James Dobson’s recent call to shoot Trans People who use the “wrong” bathroom first caught my attention when I read a clickbait headline of a shock magazine site. I had to do a little research to find what he actually said, and when I did, it didn’t clear him.
Dobson is the founder and president of a right-wing group known as Focus on the Family and the author of the WND.com article wherein he preaches about gender, bathrooms, and men protecting the females of the family from “perverts”:
“ . . . If you are a married man with any gumption, surely you will defend your wife’s privacy and security in restroom facilities . . . If you are a dad, I pray you will protect your little girls from men who walk in unannounced, unzip their pants and urinate in front of them. If this had happened 100 years ago, someone might have been shot. Where is today’s manhood? God help us!” [Emphasis added.]
My understanding of the role that religion plays in my life is what drives me to write this response. I find it highly offensive the juxtaposition of James Dobson’s claim to being a Christian and his comment about manhood, violence, and the implication for fathers to shoot trans people.
I was raised a Jehovah’s Witness by my mother and a Southern Baptist by my grandmother, depending on whose house I was in on any given Sunday. The interesting part of that upbringing is that it made me look closely at all religions. It also helped me to identify myself as a “Christian.” Even though some people believe that Jehovah’s Witnesses are the biblical equivalent of the “Moonies,” there is a pretty hip bunch of us who don’t sell flowers in the airport: Larry Graham of Graham Central Station, Venus and Serena Williams, George Benson, and the late, great Prince Rogers Nelson. Not a bad bunch to be affiliated with, actually.
I have come to the conclusion that there is no single right way to serve/worship God. Some of my brethren on both sides of the religious spectrum may hold opinions that differ, however, it is my choice to respect anyone who chooses to be or not to be religious. Religion to me is a divinely personal choice and even atheists have a right to believe what they believe or don’t believe. When you “force” religion on anyone under the guise that “mine is right, and yours is wrong” you lose them immediately. You lose them even further if you ask your followers to “shoot someone” because of what they choose to believe and live what is their authentic self.
That divine omnipotent being who is neither male or female—constructs that we have to helps soothe our brains since we think in that binary fashion—made us “free moral agents.” God gave us the ability to choose to serve him . . . or not. He also gave us the Ten Commandments, and we still kill, covet, lie, and cheat, etc.
People sometimes bastardize and reinterpret Scripture to meet their own evil machinations. History shows that many individuals have used religion as a call to do something that is truly contrary to what the religion actually is really about. The real Christians I see are the people who have lost loved ones in violence such as at #PulseOrlando, yet express themselves with the words love, peace, and forgiveness—demonstrating real Christian Values.
MY Bible says in Romans 13:12 says, “Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” MY Bible also says in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Love never fails. This may not be Mr. Dobson’s version of Christianity or Christian values. But thank God, there aren’t as many people actually in the pulpit who spew his kind of vitriol. The hate is so wrong. Dobson isn’t personally taking someone’s life but he is utilizing hateful rhetoric to instill fear. God does not say we should hurt anyone. In fact, Christianity teaches that God the judge, not us. Oh, but when this guy reaches The Pearly Gates, I would love to be a fly on the cloud to hear what God has in store for this dude.
Photo credit: Flickr/Tim Evanson