Lola

If you were of age in the early 1970’s, chances are you know this classic song by the Kinks.  The lyricist writes he couldn’t understand why Lola walked like a woman but talked like a man.  Lola was transgender.  This was extremely controversial in the 70’s and in some places the song was banned.  Not in Chicago.  I can still sing every line from memory.

In my lifetime I have only met one transgender person.  I met her at a 2009 forum sponsored by our local Congressman.  I approached her after the forum because I admired her bravery.  She was born a Muslim man in a Muslim country. She immigrated to the US because she could no longer risk the threat of death at the hands of her family or the theocratic government.  Under Islamic Sharia Law she would have been stoned to death for identifying as a woman.

I thought of her today while reading about the controversy over North Carolina House Bill 2, otherwise known as the bathroom law.  The law basically states if you are biologically a man you use the men’s bathroom or locker room and if you are biologically a woman you use the women’s bathroom or locker room in all government buildings, including public schools.  You think this would be common sense—but you would be wrong.

The governors of these states are making these laws to counter other laws stating bathrooms and locker rooms in public places should not be restricted to your biological sex as it discriminates against the LGBT community.  It’s my understanding that lesbians are women and gay men are men.  Bi-sexuals are also either a man or woman.  The small population of transgender people in the US, much like the woman I met at the forum, has been able to figure out which bathroom they feel most comfortable in for years.  This leaves the transfluid or genderfluid population. According to dictionary.com the term means, noting or relating to a person whose gender identity or gender expression is not fixed and shifts over time or depending on the situation.  Does anyone else see a potential problem here?

Celebrities have already taken sides and are canceling performances in states passing men and women only bathroom laws.  Not to be outdone, the White House is planning on cutting funds to these states while governors in states who promote non-discrimination bathrooms are banning travel to states that don’t, all in the name of equal rights.  White House press secretary Josh Earnest stated, “This is a good illustration that the fight for civil rights is not over”.  Hmmm, back in the 1960’s when African Americans were fighting for their civil rights; I don’t recall any of them being able to change their skin color over time or depending on the situation.

I thought of that brave transgender woman who I met those 7 years ago.  The last thing on her mind was which bathroom she should use.  She was just grateful to be alive and live as she pleased.  She put her life on the line to identify as a woman.  This was no game.  She dressed and conducted herself like a woman and if she used the women’s bathroom at the event that day nobody paid much notice, but that was way back in 2009.

What are we doing in April, 2016?  Why are we making laws without thinking about the consequences?  The non-discrimination ordinances give rapists, pedophiles, and voyeurs the greenlight to perpetrate crimes against women and children.  Any one of these can claim he feels like a woman, thus making him genderfluid by law, and enter a women’s bathroom or locker room with a hidden camera.  A registered sex offender can do the same, enter a women’s bathroom or locker room and rape a woman or a child.  These potential victims can be your wife, your sister, your daughter or your son.  What about their rights?  Why make it easier for criminals to prey on the innocent?

Now let’s look at a theory nobody’s talking about.  Why are these laws being enacted now?  Does the government really care about the LGBT community or are they using them?  We are a country of laws, not men, governed by a Constitution that states all people are equal and while we have freedom of religion, we are not ruled by one.  This is not the case in other parts of the world where corrupt governments, ruled by drug and organized crime, look the other way at rape and murder.  Or theocratic countries that state women and children do not have the same rights as men.  Under Islamic Sharia Law for example, for Muslim women to be found innocent of rape the rapist must either confess or there must be four male witnesses1 since women’s testimony is worth only half that of a man’s in court2.  In many rape culture countries pedophilia is also legal. The New York Times reported that U.S. Soldiers are told to ignore the rape of young boys by Afghan allies because it’s their culture3. Could this be the politically correct way to force multiculturalism on the US and pander to this section of our population for their vote?

Let’s look at Europe. Multiculturalism has made Sweden the rape capital of Europe. It’s estimated one in every four Swedish women will be sexually assaulted 4.  Swedish courts are sympathetic to the rapists and often acquit, even in the case of gang rape. We are hearing these types of atrocities throughout Europe with the influx of Middle Eastern refugees.  These criminals also prey on the LGBT community.  In Germany this January, two transgender women were allegedly stoned by a gang of migrants after they first tried to sexually assault the women and then learned they were transgender.  The migrants felt their “honor was hurt” and stoned them because “such people” should be killed5.   If we let a rape culture trump our culture we all suffer.  Is this what we want in the United States of America?

