Community Roundtable


Welcome

I wish to welcome everyone here this evening. As we begin, I would like to establish one reasonable ground rule for our discussion, and attempt to frame our discussion with a review and update of the current situation as it stands (insofar as I know anyway).

The Current Situation

I invited both the school superintendent, and the High school Principal. Both felt, unfortunately, they would be sitting here with targets on their foreheads. Nevertheless I will pass on what I know.  I will likewise hope to speak with them privately about tonight’s meeting.

At CAM

  1. The original Roundtable at CAM was called (AFAIK) to address a specific situation. The discussion format of the meeting was changed because some CAM parent had called the news, and it was determined not to let the media turn this into a circus.
  2. The advocate from Phoenix center, generally and specifically councils students, for their safety, to use their biologically gendered facilities.
  3. The School has put in place a private unisex bathroom /changing room down the Gregory hall, it is available for any and every student to use, no matter what. Students that wish to use that facility may – as I understand it – tell their teacher without repercussion that they may be late because they are going to that facility.
  4. DeAnn was meeting with an architect to investigate other facility options. I do not know what that resulted in.
  5. While it was believed that every child is using birth gender appropriate restrooms, I know for certain that this was not the case.
  6. Currently, AFAIK there are no transgendered students in the school.
  7. This does not negate the need to establish a common sense policy that protects every child.

Everywhere else

From Bruce Jenner’s public spectacle to school districts all over the place –transgenderism is being addressed by everyone at the same time it seems.  I have in my possession three documents from the ADF Legal group demonstrating among other things, that Schools Are Not Required to Allow Students to Use Opposite-Sex Restrooms. Those documents are available below.

My Personal Framework

I would like to share with you my personal framework, which I am hoping will in some measure frame tonight’s discussion.

Made in God’s Image

First, While Darwinian evolution demands that nobody has value apart from their capacity to breed strength into the species, I reject that lie. I believe completely that every person is made in God’s image and regardless of every other piece of information about them – deserves honor and respect.

I believe that no LGTBQ person is the enemy. Neither do I believe that the school board, or the school administration is the enemy. Every person needs the love of Christians, and the freedom and joy of bringing every part of their life under the authority of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I do not in any measure affirm that being LGBTQ is ok with God. I’ll be happy to debate that another time. But I do affirm as a single guiding principle that every single man, woman, and child is made in His image and for that reason alone deserves respect. This foundation of my framework fashions the one rule of Respectful Discourse I believe we should hold ourselves to.

Legally unclear

Second, I believe that the Law is not as clear cut as we’ve been led to believe. But the political climate of fear (of lawsuits, the loss of govt. funding, etc.) will under most conditions cause a default posture of acquiescence to any and every LGTBQ demand, no matter how absurd I may see it. The ACLU, the ACLJ, the ADF, and probably thousands of other legal groups and court cases are literally changing the landscape on these issues every single day.

In my opinion that means we still have the legal system at our disposal as needed. We also have the option and mandate of civil disobedience to injustice. And I will be contacting our lawmaker’s offices Including Rodney Davis, with requests to write some common sense legislation which will guard the innocence of children.

Redemption

Third, (Lest you forget that I’m a pastor) my personal desire is to see both gay and straight people come to know the obedience of faith in Jesus Christ, a goal not perhaps shared by all here. But you should know this is my goal. I believe wholeheartedly that just as everyone is created in God’s image and deserves honor; everyone has also sinned against God with their own sin. My own sin is not less deserving of condemnation than yours. The good news is that God demonstrated both his love and justice by laying the cost of every person’s sin upon His Son, Jesus Christ when he was nailed to the cross. That means that Jesus died to pay the price for every sin, and rose from the grave to prove it. So God justly punishes every sin in Him, and still forgives completely everyone who repents and turns to Him, while reserving judgment for those who do not. God is interested in much more than your sexuality which is only in truth the smallest part of your personhood. God wants to bring you to Himself, and he wants your thoughts, your attitudes, your finances, your speech, your actions, and your sexuality, indeed all of life to be brought under HIS authority for lasting Joy.

Protection

Fourth, my goal is the PROTECTION of both boys and girls from an intrusion upon their rights to privacy, to sexual purity, and from potentially predatory behavior.[1] This is just as true for LGBTQ and straight as anyone.

As I see it that means:

  1. Under no circumstances should anyone be permitted to enter and use opposite gender facilities so long as any other biologically gendered youth are in there. In other words, there should be no opportunity for nude biologically coed contact among minors.
  2. Absolutely no minor needs to see a biologically opposing gendered body in any state of undress. Such is to be reserved exclusively for their future spouse.
  3. I do not believe one person’s desire to go against obvious biology overrides the rights of everyone else.

Proposal

No Central A & M Student shall be placed in a situation where they may either be personally exposed or view in any state of undress a biologically gendered student of the opposite sex.

Procedural

I would like to propose, as we begin then ONE rule and ONE Procedural.

One Rule: Respectful discourse. No name calling, no identification of children involved, and intentional listening.

One procedural: When a topic is raised, I will ask who else has the same thoughts, and so we’ll save some time rather than having multiple people delivering “me too” statements.

Resources