By Craig Hardegree | 

Remember two months ago when people were singing the praises of the newly-enlightened Georgia governor for vetoing the deceptively-titled “religious liberties” bill? And I said if the gay people affected by the law didn’t have high-rolling friends, he’d still be listening to holy-rolling conservatives?

Well. That didn’t take long.

Yesterday Governor Deal described President Obama’s attempt to protect transgender people from bathroom bullying as an “abuse” of federal authority. And being a typical fearmongering conservative Christian obsessed with what’s inside other people’s underwear, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to paint transgender people as predators and pedophiles and perverts, saying he would do everything possible to “protect the interests of Georgia’s children.”

He’s as enlightened as the decaying stump of rotten loblolly pine in my backyard — light all around, but wholly incapable of processing it.

THIS is the thing that is making this entire discussion so toxic; this is what is so offensive and infuriating and profoundly-incorrect about the objections coming from conservative Christians — this unsophisticated closed-minded backward-understanding of other people that leads you to the provably-wrong conclusion that transgender people are predators and pedophiles and pervs.

If you want to “protect children,” you need to focus on a real source of predators, pedophiles and pervs — your pulpits.

May 10, 2016 — Pastor David Reynolds of Cornerstone Bible Fellowship in Sherwood Arkansas was arrested on 70 counts of possessing child pornography. A 13-year-old girl who is a member of his congregation was identified in one of the photos and she helped authorities identify others. User names on child porn sites traced back to conservative Christian and the most-holy Reverend Reynolds include “sweetoothcandy3” and “Luvsomecandy.”

May 8 , 2016 — Pastor Alan Little of Colonial Christian Church in Colonial Heights Virginia was arrested on five counts of aggravated sexual battery and two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child.

April 22, 2016 — Pastor Raphael Robinson of Kingdom Pentecostal Church in North Aurora Illinois was arrested for sexually abusing a little girl in his congregation. He was previously convicted in 2004 of sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl.

January 2016 — Pastor Eli Echevarria of multiple Baptist churches was exposed as a serial pedophile by a fellow Baptist pastor who bucked the American Baptist Churches of Connecticut and went public after the denominational hierarchy continued to cover up and protect the sex offender within their midst. Echevarria had been convicted in 2006 of illegal sexual contact while he was pastoring New Haven Baptist. In January 2015 Echevarria was convicted of possessing child pornography depicting girls as young as toddlers. In April 2015, the American Baptist Churches of Connecticut issued a rave review, praising and thanking Echevarria.

July 2015 — Pastor John Pinkston of God Seventh Day in Kennesaw Georgia was convicted by a Cobb County jury on two counts of child molestation and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

“Mr. Pinkston, you’ve been convicted of the unforgivable sin of molesting the most vulnerable members of your flock. You’ve taken no responsibility whatsoever. You are hereby sentenced to a term of 20 years in prison.” ~ Judge Robert D. Leonard II

I could go on forever. Since time immemorial, priests and preachers have horrifically fondled and fingered and licked and sucked and abused and raped little children — and not nary a law has been proposed to keep these vile vermin out of our bathrooms.

But now with one mind and one accord they want to stand in their pulpits and wilfully lie to their flocks and gin up hysteria and fear through unconscionable smear and plant seeds of violence in the shallow backwooded-minds of Trumpian trash who will one day end up assaulting or killing a sweet gentle already-wounded creature whose only crime was wanting to pee free of the threat of animalistic barbarianism that his push-up bra and eyeliner could easily subject him to in the men’s room.

Not once in the entire history of the world has a transgender person ever acted improperly in any way whatsoever toward a child in a public restroom. Or anywhere. Not once. Not even once!

Minnesota has prohibited gender-identity discrimination in public restrooms since 1993; Massachusetts since 1997; Rhode Island 2001; New Mexico 2003; Maine 2005; Hawaii 2006; Iowa 2007; Colorado 2008 — and not oncenot once, has a transgender person touched or looked sideways at a child.

But priests and preachers have prayed and preyed and perved and pedophiled as many times as the sands by the sea and the stars in the sky.

It’s time to require preachers to wear the letter “P” and use separate bathrooms.

End-Post-Craig-Hardegree

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