For transgender teenagers in public schools, who are bullied and threatened, other accommodations must be made for them, but not by violating the privacy rights of other children.  We cannot allow certain groups of people to have more rights over others because it’s their culture—that’s called breaking the law.  Nor can we allow criminals to hide behind a law and prey on women and children.  If “non-discrimination” ordinances are enacted, and the rights of millions of innocent people are ignored, the consequences could be devastating.

 

1  Quran (24:4)

2  Quran (2:282)

3  New York Times 9/21/2015

4 Gatestone Institute International Policy Council, Sweden: Rape Capital of the West, Ingrid Calrqvist & Lars Hedegaard, February 14, 2015

5 Adam Salandra, 1/17/2016

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Hush

1968 Deep Purple, right?  Also a traditional gospel song, Hush, hush, somebody’s calling my name.  The kind of hushing I’m writing about is in regard to the clergy.  I can’t tell you how many times, over the course of the years, I’ve witnessed confused parishioners approach their parish priest and ask them, “Father, which candidate promotes our values and beliefs?” only to be told that they can’t give an opinion.

When did priests and pastors lose their 1st Amendment right to free speech and why?  The Founders were clear that everyone, including religious, have the right to free speech.  If it wasn’t for the Black Robe Regiment during the Revolutionary War, which consisted of clergy who gave inspired sermons that the American Revolution was a righteous cause, to some even leading their congregations into battle, we would probably still be English subjects1.

Civil War researchers acknowledge the importance of the clergy as well.  The war made it acceptable, if not obligatory, to speak out against slavery.  Churches, both clergy and congregations, played a major role in the Underground Railroad.  So what happened?

Is it because of separation of church and state?  Thomas Jefferson, credited with these words, was referring to the separation of church and State, (emphasis on the capital S).  He was easing the fears of religious clergy that the newly formed government would not inflict a State-sponsored religion on the country, as there was in England.   That’s what the Pilgrims ran from.  It was what our country was built on; freedom to practice and live out the religion of your choice wherever you live and whenever you want with no restrictions.

It’s no accident that our first civil right states:  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech…  (emphasis on prohibiting the free exercise thereof.)  It means no man can stop you from practicing, speaking, or living out your religion.  So how can Congress or any agency in government curtail a member of the clergy’s 1st Amendment, God-given right?  The answer is they can’t—not as long as the Constitution is the law of the land.

Silencing of churches begin in 1954 when then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson (D-TX) decided that tax-exempt entities (mostly consisting of houses of worship) should not be allowed to speak out on politics or lose their tax-exempt status.  Why would he do this and why did Congress go along with it when it states clearly in the 1st Amendment that Congress shall make no law…  Hmmm, let’s think.  Could it have anything to do with Johnson’s re-election campaign that faced stiff opposition from conservative Christians?  Or perhaps it was about silencing pastors, especially black pastors, during the civil rights movement?  It’s certainly strange that from 1788, when the Constitution was ratified, until 1954, preachers, pastors, and priests were free to exercise their right to free speech when speaking directly to their congregations.  Coincidence?

The Johnson Amendment, which many contest is unconstitutional, has been facing significant push-back the past few years from pastors who are willing to challenge the law and participate in Pulpit Freedom Sunday2, an event that takes place on a date leading up to Election Day.  The movement began with only 33 clergy members participating and has now swelled to 1,800 members and counting.  Priests and pastors that pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor are no longer bowing down to man and giving up their God-given right.

It’s our obligation, as American citizens, to be educated and defend our way of life.  This includes the clergy, as so many in the congregation are thirsting for truth and guidance especially since government-run schools are no longer teaching US history.  Since it’s not learned in schools, it’s up to everyone to educate themselves on both our history (good and bad) and the Constitution.

Freedom doesn’t come free, just take a trip to Arlington National Cemetery and look around.  We as a nation and as a people are in trouble.  We can no longer close our eyes to the attacks on life, privacy, free speech, and religious freedom.  It’s time to wake up those who either can’t or don’t want to see. It’s time to take a stand.  This is especially true for the clergy.  It’s that Moses moment.  This election year I will not violate my conscience.  I’ll stand by my principles and beliefs.  It’s that MLK moment.  I will not give in to misplaced anger or give in to violence to push an agenda conceived by man.  I will not call out for a king3, because he alone can’t make a nation great.  I will put my trust in God and not man.4   It’s time.  To quote John Adams, “Liberty once lost, is lost forever.”  To everything there is a season.  A time to keep silent, and a time to speak.5  Now is the time to speak.

 

1Religion and the Founding of the American Republic, Religion and the American Revolution, Library of Congress. www.locgov/exhibits/religion/rel03.html

2 An event sponsored by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) a Christian legal group based in Arizona.  Visit www.adflegal.org for more information

3 1 Samuel 8

4 Galatians 1:6-10

5Ecclesiastes 3:7