Politics and the Church – Where’s the Church? [Part 25]

A few weeks ago I was reading in the Book of Ephesians.  In Paul’s message to Ephesus he commented,”His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in heavenly realms…” (Eph 3:10). Further, he states,”I pray that out of His glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through His spirit in your inner being…” (Eph 3:16).  As we observe some of our churches today we may come to the conclusion that through man’s laws and politicians, the manifold wisdom of government is being made known to the churches.  Many churches are letting the secular power of government reign supreme in the lives of the people and the power Paul speaks of is being used to cower behind the walls of the churches. The Bible never intended for the church to be the government but neither did the Bible intend for the church to bow to the power of a secular world government.  I believe that the ‘power’ Paul spoke of was the power to speak up in the face of evil wherever it might be found.  Many, not all, churches fear taking a stand against oppressive government control or the congregants are too uninformed as to what is going on around them…churches lack a political action committee to keep the church informed.  When the government oversteps its bounds Washington should be flooded with correspondence from the nation’s churches.  Unfortunately this doesn’t happen and in the world of politics ‘silence is approval’.  Then the ‘strength’ must be exercised by the few who are willing to take a stand.  We will now take a look at some situations where God’s will is clearly violated by those in government who use their man given power to oppress those who live by the Word of God.

In Illinois, courts are actually going to answer the question: Do the rights of boys who identify as girls trump the rights of girls who are born girls?  Who would have ever thought this could be a legitimate question in the United States?  And it will take tax payer money to process and answer it.  Dozens of Illinois parents filed a lawsuit after the administration’s…politics…Department of Education (DOE) strong-armed their school district…weak school administrators…into allowing a transgender student the rights to use all girls’ locker rooms. [“51 Families Sue Feds, Chicago-Area School District for Violating Student Privacy”, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), May 4, 2016].  Jeremy Tedesco, an attorney with ADF, a religious liberty law firm representing some fifty families, said,”The girls are mortified. They are in a constant state of fear that their bodies are going to be exposed to a male in these settings. It’s a constant state of stress and anxiety for them.” [Jeremy Tedesco in communication with Todd Starnes, May 2016].  At least one of the plaintiffs, a female high school student, was harassed and bullied because she was uncomfortable changing in the same locker room with a biological boy.  While she was in the changing stall, other girls who were in the locker room began calling her names including ‘transphobic’ and ‘homophobic’. [Students and Parents for Privacy v. United States Department of Education, case 1:16-cv-04954, December 19, 2016].  I have not been able to find a DOE response to the lawsuit.  In a statement to the Chicago Tribune, as you might imagine, the American Civil Liberties Union said the lawsuit is a “sad development by groups opposed to fair and humane treatment of all students, including those who are transgender.” [Duaa Eldeib and Dawn Rhodes,”Lawsuit Filed After Transgender Student Gets Locker Room Access in Palatine”, Chicago Tribune, May 5, 2016].  In 2015 DOE warned the Township High School District 211 in Palatine that unless they gave a biologically male student unfettered access to the girls’ locker rooms they would revoke $6 million in federal funding. The federal administration had in fact committed a de facto act of extortion and had done so with your’s and my tax money…politics in action.  This happens when bureaucrats set aside the Constitution and when local churches stay quiet.  The DOE would be a great target for saving the tax payers money and getting the federal government back in line with the Constitution.  Every school district in America had gotten the message.  DOE was starting to enforce its dictate through threats of revoking funding.  Districts are caving in because they know the federal government is going to come after them. [Tedesco in communication with Todd Starnes, May 2016].  ADF alleges the DOE has been using Title IX to bully and intimidate school districts across the country by redefining what the term sex means. [Kellie Fiedorek,”Obama Administration:’Give Up Privacy or Give Up Funding’, NC Families, Students Sue”, ADF, May 11, 2016].  ADF receives calls every week from parents and school administrators asking what they can do.  They are caving because they know the federal government is going to come after them. [Ibid].  [“Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972”, United States Department of Labor].  ADF contends that what DOE is doing is “completely unlawful”. [Tedesco in communication with Todd Starnes, May 2016].  For the first forty years of the statute’s history sex has always meant male and female.  Sex has now been redefined to include gender identity. [Ibid].  The lawsuit filed in federal court alleges the DOE’s actions have violated the girls’ right to privacy.  “Everyday these girls go to school, they experience embarrassment, humiliation, anxiety, fear, apprehension, stress, degradation, and loss of dignity because they will have to use the locker room and restroom with a biological male”. [Students and Parents for Privacy v. United States Department of Education]. Not to be surprised, the ACLU was especially offended that ADF referred to the transgender student as “he” in the lawsuit. [Eldeib and Rhodes,”Lawsuit Filed After Transgender Student Gets Locker Room Access in Palatine.]   The offense…ADF would not call their client a “girl”.  Apparently in today’s America your gender identity is based on “feelings” rather than your God-given parts.  And in the nature of civil rights,”What about the civil rights of women who don’t want men in their bathroom? Do their rights matter at all?” [“Trish Regan:’What About the Civil Rights of Women Who Don’t Want Men in Their Bathrooms?'”, FoxNews.com, May 6, 2016].  Women complain and risk being labeled a ‘transphobic bigot’. Civil rights seem to have gotten double-flushed.

