ast week, a pastor friend told me about a new problem he is facing in his congregation. I hesitate to call it a “first world pastoral problem” because that runs the risk of trivializing it, of making it seem akin to those issues only deemed catastrophic by chattering-class Westerners—a sudden shortage of quinoa at Whole Foods, for example, or a blight on zinfandel grapes. This is a first world problem in the sense that it is created by the chattering classes; but it is in no sense trivial.
The problem my pastor friend faces is how to counsel parents of teenage girls who will not drink anything before going to school lest they have to use the bathrooms that, thanks to the stroke of President Biden’s pen, are now open to teenage boys who think—or claim—to have been born in the wrong bodies. It seems that anxiety and physical discomfort caused by the new bathroom policy will now be the new normal for young high school girls. Trans activists like to use the language of “safety” as a way of playing to the aesthetics of our therapeutic culture and delegitimizing their critics. Well, these biological women no longer feel safe. Their spaces, like their gender, have been stolen from them by men and for men. They now feel themselves to be in such danger that they cannot even hydrate before school lest they have to use the restroom during the day. America has had a number of presidents whose appetites meant that they arguably posed a danger to many women who crossed their physical paths; but the current president has out-performed them all. His policies have made him a danger to all women everywhere, even in high school restrooms. Read more»
Carl R. Trueman, “A New Pastoral Problem,” First Things (March 2, 2021)
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