Category Archives: Constitutional Ignorance

Pee wherever you want to––everyone!

Use whatever bathroom you want.

719Lk-kuT0L._SY355_I’m not talking to transgendered people––I’m talking to all of you and because I’m a man, even more so to the male of our species…

Haven’t you ever been frustrated when someone seems to have taken up residence in the men’s room?

As I move ever further beyond age 50 I experience this frustration more than ever. I wait and wait in genuine discomfort while the women’s room goes unused. Still––I won’t violate the sacred boundary. My mother taught me not to.

No more. If I need to go––I’m using the women’s restroom. Why not?

I’ve also decided that I’m going to join the shortest line at the ballgame. I’m going to use the closest facility at the highway rest stop. And if the men’s room is filthy, I’m trying the women’s––I don’t care how many stalls there are or who can see me or who may be uncomfortable with my presence.

In the hyper-emotional battle over transgendered use of public restrooms we’ve lost one coldly serious and important fact:

Our Constitution does not protect any group. It protects individual rights.

If you believe that people should be free to choose the facilities that best reflect their chosen gender identity––so be it. I’m tempted myself to cite gender fluidity as a convenient justification to use the girl’s room when I find myself in desperate straights.

ID-100345484I’m getting too old to stand on ceremony––I don’t have a problem announcing that I’m now gender fluid, non-binary, genderqueer or whatever it takes to save me the the pain and potential embarrassment associated with pissing my own pants.

Yes––my tongue is poking my cheek and I am purposely trying to instigate trouble here––but think about it…

Those on the open borders side of the gender identity restroom debate maintain that you can’t deprive a person of his or her or others civil right to use the public plumbing of his or her or others choice simply because his or her or others chosen sexual identity does not correlate with his or hers or others biologically plumbing.

That’s all fine too––but we don’t protect the “group,” and we don’t grant special privileges to particular groups––not in theory anyway. We’re not supposed to be creating protected classes of people or legislating privileges for a chosen few––on any grounds.

Our system is built on protection of rights for the individual.

The gay marriage issue turned on that very point. You simply cannot say that one individual citizen can enjoy a privilege recognized by the state while another individual citizen is denied the same privilege.

Racial discrimination is illegal on the same grounds. We did not create a special privilege that suddenly allowed black people the right to vote, for example. We simply got around to recognizing that once black people were considered citizens (another terrible injustice that needed correcting by the way) that there was no way their right to vote could be denied. The 15th Amendment does not grant a special privilege to the “group” of black citizens––it prevents the government from using it’s authority to deny the right of an individual based on race or color:

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

In the same way, we’ve recognized that if an adult citizen can be “married” under the law, then every citizen has the same right.

It seems only right that if we choose to legally recognize the right of a particular citizen to use a public restroom based on his, hers or others identity––or even feeling of identity on a particular day, then each of us has the right to use the public restroom of our choosing––regardless of the reason.

Seem ridiculous? Well, think of the problem from all sides.

To protect a right, you must consider enforcement. If you’re granting a privilege to a particular group, you must provide a practical means of enforcement.

In the case of driving on the public roads, we issue a license. Is this the solution to the trans-fluid gender restroom issue?

Should we issue special ID cards to transgendered and gender fluid people? Should they be required to show these cards to authorities when someone challenges their presence in a gender segregated area?

That would certainly be a solution. That would prevent me from using the women’s facilities––assuming I don’t qualify for a card.

Well, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Ireland have beaten us to the punch…

In each of these countries the official stand is that gender is nothing more than a declaration of choice and “neither male nor female” is a legally recognized option. And the official ID is anything but a joke, it’s a reality!

Ireland recently celebrated remarkable progress in the state sanctioned free-gender area according to TheJournal.com:

“…Ireland’s trans community celebrated a “historic day” when citizens were given the legal right to gender recognition based on self-declaration.

“It means that people who wish to have their change of gender recognised by the state – in birth certs, passports, driving licenses – will simply make a formal declaration to that effect.”

