Will schools soon have to open girls’ locker rooms to boys?

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Will schools soon have to open girls’ locker rooms to boys?

April 25, 2024 -

Little girl sitting in a locker room. Photo by lithiumphoto/stock.adobe.com

Little girl sitting in a locker room. Photo by lithiumphoto/stock.adobe.com

Little girl sitting in a locker room. Photo by lithiumphoto/stock.adobe.com

If you care about someone whose K–12 school or institution of higher learning receives any federal funding, take note: their school may have to open girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms, housing accommodations, and sports teams to boys who claim to “identify” as girls. Boys’ facilities and activities would likewise have to be accessible to biological girls who “identify” as boys. This is because the Department of Education has unilaterally expanded Title IX of the Civil Rights code, an amendment passed in 1972 that prohibits discrimination “on the basis of sex” by “any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” This was intended to prevent such discrimination with regard to athletic participation, facilities, and scholarships.

Now, however, “sex” has been made to include “sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity.” The new regulations also require K–12 schools to accept a child’s gender identity regardless of their biological sex and without providing notice to, or seeking approval from, the child’s parents.

As First Liberty warns, the Title IX changes directly threaten our religious liberty. The Independent Women’s Forum also strongly condemns the regulation and plans to sue the Biden administration. Others will likely join them in legal opposition.

“Man’s trouble lies heavy on him”

We have been discussing this week our relativistic culture’s rejection of objective truth and morality. An example of such confusion is the controversy over National Public Radio’s new CEO and President, Katharine Maher. She suspended editor Uri Berliner in response to his recent essay criticizing the network’s progressive bias, a move that seems to reinforce his point.

We should not be surprised: when she was CEO of Wikipedia, Maher claimed that “there are many different truths” and stated, “I’m certain that the truth exists for you. And probably for the person sitting next to you. But this may not be the same truth.”

Jesus would disagree. He told his disciples, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31–32). Note the definite articles. As my wife, Janet Denison, wrote in her blog yesterday:

The only way we can truly be a disciple of Christ is to “abide” in his word. When we allow the opinions of others to influence truth, we have ceased to abide or dwell in the truth of Christ. And Jesus said it was his truth that would set us free (her emphasis).

Embracing Jesus’ truth is the only way to be set free from the burden of fallenness, finitude, and sin. Solomon described this burden well:

Man’s trouble lies heavy on him. For he does not know what is to be, for who can tell him how it will be? No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death. There is no discharge from war, nor will wickedness deliver those who are given to it (Ecclesiastes 8:6–8).

The wise king would agree:

The more people reject biblical truth, the more they need it. The sicker the soul, the more urgent the Great Physician.

How can we share the truth effectively today?

Three practical responses

Paul stayed in Ephesus longer than anywhere else in his missionary journeys, “reasoning daily” for the gospel so effectively that “all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks” (Acts 19:9–10). We have a fascinating window into his strategy through the testimony of non-Christians who heard him.

One: Show people why they need biblical truth.

An Ephesian who made his living by selling idols complained that “Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods” (v. 26). The apostle exposed the obvious illogic of the man’s livelihood: How can “gods made with hands” be true deities?

The biblical worldview is “True Truth,” as Francis Schaeffer noted. But to open minds to it, we often need to show them why they should consider its claims. With regard to the Title IX revisions noted earlier, for example, we can point to the tragic irony that the new version will defeat the very purpose for which the code was originally intended. Rather than ensuring that girls and boys receive equal support in our schools, it ensures that boys who “identify” as girls can unfairly compete against them and violate their private spaces.

Two: Leverage your influence.

When Paul wanted to address the uprising provoked by the Ephesian idol maker, “some of the Asiarchs, who were friends of his, sent to him and were urging him not to venture into the theater” (v. 31). These were wealthy and distinguished citizens whose office was greatly coveted.

As their fellow Roman citizen and cultural leader, Paul obviously built personal relationships with them over his two years in Ephesus, illustrating James Davison Hunter’s thesis that culture changes as we achieve our highest place of influence and live there faithfully.

Three: Speak the truth in love.

The town clerk quelled the riot in Ephesus by reminding the crowd that Paul and his companions “are neither sacrilegious nor blasphemers of our goddess” (v. 37). They illustrated Peter’s admonition to defend our faith “with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15) by manifesting the “fruit of the Spirit” in ways that impressed even their skeptics (Galatians 5:22–23).

Will you pray for God to raise up more Pauls today?

Will you be an answer to your prayer?

NOTE: This is my last note about our latest book, Between Compromise and Courage (2nd ed). We updated the book with four new topics: AI, end times, the rapture, and gun control. And we updated previous chapters on always-pressing topics: abortion, racism, suicide, and religious liberty. Our team prays that you’re equipped and inspired by this new book to be the salt and light Jesus calls us to be. Request your copy of our newest book today.

Thursday news to know:

Quote for the day:

“A lie doesn’t become truth, wrong doesn’t become right, and evil doesn’t become good, just because it’s accepted by a majority.” —Rick Warren

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