problems as it is.

    I’m sorry, I just see a lot of naivete here, trying to make us think that if Christians are quiet about such things, the culture wars will end and we’ll all live in peace under the Constitution or something like that. TK gets criticized a lot around here, but, with all due respect to Darryl, these kinds of posts seem to point in the same direction: Christians just shouldn’t be too loud about these things because its our lack of winsomeness that invites the people on the other side to hate us. The only difference is that TK and his ilk think the end effect will be to transform society while a lot of you think the end effect will be to live in peace with one another.

    Meanwhile, most Christians that I know were happy to send their kids to public schools and to let them out in society with at least the general understanding among people that transgenderism was a mental illness and that the schools wouldn’t be pushing “gay is good” all in the name of tolerance. I went to public schools. (Graduated in 1993 in South Florida). Yeah, we all knew that there were homosexuals, and we had some rudimentary idea of transgenderism, but at least in the sex ed classes I had, no one was trying to draw a moral equivalence with heterosexuality or teach us the practices of homosexual activity. It’s certain elements of the radical left that are pushing this stuff, and Christians haven’t always been wise in their response, but this idea that if we don’t get so worked up about it, all will be well is foolhardy. We weren’t the ones that “started it.”

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  57. Robert, there’s revivalism and semi-revivalism, Pelagianism and semi-Pelagianism,, hard versus soft culture warriorism, distinctions without much difference. To reject the via media and say something doctrinal is categorically mistaken is to invite scorn. You know this as a Calvinist. Why it doesn’t translate culturally for you, I’m not sure. This then makes those who think categorically weak-wristed or apathetic culturally.

    You understand that tolerance isn’t the same as affirmation, right?

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  58. Zrim,

    You understand that tolerance isn’t the same as affirmation, right?

    Yes, when tolerance is properly defined. I’m not sure Christians or the church are called to tolerate the state’s improper intrusion and violation of natural law. But you understand that all of this transgender stuff is a further attempt to undermine and overthrow natural law, right? But isn’t natural law a foundational principle of modern 2K thinking?

    Honestly, it’s the whole “Don’t worry about this, guys, more people are abused in location x than in bathrooms and lorckerrooms” that I just don’t get. It’s hard enough trying to teach my kids right from wrong; we want to lie down while the state enacts policies that undermine absolutely everything we teach upon pains of being labeled a bigot or worse. Where’s tolerance from the left, or do you really think anyone on the left actually cares about tolerance?

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  59. Robert, I don’t know how you were brought up but in my family it mattered little what anyone else said, including the priests, once my father had spoken on an issue. He wasn’t always right but it still set our clocks. I was raised in liberation theology and around a set of religious who ran the gamut of sexual identification, even lived with them during my teenage years, and I still managed to land on my feet and so did my siblings. I’m not sure I quite get the chicken little scenarios or the big scary culture “out there”. The culture never did me much harm but I learned to keep a skeptical eye on the religious/church. Watch out for the folks in the pews and behind the pulpit.

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  60. Robert, yes, I quite get the agenda coming from the left. But I’m not clear on where the organic or institutional church is somehow called to keep the magistrate in biblical line. Have an opinion? Sure. Called to blow whistles? Not so much. Besides, you tolerate without affirming a lot more than you may think. You say you went to public schools.

    You’re worried about the kids. That’s fair. But maybe instead of showing them how to fight for their rights the message should be how to maintain their convictions in the midst of shifting winds? That shifting isn’t going away no matter how loud you yell, and they’re still called to be in the world but not of it. How does one do that without a sense of toleration? The only options available are retreat or warrior. Are you really saying the rest/ocker room thing is the one thing that should deep six any toleration anymore? But the world doesn’t actually belong to believers. You speak as if it does to greater or lesser degrees.

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