A Pastor's Plea: Don't Freak Out Over Potties

Just this morning two of my Facebook friends put up posts suggesting the world is going to end because President Obama has directed public schools to allow trans kids to use the potty of their choice.

Now, I know other people have said what I'm about to say, so I'll make it quick and I'll try to keep it eloquent: I'm a pastor. Reflecting upon matters of public morality and decency is part of what I do for a living. I'm also a writer who has achieved a moderate amount of success commenting on the intersection of faith and politics. So, from my platform as a pastor who writes, let me say this: lets quit freaking out.

Or, if we're going to freak out, lets freak out over things that really matter, things like poverty and hunger, and the fact that more people live as slaves in the world today than did before the emancipation proclamation. Freak out over the fact that poor and minority children in America consistently get shortchanged by the public education system. Worry about the fact that the same kids who go to failing schools also lack access to decent health care. Be concerned about global warming, or if you're disinclined to listen to science, give a damn about air pollution.

Get angry about the fact that our nation's leaders can't seem to figure out how to solve problems without dropping bombs form unmanned aircraft on innocent civilians. Worry about the rise of Donald Trump, the appeal of his racist and misogynist rhetoric and all it suggest about the rot that is growing in the American soul. Freak out over the fact that the once-great American democracy has now been reduced to system of open and legal bribery.

There is a heroin addiction crisis to worry about, and while we're at it we can get angry around the fact that there's always been a heroine addiction crisis, but our leaders only care now that White folks are addicted. When Black and Brown Americans struggle with addiction the good folk in Washington declare a "war on drugs" and throw addicts in prison, there to rot for profit.

Look: I'm the pastor of a church so liberal that the other pastor on staff thinks we need to make all of our restrooms gender neutral. I don't know if I agree with her, but so long as one child goes to bed hungry at night, so long bombs fall on the innocent, so long as our economy continues to make the rich richer at the expense of the poor, I will not freak out over who goes pee where. Even at church.

And neither should you.