THE BRUNETTE JOGGER AND BOSTOCK V. CLAYTON COUNTY

THE BRUNETTE JOGGER AND BOSTOCK V. CLAYTON COUNTY

We were taking our morning walk on an early June beach vacation when a runner approached from the opposite direction. But something looked wrong. I couldn’t tell what at first, but as the person neared, I thought, that’s a huge woman. She was at least six-feet four-inches tall, in pink and blue running gear, wearing large dark sunglasses, brunette, shoulder-length hair not in a ponytail like most female runners, but flopping around her face, large breasts bouncing in rhythm with each step. Not an ounce of fat, powerfully built. But something’s not right, I thought. Then it hit me. That’s not a woman. The proportions are all wrong. The shoulders are too wide, the hips too narrow, the leg muscles too well defined. And that’s a wig partially obscuring a man’s strong jawline. That’s a man trying very hard to be a woman and failing.

I felt sad for the man. Statistics show that almost everyone who attempts transition, surgically or otherwise, from one gender to the other ends up with the same level of depression or worse that drove them to that drastic step in the first place.

Fast-forward to June 16. I pulled up the news to read the following: Supreme Court Re-Writes 1964 Civil Rights Act: Title VII to Include Sexual Orientation.

My heart sank. I have followed the legal aspect of our culture’s struggle to understand and accommodate people with sexual orientation and gender identity issues for over 20 years. I believe the Bostock decision will be the single most destructive force in civic life for the next fifty years. Its adverse effects on our Constitutional rights of freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, and freedom of expression will be enormous.

As this blog is too short to explain all the reasons why I believe this, I have referenced several articles in the footnotes[1] that will explain the case, the court’s decision, and the legal ramifications that are likely to follow. I urge you to read all of them and think through what this means for you, your walk with God, your children, your business, your profession, and your country. Followers of Christ must love everyone the same, but we must not be shallow in our thinking about these things. The consequences are too significant.

Instead, I offer the following brief but practical outcomes I believe most likely to flow from Bostock.

Biological men will be allowed by law to participate as women in every female designated space in society, bathrooms, gyms, dressing rooms, athletic competitions, etc. It will be against the law for you to insist that boys and men stay out of your daughter’s bathrooms and other private spaces in any school, nonprofit, or other entity that accepts government funds. If your local public school wants to host a cultural event with drag queens dancing for grade-school children, you will not be able to object.

As transgenderism gains legal status, its popularity will grow among vulnerable, school-age populations. Driven by social contagion and peer influence among friend groups, Great Britain has seen a 4400% increase in referrals for girls wanting to be boys.

Biological men and same-sex oriented people, in general, will now be treated by law as a privileged class, eligible for every civil, educational, and legal advantage extended to racial and ethnic minorities by Title VII of the civil rights act of 1964. Business owners of all types who have scientifically sound and or personal religious convictions against the hiring of gender disoriented people will have no recourse in the law. Religious schools that refuse to bow to this law will lose accreditation and nonprofit tax status as well as eligibility for student loans, vouchers, and education savings accounts.

Due to her personal history of sexual assault and domestic abuse, Harry Potter author and committed feminist, JK Rowling, has come out strongly in opposition to the transactivist movement. Rowling is not a Christian and supports much of the LGBT movement. But her charitable foundation concentrates on helping biological women and children, including female survivors of sexual abuse, overcome the “visceral sense of the terror” she remembers from her past. I’ll give her the last word.

“But, as many women have said before me, ‘woman’ is not a costume. ‘Woman’ is not an idea in a man’s head. ‘Woman’ is not a pink brain, a liking for Jimmy Choos or any of the other sexist ideas now somehow touted as progressive. Moreover, the ‘inclusive’ language that calls female people ‘menstruators’ and ‘people with vulvas’ strikes many women as dehumanising and demeaning. I understand why trans activists consider this language to be appropriate and kind, but for those of us who’ve had degrading slurs spat at us by violent men, it’s not neutral, it’s hostile and alienating.”

