The Bathroom Debate


Usually, I try to stay out of these types of arguments, but as I watch this debate over the bathrooms unfold, it seems to me that everyone is talking about everything except what we should be talking about.

On Side 1, we have the argument that everyone should be treated equally and should get to use the restroom they want based on how they feel.

On Side 2, we have the argument that you should use the bathroom that matches your physical gender.

And all of a sudden, both sides are saying things about the other side that aren’t true.  Side 1 accuses Side 2 of being transphobic and says that Side 2 thinks all transgendered people are pedophiles.  Side 2 accuses Side 1 of hating the American way of life and wanting to bring about the downfall of society as well as being ungodly heathens.

I’m going to take a different approach here and ask “What is a law supposed to do?  What is the purpose of a law?”

Now, first, I would like to ask everyone to put emotion away for a minute (or however long it takes to read this) and consider the following things based on pure logic and reason.  I know that this is extremely difficult for some folks, but I’m begging you to try.

Ok.  Let’s get started.

I would like to submit that the purpose of a law (aside from keeping the peace) is fairly singular:  To protect the innocent and law-abiding and deter the guilty and criminally-minded.

So, I would like to propose a scenario that doesn’t have anything to do with bathrooms.

Let’s say that a law was passed that gave each male in America $1000 every Monday.  Yes, I know that this is an unfair law since it only applies to some of the population, but don’t get emotional…just stick with me.

So, each male get $1000 each Monday.  Great.  Here is the question.  On that first Monday when the males line up to get their money there will be many different people there.  There will be classically masculine men, there will be redneck men, there will be black men, there will be homosexual men, and there will be transgendered men who have made the transition from female to male and are legally male now.  All of these people are entitled, according to the law, to the $1000.  Now, do you suppose that there may also be women dressed up and pretending to be men so that they could take advantage of this law?  Unless I severely underestimate humanity, my answer would be “Is the Pope Catholic?”

There can be little doubt that there is an element of society that would do whatever they could to take advantage of this law.  Why?  Because the “reward” of getting the money outweighs the “guilt” of breaking the law or the fear of getting caught.

A few things to notice:

  1. There are always those who will take advantage of a law to get what they want.
  2. I am not saying here that transgendered people are doing anything wrong.  If a transgendered person is legally considered male, they are entitled to the money.
  3. This isn’t an issue about discriminating against transgendered people (they got the money too).  It’s an issue about some people breaking the law for their own gain.

Now, let’s bring this back to the bathroom example.  And immediately I know an objection.  If you haven’t put your emotions away as I requested and aren’t thinking rationally, you may say “But, Brian, all they need to do is change the law to give everyone the money and the problem goes away, so all that needs to be done is for all restrooms to be open to everyone.”  But, you are not making the proper correlation.

The money isn’t a stand-in for the bathroom.  The money is a stand-in for the safety and innocence of women and children.  Now, don’t jump straight back to emotionalism.  Stick with rational thought a little while longer.

The issue with the bathroom isn’t that transgendered people are using them (which they have the right to do based on current law), but that there is an element of society who will use a law to their advantage.  Transgendered people can currently use the bathroom that matches their legal status.  The problem isn’t there.  The problem is with allowing anyone to use any bathroom based solely on how the feel or identify.

When we allow anyone to use any bathroom they desire base on how they feel or identify, we have no legal recourse to stop those who would enter the bathroom with criminal intent.  A true rapist could simply say “I identify as female” so he could legally gain entry into the women’s room with absolutely no legal way to stop him.  He would have every right to be there with the women when they are in a place where they should be safe.

Furthermore, this applies to the safety of every woman including those transgendered women who have made the transition from male.  They are at risk also.

Before you grant unlimited access to any bathroom based solely on how a person feel or identifies, you MUST have a way to stop people who would use that access as a way to hurt others.  Right now, if a man enters the women’s room dressed as a women so he can see women in possible states of undress, he can be arrested because HE DOES NOT BELONG THERE.  But, if you grant access to anyone based on how they identify, nothing can be done to a man who goes into the women’s room hoping to get a peek because no one can say he doesn’t belong there.

And this applies even more to possible pedophiles who want to use this as a way to see what they desire.  Furthermore, this also applies in reverse.  There are female pedophiles and female rapists who may also use this as a way to act in a criminal fashion with no consequences.

In other words, this doesn’t just put women and children in danger, but puts all people (straight, gay, and transgendered) at risk.  And the benefit?

The only benefit is so we don’t hurt the feelings of 0.03% of the population, but at the cost of putting 100% of the population at higher risk for sexually based crimes.  The desire to include 0.03% of the population actually puts that 0.03% of the population at greater risk…along with everyone else.

In any other place, at any other time, this would be considered a bad bet.

Now, since this is mostly a religious blog, I’m about to talk religion for a moment.  But, once again, don’t get emotional.  Keep it rational.

Yes, I am a Christian.  And I do believe that certain things are sin.  But, I am going to take the same stance as God takes.  We each have free will.  We can do what we want and think what we want.  And we can do that, even if it is outside what God wants.  That doesn’t mean He approves of what is thought or done.  It only means He allows it because He wants you to follow His rules of your own volition.

Now, even though I believe that some things are sin, does not mean that I hate you if you do them.  We all sin and a person that lies, a person that commits adultery, and a person that practices homosexuality are all the same.  All are sinners that needs to repent of their sin and ask God for forgiveness.  So am I.

So, with this post, I’m not judging sin or debating whether something is a sin or not.  My job isn’t to judge sin, my job is to preach the gospel and try to convince sinners (of which I am one) to repent of their sins and follow God’s word.  So, what I have said above about the bathrooms isn’t a product of my religious beliefs, but solely a product of what I consider to be safe.

Now, I know that some who read this will immediately say that I’m being a transphobic, homophobic, bible-thumping redneck.  That is your prerogative, but if you do that, you will need to explain where in this post I have said anything against transgendered people.  You will need to explain how my concern for their safety isn’t as genuine as my concern for everyone else’s safety based on what I said above.  You will need to explain how, even though I said differently up above, I actually don’t think safety is the primary concern.  And you will need to explain exactly what shade of red my neck is.

In other words, you will have to completely disregard and dismiss everything I have written, give up rational thought, make up your own ideas, and then pretend that’s what I think.

And if you do that, then are you any better off than the close-minded person you accuse me of being?