Governor Pat McCrory recently signed a new bill that has been criticized nation-wide because some have extruded it to be a blatant attack on the LGBT community. Firstly, we should understand the numbers though. McCrory claimed that the bill, which can be read here: http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2015E2/Bills/House/PDF/H2v1.pdf, was bipartisan and that it was a defense of privacy (not an attack on anyone). Out of roughly 123 seats in the House, about 41 are filled by Democrats (http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/members/memberList.pl?sChamber=House). Secondly it passed the house with zero “no” votes and then the Senate (http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2015E2&BillID=H2). I have read a few of the articles criticizing Governor McCrory for signing such a bill that has taken us backwards in time. McCrory called the bill common sense and it seems to me that the liberal media is extruding the bill to be something that it is not. Before getting caught up in the game of condescension, I would just encourage anyone to actually read the five-page bill. There’s actually not much to it and it seems to defend rights, especially those of privacy.
CNN Report on McCrory’s bill: http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/23/politics/north-carolina-gender-bathrooms-bill/index.html?eref=rss_us
What I will not do here is give my opinion of the bill itself. I do, though, wish to address discrimination. This is a word that American culture is tossing about frequently and in a condescending manner and I’m frankly not sure many of us understand what it actually is. There are two levels of discrimination. Any look in any dictionary will reveal this, and I encourage the use of a good dictionary.
On one level, discrimination is simply the recognition and understanding of the difference between two things. So, I discriminate between peanut butter and jelly (though I do like to mash the two together in between two slices of thin-sliced bread). I discriminate between right and wrong. I discriminate between digital media and print. On this level every person on God’s green earth discriminates. People discriminate between genders, between life-philosophies, religions, and positions. I mean, even when we use the terms “conservative” and “liberal” we are discriminating: plain and simple. We discriminate between hair color, eye-color, skin-color and even the color of the clothes that we wear. My fear is that the anti-discrimination movement in this country is causing us to demonize people who simply recognize and understand that people are different. For instance, I may be hated because I recognize that men and women are different. They are not the same and this should be common sense to us. Just because I have discriminated in this way does not mean that I have hated or have believed people to be unequal in their worth. Remember I discriminate between peanut butter and jelly, but I will claim and demonstrate that I love them both together in perfect harmony.
Secondly, discrimination can be the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or gender. Discrimination on this level is a prejudice against someone specifically for the differences that have been understood. While recognizing differences is healthy and helpful, have prejudice simply on the bases of those differences is damaging and wrong.
Perhaps what is so confusing about the anti-discrimination movement is that virtually every act can be extruded as some sort of discrimination because the word “discrimination” is so broad and so unhelpful. While racism is wrong, for instance, recognizing that there is a different group of people with a different culture is helpful and actually enables us to love them better. It might even be said that anything, whether a bill or a person, that is anti-discriminatory, is itself discriminatory because it has not only recognized the difference between two points of view, but has also condemned any point of view contrary to itself. As evidence I might point out the cities that have barred travel to North Carolina, fallaciously limiting the freedom of their own people because of this bill. Any punishment described for those who discriminate ought to be extended to those who have themselves discriminated to create such a punishment. Anti-discrimination is implosive and it may be helpful to begin using different terms such as unjust prejudice and defining those terms on a civic level better and narrower than we’ve defined discrimination.
To my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ
Government does not dictate the love that we have for one another and for those around us. To think that Christ would reach out to a Samaritan woman at a well and welcome her into His kingdom is awe-inspiring (John 4). He recognized that the woman was of a different nationality than Himself. In fact, she was part a nation that all of Judaism despised. He recognized that she was a different gender than Himself (someone all others would have seen as the lowest of lows). He recognized her sinfulness (a reason for which others would have cursed her and persecuted her). After recognizing who she was and what she had done, Jesus loved her.
Regardless what laws are in place and when, we are to follow Christ. I am a 25 year old white male and a Christian who lives in North Carolina under Governor McCrory. To my LGBT neighbors as far as California (where most of the criticism comes from): I recognize our difference and I am committed to love you even if I don’t agree with your life style. We are all sinful and Christ saved me. I believe He offers that same gift of salvation to you. To those who are of a different nationality and race: I recognize that we are different and I am committed to love you as you are. To be different is not to be alienated.
Let there be no unjust prejudice in our hearts or in our minds no matter how often this world tries to turn us against those who are different.
To Governor McCrory
Thank you for your service and thank you for pursuing a direction you believe to be advantageous for the people. Though I do not know your heart or your character, it is our responsibility as citizens to trust you to do the work we have called you to by voting. When we have grievances, to bring those reasonably and respectably rather than blasting your name without even representing a bipartisan bill accurately. It seems that in their plight for anti-discrimination, people have been unjustly prejudice against you and that’s probably not right. Thank you again for your service.