The sex bullies have taken over the social sphere. Now you’re considered intolerant if you simply want to protect the innocence of a child in the classroom, or think that you ought to be able to teach your kids about the advantages of traditional marriage, or believe that men and women are different from each other. You must be cured of your thought crimes. And the sex bullies are there, bullhorns in hand, ready to apply that cure at a moment’s notice.
In March of 2015, barely one year ago, the Indiana Legislature passed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act [RFRA], a law that informs and guides state courts in religious liberty cases. The law was extremely controversial, in part because it was woefully misunderstood. In the end, a balanced, reasonable provision was watered down to such an extent that those most likely to be coerced into violating their consciences lost important religious liberty protections. Indiana’s Republican legislature and Republican Governor Mike Pence caved to homosexual activist pressure. A summary of what happened can be found here.
Both bullying and blatant hypocrisy abounded, but in this post I’d like to focus primarily on the hypocrisy that pervades this kind of battle, one that is becoming all too commonplace. We see hypocrisy not just from Big Business and militant gay activists, but also from politicians when they cave in to the pressure.
Fast forward one year, to March, 2016. During this momentous month, we have witnessed similar bullying in both Georgia and North Carolina. In Georgia, a weak and narrow religious liberty bill passed the state legislature and was sent to Governor Nathan Deal’s desk for his signature. The Republican governor vetoed the measure. Bryan Fisher of the American Family Association explains.
Gov. Deal, as Indiana governor Mike Pence did before him, has abandoned any pretext of protecting Christians from discrimination in his state. As one lawmaker bluntly put it, “It’s open season on people of faith” in Georgia.
The bill had been virtually eviscerated before it even got to the governor’s desk. Even if the governor had signed it, it would have provided no protection at all for Christian vendors who exercise their constitutionally guaranteed right to the free exercise of religion in the way they run their businesses. Christian bakers, florists, photographers, T-shirt makers, etc., etc., etc., are now officially left high and dry in Georgia, abandoned by the very official who has taken an oath before God to protect them.
About all that was left in the bill was protection for what pastors and churches and faith-based organizations do inside the four walls of their own buildings. Now even that protection has vanished like a whiff of smoke and the governor has left them without a shred of legal protection.
The governor piously claimed “I do not respond well to insults or threats,” and then vetoed the bill after Coca-Cola, Netflix, Apple, Time Warner, Marriott, Walt Disney and the NFL rattled their sabers.
The governor is right. He does not respond well to insults and threats. He folded like a cheap accordion at a Lawrence Welk concert.
Roberto Rivera of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview warns that this has dark and ominous implications for the future of religious liberty in America. Under the cloak of protecting liberty for all, Governor Deal, just one day after Easter, vetoed “a modest bill that would provide protections for churches threatened by government discrimination in the wake of the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage.” Unfortunately, this kind of accommodation has become the norm for many, though not all, Republicans. They promise resistance to the Left’s agenda, then after they’re elected, they cave. It’s hypocrisy, and it’s left conservatives feeling both angry and betrayed.
No wonder Franklin Graham recently declared he has no hope in either the Democrat or Republican party. But wait! While his hope is in God and God alone, Graham also believes that Christians must participate in the political process by running for office themselves if they can and certainly by voting for those who will uphold biblical principles once they’re elected. Among other things, Graham was emphasizing that hypocrisy on the part of politicians who promise to oppose evil must end.
Thankfully, turning to North Carolina, we see a refreshing example of leadership in Governor Pat McCrory, who expressed concern about a new bathroom bill in Charlotte that would have given males access to women’s restrooms and vice versa. To McCrory, such a law defied common sense. Although the governor did not call for a special session of the legislature, he did support it, and after the legislature passed a statewide measure stipulating that men’s restrooms were for biological males and women’s restrooms for biological females, McCrory signed the measure into law. Here is a statement from the governor’s office clarifying what the bill does and does not do.
The wrath of the Left descended upon the state—and with it, the Left’s hypocrisy. Here are some clear examples of leftist duplicity.
- Opponents of North Carolina’s new law claim it will hurt business. While it’s true that Big Business has expressed strong opposition to the state law [part of a pattern we’ve seen before], it’s also true that hundreds of businesses strongly objected Charlotte’s bathroom bill. Frank Turek reports that on Monday, March 28,
Lt. Governor Dan Forest, who helped call the special session to pass HB2, called the executive in charge at one large protesting company and simply asked if him if he or anyone there had actually read the bill. He admitted they had not. They just labeled it “discriminatory” without even reading it.
Who needs the truth when you make so much “progress” by ignoring the truth and engaging in the very bigotry and name-calling you claim to oppose?
The truth is they, like other companies who haven’t bothered to read the bill, are simply taking their marching orders from the misnamed “Human Rights Campaign,” who have the audacity to claim that men have a human right to have access to women and girls in public bathrooms, and that any acknowledgement of the biological differences between men and women is somehow discrimination against people who prefer same-sex relationships.
Amac, the Association of Mature American Citizens (a conservative alternative to the AARP), wonders if businesses that have opposed the North Carolina law now are allowing men into women’s restrooms in their local retail locations in the state. It’s a great question, given the fact that the law allows them to set their own policies.
