Mothers, Bathrooms, and the Idol of Feelings

Probably by now everyone knows about the Presidential bathroom decree that makes Target’s position look like child’s play.

Following the Target decision I read numerous posts from moms sharing how they intended to navigate using the loo with their little people. The vast majority of what I read from Christian moms were urging a march-in-that-bathroom-and-teach-my-little-one-to-love-everybody-by-smiling-at-the-man-in-the-girls’-room kind of approach. Most were wanting to recognize the humanity and struggle of the man who sees himself as a woman. Some even scoffed and vehemently rejected the idea that this could heighten abuse, instead insisting that men who believe themselves to be women were nothing like child predators, and confusing the two was judgmental and un-Christian.

Here’s where I agree with that thinking: we should recognize the humanity of men who think they are women and are in the women’s restroom. Where I differ is how we do that.

Boiled down, the trans-fiasco is one giant feelings-fest. Feelings are the new Baal. We don’t find our way out of it by teaching our young children that the way to love a man who thinks he’s a woman is by ignoring reality in favor of feelings-only  love.

The thing is, you can smile at the trans person in the bathroom. You can hand him the paper towel in an effort to teach your daughter that you love everybody equally and treat everyone with respect. You can tell her that somehow you’re being Jesus to that man. But you’ll simply be teaching her that reality doesn’t matter, only feelings. Because the reality is, that man can’t tell your “Jesus smile” from an “I think being trans is awesome smile” and your paper towel passing didn’t further him along one iota in knowing the true Jesus.

If moms want to go all WWJD on the trans bathroom issue, then consider what Jesus did with the woman at the well whom he’d just met.

“Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” (John 4:16-18 ESV)

Jesus never played around with reality. He never substituted felt needs for actual ones. His compassion was a compassion based in reality.

You have to ask yourself, do you really believe that the wrath of God remains on all who do not honor God as God? Do you believe that God is the one behind our sex, our gender, our personhood? Do you believe that the man in the ladies’ room is currently in anguish and headed for deeper anguish that will last and last? Because that’s what sin is and that’s where sin leads, no matter how he or you or I feel about it.

And you have to ask yourself, have you met the Savior? Do you really believe that the Gospel is the power of God for salvation? Did he do it for you? Did he save you from anguish and sin? If that’s true, then how can you not believe it’s possible for the man in women’s bathroom? I cannot understand how ignoring reality is a strategy for loving people. Your motivation may be to love someone–to show them Jesus–and you may tell yourself that you’re not ignoring reality, you’re choosing to love in spite of it. But none of that is actually communicated without words and therefore it doesn’t matter how you feel about what you’re doing–it doesn’t translate as God’s love to the trans person.

Could it be that we aren’t really being sensitive to the feelings of the man in the ladies’ room or concerned with loving him at all? Could it be that we’re doing what makes US feel good? Smiling and going with the status quo, feeling like we’re so big and above it all. Are we any different from the trans person in our actions? We do what we feel is right and so do they.

Moms, the only thing that matters is what GOD says is right, how he defines reality.

Have you ever considered why it’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance? It’s because we first were told about our sin. We first had to recognize an authority and reality that is over us. Only then did kindness look like kindness. Only then did it result in repentance. Without the first part, the kindness would have been cruel niceness, happily ushering us on our way, ignorant of the wrath that remained.

So I don’t think it’s loving to merely smile at the man who thinks he’s a woman in the bathroom. I think it’s unkind. I think, if you have a one-to-one encounter, it would be more loving to say something like, “I think you should be in the men’s room.”  And then explain why you think that, as difficult and long as that may take. As misunderstood as you may be. As much as it will FEEL hard. Do it with Gospel love coming out in words and actions.

Then there’s the issue of our children. Is it kind to your daughter to take her into a restroom where men are present? Again, reality matters. Men are bigger than women. Men are stronger than women. Men are different than women. To knowingly have your daughter use a bathroom stall next to a man (when other options are present) communicates that protecting her is not a priority, and it increases a negative sense of vulnerability. No young girl should be made to use the restroom with men present. Assuming that no trans person is a child abuser (which is a huge assumption that I don’t even make with people at church), the simple act of requiring her use the bathroom with men there is in and of itself a perversion.