Still, even Ireland lags a little behind the times. TheJournal.com article continues:

“In this case though, individuals still only have two options; male or female. ‘M’ or ‘F’.”

Well––it’s a start.

We don’t live in Ireland or India and we’re still talking about restrooms and to this point, we’re not, as far as I know, issuing state gender ID cards.

Nor should we.

I don’t really have a solution––frankly, it’s not something I ever bothered to think about much.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ve always cherished the one remaining “safe zone” where I could retreat free from the onslaught of the opposite sex––naturally endowed or otherwise. I suppose those days are gone.

Yes, I’ve been annoyed when women jump the line at a concert to pee in my men’s room. Yes, I’ve strained every muscle in my body to keep from losing it waiting for the men’s room to open when the women’s room went unused. On one occasion I was caught off guard when I noticed the young woman washing her hands in the next sink was anything but––a young woman that is. I even dealt with concerns from the members of my martial arts center when it became obvious that a new student’s gifts of nature were inconsistent with her––I mean his choice of locker rooms.

We simply didn’t make much of an issue of it. But lets not flush the main point of this discussion down the toilet.

As I said––our system protects the rights of the individual, not the group.

If gender identity is a choice––

And if that choice is subject to the individual’s feelings on a particular day––

And if there is no requirement to obtain or produce any official documentation of one’s gender…

Then shouldn’t we all just pee wherever the hell we want to?

Another look at it…

Photo of transgendered many courtesy of Frankie42 and FreeDigitalphotos.net

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , ,

The Attack on Christmas: KNOCK IT OFF!

Santa Womanby Jim Bouchard

If you’re one of those Grinches who wants to eradicate Christ from Christmas…

…KNOCK IT OFF!

I don’t identify myself as Christian and I frankly don’t give a damn whether you are or not. Still, I acknowledge that Christmas is about the baby Jesus, I enjoy the spirit of the season and I’m definitely not offended if you want to wish me a Merry Christmas.

First of all, Christmas is about Christ. End of story.

Christians celebrate Christmas to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. The holiday has, over time, come to represent the spirit of charity and giving so essential to those who practice authentic Christian principles.

Merry Christmas is a warm greeting intended only to express compassion in the true spirit of the season.

If you’re offended by any of that, just don’t be.

Next- there is no constitutional basis to prohibit Christmas displays or celebrations in public places.

The separation of church and state as a constitutional issue is a myth. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, the United States was founded primarily by a group of Christian men who instilled the values and principles of their various sects in nearly every area of law and government.

Being extremely intelligent and farsighted individuals, they also, in order to protect their own religious freedom, codified the free expression of religion for all American citizens.

The 101 version of the separation of church and state comes from a series of debates and letters, largely credited to Thomas Jefferson, who advocated for a strong “wall of separation” between any church and the federal government to avoid the establishment of a state religion- something the founders knew about and feared greatly.

The modern expansion of the idea of a wall of separation started with a lawsuit (Everson vs. Board of Education) over the state of New Jersey using tax money to pay for school bus rides for kids going to private, and particularly parochial schools. At that time, the SCOTUS ruled that the 1st Amendment had not been violated- because transportation was paid for all kids regardless of religious affiliation and because state, not federal funding was involved.

Putting up a Christmas tree, or even a nativity display, doesn’t violate the 1st Amendment in any way shape or form. It would be a violation if Congress ordered you to put up a Christmas tree.

Here’s an interesting viewpoint from Penn Jillette…

I find it particularly interesting that so many groups want to put up purposely offensive displays in public places simply to make a statement in what they perceive as the interest of fairness. This is why we now have Wiccan holiday displays alongside Jewish and Christian symbols of the season.

Frankly- I don’t give a damn if the Wiccans or the Church of Satan want to put up holiday displays, but to do so simply as an attack on their Christian neighbors is, well…

…just plain stupid.

