As I’ve been chronicling, the anti-trans bathroom bills are dumb for a number of reasons: gender is not a crime, binary gender is a fiction anyway, the people purporting to not want men in women’s restrooms are hypocritically sending men into women’s restrooms, and people who might be attracted to you and yours have always been (peacefully) peeing alongside you.
Today I’m trying a different line of argument: I’m saying that if you identify as Christian, and you support these trans-discriminatory bills, you really need to reevaluate whether you ought to call yourself a Christian.
There are numerous Bible passages about helping the needy and supporting the vulnerable, but I’ll just share one in that vein. Matthew 25:31-46 states that those shall be rewarded who minister to and aid the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the unclothed, and the imprisoned. In other words, people who are impoverished, needy, and suffering should be the recipients of care from Christians, as though they’re serving their own beloved deity.
Now, I’d like to make three arguments based on this sentiment which, again, you people purport to live your lives according to since the Bible is the word of God and all that.
First, among the list of things which people deserve help for are eating, drinking, and not having to wander around naked – in other words, basic human functions that are close to the body, thus close to universal. All humans must put calories and water into their bodies; all humans must protect themselves from the elements. As a correlate, putting food and water into your body means that such things will exit your body at a later time, in the form of urine and/or excrement (or vomit, if you’re really unlucky…but then that would just be covered by the “ministering to those who are sick” teaching).
So it seems to me that if your God is commanding you to provide food and water to those who are hungry and thirsty, you’d better damn well give them somewhere to take care of resulting business. I didn’t think this needed to be said, but we all deserve to use the bathroom in peace, rather than being legally forced to use a bathroom which might actually endanger us, as could happen when a trans, intersex, or non-binary person is forced to use the bathroom that doesn’t correspond to their identity. There are even reports of cisgender women being harassed in bathrooms because they don’t “look” like they belong.
If your goal was to create an atmosphere of fear and heightened scrutiny that results in punishing people for not conforming, well, good job? But then you’re ignoring the attention to universal human rights that your scripture calls for.
The second argument is that, again, by your own logic, trans people are suffering. They are downtrodden. They are victimized. They are put in positions that deny them access to food, water, and care while sick (again, see that Bible verse!). Here’s a smattering of statistics for you:
- 72% of hate violence homicides in 2013 were trans women (source)
- In 2015, trans women of color were being murdered at the rate of almost one a week, with the murders being almost solely motivated by gender identity/transphobia (source)
- 90% of transgender employees report harassment or mistreatment on the job (source)
- Transgender women are 1.8 times more likely to experience sexual violence than other survivors (source)
- Trans people are unemployed at twice the rate of the general population, and are nearly four times as likely as the general population to have a household income under $10,000 (source)
- More than one in four trans people have lost a job due to bias (source)
- Trans people report being harassed in health care settings and 19% in one survey reported being denied health care based on their gender identity (source)
The ability to get and keep a job impacts whether one can afford food, clothing, and housing. The ability to get health care influences whether you’ll have access to help when you’re sick. These things are literally covered in the Bible passage mentioned above (and others), as things that Christians should provide aid with, or, one would think, at least not obstruct people from getting help themselves!
If anyone looks at the above list of stats, no matter which group it reflects on, and thinks, “Gee, we should really pile onto this group some more and discriminate against them, single them out, and pass laws that endanger them further,” then you do not deserve to call yourself a Christian, or an adherent of any religion that advocates for charity, compassion, and helping others.
My third argument is a brief historical one, not directly related to that Bible verse, but rather to the history of Christianity in general. Remember the early Roman times, when Christians were persecuted and literally fed to the lions? That sucked, right? Well, you should think twice about whether you want to visit that kind of violence and discrimination on another group of people. Especially a group that’s already being singled out legally and murdered in droves.
I don’t dislike Christians, but I do dislike hypocrites. My favorite Christians are the ones who act the most Christ-like. And if you believe your God would be in favor of basically drop-kicking trans and non-binary folks into even less safe and more dehumanizing situations, then you’d better go back and consult your religious texts. It’s pretty obvious to even this non-believer that your religion is supposed to be one of love and charity, not one of discriminating against people whom you don’t understand and don’t like.