So that brings us to the President’s decree over public school bathrooms. I wonder if the same moms who were going to march themselves and their daughters into Target’s ladies’ rooms with men present will be as keen on telling their daughters to march into the locker room with teenage boys present. Are your daughters valuable or not? Are they allowed the protection of their own bodies or not? Are you communicating that to them in reality or only with feelings?

I can relate to the enticement of feelings as the final authority. I can understand it because I’m a human with one million feelings just like you. And hurt feelings may be one of the most powerful forces on the planet. But there is a God who came to redeem us, along with all our broken, powerful feelings. He cares about you. He cares about your feelings. So much so that he won’t let them ruin your life by ruling your life. He’s the only one who can be trusted to rule.

Hopeful No Matter What Happens on Super Tuesday

As we in MN stare down Super Tuesday, poised to do our part and head to the caucus, I find myself hopeful and thankful.

With just a smidge of irony (because isn’t that how God works?), “Two” Corinthians just so happens to be the place where all this hope is welling up from.

“Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:1-6 ESV)

Christian friends, let’s resolve with Paul to refuse to practice cunning, but with an open statement of truth, let’s commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience. We can openly and with a clear resolve, give our Gospel, God-fearing reasons for who we hope will be President of our country, all the while making it clear that our peace with God is not disturbed by whatever happens. We can give thanks for all that there is to give thanks for in this country. This is our chance to show who our hope really is in. Go to your caucus and preach Christ, friends, not a candidate. Yes, you’ll have to vote one way or another and I’m sincerely praying that no Christians vote for Trump, but even as we give our support to a candidate, we must make it our larger goal to point to the source of true hope. Is there a place more fraught with worry and anger and more in need of the Gospel than the political sphere? We have an opportunity to shine the light of Christ.

Perhaps the most countercultural way we can testify to the fact that Christ has come to save–that his kingdom is at hand–is to show that by the imperturbable state of our heart and utter reliance and confidence in God. Preach Christ by refusing to let your spirit be rattled or agitated by what’s to come. Which isn’t to say that we are indifferent. No, not indifferent, but set apart, invested in the life of our country, but with our citizenship fully in heaven.

I’m remembering that God uses the strangest, most unlikely things to draw people to himself. I’m remembering that, even though some may intend evil, that God means all things for good for his people and that, even while we work against the evil as we should, God is powerful to turn the evil upside down and refine his church, strengthen his bride and bring many sons to glory.

We live in the Kingdom of light, not darkness, and I don’t mean America. God has transferred us from the kingdom of darkness and now we walk with him in the light. God’s kingdom came to us when he shined the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ into our hearts. Rather than act fearful of all that could come, we stand on a sure foundation. We do not fear for ourselves or our children. We serve the Living God and he will make all grace abound to us, no matter the outcome of Super Tuesday or any day after.

So, go caucus friends; caucus as unashamed and immovable children of God and bring the light of Christ to the dark places.



Conscripted for Life, Not War: Why the Draft is Wrong for Women


I watched the latest Republican Presidential debate with usual dutifulness. I want to be informed, I want to understand the candidates, and I want to play the small part God’s given me in this process, but as this was not the first one, I didn’t expect anything revelatory.

Imagine my shock as I listened to not one, but three, so-called conservative candidates vigorously support selective service–including combat—for women, even referencing the importance of equality for their daughters in their responses. Selective service registration exists as a way to reinstitute the draft should the need arise.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who was having a hard time equating women’s progress with conscripting them to fight wars. Don’t get me wrong. I believe fathers should value their daughters. I think they should encourage them to do marvelous things. I just also happen to think they should value them as members of the female sex, not pretend that there are no biological, muscle mass differences between them and men.

It seems our government, indeed our culture, has engaged in a rendition of  The Emperor Has No Clothes, but instead it’s something more along the lines of, The Women Are No Different Than the Men. This idea that, because women can think as clearly as a man, that it would follow that she can (and should) also fight in combat against men with the same effectualness is, not to put too fine a point on it, absurd. I’m an average-sized female in relatively decent shape and even as I observe the smaller of the male sex, I know that it would be a poor bet to imagine that I could overpower or outrun such a man. There’s a reason women are anxious in dark parking lots at night and men aren’t. We aren’t stupid.

