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5/24/16

SHOULD JOHN KELLY APOLOGIZE?

In case you are unaware, Dr. John Kelly is the Superintendent of Schools for Pearland ISD.  Recently, he, and other Houston suburban superintendents were asked about the mandate sent down from President Obama requiring all school districts in America to allow any transgender student to be allowed to use the restroom or locker room, not of their biological sex, but of whatever sex they "identified with".  Here were his comments.

"When the Supreme Court re-defined marriage and invented new constitutional rights, the door was opened for re-defining all social norms, now including Executive Branch dictates about bathroom and locker room rules in local schools," he said.
"A hostile vocal minority now rules in America aided by an apathetic, unengaged majority. What's next? Legalizing pedophilia and polygamy? Unless we return to the Biblical basis on which our nation's laws were established, we are in serious trouble — and cannot expect God's continued favor."
His remarks have sparked outrage from some members of the community, including at least one pastor I spoke to who labeled him a "bigot" and insisted he apologize publicly.

I think there are several issues at work here.  To label this a simple issue is, I believe, to totally misunderstand the issues involved.

Were his remarks homophobic?
I believe he made that clear, they were not.  His faith, which happens to be the same faith as mine, demands that he love all people and look out for the safety of all the students of the district.  He is simply compelled to do so, not simply by law, but by his personal faith in Christ.

Is the intention to limit the rights of transgender students?
I believe that is to totally misread the problem.  Freedom comes with boundaries.  Freedom can only exist when I know what I can do, as well as what I can't do.  In this case, freedom means that he, as the leader of our district and its schools must insure that there is not chaos or the total lack of order.  This concept put forth by our President mandating that anyone in any public place can go into the most private of places based, not on their gender, but on their gender "identity" is a) the beginnings of stating that gender should no longer matter and b) the creation of chaos in our society.

Let me illustrate: I am an American.  I was born an American.  I have American citizenship.  I have always identified myself as an American.  However, I believe I have English roots.  What if tomorrow I decide that I'm no longer "identifying" as an American, but now I'm "identifying" as an Englishman?  You may say, fine...do whatever you like.  OK, then when I leave my driveway this morning I'll be driving on the lefthand side of the road.  That's what us Englishmen do, you know.  And, furthermore, I expect you to be tolerant of my new identity and move over as you see me coming.  Otherwise, I don't feel safe.  I feel discriminated against.  To expect me to drive on the righthand side is intolerant, hateful and bigoted.

Well, of course it's not.  It would cause chaos.  It would put people in jeopardy.  I cannot expect others all around me to give up their freedoms and safety just to make allowances for me.  That's not hateful.  That is the role of government.  To protect society.  I have the freedom of speech, but that freedom does not extend to my screaming "Fire" in a crowded theater.

Is this a case of intolerance?
My understanding of tolerance is not that I necessarily agree with you, but that I uphold your right to state your opinion.  But, my concept of tolerance also includes your upholding the rights of others to speak their minds, even when you don't agree with what they are saying.  Shouldn't this tolerance thing flow both ways?  It appears to me from the sidelines that those who are screaming the loudest to be tolerated, are now exhibiting the most intolerance toward the one they've demanded tolerance from.  It never amazes me how quick we are to demand from others the thing we are least prepared to  deliver to others.  One-way tolerance is no tolerance at all.

I know Dr. Kelly.  I know his heart.  I know he loves every man, woman and child, no matter what their gender or gender identity.  But, there are laws of common sense and of nature that have to be held in high esteem.  Freedom doesn't mean that everyone gets what they want all the time.  Freedom has restraints.  Freedom is hard.  It has boundaries.  It tells us where we can't go more than where we can.  To have convictions and share them is not something to apologize for.

One more thing:
If what you read here is that I'm taking up for the Christian guy and putting "those people" (whoever "those people are...I'm not quite sure) in their place, you have totally misconstrued everything I have attempted to write.  I believe that Christ died for "those people"....and that as one he died for, I'm one of "those people" myself.

15 comments:

  1. Thank you for saying so eloquently what the majority of us are feeling!

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  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. Thank Tom! Great analogy!
    Buck Stevens

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  4. Thank Tom! Great analogy!
    Buck Stevens

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  5. I think that the pastor calling for the apology should re-examine his own values and whether he is truly serving God.

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  6. Your analogies are faulty. Your "English" analogy misses the point. How you identify doesn't give you rights to ignore laws. There are no laws that dictate which restroom you use. The issue is that legislature wants to create new laws for a non-existing problem out of fear and ignorance. I know transgender men and women. They look like, behave like...ARE the gender they look like and identify with. How will people act when what appears to be a strong looking man enters a woman's restroom? When in truth, this person was born a woman and is now a man. Is forcing this MAN to use a WOMEN'S restroom, by YOUR CHOOSING, a situation that makes HIM uncomfortable, the women in the WOMEN'S restroom uncomfortable, and puts HIM in a potential dangerous situation a LOVING action?

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  7. Keep your religion out of my schools and government. Religion belongs at church or home. I have my own religious beliefs that just don't mesh with yours and in America they are supposed to be separate!

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  8. Keep your religion out of my schools and government. Religion belongs at church or home. I have my own religious beliefs that just don't mesh with yours and in America they are supposed to be separate!

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  9. From one Christian to another.
    A link that I find very true to my heart.
    http://johnpavlovitz.com/2016/05/26/dear-offended-christian-from-a-very-tired-christian/

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