The Horns of the Bathroom Dilemma

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. ~ James 1:8

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. ~ James 1:8

No such thing as a slow news day these days.

When we got on board this train in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2006, no one could have envisioned that ten years later the potty break would be as controversial as the photographs, cakes, and flowers. Of course, many thought the destination was Washington D.C. in 2015, but that was only a stop for fresh supplies and a bigger engine. What began with the picture taker, the baker, and the arrangement maker was just that, only a beginning.

Where we are right now

It’s difficult for commentary to keep up with news developments today. We hardly have time to think about something that has happened before the next thing happens. The fire of the moment is the battle over bathrooms. The City of Charlotte passed an ordinance then the state of North Carolina passed a law. Target announced a policy. The courts are hearing cases on bathrooms and locker rooms in schools. Other state governments are debating the issue, and it does go on.

On April 19, 2016, Target posted a statement in explanation of their policy concerning the use of changing rooms and bathroom facilities in their stores. The statement consisted of 226 words in which the corporation spoke of their “beliefs” four times and referred to their stance/commitment/position four times as well. Seven times in the statement, they referred to how they act on, or exercise, their core beliefs.

Let me start by saying I agree with Target. Their statement is not as much an explanation of their policy as it is a defense of their policy. They are explaining why they have the right to make such a policy and I agree with their reasons completely. They refer to “our stores,” which asserts that they are a private company and have legal right to set their own policy for use of the facilities they own and the services they provide. But they go further than that. When they speak of their “core belief” as a business they are acknowledging they have a conscience and deeply held convictions that govern the running of their business. They also go further by clearly acknowledging the free exercise of their beliefs in setting a policy which denies men and women, both employees and customers, access to privacy, dignity, and security in exclusive changing and bathroom facilities.

Target is 100% correct in the reasons they clearly state to their right to make such policy. I agree completely that they have that right as they have stated and I will defend the right that private businesses have to run their business according to their own convictions of conscience, which includes the choice of services consistent with those convictions. I couldn’t possibly agree more.

But now to those pesky horns

Being hung on the horns of a dilemma refers to a logical fallacy where a person’s logic has been demonstrated to be internally inconsistent by showing the logical conclusion of their argument contradicts their premise. Target is hung on the horns of the dilemma in their own policy and statement. Their statement is internally inconsistent. They claim their actions are based on an effort to “oppose … discrimination” and make “Everyone” feel “accepted, respected and welcomed.” However, to accomplish their goal they have discriminated against the largest portion of the population and denied them respect and welcoming.

The Obama administration is hung on the horns of the dilemma as they flex the Justice Department against the state of North Carolina. They are straining language beyond the breaking point and accusing the state, when North Carolina has not broken any existing law. Of course, to punish the state for their phony accusation of discrimination, the administration is threatening discrimination against North Carolina with federal funds. The statements made by the Attorney General in this case are internally inconsistent and nonsensical if words have meaning.

The logic of the agenda of this whole ten year train wreck is internally inconsistent. When a major American corporation adopts a policy in line with the agenda, they are defended as a private business with the right to set their own policies of doing business. When a very small family business, e.g. photographer, baker, or florist, declines an order based on conviction, suddenly they are a public business with no right to choose how to do business based on their core beliefs. When an aging rocker denies service to thousands of senior citizens in a state due to his convictions, he is celebrated. When a grandmother declines a flower order due to her convictions, she is punished and must have everything taken away from her.

The bathroom logic has been demonstrated to be inconsistent. Everyone that adopts it will be hung on the horns of the dilemma like Seattle Parks and Recreation in February of this year. A man walks into the women’s locker room of the pool and begins changing. Workers there told him to leave but he refused citing the new rules gave him a right to be there. He stayed and they did nothing. A representative for the Parks department stated that they had no protocol for determining gender at that time. We have to admit, that’s a tough one.

There they are on the horns of the dilemma. At some point somebody is going to have to draft that protocol and implement it, but as soon as they put any restriction whatsoever on access, they have contradicted themselves in a most embarrassing way. Stories are already coming out about the practical problems of such policies, but yet the train rolls on.

The inconsistencies of this agenda are obvious and so numerous they are hard to keep track of. Some people are beside themselves wondering why they can’t see their own inconsistency.

How can they not see the inconsistency?

Of course, they can see it. They just don’t care. This whole thing is not really about access or discrimination. If the bathroom problem were really a problem, it’s easily solved. Many businesses have single-toilet, lockable unisex bathrooms. No one is being denied access to a bathroom just like no one is being denied a cake, or flowers, or a photograph. In the original New Mexico case, the party of the first part had already secured a different photographer, at a better price, before they even filed their complaint. That’s the free market for you. Everyone has options.

What is this about then? It’s all about authority and lordship. They want what Eve wanted when she ate the fruit in the garden (Genesis 3:6). They want to be their own god. They want to determine good and evil for themselves as their own god. They want what Pharaoh wanted (Exodus 5:2). They want to go their own way and not obey the word of the Lord. They want what Nebuchadnezzer wanted (Daniel 4:30). They want to be glorified and not share their glory with any others. They want what the fool wanted (Psalm 14:1). They want there to be no God so they can go their own way without any responsibility or accountability to another.

They are so determined to have their way, they are trying to pull down everything that points to God. That’s why they are trying to destroy the most fundamental objective reality of humanness—being male or female. Why? Because God made it so (Genesis 1:27). Of course, they can’t actually undo what God has made so they’re just kicking dust and chucking rocks and playing games with words.

So the postmoderns keeping pulling down their house brick by brick. Eventually, though, you run out of bricks and then you have no house. This train will derail but there’s no telling how crazy the ride will get till then. Looking at this current election cycle it is safe to say it will get crazier still.

About Jeff Short