By Craig Hardegree | 

Evangelical pulpits will be white-hot with glowing embers of righteous indignation this weekend as preachers conjure up the specter of men invading powder rooms, ginning it up to Biblical proportions, before slaying it on the altar of holier-than-thou judgment.

I’ve never understood why conservatives are so preoccupied with genitalia. They have proposed laws mandating that a woman seeking an abortion be strapped-down and invaded with a transvaginal obstetrical probe and forced to view images of her “baby” before “killing” it. They have Chicken-Littled the sky over people with matching genitalia publicly acknowledging their mutual love and joining together in holy matrimony. They have grabbed onto the horns of the altar and cried out to Holy God over health insurance paying for orally-ingested pills which prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs into the fallopian tubes. And this year, the only lasting substantive issue in their contest to pick a champion to face Hillary in November, has been penis size, with their assumed-classiest taunting their crassest and their crassest assuring America on national TV that there is no inadequacy in the size of his penis.

And now conservatives want genitalia-revealing airport-scanners erected outside all bathrooms so an attendant can see what lies beneath, in order to direct a person to the “correct” bathroom. No, they haven’t said this, but how else do they propose to enforce the North Carolina law; the rules they want Target to adopt or else face a sustained boycott; the rules they prefer for our schools instead of the directive ordered today by President Obama?

And why in the name of all things holy and right do they even care? What is this sick sadistic perversion of conservatives that makes them want to police the inside of panties? Why do these “small government” Christians want the government involved in every issue between the thighs? Why do conservative privacy-advocates — who believe the data inside the iPhone of a terrorist is sacred and sacrosanct and beyond the reach of government — want the government peering into the underwear of a person who simply wants to use a restroom?

Those aren’t rhetorical questions. I really want to know. I really want to know what makes you think the inside of another person’s underwear is even remotely any of your business? Or any of the government’s business? Or society’s business?

Why would you want to force a male who has finally summoned the courage of heart to live as the female he’s always known that he is deep down in the recesses of his soul, to walk into a men’s room and lift up her skirt in front of a putrid wall urinal and get the piss and pube splatter from a disgusting next-urinal-over animal-parading-as-man on her freshly manicured feet in her open-toed pumps?

I mean, what kind of animals are you people? Why — in the name of the God who commanded you to treat people the way you want to be treated — can’t you scrape together the tiniest bit of empathy that would allow you to spare her the utter humiliation and support her option to go into the ladies’ room and sit down with dignity in a private stall?

How can any decent human being be so cruel and heartless and hurtful to other human beings?

And how dare you raise your Bible in defense of your soulless degradation of others? That same Bible from whence you pick-and-choose whatever suits your fancy from Leviticus 18 and 19, condemning to the eternally-burning fires of Hell, those who violate one verse, while laughing-off the next verse.

White people didn’t give a rip when it was young black males being warehoused in prisons for crack and smack. But now that a heroin epidemic is sweeping middle and upper-income white suburbia, suddenly they’re demanding that police officers carry lifesaving antidotes and grant immunity to white co-users — so they’ll call for help and stick around when another kid overdoses — and they’re demanding that our laws be changed to treat drug addiction as an illness, not a crime. And while they pitched fits about Plan B pills being sold over the counter because they are in some way related to genitalia, they’re now pushing for Narcan to be freely available to the public.

The decision last June to allow gay people to marry didn’t result from empathy. It resulted from years of more and more people coming out until nearly every family in America was affected by it. Public opinion didn’t change because people were finally able to put themselves into the shoes of gay people. It changed only when it affected their own families.

If the only time you can muster concern for the feelings of others, is when the same pain strikes you, that’s not empathy. That’s selfish.

But empathy is not optional.

“In everything, do unto others as you would have them do to you. This is the essence of all the laws and teachings of the prophets.” ~ Jesus

Transgendered people are not freaks; they’re not pervs. They’re hyper-sensitive to the disparaging looks and belittling words and jokes on Facebook about Caitlyn. They’re often already wounded in ways you can’t see over issues you’ll never understand. They need your love and compassion; not your hate and condemnation.


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