Unfortunately the civil rights violations don’t end in Illinois.  Transgender ‘twerking’ in the locker room apparently is a new civil right.  In another case a public school district opened its showers and locker rooms to the ‘opposite’ sex, turning a blind eye to the stomach-churning behavior that was allowed.  Under the school district’s policy the transgender student was allowed to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of ‘his’ choice. ‘He’ was also allowed to participate on girls’ athletic teams. ADF once again stepped forward to represent this case for angry parents and girls.  The ‘transgender’ allegedly engaged in inappropriate and sexually suggestive behavior, leaving some of the girls in tears. [Privacy Matters and Parent A v. United States Department of Education, United States Department of Justice, and Independent School District 706, State of MN, Case:16-cv-03015, December 19, 2016].  Among the allegations: ‘He’ commented on girls’ bodies while in the girls’ locker room including asking one girl to trade body parts with ‘him’; danced to loud music with sexually explicit lyrics while ‘twerking’, ‘grinding’, and lifting up ‘his’ skirt to reveal ‘his’ underwear; danced in a sexually explicit manner like ‘he’ was on a ‘stripper pole’. [Ibid].  The girls were told that if they felt uncomfortable they should use a secondary locker room in the basement of an elementary school. Nearly half the girls’ JV basketball team chose the secondary locker room.  It wasn’t long before the ‘transgender’ student showed up in that locker room.[Ibid].  On one occasion ‘he’ walked into the locker room while one of the girl plaintiffs was in her underwear and removed ‘his’ pants while ‘he’ was near her and other girls who were changing.  It signaled to her her and all the other girls that there was no place in the school were they could preserve their privacy under the policy. [Ibid].  As for the school district they turned a blind eye to the complaints raised by the girls and their parents.  ADF had been warning for months that this was going to happen and that there was going to be consequences for stripping away student privacy.  [Matt Sharp, ADF attorney, in communication with Todd Starnes, September 2016].

Other than a Christian law firm getting involved I have not been able to find any evidence of even local churches taking a stand on this school policy.  Where is the pressure they could have brought to the school board and the local politicians?  Being quiet is an ‘action’, an action that has many questioning the value and reliance of the church in our society.  For the church to continue to avoid politics it just may find itself outdated.  What kind of stand does your church take on un-Godly political actions?  Next week we will look at how a long cherished holiday…Christmas…is being phased out in a supposed Christian nation.  It’s not the churches doing this but politics.

– Bob Munsey

PS   Rev. Livingston of New Hope Baptist Church in Chicago is taking a stand against the leadership of that city where crime has gotten out of control.  May God bless him in his stand.  We need more like him.

PSPS   My new blog is now up and operating.  It includes all of my weekly “Politics and the Church” since November 2015.  To get there Google “geezerpolitics.wordpress.com” OR enter the following link in your browser box.

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