George Bowers Sr.: Breaking down the doors
I recently returned from our denominational conference in Greensboro, North Carolina, and believe it or not, I don’t feel sick, evil, or guilty. While others boycott the state for its bathroom bill, I enjoyed the peace of mind this protection afforded me and all others.
The relentless pressure from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community for everyone to not only accept their lifestyles, but to celebrate and advance them, is reminiscent of the Biblical story of Lot and his visitors in Sodom. It wasn’t enough for them to tolerate the behaviors outside their door, the activists attempted to force those inside to participate in their deeds.
Today, advocates are breaking down the doors of public restrooms demanding that those with male genitals be allowed to use the same private facilities as females. It doesn’t take a behavioral biologist to predict where this insanity will lead, and in fact, has already led. It is unthinkable that a government elected by the people would actually send letters to “educate” all school districts on how they are to allow students to use whichever locker or bathroom they desire. They can’t even offer separate private facilities. Teenage boys must have access to girls’ locker rooms and failure to provide this comes with a threat of withdrawal of federal education money.
As a result of North Carolina’s effort to protect its children, certain businesses, entertainers, and tourists are boycotting the state. This has been widely supported by those who oppose historical views, but those same individuals readily condemn anyone on the other end who might avoid Target for their proud stance on the same issue. Somehow, when identical tactics are used by their opponents, those who employ them are hateful, judgmental, and bigoted. Conversely, when individuals and businesses cancel standing contracts, they become heroic and courageous. I’m still trying to figure out why PayPal withdrew plans for a large expansion in North Carolina, for they already do business in 25 countries that not only have separate bathrooms, but where homosexual behavior is illegal, including five where it is punishable by death.
The federal government has even filed a lawsuit threatening to remove funding from all North Carolina colleges if the law is not reversed. For politicians who scorn anyone who bullies those with divergent opinions, this sure seems like bullying on a national scale. Get in line or get cut off. Period.
Activists are also crashing through the doors of bakers, photographers, florists and others who refuse to help celebrate same sex weddings. Instead of finding other entrepreneurs happy for their business, they sue the proprietors. Unfortunately, sympathetic judges have failed to recognize the owners’ rights of conscious and have demanded their participation in events to which they morally object. Those who refuse are slammed with enormous fines forcing several into closure and bankruptcy.
This is not about healthcare, employment, voting rights, or housing. This is about coercing every citizen to participate in certain behaviors even if they morally oppose them. Imagine a drunk successfully suing a grocer for not selling him alcohol or a patient suing a physician for not prescribing her narcotics. Thankfully, doctors are legally protected if they choose not to perform abortions and nurses have even broader protection if they conscientiously object to providing certain treatments. How is this different?
Sadly, it seems only those who espouse politically correct opinions retain any civil rights. Those who believe such policies are dangerous and immoral must simply repress their thoughts, fling open their doors, and climb on the celebration train as it steams toward disaster. Christians should not be surprised, however, for we are warned in 1 Peter 4:4, “They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you.” The next verse promises, “But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.”
If Jesus doesn’t come first, I believe these so-called inclusivity laws will be overturned, but only after several innocent children and women will have been abused and raped. I just pray it’s not my wife, my daughters, or my granddaughters.
As we struggle to show love and grace to all, let us work diligently to keep doors closed that protect women and children. Let’s brace and bolt those that protect individual conscious and free exercise. And let’s pray for God’s help to know how to best do so. Praying, George
George Bowers Sr. is the senior pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren in Woodstock and the author of seven books, including his devotional collection, “Blessings.” He can be reached through www.georgebowersministries.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org.