- In protest of North Carolina’s new law, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has banned “non-essential” state travel to the Tar Heel state. Yet he’s been to Cuba in an official capacity as governor, and he’s partnering with JetBlue airlines to encourage people to travel there. All of this has taken place despite the fact that transgendered people have not been treated humanely by the Cuban government. The North Carolina Governor’s Office issued this statement about Cuomo’s words and actions:
“Syracuse is playing in the Final Four in Houston where voters overwhelmingly rejected a nearly identical bathroom ordinance that was also rejected by the state of North Carolina,” said Governor McCrory Communications Director Josh Ellis. “Is Governor Cuomo going to ask the Syracuse team to boycott the game in Houston? It’s total hypocrisy and demagoguery if the governor does not, considering he also visited Cuba, a communist country with a deplorable record of human rights violations.”
- Connecticut Governor Daniel Mallory also has banned state-funded travel to North Carolina. Ed Lee, the Mayor of San Francisco, is preventing city employees from such travel as well. Elected to address problems and issues directly affecting their constituents, these leaders should not be honing in on the affairs of the Tar Heel state. Of Ed Lee, Franklin Graham wrote,
Can you believe it? I think Mayor Lee needs to focus on the problems of San Francisco—which are many—and leave NC to our governor to manage. He and others who are threatening NC with all kinds of boycotts really need to get their facts straight rather than believing the misinformation promoted by the Progressive Left.
- The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced on March 24 that
they may reconsider hosting 2017 All-Star Weekend activities in Charlotte, because of their commitment to “equality and mutual respect.” They apparently missed the irony in taking this moral stand, given that the NBA and WNBA are separate leagues, but Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation didn’t, observing on Twitter: “Hey @NBA, you’re against bathrooms based on biology, but think basketball should be?”
Watch Governor McCrory share his perspective on the new North Carolina law.
Before concluding, let’s recall that the NBA opposed the new law on the basis of “equality and mutual respect.” We are compelled to state that while some opponents of North Carolina’s new law may sincerely believe they are promoting these virtues, the policy the Charlotte City Council voted to implement on February 22 would have caused great harm. Whom would it harm?
- Women. The doors of women’s bathrooms would be thrown open to predatory men. The number of such men will only increase under these kinds of ordinances.
- Those dealing with gender identity issues—despite the fact that these are the very people the policy was designed to help. Walt Heyer knows. He’s had two sex change operations. Born male, he became Laura, then years later, Walt again. He now has a website called Sex Change Regret. If sex change surgery is harmful, then so is encouraging people to follow their inclinations to act as members of the opposite sex.
- Finally, the teaching that gender is fluid and a matter of choice is harmful to children—so policies that promote this idea are harmful as well. This information comes from the American College of Pediatricians—professionals who are in a position to know.
I realize that some may oppose the new NC law sincerely and with good intentions, and they can’t rightly be called hypocrites. They are misguided and misinformed nonetheless. Other opponents, however, aren’t so innocent, as we’ve indicated above. Yet, even those who are innocent have a responsibility to be sensitive to the way the law would make women vulnerable.
The truth is that the biggest proponents of anti-bullying measures have become bullies themselves. As Dr. Michael Brown says in this important article, “Christians Must Unite Against Gay Bullies.” Among other things, Dr. Brown states,
As I have warned for years (and repeated almost ad infinitum), the activists who came out of the closet want to put you and me in the closet, and they will not rest until that door is safely shut. It is time for us to say: That will never happen, and we will go to jail rather than compromise our convictions. Your bullying will backfire in the end.…
In the days to come, I plan to lay out some specific calls to action, including a strategy for Christian athletes in the NFL and NBA. But for now, it’s time for us to get on our knees before God so we can stand tall before man, resolving in our hearts that, whatever it takes (in godly, not fleshly terms), we will do what is right.
Whatever strategies Dr. Brown offers, I’m sure he would agree that legislation like North Carolina’s new law should be supported. In Tennessee, Representative Susan Lynn and Senator Mike Bell are two very courageous lawmakers. They are sponsoring legislation that would require students in Tennessee’s public schools to use the restrooms and locker rooms corresponding with their birth sex. As you can imagine, especially in light of recent recent events in Georgia and ongoing events in North Carolina, legislators are tempted to run for the tall grass and hide rather than support this common-sense legislation. If you live in Tennessee, please stay informed on this legislation and let your senator and representative know of your support. Wherever you live, stand for the truth in loving ways, yet in ways that refuse to compromise what you know to be right. Moreover, support those who are telling the truth about this important issue. They’re being vilified and need you to stand with them.
Dr. Brown concludes his article with this word of encouragement.
Billy Graham once said, “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”
Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.
Let courage spread from you to others—in your home, your school, your place of business, your congregation—beginning today.
We will not bow down to the bullies!
If you’re willing to make this commitment, you’re well on the way to winning battle after battle. Why? For this simple reason: “Bullies can’t deal with those who stand up to them.”2
For further reading:
- Resist the Bullies!
- In less than 300 words: Why businesses and schools should not be forced to allow men and women to use the restroom designated for the opposite sex
Updates, added April 7, 2016:
- BUSTED: PayPal’s Glaring Bathroom Hypocrisy Exposed
- PayPal Embraces Bathroom Tyranny, Cuban Commies
- Franklin Graham Calls PayPal ‘Hypocrite of the Year’ for Canceling NC Expansion Over Transgender Law
Update, added April 15, 2016
Tony Perkins’ Washington Watch, April 15, 2016: Big Biz: Do You Want Appease of Me?
1Ben Shapiro, Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America, (New York: Threshold Editions, 2013), 198.
Headline graphic courtesy of the Family Research Council.
Copyright © 2016 by B. Nathaniel Sullivan. All Rights Reserved.