There is no traditional Wiccan observation of the birth of Christ and I could not find any particular Satanic holiday centered on gift giving and acts of charity. If those of you who worship goats, Pagan gods or Old Scratch himself want to join the party, so be it.

If you’re just trying to ruin someone else’s fun- get a life! (And your own holiday! Maybe we’ll enjoy that one too!)

To Christians…if you’re offended that someone doesn’t believe what you believe…KNOCK IT OFF!

You’re preaching tolerance, love extended to all mankind, etc., etc. Well then, get on with it!

I’m not saying you shouldn’t defend yourself against direct attacks, but nobody is throwing you into the Coliseum with a bunch of lions here. If some atheist wants to spend his own money on a billboard that proclaims Christmas is a myth, just get over it! (I was going to say put up your own billboards- but you’ve been doing that for quite a while!)

You’re not going to persuade that guy to believe any more than he’s going to persuade you not to. You’ve got better things to do.

If you believe…then believe.

And finally to the Atheists (capitalization intentional in the spirit of fairness)…

If there is no God- what the hell is the big problem?

Atheism has become to some a cult as fervent as some of the most extreme examples of fundamentalist Christianity or radicalized Islam. Your rights to not-believe are secured by the 1st Amendment; why can’t you just leave the God fearing peoples be?

I’m the first one to get aggravated, though not necessarily offended, by someone proselytizing. My personal beliefs are, well, personal- and I don’t appreciate anyone stuffing their own beliefs in my face.

Having said that, I welcome and embrace any expression of positivity, respect, love and charity in this difficult and challenging world. I appreciate and support the good work of people of faith in many areas of society- as long as they’re respectful and tolerant of others.

Christmas is about love, family- if you’re lucky enough to have one, hope, renewal and kindness. If you don’t want to celebrate- don’t!

But- the next time you want to get your undies in a bunch because there’s a Christmas tree in your town square or someone wishes you a heartfelt “Merry Christmas…”

…KNOCK IT OFF!

####

Jim Bouchard is a nationally recognized speaker, media guest and author of THINK Like a BLACK BELT.

Learn more about Jim at these sites:

TLaBB Web Banner 1303

Santa image courtesy FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tagged , , , , , , ,

The Duck Dynasty Debacle: It’s NOT a “free speech” issue…KNOCK IT OFF!

By Jim Bouchard

“CONGRESS (emphasis mine) shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…”

CONGRESS!

Free speech is not free and the 1st Amendment does not give you the right to say whatever you want…without consequences.

Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame ruffled some feathers when he was quoted in a GQ interview fundamentally condemning what is, in his view, the sinful act of homosexuality and male prostitution. Putting aside any references to incest or any other redneck allusions I might be tempted to make…

…Phil exercised his right to free speech. It was published. A&E fired him. End of story.

The 1st Amendment is there to protect against the government gagging us. There are plenty of legitimate challenges to freedom we can debate on that front.

For those waving the “free speech” banner- here’s my attempt to enlighten you:

Let’s say someone pitches a tent on your front yard and proclaims they have the right to live anywhere they’d like. Are you violating that person’s rights when you tell them to get lost?

 Wouldn’t it be a violation of your rights if a government agency intervened and commanded you to allow the squatter to occupy your private land?

A&E is a private company. They own the time and space on their network. They’re free to choose who they’ll air on their network- or not.

Phil Robertson is free to express himself. He did. Now he owns the consequences.

A&E is exercising their rights as well…and they’ll face consequences too. They’d likely face far worse consequences if they didn’t boot the duck man given their audience. You might choose never to watch them again in response to their treatment of Robertson. You might applaud their decision to turn their backs on profit in support of the gay and lesbian population.

Legally- nobody is in the wrong here.

You can agree with Duck Man Phil or not- as of this writing, you’re still free to hold your own ideas. You might think he’s a champion of true Christian values…you might think he’s an intolerant, ignorant redneck asshole…

…but you if you think this is a free speech issue- you’re just plain wrong.

Knock It Off!

Tagged , , , ,