Is it just me or is there more HATE out there than in a very, very long time? We've had the Republicans and Democrats (or Conservatives and Liberals) at one others' throats for a couple of decades now but it has certainly gotten worse since (God Bless Him) President Obama came into office. As a friend of mine put it just this past weekend, "I am appalled at the amount of racism that still exists in this country! I thought we were past so much more of this by now." And then we have Donald Trump running around the country (and I'm sorry to say, with ample help from the national media) busy stirring up as much racism, xenophobia and misogyny in a few months as the KKK has managed to do in the past decade. And now in addition to the whole gay marriage issue, people are going nuts over bathrooms!
Now allow me to explain why I should be considered something of any ‘expert’ to speak on that last issue. First, as a ten year veteran of a county sheriff’s department, I can tell you right up front, I’ve seen more than my fair share of sex offenders, both those our department arrested and those who were required to register regularly. Sexual offenders come in all sizes, colors, religions, and ages, although the vast majority are straight white guys. WHY? Because the majority of males in America are still straight white guys so go figure. Next, it is a fact that sexual predators do not care WHAT the sign says on the bathroom door nor are they particular about WHO might be using said bathroom. Sexual predators, from teenagers to decrepit old men, will take their opportunity for a new conquest wherever they can and an elevator is every bit as dangerous, if not more so, than any public bathroom. (And yes, I’ve been known to step off of an elevator at the last possible moment, when a man who just didn’t set right with me, stepped on as the doors were closing.)
Secondly, as a person who has traveled outside the United States and a friend to many others who have done so, I can tell you, public bathrooms in many other countries are much more open and unsecured than those in the US. I am thrilled to see so many more clean functioning public bathrooms, complete with toilet paper, in Latin America than when I was a child, teen and young adult there. So often back then, you were better off with ‘clean’ bushes! My friends who travel in Europe and Asia, tell me of same sex bathrooms everywhere and a lock on the door in many of those places, is a true luxury! And no, bathroom sexual assaults are no more prevalent there than here.
Finally, if a person is serious about protecting their child from sexual molestation, then look first within your own home! Literally, in ten years at the sheriff’s department, every case of rape, sexual molestation, abuse, and assault we dealt with, was perpetrated by someone known to the victim. Women, children, and adolescents, both male and female, were assaulted by their own—significant others, uncles, grandfathers, classmates, dates, stepbrothers and cousins—but more often than any other, by mother’s new boyfriend or husband. Yes, watch the nightly news, if you are in doubt. Mothers’ poor judgment or maybe just an incredible hunger for some attention for herself, is a greater threat to her child’s innocence than who is using the bathroom at school or the local Wal-Mart. Are there stranger sexual assaults? Yes, they do exist but statistically, a child is much more likely to be in a serious car accident than to be sexually attacked by a stranger.
So America, some, and certainly most in this area, like to claim we are a Christian nation or at least a nation based on Christian principles. The last time I checked Jesus’ principal message was one of Love. How does that jive with all that we are hearing from our politicians, from Donald Trump and the bathroom protestors? If we are going to claim the name of Christ, then we must live according to what he told us…”go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. Teach them to obey everything that I have taught you….(Matthew 28:19-20) That is not a message of HATE, by anyone’s measure.