It amazes me that this conversation is as big as it is, but perhaps it may shed some light on where we are as a culture. There is a certain naivety that envelops us and causes us to see only what we want to see. On the one hand, there are mothers who desire safety for their children. On the other hand, there are people of a certain sexual or gender orientation who desire to have equality of status; and both views seem like honorable ones.
Just to be clear on the subject, I do believe acting in homosexuality is a sin; but I recognize that even God gave us the option to choose sinfulness and self-desire if we do not want to follow Him. Furthermore, I observe that the book of Revelation commands that we let those who do evil continue to do so. It is neither my duty nor a permission given to me to convict or condemn the world for wrongdoing. The Christian objective is to love and God will convict and condemn when the time comes.
It seems to me that in America we have been granted so many freedoms and securities that we must argue, complain and fight over something that is seemingly meaningless. In our current state of affairs, we are not under the thumb of another nation. Our children do not have to fear for their lives when they go outside. There are not snipers on every rooftop or bombs on every corner. Children are not recruited into armies or taken by the government if the maximum number of children in the household is exceeded. In the 60’s African American’s fought to use the same water fountains as white people and this was a true fight for equality and against true segregation.
I realize that the issue here is the equality of those who self-identify as something that they do not naturally appear to be. For instance, a person with male parts might self-identify as a woman and should, therefore, be able to use the women’s restroom without the worry of discrimination. I would first like to speak about what it means to self-identify. This issue is not like the racial issue of the 50’s and 60’s because African Americans did not self-identify as blacks. They appeared to have dark skin and they belonged to a very real black culture that society had already condemned. There was no self-identification. It was not normal for an African American to be born and say, “Oh, I’m white so I should be able to drink out of the white man’s water fountain!” This would have been a nonsensical claim. Self-identification is something different. When we self-identify, our identity is based on entirely internal preferences or desires. This sort of mentality is the result of growing up in an individualistic and morally relative nation.
Now, lest we think that anyone is exempt from self-identification, let me ask something of both sides of the restroom issue. Have you ever considered yourself to be correct regarding anything and condemned all other answers to any question? This answer is obvious. Members of the LGBT community condemn parents who want to keep their children safe and parents who want to keep their children safe condemn members of the LGBT community. Since this is the case, we have all self-identified as wise. The truth of the matter is, every person on the face of the planet self-identifies as something whether or not that is actually true about them.
Let us draw out this illustration. Parents will consider themselves to be wise and members of the LGBT community consider themselves to be wise, yet the conclusions of both parties are entirely opposite. The only way for both to be correct is for there to be no moral standard and no truth. This is the heart of American relativism. If these parties actually believed this to be true, then they would not be able to condemn members of the other party. Simply by arguing, both parties emphatically claim that there is an absolute truth and an absolute morality.
If there is an absolute truth and an absolute morality, then there can be no truth based in self-identification because self-identification is entirely internal and entirely derived from relativism and in the realm of the arbitrary. What we claim when we self-identify in any manner is that truth does not exist, yet we condemn those who disagree with us and, in doing so, claim that there must be truth. If those who self-identify are to be consistent with their own claims, then they cannot argue against people who believe differently. If they do, they necessarily contradict themselves and cannot represent an entirely accurate worldview. Sadly, this is where the conversation stands when it comes to the restrooms at Target (and in other places).
If there is truth, then there are very real genders that do not depend on internal preference, emotion or self-identity.
As we think about transgender restrooms, we might keep this conversation in mind, while thinking about the actual purpose of a restroom. A restroom is a place where an individual may go to relieve him or herself. A restroom is not a place that specifically regards gender identity and all restrooms serve the same purpose. It is not sinful for a man to use the woman’s restroom or for a woman to use a man’s restroom and it is not sinful for there to exist unisex restrooms. Because of this, gender identity may not even be a valid point of conversation when it comes to which restroom is used. The conversation is nonsensical and incoherent in itself. Restrooms are not places of sexuality. They are places of bowel relief. The only reason sexuality might ever be a good part of the conversation is if sexual acts were actually being done in restrooms. This does not seem to be an issue of equality or segregation. Because restrooms are a place of relief, it makes sense that we should be more concerned with safety and privacy than about self-identified gender equality. Thus, whichever physical parts a person has, it makes sense that this is the restroom he or she should use: not because of sexual orientation or gender identity, but for security and privacy. For this reason, I would side with parents on the issue.
I hope those reading understand that I do not have hate toward the LGBT community. Quite the opposite, actually. The fact of the matter is, Christ forgave all sin on the cross. The only thing that keeps any of us from receiving eternal life is our own pride and our own self-centeredness. If there is a truth, then that truth can be discovered by all people; and so I strive to genuinely love all people.
“Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” –Proverbs 26:12 (HCSB)