[1] High Court Delivers Big Win for Transgender Rights; After Bostock: liberties setback or liberties apocalypse?; Transgender employees v. Christian Business Owners;  The Aftermath of Bostock: A Cultural Seismic Shift.

What THE BUTLER Did For Me

Not long ago my neighbor, Ralph, an African American man for whom I have deep respect, and I were chatting in our back yard. We usually talk about our kids or joke with each other about our geriatric joints and other ailments with him always having the last laugh. “Just wait till you’re seventy. You ain’t seen nuthin yet!” But that day I had more on my mind. Something in the news, or in my reading, made me want to understand more about his life as a black man in America. At seventy-odd, his is a longer experience than mine.

“Ralph, one day I want you to tell me what it was like for you as a black man in the American south in the twentieth century,” I said.

“Where are you from?” he asked.

“Atlanta.”

Ralph’s face clouded a bit, something I’d never seen before, and he said, “Well then, you know … you know.” And that’s all he would say.

But I didn’t know, not from the inside, the way I wanted to know.

I was four years old when the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which desegregated the schools, passed. I grew up in the turmoil it precipitated among the races; especially in the schools I attended in the Atlanta suburbs. I’m sure my family would have been considered racist by the standards of today, but we didn’t consider ourselves so. We didn’t march with Dr. King or anything like that. But my father had stood up for the right of a black man to join his Southern Baptist Church in 1957, and my mother was always kind to the black people we met.

Desegregation didn’t affect me until I reached middle-school age, in 1973. From then until I graduated high school my experience of desegregation was one of upheaval, disorder, disruption, and danger. Knowing what I do now, I can’t say I blame the black kids of that generation for the anger and aggression they displayed toward us white kids, but it wasn’t conducive to the development of a sympathetic attitude either.

Time moved on and so did I. I became a follower of Christ and became committed to racial reconciliation. But I still couldn’t say that I understood the African-American experience with any depth. I knew my story, but I didn’t know theirs, not with empathy.

Then, via Netflix, I watched the bio-picture LEE DANIEL’S THE BUTLER (2013), starring Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, a man who rose from the cotton fields of Georgia to become butler to eight presidents in the White House. THE BUTLER is loosely based on real-life White House butler, Eugene Allen, who retired in 1986 after thirty-four years of service. It is to the racial turmoil of the time what FOREST GUMP was to the Viet Nam War, a comprehensive narrative of one powerless man’s journey through a world fraught with legalized oppression, naked cruelty, and blind hypocrisy. I saw through Cecil’s eyes, the bitter brutality of racist southern farmers and the lordly arrogance of hypocritical politicians and business men. I’ve known men like that, I thought. I winced too at the quiet carnage of condescension, remembering women with saccharine smiles, as dismissive of black personhood as they would be a soiled napkin.

I’ve also known men and women like Gaines, servants with such self-mastery that they could be “invisible in the room,” even when the people they were serving tossed off thoughtless insults that would have enraged me. That was the films greatest impact, Gaines’ ability to rise above the bigotry of his employers with a dignity that revealed his inner nobility, and their shabbiness. His commitment, even his joy, in performing with excellence the most menial tasks brought honor to everything he did. (1 Peter 2:12).

Through his relationship with his oldest son, who became a freedom rider and later a congressman, I also learned the inner conflict many older black men and women had with the civil rights movement. They knew in their bones that the cause was just, but they hated the disorder it brought and feared the predictable backlash.

Finally, the film helped me understand on a visceral level, why the majority of African-American men and women felt obligated, if not compelled, to vote for Barak Obama to serve as president. It just makes me wish Ben Carson had been running against him instead of McCain or Romney.

LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER, is not a bio-pic in the strict definition of the word. “While the movie The Butler is set against historical events, the title character and his family are fictionalized,” states director Lee Daniels. “We were able to borrow some extraordinary moments from Eugene’s real life to weave into the movie.” I hope everyone, black and white, who did not live in that era, will watch the film and share what they learned. It will go a long way toward building reconciliation.

If you want to know the real history of Eugene’s life, visit http://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/the-butler.php.