Do you remember the famous line in the Wizard of Oz when a bewildered Dorothy gets her bearings after her airborne house comes to rest? She says to her dog "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more?" Well, that's how many who've been swept into the North Carolina bathroom policy debate are feeling. Last week, the Obama administration threatened to withhold millions in federal funding because North Carolina prohibited local governments from opening public restrooms and locker rooms to the opposite sex. North Carolina filed a lawsuit yesterday seeking clarity of the law upon which the U.S. Justice Dept. (DOJ) made a basis to its claims. DOJ then filed a countersuit.
David French at National Review Online said the Obama administration's threats is provoking a legal crisis . Roger Severino at Heritage is calling DOJ's initial threat an abuse of power. And Andrew Walker at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission is calling this a proxy debate "for a larger conflict about what it means to be male & female." At stake is the idea of federalism, the democratic process and whether we will be governed under the "laws of nature and of nature's God."
There is an identity crisis. But the roots of the crisis go much deeper than transgender activists' defiance of human biology and sociology. This identity crisis is over what it means to be male and female; what it means to be human; and the true meaning of freedom and equality. The seeds of this crisis were sown decades ago. when a fixed moral reference point was jettisoned from the public arena. Without a reference point—God as the Creator of human beings and the source of law and morality, society loses its bearings and people forget who they are. Under such circumstances, its easy to confuse freedom with license and mistake the maintenance of single-gender bath facilities with bigotry.