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Letter to the Editor: Evangelical Hysteria Over Transgender Bathroom Use

evangelicals transgender
This cartoon correctly shows how many Evangelicals perceive the Transgender/bathroom issue. Their perceptions, however, are categorically wrong.

Letter to the Editor submitted to The Bryan Times on April 22, 2016 (never printed) Resubmitted to the Defiance Crescent-News on May 19, 2016

Dear Editor,

Recent news stories have highlighted Evangelical outrage and hysteria over Transgenders using public restrooms. I suspect most Americans at one time or another have taken care of business while in proximity to someone whose sexual identity or orientation is different from theirs. Why all the outrage now over such a banal issue as who and where someone pees?

At the heart of this issue lies Evangelical hatred and disgust, not only for Transgenders, but also for anyone who dares to be different from the God-approved, heterosexual-only, virginal, monogamous-sex-only-within-the-bonds-of-marriage Evangelical belief concerning sexuality. As a Baptist teenager, I vividly remember sermons and admonitions warning teens of the dire consequences of fornication and masturbation. All the scare-tactic preaching did was make us feel guilty when we acted upon normal, healthy human sexual desire.

Evangelicalism is now widely considered a hateful religion by many Americans. Why is this? In the 1970s, Jerry Falwell and Paul Weyrich birthed The Moral Majority — an Evangelical group dedicated to reclaiming America for the Christian God. Along the way new groups such as Focus on the Family and the American Family Association joined with the Moral Majority to fight the war against what they perceived to be the takeover of America by Godless liberals, Satanic secularists, atheists, and humanists. In the 1980s these culture warriors sold their souls to the Republican Party, joining church and state and producing the ugly monster now on display for all to see.

During this same time frame, secularists, their numbers increasing thanks to a growing number of Americans who no longer are interested in organized religion, began to push back at Evangelicalism’s message of hate and bigotry. Atheist groups such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation and American Atheists began challenging governmental preferential treatment given to Evangelicals. Now, thanks to a rising swell of secularism, Evangelicals feel threatened. No longer are they given special treatment. No longer are their blatant assaults on the First Amendment ignored. The more Evangelicals are marginalized, the greater their outrage.

Evangelicals must accept the fact that progress has brought us to place of inclusion and acceptance of those who are different from us. Evangelical preachers are certainly free to keep preaching against what they believe are sinful behaviors. But they might want to notice that many Americans — particularly millennials — are no longer listening.

Bruce Gerencser
Ney, Ohio


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    Debra Smith

    I believe you hit the nail on the head, It would seem that Evangelicals cannot really get away with creating fear of the homosexual any more, so the transgendered have become the new bogey man. Not only have evangelicals fought against fair treatment for the LGBT community (which even their own book makes clear is not Christ-like), they fight against any attempt to educate the public on the scientific basis for transgenderism. I don’t know, but I always thought there was one of those commandments about bearing false witness against your neighbor.

  3. Avatar

    You’re right , Bruce, though it’s not just Evangelicals who indulge in such scare mongering. I recently added a pro-transgender post to my blog and this morning had a wonderfully intolerant response from a Catholic blogger (click on my name above to get to it). He suggests that denying transgender people the appropriate rest-room protects women and girls from sexual predators. Given the Catholic church’s record on abuse, how’s that for ignoring the beam in one’s own eye to point out the speck in someone else’s?

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      Debra Smith

      Of course this is no different than assuming all gays are pedophiles who “recruit” children at every opportunity. Personally, I just cannot think of a good reason to fear someone who has taken high levels of hormones that would take away their sexual desire.

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