“Can I go to the bathroom?” Besides an English teacher who was concerned with correcting grammar, most teachers simply filled out a hall pass. We’d then head down the hall in the appropriate direction. It never crossed our minds we had a choice to make.
Now, you and I probably assumed the matter was a “no brainer.” After all, from childhood we’ve known there is an obvious difference between males and females. Our parents modeled it for us at church, ballgames, and when we stopped at a highway rest area. Boys went one way; girls went another. It’s a matter of decency, respectfulness and propriety.
In gym class, when boys and girls separated for an exercise or activity, we knew which line to be in. We were instructed which locker room to store our gym shorts and shirts. We didn’t give the matter a second thought. Where we’d go seemed … well, “natural.” Did we have a choice?
Apparently, we did. It’s a decision that other minds—very great ones—have been contemplating. The President of the United States has grappled with this weighty matter of state, stepped in and issued an executive directive. School teachers take note.
Parents rightly are alarmed. The choice is no longer as obvious as first thought. Rather, it can be determined by the gender with which one identifies. Now biological boys might be using the girl’s room; biological girls might be using the boy’s room. It’s allowed! Should parents have to worry when they drop their kids off at school, if they’re going to be exposed to someone of the opposite sex in the restroom or locker room?
Governors also are alarmed. Kentucky’s Matt Bevin denounced the Obama administration’s directive to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their chosen gender identity. “It is difficult to imagine a more absurd federal overreach into a local issue. Under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the federal government has no authority to interfere in local school districts’ bathroom policies,” Bevin stated.
He’s not alone. Both North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott say they will fight back against the school directive. North Carolina has adopted a new law that requires individuals in government buildings to use restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates, rather than the gender with which one identifies. Seems logical.
Baptist leaders are alarmed, too. Paul Chitwood, executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, didn’t mince words. “I am in complete agreement with Gov. Bevin and believe this to be the most egregious interference into the lives of everyday Americans ever suggested by a United States president,” he said. “Tens of millions of innocent children and their families will be impacted, offended, and made vulnerable by Obama’s edict. He has rained chaos on our country.”
Ronnie Floyd, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, didn’t either. He described the federal directive as “an outrageous attack on our Creator Himself, human sexuality and morality, and an advancement of the attack against religious freedom.” He urged, “Every Christian in America or anyone who has any conviction about morality needs to rise up and say, ‘Enough is enough!'”
As Americans and Baptists, we treasure our freedom. Some choices, though, aren’t up to individuals. They are part of our Creator’s grand design: “Haven’t you read,” (Jesus) replied, “that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female.” Do we really need a President to resolve which bathroom we should use?