Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

Transgenderism: Is Restroom Choice All There Is to It?

The current transgender agenda is targeting Christian churches and organizations.

The Supreme Court of the United States has once again revealed that they are robed invertebrates when it comes to hearing and deciding issues of grave safety concern to most of our citizens, deferring instead to political correctness.

On June 28, 2021, the Court declined to hear a Gloucester County, Virginia, transgender case, which required transgender students to use unisex bathrooms. The issue could have been addressed and if a constitutional issue was revealed, they could have shown some leadership in issued opinions. This might lead to settling the question in a way mutually acceptable to those experiencing gender dysphoria and those not suffering from the disorder by following the lead of other states. Illinois, for example, passed a law that requires all single-occupancy public bathrooms be labeled as gender-neutral and designated for no more than one person or family at a time.

In so declining to hear the case the Supreme Court has set free the further push of the transgender agenda, which is generally to normalize gender dysphoria. While this was not an unexpected move in Virginia due to the virtue signaling of multiple politicians, including Governor Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring, both Democrats, it sets the stage for a fast moving agenda that is likely to create fear, endanger persons, cost taxpayers for renovations, and impact religious organizations significantly.

Virginia’s Department of Education were required to create model policies for school boards regarding treatment of transgender students no later than December 31, 2020. As the tail (transgender activists) wags the dog (school districts) it reveals a disturbing trend of ignoring the majority in favor of the loudest agenda driven group, almost all of whom are self-serving. Schools in Virginia must keep the student’s legal name and gender private if they are using a different name and claiming to be a different gender. Staff are not allowed to question those appearing to be one gender entering a restroom of another gender and the students are not required to provide any proof that they actually are transgender. In other words, let the games, assaults, and molestations begin.

This danger is not just a concern of a transgender student harming others, but also of their being harmed. LGBT organizations themselves estimated that thus far in 2021 there had been at least 29 transgender or gender non-conforming people killed. In 2020, the Human Rights Campaign, a pro-LGBTQ organization, tracked a record number of violent fatal incidents against transgender people. A total of 44 fatalities were tracked, marking 2020 as the most violent year on record since they began tracking these incidents in 2013.

Surely safety remains a concern in schools, churches, and workplaces, due to the increase of active shooting events and violence in such places. Most mass shooters have been found to be those suffering from mental disorders or in crisis. Why is this fact important? Gender dysphoria (transgenderism) is a diagnosis listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association. Transgenderism is a mental disorder and like all mental disorders, we should endeavor to understand and do all we can to aid the patient to becoming a normal functioning member of society. According to the manual, people with this condition may experience difficulties at work or school and may also suffer from anxiety, depression, and self-harm ideations.

Research examining mass attacks in public spaces, published by the United States Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center in 2020, shows that in 2019 46 percent of attackers experienced mental health issues. In 2018 that number was 67 percent. About one-third of attackers in each of the last three years experienced psychotic symptoms. In a previous U.S. Secret Service study, entitled Protecting America’s Schools: A U.S. Secret Service Analysis of Targeted School Violence, two-thirds of the student attackers exhibited some sign or symptom of depression prior to their attacks. Most of the attackers had at least one significant stressor occur within the five years leading up to the attack, and for 81 percent of the attackers, the stressor(s) occurred within one year. These stressors, among others, included significant medical issues, turbulent home lives, and strained relationships.

Failing to address mental disorders and stressors appropriately within a school endangers all the students, faculty, and staff of that school. What is needed is treatment not pandering to a politicized agenda of any restroom of choice and encouraging gender identity pronouns. The worst part is that according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, gender dysphoria prevalence accounts for only 0.005 to 0.014 percent of the population for biological males and 0.002 to 0.003 percent for biological females. We are expected to endanger entire schools to normalize the mental illness of a few, instead of compassionately treating them.

