Thursday, March 30, 2017

The New Law Introduced Today . . .

Last year the legislature of North Carolina passed a law that stated you need to use the bathroom that best matches the biology with which you were born.

This has become a human rights issue for some who see it as discrimination to tell someone that their bathroom choice must match their biology.

Regardless of your political persuasions and passions, I think we can all agree that no one wants to strip anyone of their dignity.  Both sides need to be taken seriously.  I don't want my transgendered brothers and sisters to feel discriminated against just as much as I don't want anyone to feel unsafe or uncertain about their use of public restrooms.  To dismiss one or the other doesn't honor Christ's command for us to love each other.

So today the legislature in North Carolina worked with the democratic governor in an attempt to build a compromise.  They unveiled their solution as HB142.  Unfortunately, both sides are unhappy with the bill.  

Equality North Carolina Executive Director Chris Sgro responded to the compromise saying, "It doesn't matter if you are a Democrat or a Republican, if you vote for this bill, you are not a friend of the LGBT community," 

It is a heavy-handed statement that you could agree or disagree with, but then he went on to say this:

"You are not standing on the right side of the moral arc of history or with the civil rights community."

The moral arc of history . . .

Interesting idea.  Does history conform to a particular shape?  Whose arc are we talking about?

Srgo is actually misquoting Martin Luther King.  

The larger context says: 

"evil may so shape events that Caesar will occupy a palace and Christ a Cross, but that same Christ will rise up and split history into A.D. and B.C., so that even the life of Caesar must be dated by his name.  Yes the 'arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.'"

King is actually quoting 19th century pastor Theodore Parker.  The idea is that there is a justice that operates outside of human history.  A God who will enter human history at some point to make history conform to His Will.  So when it comes to human rights outside of God, we should not expect to get it right . . . because we are human.  The full quote was intended to deliver the gut punch that only God's justice will one day heal us. 

So it seems so appropriate to correct Srgo on this point.

One day God's justice will break into time and remind us that from the beginning we were intended to be in relationship with Him.  Governments and laws are adequate band-aids in the present time - but we can't lose sight that one day we will come back under the care and provision of a God who cares for us.  One day the moral arc of the universe will be as visible as a sunset.  No more confusion.  No more shame.  No more protests and hate.

In fact, the more that we keep this in mind, the more we might be able to shape suitable compromises now . . .

And that is something we can say "Amen" to regardless of where we are on this issue.

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