You may object. You may tell me about your friend who’s a fitness instructor or unbelievably strong or played on a boys’ lacrosse team. I grant all that. But is it the norm? And even given the fact that women can be physically strong, despite the reality that many are not, is that what God gave us strength for? To fight in combat against men?

God gave women marvelous strength. Strength that wasn’t meant to be compared or measured against a man. Last time I checked, I’d never met a man able to give birth. I’ve also never known a man able to handle months of sleep deprivation during which he fed a tiny human round the clock from his very own body. These are (some of) the unique strengths of a woman and we ought not to degrade men for being unable to perform these feats. Likewise, I should feel no sense of shame over the simple fact that I can’t take down a man in combat. Why would I want to? It’s not what I was made for.

Strength is a garment women ought to wear. The kind of strength that stretches out its arms to support the poor, to feed hungry souls, to grow and harvest all that God has given you. It is a strength that nurtures life, not war. Whether a woman can give birth or not, her strength is fundamentally different than a man’s. We can keep pretending this isn’t so, or we can embrace the body and the biology God has assigned to us.

In college, I was one of those girls who managed to get my MRS. degree along with my actual diploma. I remember the jokes and the smugness toward the girls who were open about wanting to be married and start a family. The peer pressure on college girls to forsake that sort of “wasting of your education” was sizable.

But let’s not succumb to that sort of juvenile peer pressure, as if an education’s value is found anywhere but saddled to a man and children. We won’t all get married in college (or at all) and we must all walk the path God has for us. But the desire to be married, the desire to have a family is a good one. Let’s not mistake it for something else. Similarly, the desire to live our lives now as women, clothed in the sort of strength that makes us uniquely women, not men battling in combat, is also a good one. Elisabeth Elliot said it best, “Let me be a woman.”

Radical Gratitude

Bill Maher recently interviewed Gloria Steinem. I don’t watch Bill Maher, but I saw a headline that peaked my interest about a statement Gloria Steinem made as to why young feminists are supporting Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton. She said young women are thinking, “Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie.” The implication being that young feminists just want to be “Where The Boys Are” as one song famously put it.

This fascinated me for a number of reasons, but while watching the interview, I came across something even more intriguing. Bill Maher asks Ms. Steinem if young women are complacent about Roe v. Wade–if they don’t appreciate it as much as the older generation. And Ms. Steinem replies with this, “Gratitude never radicalized anybody.” She explains that she never said thank you for the right to vote, but rather it was her anger about what was happening to her that drove her action. She says that nowadays young women are “mad as hell” about college debt and earning less than men over their lifetime, in contrast, their mere gratitude over so-called abortion rights doesn’t fuel any action. First off, I don’t agree with any of the causes Ms. Steinem is advocating. But I want to understand what she thinks is the motivating factor for change.

Steinem believes anger is the fuel of progress. It’s only when we’re fed up that we’ll start to initiate change. This is a righteous anger to her, a matter of injustice being corrected. So she believes abortion is a right and worked to get it because of what she saw as injustice. Now in reality that’s a perversion of justice. Killing babies isn’t justice for anybody. But putting aside her amorality, you can get your head around the principle. Injustice ought to drive us to action. I do not agree with her on what constitutes injustice and what is worth being angry over. But nevertheless, I get it.

But does it follow that righteous indignation over injustice is the only way to transformation? Does it follow that gratitude is impotent? That is never radicalized anybody?

The Gospel of Christ, the knowledge of him and receiving of his grace is the true transformation. It is the only way to change inside or outside. And gratitude is a potent byproduct of that.

Romans tells us that the world has two big problems, it doesn’t honor God as God and it won’t give thanks to him. Gratitude is a big deal. And not as some manufactured “to do” for people who are trying to be saved. It’s also not some payback, like you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours system that Christians have going with God. We do owe him thanks. But no one wants thanks that aren’t true overflow. What we owe him can’t be given as payback. It’s got to be a real heartfelt response.

Begrudging thanks or thanks that are duty go against the spirit of gratitude, which is a spirit of overflow, of gladness, of simple gratefulness. There’s an element of spontaneity in them, of something that can’t be suppressed, it bubbles up and can’t be kept down.

That’s what thankful people are like. And what a radical thing they are in our day. Grateful people are transformed and transformative. When gratitude wells up, it kills entitlement. The spring of gratitude turns victims into whole, full people.

