Coloring inside or outside the lines; lines matter

            The raging debate about nature’s call has become anything but natural.  Diving into bathroom etiquette quickly went from silly to absurd; all sides are guilty.  It’s not really about “where to pee or not to pee;” it’s about society and our capacity for self-governance, or not.

            The Charlotte City Council is the most recent government body to attempt some sort of statutory potty equality with an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance that included provisions for free range restrooms.  That move of urban tolerance for anything different prompted the predictable backlash to stamp out anything different by the North Carolina legislature.

            Oddly enough, both sides have valid points, but judging from the laws and ordinances neither actually understands the real issues.  Both are pushing to extremes without thought of ramifications.  Proponents essentially push no rules and opponents advocate many rules, a microcosm of anarchy versus tyranny.

            Americans cherish independence and often accept coloring outside the lines; that’s where innovation sometimes begins.  However, if there are no lines, how does anyone know how far afield one is?  Without boundaries or definitions, it’s impossible to even determine where an idea is much less if it’s sane or viable.

            There is an inescapable fact; males and females are born different.  The overwhelming majority of people subscribe to the binary model.  Whether you agree or not, it’s the widely accepted standard.   And most transgender people also subscribe to the concept of male or female identities.  The difference is they are trying to cross from one to the other.

            The open bathroom ordinances are inappropriate because they delete or nullify definitions and theoretically invite all manner of wild interpretations.  But the definitive male or female born parts in the appropriate public bathroom laws codify a hard standard that can’t be tracked nor enforced.

            Government already overreaches into our lives; does anyone really want government to scrutinize us in the bathroom?  Are we going to hire potty police ready go Crocodile Dundee on anyone suspected to be too ugly to be a woman?  Or, are potty police going to be trained to psychoanalyze the bearded middle aged man in heels to determine if he is a sexual predator or just a fellow trying to embrace his feminine side?  The nonsense cuts both ways.

            The answer is we already have the solution.  Liberty is maximized when government is minimized, but that requires common morality and societal norms.  Not in the rigid sense of laws, but the social contract that recognizes the simple right to privacy in the toilet.

            The reality is everyone has probably unknowingly shared a public restroom with someone of the opposite sex.  That transgender person probably didn’t want you to know either; and quite frankly most people don’t want to know or ask.  Unless, something is really amiss.

            That brings us back to the lines, boundaries.  Most color inside the lines and some color outside the lines to admiration or annoyance.  But when someone is off the page, there is sound reason to suspect danger or trouble.  A person may embrace abnormal, but there has to be a reference point to know how abnormal one becomes.

            Most still agree sexual predators are off the page, so we can agree there needs to be a line.  That line will vary from place to place, but let each community decide that line with their values.  If we have any semblance of common morality and mutual respect for other humans, we don’t need any restroom regulations.  The freest people are those who can govern themselves. 

            “For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”  Romans 8:3-4


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