If you care about the freedom-to-disagree in America, keep your eyes on the gubernatorial election in the Tar Heel state. In "North Carolina Governor could lose election over bathroom bill" (adn.com, 10/9/16), Dana Millbank writes, "North Carolina's Republican governor, Pat McCrory, was a good bet for reelection earlier this year …. Since then, McCrory's fortunes have been, well, in the toilet."
Recently, I interviewed Tami Fitzgerald, president and founder of the North Carolina Values Coalition, for my radio show and asked her: "Why should somebody in Three Forks, Idaho, care about what's going on in North Carolina?"
She said, "It is imperative that North Carolina retain the law that they passed if there's ever going to be a state or another governor that will take up a religious freedom issue again. We have been battling this for almost six months now, and the Human Rights Commission, which is the national gay and lesbian group, which is headquartered in D.C., has almost taken up residence in North Carolina, to fight this state law."
Fitzgerald added, "And so if we cannot maintain what has happened here and keep any sort of repeal efforts from happening, there will never be another governor or state legislature that will take on the Human Rights Campaign again."
For my job as a TV producer for D. James Kennedy Ministries, I traveled to North Carolina (Ground Zero in the culture wars) and interviewed key leaders there.
For that program, host Dr. Frank Wright said, "Over the past few years, a powerful movement has taken shape. This movement denies the biological reality and argues that gender is a function of choice — of personal preference. And it seeks to punish all who disagree."
With the governor's support, North Carolina had passed a law (known as House Bill 2) in March 2016 to undo Charlotte's February 2016 ordinance that would allow men into women's bathrooms and locker-rooms. One concerned North Carolina parent said: "The truth is, if you're born a man, you should go to the men's bathroom. If you're born a woman, you should go to the women's bathroom."
The Obama administration filed a lawsuit against the state over the law and threatened to withhold its federal education funding — as it did with all states not complying with Obama's progressive views on mixed-sex bathrooms and locker rooms.
I spoke with the Lt. Governor of North Carolina, Dan Forest. He told us: "When the federal government comes in and uses your children as pawns to push their radical agenda on the states, then states need to fight back."
Patrick Wooden, an African-American bishop whose church is in Durham opposed to mixed-sex bathrooms, said, "It's an attack on biblical Christianity." He noted that the Creator made humans as male and female. Two sexes. A simple swab of the mouth for DNA will prove whether one is male or female.
But today's culture insists that gender identity can be fluid. For example, at last check, Facebook provides 71 separate gender identity options.
There has been an onslaught against North Carolina since its bathroom bill was passed. Not just from the Obama administration. Hollywood and many performers are now boycotting the state. So far, they claim that millions of dollars have been lost in this boycott. Big business is also weighing in against the state, as is big sports. In July, the NBA even announced they would move their 2017 All-Star game out of Charlotte because of the law.
Nonetheless, Fitzgerald notes the state has "one of the best climates for job creation and economic stability."
Lt. Gov. Forest said, "I called and talked to multiple CEOs and asked them — 'Have you read the bill?' They said no, but they also said there were actually fearful of the Human Rights Campaign coming against them."
Forest adds: "We've heard from a number of ladies who've been molested in bathrooms, who say [an open bathroom policy] is a horrible thing for women."
Bishop Wooden laments: "They lie about the House Bill 2 and what it does. No one is denied any rights except factory-made women and children who may be exposed to men in the ladies room, and as a man, to be honest with you, sir, I don't want a woman, whether she thinks she's a man or not, in the men's room."
Tami Fitzgerald noted that the transgender community only comprises 3/10 of one percent of the population. "My question for the Obama administration is, What about the other 99.7 percent of the population? What about their privacy and their safety?"
Keep your eyes on the re-election bid of North Carolina's governor. It may have great impact on the future of the freedom-to-disagree in America, much less religious freedom.