I’ve never seen a truly grateful person be divisive or argumentative. A heart is not made to harbor gratitude alongside sin, which is what makes it so powerful, so radical. And it’s presence can change a whole room.

So you want to see change? You want real injustice to end? You want to be radical? Ask God to open your eyes too all you have to be grateful for. And if your a Christian and belong to Christ–God has given you his Son and along with him all things. I’m pretty sure that’s enough to keep gratitude overflowing into eternity.


"..abortion has done what the Klan only dreamed of." -Dr. Alveda King

CNS News reports that, “Abortion kills more black Americans than the seven leading causes of death combined, according to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 2005, the latest year for which the abortion numbers are available.”

And so, the spirit of Margaret Sanger lives on in Planned Parenthood.

Sanger, an ardent eugenicist and founder of Planned Parenthood, spoke and wrote of her desire to get rid of such “undesirable” groups as “Negroes” through the method of sterilization and widespread birth control.  At one point in her sordid career she even addressed the women’s auxillary of the Ku Klux Klan.

Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and pro-life advocate, couldn’t be more right when she points out that “abortion has done what the Klan only dreamed of.”

Those arguing for abortion often demand that it’s African Americans who would suffer the most by being denied the “right” to abortion.


I can and will never consider the decimation of a race of people to be a “right.”  Nor will I ever consider babies as punishment.

And I hope the reality of the number of African Americans dying each day (1,784) by abortion will jerk some pro-choicers out of their politically correct stupor and help them to realize there is nothing politically correct or civilized about genocide.

where were you?

8 years ago today, I was getting ready to go to my racquetball class during my second year at Bethel College. It was early in the morning and I was watching the news (as usual).

I left for the short walk to the courts. After about thirty minutes of playing our coach called us together to tell us that he just had a phone call saying that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. He led us in prayer together, then dismissed us.

I rushed back to the apartment on campus where my roommates and I lived and flipped the TV back on. The reporters were nervously speculating about how it was possible for a plane to crash into the WTC.

Then, I watched as a second plane crashed into the towers.

As everyone who was watching at that moment knows, it is very hard to describe the feelings being felt at that time. Suffice to say, there was no more speculation. Everyone knew that this was no freak accident.

I continued to watch, sickeningly, as the towers collapsed one by one. Then came the phone calls from family and friends to check in and process.

I am thankful that no more attacks have happened in these 8 years. I’m thankful for the men and women who sacrifice to keep us safe. God is merciful.

So, where were you?

gay ice cream?

The Hubby Hubby tub feautures a picture of two men getting married

Ben & Jerry’s is celebrating Vermont’s legislation for gay marriage.  They’re changing the name of their Chubby Hubby ice cream to Hubby Hubby for the month.

I am saddened.  While they peddle homosexuality as fun rainbow-y party with no consequences (not just bereft of consequence, but a noble cause of equal rights), we should be reminded of the stark contrast with which the Bible speaks of this sin, and every sin.

Can you imagine if other sins were glorified in this way?  They might have “cheating chocolate” ice cream or “let’s shoplift sherbet” or “slander sundaes.”  It’s not ok to glorify sin.  And it is ok to be outraged by it.  As long as we’re willing to look at our own areas of sin and do battle with them while we call others to a higher standard.

So, Hubby Hubby ice cream.  Another call for repentance.  Not just for gays, but for all of us.  Let’s remind ourselves of the true meaning of God’s rainbow and praise Him today that He keeps His promises and tremble at His justice in doing so.

frozen embryos: awaiting demise or continued life

Al Mohler takes a look at what he calls the “disposition decision” in regard to frozen embryos:

For those whose progeny are now frozen in fertility clinics, the “disposition decision” will eventually have to be made. The decision about the eventual disposition of these human embryos will reveal what these couples truly believe about human dignity and the sanctity of human life. On the larger landscape, the pattern of these decisions and the policies adopted by medical practitioners will reveal the soul of our culture as well.

Mohler discusses just some of the many complications surrounding frozen embryos:

Advances in IVF technology now project the potential that frozen embryos could be successfully transferred into a womb years or even decades after fertilization. For the first time in human history, this allows for a form of generational confusion human beings have never encountered before. Quite literally, an embryo from a genetic ancestor generation could potentially be transferred into a womb and gestate, thus being born after the generation of what would be considered his or her grandchildren.

