By Don Gentry
On March 3rd, the Charlotte City Council voted on what will likely become a landmark decision. Here is a link in case you don’t know what I am talking about. You can also Google “Charlotte City Council” and you’ll find that the LGBT controversy is in the top five results.
Regardless of your level of awareness, the fact is that our city had to vote on an ordinance that would have mandated that transgender individuals would be allowed to use any public restroom.
This case has created quite a stir in the political community. There has been some strong language used in opposition to and also in support of the proposal. As followers of Christ we have to ask ourselves, how should we respond?
The Bible gives us clear directives as followers of Christ in response to the government:
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
1 Peter 2:13-17
What does this passage look like in your life and in your speech?
I did a little research of my own for this particular issue. I am a numbers guy. For fifty years the CDC, Center for Disease Control, has been conducting a survey of the American public. It is called the National Health Interview Survey. It is comprised of 33,000 Americans between the ages of 18-64 and is considered one of the most accurate surveys conducted. You can read about the CDC results here.
The Washington Post writes, “The National Health Interview Survey, which is the government’s premier tool for annually assessing Americans’ health and behaviors, found that 1.6 percent of adults self-identify as gay or lesbian, and 0.7 percent consider themselves bisexual.”
I also read several articles on the percentage of men who are rapists. The statistics are anywhere between 4.5%-10% of the male population are considered rapists. There are 350,000 men that live in the city of Charlotte (not necessarily Charlotte Metro), and if only 4.5% is accurate that leaves roughly 16,000 potential rapists capable of capitalizing on this current proposal.
America has adopted a form of Government that is by the people and for the people, and each one of us has to decide what we think is the primary role of government. As I look at this current issue, I personally don’t think the ruling was aimed at the LGBT community.
I see how it has become an issue for this community of individuals, but this community reflects a very small percentage of our population. According to these statistics, we’re talking about creating a law that mandates 99% of the population be put at risk of safety issues for the sake of the comfort of 1% or less of the population.
As a husband and the father of three girls, I am far more concerned about the voyeurs and criminals that could easily use this ordinance as an opportunity for perpetrating crimes against the vulnerable and innocent. Public safety, in my opinion, is a much more important government issue than satisfying a small minority’s desire. Concern for 99% of the population exceeds that of the 1%.
But that is my opinion.
When you adopt your own political views and stances on government issues, I cannot and would not tell you what to believe. I do ask that you try to be as objective and loving as possible. Politics can get us fired up (believe me I know), but let’s not use our politics to throw around hateful and hurtful words.
Our politics and beliefs often stand in opposition to another person’s convictions and beliefs. It is important that when that happens, we use words that reflect our political stance while still communicating love and respect to our fellow citizens. 1 Peter 2 was written to a people group without much influence in their form of government. As we look to our involvement, if we want to point people to Christ, then our speech and politics better not incite hate and hurt.