When the school accepts, instead of treating, the student with the mental disorder, the dangers are significant to the student suffering from gender dysphoria as well as the rest of the student body. Often the student is experiencing the normal changes associated with puberty and body changes, but the constant drumbeat of transgender activist in schools can result in feelings of anger, stress, etc., in those students, not to mention bullying.

Should we as a society encourage young people to do what feels right, even if it is wrong? Why don’t we treat the anorexic who feels like they are fat, see themselves as fat, and starves or purges as a result, like we do the gender dysphoric? Both are harmful to the student, and both are mental illnesses. Why don’t we just tell the child with social anxiety disorder, “it is who you are, go home and become a hermit?” How about those suffering from pedophilic disorder, do we accept that and just lead the children to them so that they feel normal? Of course not, we show compassion and seek to help them with treatment.

We care enough to treat and salvage most persons with mental disorders, yet we are told that even though gender dysphoria is destructive to the individual and others, and is treatable, we should just accept it, encourage it, and let the student be who they want, even if it harms others mental or physical health. Do we not care that these students have a significantly higher rate of suicide and a high substance abuse? We would rather give in to the virtue signaling politicians and entertainers rather than help these children with their problems, while not creating stress for others due to fear of a restroom visit.

The agenda driven push disenfranchises the poor parents who cannot afford to move their children to private school or religious academies. Maybe it is time to revisit vouchers to assist the poor parents, so that they can move their child to a school in line with their religious beliefs and protect their own child.

It is time for those of courage to call for treatment of the illness and refuse to let people harm children for the sake of political correctness, votes, and virtue signaling.

We should rest assured that the school and public space is only the first stop, the church is not far behind. If the so-called Equality Act passes the church is certain to be tested. The obvious purpose of the “Equality Act,” which President Joe Biden promised to pass and would if it were not for Republican opposition and Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin, is to target those who refuse to accept the LGBT agenda of normalization. In other words, religious people.

We know that Satan is continually active in the world today and he won a victory while the churches were shut down and divided over COVID, and he wins victories everyday while God’s people are divided by racist agendas, when we all are of the same race—the human race. Satan will further divide the church if this act is passed. The act goes beyond pushing the LGBTQ agenda; it explicitly prohibits Americans from using the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to defend themselves in court cases.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed in 1993 with bipartisan support. It prohibits government from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion except in situations where the government demonstrates that application of the burden to the person: (1) furthers a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest. If “The Equality Act” passes, business owners will no longer be protected from serving persons based upon religious convictions preserved in scriptures. Faith-based private schools that are open to the public would be required to meet the transgender restroom requirements; Christian colleges would likely be required to allow gender identity, rather than physical birth gender, to determine housing; if the church opens its doors to serve the public through benevolence programs such as food or clothing pantries, it will probably be required to allow for gender identity restroom use as well.

Religious scripture-based organizations accept our obligation to love the sinner but hate the sin. We must be like Peter and when we are ordered to accept this practice in the church answer, “We must obey God rather than men.” (Act 5:29) God does not support our sinful lifestyle, he offers us salvation from it, if we will follow him and heed his commands. He created only male and female. (Genesis 5:2) He formed our inward parts, and we were fearfully and wonderfully made.

We know that treatment is proper for any person suffering mental illness. Support groups aid substance abusers and those addicted to gambling and pornography. Others are treated with counseling, medications, and even surgery. Love of the person’s soul leads Christians to want to help the erring to salvation, regardless of the cause, temptation, or sin. Sexual immorality can be forgiven and healed; it is documented as having been so in the Bible. (1 Cor. 6:9-11) But those who continue to practice sexual sin or other ongoing sin have no hope. This lack of hope for their soul likely leads to more anxiety, and while those who attempt to re-write the scriptures to justify the sin may think they are helping, in the end, they are responsible for a lost soul. The loving person must seek to reach them, help them with their mental illness and to come into a proper scriptural relationship with God, not a politically correct or agenda driven one.

The scripture addresses the Christian’s obligation, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (James 4:17 ESV)

Richard Arrington is a retired law enforcement commander, author, and elder in a Virginia church of Christ.