I can remember as a youngster in elementary school, probably somewhere around second or third grade, when some remark was made in class and the teacher responded to the student who made the remark and said, “We do not use potty language in class.” We were just youngsters and she was the authority in the room and we all understood what she was talking about. While those kind of remarks and that kind of language are generally popular with kids ages eight, ten, twelve, somewhere along the journey of life, usually before you get to fifty or sixty, it becomes not quite so cute and not a part of your life nor thought process. Last Friday was Friday the 13th, and the President of the United States of America ordered the U.S. Department of Justice to contact by letter every public school in America and inform them that people who are going transgender or changing their sex must be allowed to use whatever restroom their chosen sexual identity gives preference.
When that word came across the news on Friday morning just declaring it to be so, I wondered how in the world is this information going to be disseminated among first-, second-, third-, and fourth-graders, middle school kids, and high school and college students, explaining from this day forward someone who may look like a man but is in the process of changing to a woman may walk into your restroom, or someone who looks like a woman who is transgendering to a man may walk into your men’s restroom. Who is going to explain who these seemingly different people are, and why they are there in what used to be your facilities, and will someone in the public school system be assigned the responsibility to have a gathering of students or go class and explain it? How do they go about explaining to the third graders what is taking place?
While it may not all get reported in the news media, can you imagine the strangeness and the confusion that is brought about in so many people’s lives as this word goes out? Add to that the first observation of my school teacher wife which was, “This is incredible. What you used to get expelled from school for doing is now treated as the law of the land.” Now, states that want to pass a law protecting ladies or young people — or men, for that matter — are being criticized and protested and marched against and threatened to have their federal funds withheld because they don’t join in the recognition of, “Do what you want to do.” Someone suggested that what eventually needs to take place is that we just have private, one-person-at-a-time restrooms and whoever is using it is the gender designation of what it will be. In my first pastorate years ago, the church had gotten water and indoor plumbing but all they could afford was a small restroom. As I was visiting the church I asked, “Is this the men’s restroom or the ladies?” to which the person replied, “It depends on who’s in there.” They were far, far beyond the social curve though that was not their intent. So what are we to make of all this strange kind of enforcement of cultural law upon everybody?
For one thing, though it may not be the end of the world, the truth is that no doubt this kind of action will have numerous unintended consequences never dreamed of by whoever decided to send out the letter. I do foresee that there can be consequences of people taking advantage of people of the opposite sex that will be dangerous and harmful to children and adults. One of the unintended consequences may be that people come to their senses or maybe come to some common sense even though their government may not be displaying common sensibilities. That could in turn lead to the election of people who, beyond just personal and political correctness, may see the harmfulness in just accommodating people for something that just a few decades ago was not even a possibility.
I have difficulty in understanding why, if someone is confused about their own sexual identity, everyone else needs to be confused about what’s going on in their lives. If the law is going to be protective of anyone, it should be protective of the bulk of society that does not need to be drawn into the world of confusion that exists in the mind of someone who is trying to find a new sexual identity. The bottom line here is a significant word to all of us who are parents or grandparents or great-grandparents, and that is what we have been given by God is an awesome responsibility of training our young people in the things that are right. The Justice Department may send out a letter demanding that there be openness about stuff, but parents can help their sons and daughters know what is right, what they should and should not do, and how to live and act appropriately. You may think or say, “Well, parents aren’t going to pay any attention to that and they aren’t going to make any difference in their child’s life.” If that be true, my friend, you have just put your finger on a crucial, great need in America. There must be a moral and spiritual revolution take place among us that points us to the truth of God’s Word and the wonder of God’s presence in our lives, from the One who made us male or female to serve Him and to make a difference for His Kingdom work.
On Friday the 13th, I’d been at several different places and talked with several different people, and in every setting something came up about this new legal demand sent all across our country. Everyone was disturbed by it and no one knew quite what to do about it. Like most, I could not believe that the government had stepped down and into the structure of our daily living to demand that something like this take place. In so doing, they elevated the conversation of potty language to be a part of discussions all across America all day long and into the future.
I may be wrong, but it seems to me that when God looked down and saw the degradation of a society so visible and so clearly seen as in Sodom and Gomorrah, even they did not seem to have a powerful government that could dictate to them this kind of life action that we are in the throes of discussing. In a world where there are no boundaries for marriage relationships anymore and our language has reached a new low because there are no longer any standards, it appears we have arrived at a place where we have had dictated to us the use or misuse of bathroom facilities. More than anybody on the planet, the only person who can make an immediate difference in behavior and how this will be done, is a mom or dad. From Scripture it seems as though that’s who God put in place already, so let’s do our part to protect our children, our families, and in so doing make a difference in our society.
The author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.