Mohler reports that patients fall all across the board when asked to rank the moral status of their frozen embryos from minimum moral status to maximum moral status. Some view the embryos as a back-up plan should anything happen to the children they currently have.

According to a study published in Fertility and Sterility, very few patients are willing to have their embryos adopted.

And then there are those very few patients on the other end who are willing to give their embryos for scientific research.

Mohler says:

A significant number of patients are deciding to “thaw” their embryos and allow their demise. Hauntingly, Merrill writes of some patients and couples who understand clearly enough that these embryos are of some moral significance, and some patients express a desire for some ceremony to accompany the demise of their embryonic progeny.

For the vast majority of patients, the current decision is to make no decision at all. This condition will not last, for the reproductive technology industry faces logistical, moral, financial, and technological limitations to the indefinite storage of what may even now be more than a million human embryos that are never to be transferred into wombs.

This issue is challenging me to think of ways in which the Christian community can work to save these small embryos.  The very beginning of life is frozen in labs all over the USA.  Many are being thawed and discarded.  Do we care?  What will we do to change it?

abortions drop in MN, 2008, but Planned Parenthood performs record numbers

This is good news!

MCCL reports that, “the Minnesota Department of Health released its annual Abortion Report for 2008, and reported abortions in Minnesota dropped more than six percent. The report shows that there were 12,948 abortions reported in 2008, compared to 13,843 the previous year. The 2008 total is the lowest number on record since 1975. Find more information about the Abortion Report and read our in-depth analysis on MCCL’s Web site.

Or check out our YouTube video message.”

However, there is more to the story.  

“Even though the number of abortions last year was the lowest in 33 years, Planned Parenthoodmanaged to increase its abortions to a record 3,948. Planned Parenthood performed nearly 1,200 more abortions than the next largest provider.

Another problem area the report points out is that taxpayer funded abortions rose from 28.6% to 29.8% of all abortions performed. This is the highest percentage since the Minnesota Supreme Court’s 1995 Doe vs. Gomez decision requiring taxpayer funding of elective abortions.”

If you aren’t aware of the great work done at MCCL, I hope you look at their website.  

Two years ago MCCL started the Positive Alternatives program which is a gov’t funded grant program whose funds go to Pregnancy Care Centers that offer clients life-affirming alternatives to abortion.  Positive Alternatives makes it crystal clear to women that no one can force them to have an abortion, and that there are always better options. 

It’s a strange irony that the gov’t both funds abortions, (through taxpayer dollars, unfortunately) and also provides grants to the centers who counsel for life.  

If you have been inactive for too long in the fight to save the unborn and want to take steps to do what you can for babies, moms, and dads, consider donating to MCCL, they literally save lives!

doctors and their fight against the death culture

I’m a big fan of WORLD magazine.  

I started reading it as a young teenager and have enjoyed and profited from it ever since.  

My dad (who blogs at mdviews) recently got an article published in WORLD, and I couldn’t be more excited about it!  My dad is an OB/GYN doctor and has been in the thick of the abortion issue for decades.  (Don’t worry, he’s not 90, only 56).  His (and my mom’s) stand for life has been very influential for me. 

He served on the board of Birthright, a Crisis Pregnancy Center, for many years.  And he’s never been ashamed of his pro-life views.  Quite the opposite.  He counsels women toward life.  

His article in WORLD is about the ever-increasing legal pressure being put on doctors to perform or refer for abortion and to provide euthanasia.  This is not new.  Although the pressure is mounting.

What is new to all of us non-doctors out here (and to be sure many doctors as well), is the formation of a band of physicians who agree to the Hippocratic Oath.  You may not know this, but doctors no longer take the Hippocratic Oath and they haven’t for quite some time.  

This new Registry of Hippocratic Doctors allows for doctors to differentiate themselves from the doctors of death (that is, unfortunately, many of them) and commit to protecting life in every circumstance.

Wouldn’t it be nice, as a patient, to know if your doctor embraced life as a virtue?  Wouldn’t you want to know beforehand that they were committed in everything to do no harm?  My dad outlines some of the key parts of the Hippocratic Oath that you’ll be very interested in. 

Go read it.  It’s definitely worth it.